Indonesia continues to modernize its Air Force with the arrival of its first C-130J-30 Super Hercules. The IDAF has been a loyal customer of the Hercules, with numerous purchases and buybacks of C-130s in various versions since 1959.
Toward a Capability Revival
In September 2021, Indonesia quietly signed a contract to purchase five C-130J-30s from Lockheed Martin. This February 21, 2023, Lockheed Martin officially announced that it had delivered the first example to the Indonesian Air Force (Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Udara, IDAF). It is to increase internal tactical transport capabilities within this country of more than 18,000 islands and islets (6,000 of which are uninhabited).
The Hercules has an important place within the IDAF as it represents the main cargo aircraft in its transport fleet. Thus, as early as 1959, the IDAF ordered its first batch of C-130B Hercules. This number increased with other orders, and in 1976 the IDAF received a 13th C-130B. This fleet is rapidly modernized between 1978 and 1982 with the arrival of C-130Hs, C-130H-30s and L-100-30s (for VIP transport).
Between 2013 and 2015, the IDAF recovers a first batch of 4 C-130Hs from Australia. These aircraft were followed between 2016 and 2017 by a second batch, also second-hand from Australia, of 5 C-130Hs. It should be noted that the first 4 ex-Australian C-130Hs were upgraded before their buyout.
In 2021, the Indonesian Hercules fleet consisted of:
- 4 C-130Bs
- 7 C-130Hs
- 6 C-130H-30s
- 2 L-100-30s
- 1 KC-130B
The KC-130Bs will be replaced for the aerial refueling missions by two A400M. The contract was in fact confirmed in December 2022 by Airbus, along with a letter of intent for the purchase of four more aircraft.
As a reminder, alongside these new transport aircraft, the IDAF is also modernizing its combat aviation with the upcoming arrival of Dassault's Rafale and Boeing's F-15EX (article on the subject).
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