Indonesian Armed Forces
In this overview we present all branches of the Indonesian government that operate aircraft. First and foremost, that is the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU). Over the laste decades the army (TNI-AD) has increased its air branch considerably and the Navy (TNI-AL) is also very important for this vast country.
More branches of government operate aerial assets. Firstly, we have included the national search and rescue agency (BASARNAS) that direclty resorts under the president. For ease of operations its helicopters are supported by a Navy of Air Force squadron that operates the same type. Secondly, the air sports federation, Federasi Aerosport Indonesia (FASI). This has its own aircraft and uses civil airfields as well as Air Force bases. Thirdly, the Agricultural aviation, Satuan Udara Pertanian (SUP), a separate branch of the Air Force.
Lastly, and not the least, is the air and aquatic police (Polisi Udara), part of the Indonesian National police and resorting under that force. This force merits an order of battle page of its own.
Indonesian Air Force / Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Udara
The Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies, on March 8, 1942, initiated the final stage in Indonesia's quest for independence. With Japanese support, the popular Ir. Sukarno formed a large militia ready to fight the Dutch on their return after the war. On August 17, 1945, Sukarno ended 350 years of Dutch colonial rule by proclaiming the free REPUBLIK INDONESIA. On April 9, 1946, the fledgling state, at war with the Dutch, formed its own Air Force, named ANGKATAN UDARA REPUBLIK INDONESIA, or AURI.
Aircraft used from 1945 until 1950 were mainly of Japanese Army and Navy origin and reclaimed from large dumps all over Java. The AURI order of battle in 1945/46 included some 100 aircraft of many different types, including the Ki51 Guntai, Ki43 Hayabusha, Ki36/55 Cukiu, K5Y1 Curen and Ki79B Nishikoren. No more than thirty to fifty aircraft were ever operational, and they were mostly used for pilot training. Two strong Dutch offensives against the Indonesian Republic in July 1947 and December 1948 completely destroyed the small air arm. Although the Republic was facing a military defeat, international outcry and -pressure prevailed, and on December 27, 1949, the Republic of Indonesia gained its sovereignty from The Netherlands.
In late 1949-early 1950, approximately 253 ex ML-KNIL and MLD aircraft revived the AURI and a major reorganisation took place, with the formation of the first squadrons, or Skadron Udara (SkU). mportant types (quantity) received included:
- B-25C/D/J (42) with SkU.1 based at Tjililitan (now Halim Perdanakusuma, Jakarta)
- C-47 (34) with SkU.2 based at Andir (now Husein Sastranegara, Bandung) and with SkU.5 based at Tjililitan
- P-51D/K (26) with SkU.3 based at Tjililitan
- Auster (22) with SkU.4 based at Semplak (now Atang Senjaya, Bogor)
- AT-16 (26) with SPL based at Andir and with SkU.5 based at Tjililitan
- L-4J (63) assigned to all squadrons and with Pilot School based at Kalidjati (now Suryadarma, Subang)
On February 20, 1956, the AURI entered the Jet age, when eight Vampire T-55s entered service with what later became SkU11 at Husein Sastranegara. Ever since the Proclamation of Independence, domestic unrest has been one of the driving forces for the development of the Air Force. In 1958, outlying provinces of Indonesia trying to break away from the central government with CIA support were crushed one by one with the use of airpower. The former ML-KNIL aircraft played a major role, such as on May 18, 1958, when Captain Ignatius Dewanto, flying F-51D F-338 from Amahai, shot down CIA mercenary Allen Pope in an AUREV/CIA B-26B over Ambon harbour. The CIA pilot was taken prisoner and exchanged for C-130Bs in July 1962.
