US grant of F-16 fighter jets to arrive in October

US grant of F-16 fighter jets to arrive in October

Some of Indonesia Air Force's F-16 Fighting Falcon from 3rd Air Squadron while taxiing at their home base in Iswahyudi Main Air Force Base, East Java. (ANTARA FOTO/Siswowidodo) ()

... the initial phase, eight planes will be delivered... "
Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) - The first batch of the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets, which are a grant from the United States, is expected to arrive in Indonesia in October, according to Indonesia Air Force Chief of Staff Air Marshal Ida Bagus Putu Dunia.

"The F-16s will arrive before the commemoration of the TNI (Indonesian military)'s anniversary on October 5," he said when inspecting the Roesmin Nurjadin air base here on Wednesday.

The F-16 fighter jets will arrive in Indonesia in stages. "In the initial phase, eight planes will be delivered," he said. Those F-16s composed A and B variants will be upgraded from Block 25 to Block 52.

Marshal Ida bagus, who was accompanied by chief of the Air Force's operations command I Rear Marshal M Syaugi and commander of the Roesmin Nurjadin Air Force Base Col Andiawan, inspected the air base that will house a squadron of F-16 fighter jets.

"We are monitoring directly the development of the F-16 squadron. So far, the development is quite satisfactory. All the devices are complete. We hope that in the future this squadron of F-16s will stay at the forefront of our effort to safeguard the sovereignty of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia," he said.

He added that the 16 F-16 fighter jets will be stationed in the air force base.

According to Andyawan, the squadron, which was built on 7 hectares of land, is equipped with hangar, maintenance hangar, aircraft parking lots, ammunition depot and dormitory.

Pekanbaru was chosen as the squadron of the F-16s because of its strategic location to protect the western part of Indonesia, he said. 

So far, Indonesia has only one squadron F-16s in 3rd Air Squadron based in Iswahyudi Main Air Force Base, East Java. Syaugi was amongst the first generation of those F-16's fighter pilots.