Yogyakarta (ANTARA News) - Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said the Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU) will be able to operate 18 new Grob G120TP-A training aircraft bought from Germany by 2014.

"We had ordered 18 Grob aircraft and have received four of the training aircraft in Yogyakarta," Yusgiantoro revealed after a handover ceremony held at the Adisutjipto Airbase on Friday.

The second delivery stage will include six Grob aircraft and will be fulfilled by the end of 2013, with the remaining eight training aircraft to be delivered to the TNI AU by as early as 2014.

Yusgiantoro further stated that the 18 Grob aircraft will replace several older training aircraft, such as the AS-202B Bravo and T-34C Charlie.

The total price of the 18 Grob Aircrafts is US$72 million, which is in accordance with the TNI AU program aimed at renewing the main weaponry system, including training aircraft.

"The training aircraft procurement is part of the implementation of an Indonesia-Germany MoU, which proposed the renewal of the main weaponry system of TNI AU," Yusgiantoro said.

The new Grob aircraft will also enhance the Education Squadron of the 101 Adisutjipto air base.

The TNI AU has ordered 18 Grob aircraft, based on the needs of strategic and tactical programs aimed at defending Indonesia sovereignty.

"The renewal of the training aircraft is included in the TNI strength development program, which was designed in 15 years. Given these additional of 18 training aircraft, the TNI AU will now have significantly more power," Yusgiantoro said.

Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja
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