Indonesia's first President, Ir. Sukarno, also confronted the Dutch in New Guinea in 1962, and the Malaysian Federation between 1963 and 1966. To support his plans, he started a re-equipment program in 1958. Thirty MiG-15UTIs (Czech CS-102), 32 Il-28/R/Us and 21 IL-14/Avia-14s arrived in Jakarta, ordered from Czechoslovakia. These were later augmented with a large number of Mi-4s and nine Mi-6s from the Soviet Union. Also Poland provided arms for the Republic. During 1958 and 1959 some thirty LIM-5s and seven LIM-5P fighters were delivered, together with eight SM-1 (Mi-1) helicopters. Polish pilots also flew fourteen Avia B-33s (IL-10) for a few years. Finally, China delivered twelve MiG-17Fs (known as Model 56), twelve Tu-2s, 24 La-11s and three La-9UTIs, although the latter three models saw little service. More large orders for Soviet arms were placed in 1961. These included 26 Tu-16 bombers, ten MiG-19s, twenty MiG-21s and six An-12BPs, thus introducing the AURI to the supersonic jet age. The only aircraft to arrive from the US, apart from ten K/C-130Bs traded for the captured CIA pilot, were six B-26B Invaders in 1960, and about twenty P-51D Mustangs from 1958.
Again, global politics played a deciding role in the conflict over Dutch New Guinea. In early August 1962, it became clear that deployment targets for an Indonesian invasion of Dutch bases could not be met. Also, US U-2 recce planes were spotted over Indonesia, and Soviet submarines were known to support the Indonesian Navy. After the personal intervention of President Kennedy, President Sukarno cancelled the operation in August 1962, and the Dutch government was forced to deliver Dutch New Guinea into UN hands. Renamed Irian Jaya under Indonesian rule, the territory remains a hot-spot to the present day. A new conflict involving the greatly expanded and modernised AURI began to unfold in 1963, when Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah formed the Malaysian Federation. In May 1964, President Sukarno called for the destruction of this Federation, and initiated a command that intensified infiltrations into Sarawak and Malaysia. However, after the loss of two C-130Bs in 1964 and 1965, infiltration by air was stopped.
Ever since the first arms were delivered by the communist Eastern Bloc in 1957, the strength and influence of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), had grown considerably. On September 30, 1965 a violent Coup d'Etat was attempted in the capital Jakarta. With the murder of 6 high-ranking and one junior army officer, the history of Indonesia took a new turn. Within days, the army's Strategic Command under Major-General Suharto, later to become Indonesia's second president, defeated the rebels. The PKI was accused of the failed Coup attempt, and also air force Commander Omar Dani was arrested after the AURI was accused of active support. A bloody crackdown on PKI supporters followed all over Indonesia, and many tens of thousands were killed. This also meant the end of Communist support for the armed forces. Only in recent years have retired AURI members been able to speak out freely about this dark episode in their history, and make clear that the AURI was never involved. At the time of the coup, the AURI had reached its peak strength, and was considered, in numbers, to be the largest Air Arm in SEA. In 1965, the AURI Order of Battle looked like this:
- SkU.1 B-25C/D/J, B-26B Abdulrachman Saleh, Malang
- SkU.2 C-47, IL-14/Avai -14, L-12A Halim Perdanakusukma, Jakarta
- SkU.3 P-51D/K, AT-6/AT-16 Abdulrachman Saleh, Malang
- SkU.5 UF-1, PBY-5, G-21A Abdulrachman Saleh, Malang
- SkU.6 Mi-4 Husein Sastranegara, Bandung
- SkU.7 Mi-4, SM-1, S-61V-1, Bell-47G-2/J, Bell 204B Semplak, Bogor
- SkU.8 Mi-6 Semplak, Bogor
- SkU.11 CS-102, MiG-17F, LIM-5, LIM-5P Abdulrachman Saleh, Malang
- SkU.12 MiG-19S, MiG-21F-13 Kemayoran, Jakarta
- SkU.14 MiG-21F-13 Iswahjudi, Madiun
- SkU.17 IL-14, DHC-3, PBY-5, C-47, UF-1, L-1329 Halim Perdanakusuma, Jakarta
- SkU.21 IL-28, IL-28R, IL-28U Abdulrachman Saleh, Malang
- SkU.31 C-130B Halim Perdanakusuma, Jakarta
- SkU.32 An-12B Husein Sastranegara, Bandung
- SkU.41 Tu-16 Iswahjudi, Madiun
- SkU.42 Tu-16KS-1 Iswahjudi, Madiun
- WP.001 T-34A, T-6 versions, L-29 Adisucipto, Yogyakarta
In August 1966, the Malaysian Federation and Indonesia ended the Confrontation. The years between 1966 and 1969 were one of the most difficult in AURI history. It had to regain the government's confidence, and rebuilt its forces without Communist support. After many fatal crashes, most of its Eastern Bloc aircraft were withdrawn from use by 1970. A recovery program was initiated for the B-25, B-26 and C-47, additional F-51s were purchased, and the C-130 became the backbone of the AURI. General Suharto, who had regained support from the US, became Indonesia's second president on March 27, 1968.
