Indonesia considering purchase of four new Hercules planes

C-130J Hercules. (Foto: Lockheed Martin)

May 21, 2009 Jakarta -- Indonesian Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono said his side was still considering an offer to provide four new C-130 Hercules planes from the cargo transport aircraft maker Lockheed Martin.

"We are also waiting for the investigation results by a Police Headquarters team on the Hercules crashes in Magetan and Wamena recently," the minister said here on Wednesday.

He made the remarks after presenting an honorary medal to Singapore`s Armed Forces Commander Desmond Kuek here on Wednesday.

The minister said that his side was also still studying the price and the possibility of purchasing four C-130 Hercules type H produced in the 1980s from a number of Asian countries.

He said there was a possibility that aging Hercules planes which had been used for a long time would be grounded and be replaced with new ones if they were no longer airworthy in technical terms.

The minister said the declining budget from year to year had caused the Indonesian defense forces to be unable to rejuvenate their armament system.

The funds for maintenance of the existing main armament system were less than 10 percent of the defense budget. "Ideally, the maintenance should get 20 to 25 percent of the allocated budget," he added.

At present, Indonesia has one squadron of C-130 Hercules of various types with a readiness level of 60 percent, or about nine units.

On Wednesday, the Indonesian government decorated Singapore Armed Forces` Commander Lt Gen Desmond Kuek with the `Yudha Dharma Utama` honorary star for his meritorious services in increasing cooperation between the two countries` armed forces.

The honorary star was pinned by Indonesian Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono here on Wednesday in the presence of Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) Chief General Djoko Santoso.

The defense minister said that relations between the two countries` armed forces had been developed well as marked by joint military exercises, coordinated patrols in the Malacca Strait and exchanges of officers` visits.


You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Powered by Blogger