Antara news agency quoting Indonesian Air Force Chief-of-Staff, Air Marshal Agus Supriatna, said that he has conducted a study to replace C-130 Hercules heavy transport aircraft with new transport aircraft. “We have conducted a study to replace C-130 Hercules aircraft with the new ones either from France (Europe – Red), the United States, or Russia, but the replacement depends on the government,” Supriatna stated at the Cilangkap Air Force Headquaters in East Jakarta on July 7.
According to Supriatna, the result of the study has been submitted to the Defense Ministry in deciding on whether to replace the Hercules aircraft with the new transport aircraft. “Our 2015-2019 strategic plan is to replace the F-5 jet fighters and to procure heavy transport aircraft, heavy transport helicopters and large transport helicopters,” he affirmed.
Contacted seperately, Defense Ministry’s Public Communication head Brigadier General Jundan Eko Bintoro justified the plan to replace the C-130 Hercules aircraft with either European-made Airbus A400M or Boeing C-17 from the United States, as the two types of transport aircraft have large capacity. “The Airbus A400M Grizzly and Boeing C-17 Globemaster are larger and newer, and the procurement is expected to be made during the period between 2016 and 2018,” Jundan added.
Angkasa noted, following the fatal crash of an Indonesian Air Force (IAF) C-130B Hercules June 30 on Jamin Ginting Road in Medan, North Sumatera Province minutes after take-off from Polonia airbase, Indonesian government immediately saw the urgency to replace aging C-130B which the IAF has been operating since 1960s.
The ill-fated C-130B with Air Force registered number A-1310 was one of the two Hercules tankers operated by the IAF from ten aircraft Indonesia acquired from the United States as an exchange for the release of US B-25 bomber pilot Allan Pope who sided with rebellion AUREV-Permesta Air Force and shot down by IAF P-51 Mustang piloted by Captain Dewanto in 1958. (ds)