In 1973, eighteen second-hand CAC-27 Sabres arrived from Australia, as well as sixteen USAF surplus T-33As and twelve Vietnam War veteran UH-34Ds. They marked the beginning of the third revival of the air force, having been renamed TNI-AU in early 1974. The Sabres and the T-33s replaced respectively the unserviceable MiG-21 and CS-102/LIM-5/MiG-17. The only other (tactical) fighter still in service was the venerable Mustang, eight additional Cavalier T/F-51Ds having been delivered to SkU.3 in 1971 and 1973. However, after several fatal crashes they were grounded in 1975. Replacement came in the shape of another wild horse, the OV-10F Bronco which arrived in September 1976.
In April 1974, the fascist Caetano regime in Lisbon, Portugal, was overthrown. This initiated civil unrest in Portuguese East Timor, or Timor-Timur, and a civil war erupted in the capital Dili, between pro Portugal troops and FRETILIN, the independence movement. In the mean time, Indonesia had launched a secret intelligence and destabilisation operation, and immediately took advantage of the situation. On November 28, 1975, Fretilin proclaimed the Democratic Republic of East Timor, but on December 7, Indonesia started OPERASI SEROJA, the invasion of Timor-Timur. That day nine C-130Bs from SkU.31 and six C-47s from SkU.2 departed Adisucipto for Dili and Baucau, and 1000 paratroopers were dropped near Dili. A pro-Indonesian government was formed and Timor-Timur became an Indonesian province. Fretilin opposition continued into 1976 and in September, the first of sixteen OV-10F COIN aircraft were delivered to SkU.3. They were frequently used in Timor-Timur from 1977, together with the A-4E and F-5E, as opposition to the Indonesian occupation never seized. Following the economic recession of 1998 and the election of Indonesia's third President Prof Dr Ing Habibie, independence for East Timor became a possibility again. After a referendum on August 30, 1999, Timor Loro Sae, or Timor of the Rising Sun, became independent from Indonesia.
From 1976, the TNI-AU has seen a continuous period of modernisation and expansion. In 1980, the TNI-AU started replacing its venerable fighter force, when three new types entered service. On April 21, the first of twelve F-5Es and four F-5Fs arrived, as replacement for the CAC-27 Sabres with SkU.14. Also arriving in April 1980, were fourteen A-4Es and two TA-4Hs from surplus IDF/AF stock. They replaced the T-33A with SkU.11. In September, the first Hawk Mk53s were delivered to Wing Pendidikan 1, and were operated next to the L-29. The Delfin soldiered on until 1983, when they were stored after twenty years of continued use, being the last Soviet Bloc type to be withdrawn. In 1982, SkU.12 was reactivated with the second batch of sixteen ex-IDF/AF A-4E Skyhawks. SkU.31 was re-equipped with the new C-130H-30 from September 1980. In 1982, the patrol unit SkU.5 at last received more modern equipment, when the first of three B737-2X9s arrived, followed by a single C-130H-MP. This signalled the end for the UF-1/2 fleet, which was used until approximately 1987. SkU.4 was re-activated in April 1985, flying a total of ten NC212M-100/200s and seven Ce401/402s.
