The Indonesian Air Force is the National Air Force of Indonesia. This article is from the English Wikipedia ([1])

The Indonesian Air Force has 27,850 personnel equipped with 346 aircraft including Su-27 and Su-30. [1]


Before Indonesian Independence (1941-1945)Edit

After World War II ended, Indonesia became the second country (after Thailand/Siam) in South East Asia to acquire an Air Force capability. Indonesian pilots fought against the colonial forces of The Netherlands during 1945-1949 with former Japanese aircraft abandoned at the end of World War II, as well as aircraft of the Netherlands East Indies Air Force (including Curtiss P-36 Mohawk, Brewster F2A Buffalo and Fokker D.XXI fighters; Glenn Martin B-10 bombers; Fokker C.X reconnaissance floatplanes) left before the occupation by Japan in 1941.

Indonesian War of Independence/The Netherlands 'Police Action' (1945-1949)Edit

File:AURI Oscar.JPG

After the Japanese surrendered at the end of WW II, Indonesian nationalist leader Sukarno declared Indonesian Independence on August 17, 1945. Several days later, a People's Security Force (Badan Keamanan Rakyat) was formed to undertake security duties. The Air Division of this force was also formed, using ex-Japanese planes scattered everywhere, especially in the island of Java, including Bugis Air Base in Malang (Established on 18 September 1945). The most numerous of these airplanes were the Kawanishi K5Y1 Willow (Curen) trainers, which were hastily used to train newly recruited cadets. At the time of the founding, there was only one Indonesian holding a multi-engine pilot license from the pre-war Dutch Flying School (but did not have an opportunity to fly during the 3.5-year Japanese occupation). He was assisted by a few Japanese pilots who decided to stay in the newly born country. The new roundel was created simply by painting white on the lower part of the Japanese Hinomaru, reflecting the red and white of the Indonesian flag. The People's Security Force was then re-organized to form a formal armed force. This marked the birth of the Indonesian Air Force on April 9, 1946. However, tensions rose as the Dutch tried to re-claim their former colony and launched an assault in July 21, 1947, destroying most of the planes on the ground. Some planes survived though and were hidden in remote bases.

July 29, 1947 was date of the first air operation by the newborn air force as three surviving aircraft, comprising two Yokosuka K5Y "Willow"(Curen) and a Mitsubishi Ki-51 "Sonia" (the fourth aircraft, a Nakajima Ki-43 "Oscar" (Hayabusha), should also have been involved in the raid, but as of when it was launched, the aircraft was not airworthy) conducted air raids at dawn on the Dutch Army barracks in Semarang, Salatiga and Ambarawa, dropping incendiary bombs. Tactically, these raids did not have any effect on the Dutch positions, but psychologically, it was a great success as it proved that the Indonesian Air Force still existed. The Dutch had previously claimed the destruction of Indonesian Air Force in their assault before and they never expected any attack from the sky. Dutch Curtiss P-40E Warhawks tried to find all the guerrillas' planes, but they were too late to find those "ghost" aircraft which landed quickly in Maguwo Air Base, near Yogyakarta (now, Adisucipto International Airport). Indonesian pro-independence guerrillas tried to save captured aircraft in a number of remote areas, including examples of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen "Zeke", Aichi D3A "Val", and Mitsubishi G4M "Betty".

Under pressure from the United Nations, the Dutch finally agreed to acknowledge Indonesian independence. Following the 1949 Round Table Conference, sovereignty was officially transferred to the United States of Indonesia. The Dutch armed forces left (but remained in West Papua until 1963) and the airplanes were handed over to the Indonesians. These comprised, among others, North American P-51 Mustang, North American B-25 Mitchell, Douglas A-26 Invader, Douglas C-47 Dakota and Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina, which served as the main forces of the Indonesian Air Force for the following decade. During this era, Indonesia received its first jet aircraft; De Havilland DH-115 Vampire. It was also during this era that the national roundels were changed to the red & white pentagon.