A dozen former Pelita H-500Cs were delivered to SkU.7 in December 1982, operating next to the Bell 47Gs received from Australia in 1978. In 1981, SkU.6 transferred its new Puma fleet to the reactivated SkU.8, while retaining the re-engined UH-34Ds better known as the S-58T. AS202 Bravos replaced the last T-34A Mentors with WP.1 from March 1981. They are used as elementary trainers, with basic training reserved for the T-34C since 1978. As part of a large reorganisation, all airforce squadrons were concentrated in two operational commands on April 1, 1985; Komando Operasi Angkatan Udara (KOOPSAU) I in Jakarta (for the Western part of Indonesia), and KOOPSAU II in Ujung Pandang (for the Eastern part of Indonesia). In 1989, a contract was signed with Boeing to upgrade the B737-2X9s in use with SkU.5. The modifications included an update of the Motorola SLAMMR, Side Looking Airborne Modular Multi-mission Radar. Aircraft AI-7301 was modified by Boeing and delivered by October 1993. Program MACAN (Indonesian for TIGER), or Modernisation of Avionics Capabilities for Armament and Navigation, is a major upgrade program involving the F-5Es and F-5Fs forming SkU.14. In 1995, a contract was signed with SABCA of Belgium. The first two aircraft arrived at Gosselies in May. Far behind schedule, test flying started in September 1997, and both aircraft returned to Indonesia in February 1999.
The first of eight F-16As and four F-16Bs were delivered in December 1989. These aircraft replaced the OV-10F in SkU.3, and the Broncos were used to reactivate SkU.1. In November 1995, the air force expressed a requirement for 64 F-16s to equip four squadrons, and showed an interest in the Pakistan Airforce F-16s stored at AMARC. After an initial agreement, President Suharto cancelled the deal in June 1997. Early August 1997, Jakarta announced the decision to purchase twelve SU-30KIs similar to the version delivered to India, with potentially an option for eight more. However, due to the monetary crisis, the deal was postponed in January 1998 until it resurfaced again in 2003, see later. The last A-4s of SkU.12 were transferred out in 1996, and the best aircraft were concentrated in SkU.11. Two ex AMARC TA-4Js were purchased, and after an upgrade in New Zealand they were delivered in October 1999. In June 1993, the TNI-AU ordered eight Hawk Mk109s and sixteen Hawk Mk209s from BAe. The air force requirement over the next 25 years was reported to be 96 armed Hawks in eight squadrons, funds permitting. In May 1996, the first three Hawk Mk109s for SkU.12 arrived in Indonesia. In June 1996, an option for sixteen additional Hawk Mk209s was exercised by the TNI-AU, and the first were delivered from April 1999 to the relocated SkU.1 at Pontianak, replacing the OV-10F. They remained in use with the Unit OV-10 Bronco. This used to be the Bronco Flight until renamed SkU.21 on September 11, 2004. However, after a fatal accident on July 21, 2005 the Bronco was withdrawn from operational tactical use and the unit was again renamed on July 26. After another fatal crash on July 23, 2007, the Bronco was grounded indefinitely.