File:AURI Vampire crop.png

Action against rebellions (1950-1961) Edit

Political instability meant that the Indonesian Air Force saw action against several regional rebellions in Indonesia, such as PRRI-PERMESTA, Darul Islam-Tentara Islam Indonesia (DI/TII) and the Republic of South Maluku separatists. Several Indonesian pilots scored their first kills, including Capt. Ignatius Dewanto with his P-51 Mustang, who shot down a PRRI-PERMESTA A-26 Invader over Ambon. Its pilot, an American CIA agent named Allen Lawrence Pope, was captured and put on trial in Jakarta, thus revealing the significant involvement of the CIA's Operation Haik in the rebellion. The most famous Indonesian fighter pilot during this time was Rusmin Nurjadin, who became Chief of the Air Staff from 1966 to 1969. He also commanded MiG-21 squadrons from 1962 to 1965 and founded an acrobatic team in 1962 that flew the MiG-17F/PF Fresco over some cities in Indonesia. Little numbers of Indonesian Air Force's pilot gained their reputation as aces in this era.

The Golden Era of Soviet Influence (1962-1965)Edit

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The rise of the communist party in Indonesia (Communist Party of Indonesia) drew Indonesia closer to the Eastern Block. Several Soviet-built aircraft began to arrive in the early 60’s. In 1961, Indonesia became the second country to receive and operate the new Tu-16 Badger bombers. Around 25 Tu-16KS missile strike Badgers were delivered complete with AS-1 'Kennel' air-surface missiles. One crashed at the end of 1962.[2][3] Several kinds of MiG also arrived comprising MiG-15UTI Fagot, MiG-17F/PF Fresco, MiG-19S Farmer and F-13 Fishbed, in addition to Il-28 Beagle, Mi-4 Hound, Mi-6 Hook and An-12 Cub.Indonesia also received La-11. Some Tupolev Tu-2 from China also arrived, intended to replace the B-25, but they never reached operational status. These aircraft served along with the remaining western aircraft such as B-25 Mitchell, A-26 Invader, C-47 Dakota, and P-51 Mustang. It was during this period that the Indonesian Air Force became the largest air force in the southern hemisphere.Template:Fact

This era also marked the last confrontation with the Dutch in Papua, before the Dutch, again under pressure of the United Nations, left in 1963. The Indonesian Air Force at this time had more modern and greater numbers of aircraft than Dutch. Template:Fact Several missions of USAF Taiwan-based Lockheed U-2s from 35th Squadron (Black Cat Squadron in Taiwan) flew over Maluku (Mollucas) and reported to Dutch military that there was a big possibility that Dutch would lose their air superiority over Papua if they continued the war. Although Indonesia won this conflict in a diplomatic way, several P-51,MiG-15,MiG-21 and C-47 were downed in this short conflict.Template:Fact

In this period, Indonesian Air Force also took part in the confrontation with the Malaysian Federation (backed by the United Kingdom) along the border of Kalimantan, the Malacca Strait and near the Singapore Border. However, Indonesian lost more aircraft than had been shot down in the conflict in Papua.

The September 30 movement and the overthrow of Sukarno (1966-1970)Edit

The coup attempt lead by the 30 September Movement in 1965 changed everything and a new anti-communist regime from the Army, led by Major General Suharto, took power. Ties with the Eastern block countries were cut, and thus support and spare parts for the planes became short. By August 1968 the situation was critical, and in early 1970, the Air Force Chief-of-Staff, Suwoto Sukandar, said that the spare parts situation meant that only 15 -20 percent of aircraft were airworthy[4]. The MiG force made its farewell flight with a flypast of Jakarta in 1970. The relatively new MiG-19s were sold to Pakistan. By October 1970, only one Tu-16 was still flying, but after an in-flight engine failure, it too was grounded.[5] The largest air force in the southern hemisphere slowly but surely became one of the smallest. In this period, the Indonesian Air Force bought 16 Rockwell OV-10 Bronco for counter-insurgency purposes. The Indonesian Air Force also took part in the 1975 Indonesian invasion of East Timor (now Timor Leste).

Rebirth of the Indonesian Air Force (1970-1980)Edit

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Indonesia recovered soon by receiving ex-Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) CAC Sabres — an Australian re-design of the F-86 Sabre — to replace their MiG-21s. The Sabre was used by the TNI-AU until 1982.

Indonesia then purchased BAe Hawk Mk 53s from United Kingdom in the 1970s.

The Influence of Western Products (1980-1998)Edit


In the early 1980s, the Air Force, needing modern strike aircraft, organized Operation Alpha to clandetinely acquire ex-Israeli Air Force A-4 Skyhawks. Air Force personnel were sent in secret by different routes and eventually Indonesian received 32 aircraft[6].

In 1982, Indonesia purchased 16 Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II from the United States to replace their Sabres. These were upgraded in Belgium from 1995.

During 1986–88, there was a tight competition for the contract to provide a new fighter bomber, between the Northrop F-16 and Dassault Mirage 2000, (especially after the Indonesian Air Show in 1986). Indonesia ordered 12 F-16A/B Fighting Falcon Block 15 OCU as a new fighter to strengthen the Indonesian Air Force in 1989. A follow-up order for 9 more F-16A Block-15 OCU was cancelled in favor of 24 Su-30KI Flankers[7], this order was also cancelled due to the ASEAN Economic Crisis. The Indonesian Air Force had originally planned to acquire 60 F-16s to cover and defend its 12 million square kilometers of territory.[8]A total of 10 F-16A and F-16B are still in service with Indonesian Air Force: 2 planes crashed in two different accidents. However, only a few of these are still serviceable.

The Indonesian Air Force ordered eight BAe Hawk Mk 109s and 32 Mk 209s in 1993. The last of these was delivered by January 1997.

TNI-AU Today (1998 - present)Edit

In 1999, the Indonesian Military staged a military intervention following the East Timor's referendum. The result was that more than 1,500 were civilians killed and 70 percent of Dili's infrastructure razed. In response, the United States and the European Union both imposed arms embargoes. Although, The European Union chose not to renew its ban in 2000, The United States did not lift its embargo until November 2005. During this embargo the Indonesian government turned to Russia to supply them with arms including fighters, helicopters, missiles, radars and other equipment.

In 2002, Indonesian Air Force continued to use all of its assets against local separatists, such as the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM)). In the conflict with GAM in Aceh, the Indonesian Air Force utilized OV-10Fs for counter-insurgency actions along with BAe Hawk 53 and 209 with great success.

In July 2003, the Air Force managed to scramble two fully armed F-16 to intercept five U.S. F/A-18 Hornets maneuvering over Bawean Island off the Eastern coast of Java island. The incident ended peacefully through a Friend or Foe hand signal. A US spokesman said the naval aircraft had sought permission to enter Indonesian airspace while escorting a US aircraft carrier, but the request arrived too late at the air force defense headquarters in Jakarta due to red tape. [9]

In that same year, the Air Force received two Su-27 Flankers and two Su-30 Flanker-Ds from Russia. The fighters were partly paid in Indonesian palm oil. The purchase, however, did not include any weaponry. Unbeknown to most Seven KT-1b Korean Basic Trainers were also purchased.

By 2005 the Air Force was experiencing a logistical crisis. The F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-4 Skyhawk, which accounted for 80% of its air combat assets, were at the minimum or nil level of combat readiness.

To respond to the crisis, in 2006, the Indonesian Air Force ordered three Sukhoi Aerospace Su-27SKM Flankers and three Sukhoi Aerospace Su-30MK2 Flanker-Gs to complete a full squadron. It was also made public that the four aircraft procured in 2003 are inactive and awaiting upgrade of their communication systems, because they were incompatible with the Indonesian systems in use. The additional aircraft will be ordered with systems complying with the Indonesian and international standards and would also include new weaponry for all variants.[7] A further 12 KT-1b Korean basic trainers were also ordered in 2006.

Future plans, if the military budget permits, include purchasing new F-16 C/Ds Fighting Falcon to strengthen the F-16 squadron, upgrading the current fleet of C-130 Hercules to modern C-130Js and buying newer C-130Js to supplement the inventory, purchasing newer advanced trainers and light attack aircraft for COIN operations, purchasing new radars and receiving new logistical equipment from both Western and Russian manufacturers. The Indonesian Ministry of Defense also expressed it interest in buying approximately two squadrons of refurbished Dassault Mirage 2000-5 from France, complete with Matra Magic II and MBDA MICA air-to-air missiles. France recommended the Dassault Rafale to Indonesian Air Force, since Dassault had decided to stop the production of Dassault Mirage 2000. The Indonesian Air Force is also showing interest in the newly made Chengdu J-10 Vigorous Dragon and JF-17 Thunder from China, and also the SAAB JAS-39 Gripen from Sweden, as some options to succeed their aging Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II. In March 2008, Indonesian Air Force ordered 16 Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano from Brazil to replace its Rockwell OV-10F Bronco.Template:Fact

To date, the Indonesian Air Force has only acquired four types of missiles - the AS-1 Kennel (KS-1 Kometa), AIM-9 Sidewinder, AGM-65 Maverick and AA-2 Atoll (Vympel K-13). There are plans to purchase more advanced air-to-air missiles, such as AA-10 Alamo (Vympel R-27), AA-11 Archer (Vympel R-73), AA-12 Adder (Vympel R-77) and AA-X-13 Arrow (Vympel R-37), as well as other air-to-ground missiles (AS-14 "Kedge" (Kh-29), anti ship missiles (AS-17 "Krypton" and AS-13 "Kingbolt"), general purpose bombs and cluster bombs from Russia, to be carried by their Flankers. At this time, Indonesian Flankers are armed with Indonesian made (US licensed) Mk.82 bombs. There is a possibility that Indonesian Air Force will also purchase extremely long range air-to-air missile Novator KS-172 AAM-L, after the Indonesian Army evaluated and showed their interest in purchasing S-300PMU "Grumble" and SA-17 "Grizzly" missiles.

Local weapons are being developed such as P-100 air-to-ground bomb manufactured by CV Sari Bahari Malang, East Java. P-100 has been successfully tested in Su-27 and Su-30 for ground attack missions. Further massive production is subject to approval from Ministry of Defence.

Force StructureEdit


Headquarters; Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Indonesian air force's Order of Battle is split into two Air force Operational Commands (KOOPSAU)(east and west regions) but most of its airbases are located on the island of Java[12]

†These squadrons were combined to make the Air Force's aerobatics squadron and were known as The Blue Jupiter but were dispanded during the 90s.
††Aerial refueling is also assigned to this squadron

Aircraft Inventory[12][13] Edit

| Indonesia had a total of 12 F-16 aircraft in 1996 but 2 were lost during different incidents.[8][14] |-----

Notable Incidents Edit

  • A Fokker F-27 crashed on the 6th of April 2009, killing all 24 occupants. There were 6 crew, an instructor and 17 special forces trainees on board.[15]
  • A Lockheed C-130 Hercules (designated A-1325)[16] crashed on the 20th of May, 2009, killing atleast 97 people and injuring 15 others, including some on the ground.[16][17] The airplane was carrying 98 passengers and 14 crew at the time[18] and was travelling from Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta to Sulawesi and West Papua.[17] Officials have stated that the plane crashed at about 6:30 a.m. around 5-7 kilometres from the [[Iswahyudi Airforce Base (160 kilometres East of Yogyakarta).[17] An official statement has not been released.[16]

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