Also the transport and patrol units have seen new material arrive and leave. The remaining F27-400Ms of SkU.2 were supplemented by IPTN CN235-100Ms from January 1993. Three CN235-220-AMCOS (MPA) patrol aircraft for SkU.5 are part of a joint TNI-AU and TNI-AL order revealed in June 1996, and one was delivered in June 2008. The VIP unit SkU.17 added two stretched IPTN NAS332L1 Super Pumas (VVIP models) to its fleet in 1993, followed by two ex Garuda F28-3000s in 1994 and two AS332L2s from Eurocopter in 2002. Also the two Merpati L100-30 Hercules transports were passed on to SkU.17, and three L100-30s moved from Pelita to the TNI-AU in 1997. In November 2004, the sole SkU.17 B707-3M1C was sold and replaced by a B737-2Q8 in February 2005. On the helicopter front, the H-500Cs from SkU.7 were sold in the US in early and mid 1996. In June 1997, an order for sixteen IPTN NAS332 Super Pumas was placed, comprising one VVIP, two VIP, seven Tactical Transports and six Combat SAR models. The first Tactical Transports were delivered to SkU.6 in September 2001 starting the replacement of the S-58Ts which were finally grounded after a fatal crash in 2008. Parallel to the delivery of the new Super Pumas, the TNI-AU has also embarked upon an upgrade and re-engine program for (at least) three older IPTN produced NSA330L Pumas. On February 27, 2004, the first Makila powered and redesignated NSA330SM arrived with SkU.8.
The TNI-AU formed a new demonstration team in 1995 with F-16s from SkU.3, known as Elang Biru (Blue Falcon). All aircraft received a striking blue/yellow colour scheme from December 1995. However, the team has been disbanded and the F-16s have received new (Millennium) colours in early 2000. A second display team, Team Jupiter, was formed on September 23, 1997, flying eight Hawk Mk53s from SkaDik.103. Today, also the Hawks, who are now part of SkU.15 in a tactical role, have received new colours (Gray Spot) similar to the F-16s. In April 2001, the two demo teams were merged into one and named Jupiter Blue, flying three Hawk Mk53s, two F-16s and a single Hawk Mk109. After a fatal collision between two Hawk Mk53s on March 28, 2002, the team was disbanded. In May 2000, the TNI-AU revived the Wing structure for bases with two or more squadrons. On May 5, 2000, Wing 3 was formed at Iswahjudi, with other wings based at Halim (Wing 1), Abdulrachman Saleh (Wing 2) and Atang Senjaya (Wing 4).
In October 2000, word broke of a possible transfer of nineteen former Singapore Airforce SF260s to the TNI-AU. They are seen as a compensation for the use of Indonesian airspace and facilities by the Singapore Air Force. The first six arrived on July 2, 2002, for use as special trainers by SkU.2. In February 2003, ten aircraft moved out to Suryadarma. However, it appears that they were grounded within a few years. Also announced was the acquisition of the Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri as a replacement for the H-500s of SkU.7 at Suryadharma. The first two of twelve ordered arrived in December 2001. In January 2001, the TNI-AU embarked upon a program to modernise its elementary and basic trainer fleet. It was announced that twenty KAI KT-1B Trainers are to be acquired, with seven to be delivered between May and November 2003. First flight of a TNI-AU KT-1B took place in december 2002, and the first aircraft entered service with SkaDik.102 on July 14, 2003. Five additional aircraft were assembled in Bandung in 2007. They replaced some of the T-34Cs with WP-1.
In a surprise move during a visit to Russia, Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri signed a contract for the delivery of two Su-27SKs and two Su-30MKs in April 2003. The two Su-27s arrived with SkU.15 at Iswahjudi on August 27, followed by the two Su-30s on September 1. They were officially handed over on September 20, 2003. In August 2004 the TNI-AU finally said farewell to the A-4 Skyhawk as the last few operational examples were withdrawn from use by SkU.11 at Hasanuddin. On April 12, 2005 they were replaced by the Flankers as they moved in from Iswahjudi to claim their new hangar. On December 26, 2008, the first two of three Su-30MK2s arrived, followed by three Su-27SKMs in September 2010. This brings the total to ten Flankers in service by late 2010.
More recent acquisitions include eight former Australian Hercules transport aircraft, the patrol version of the C295, H225 helicopters and 24 F-16C/D-52ID sourced from the United States. The last of these were delivered in January 2018. With regard to the training syllabus, this was rejuvenated aswell with 24 Grob 120TP trainers and the withdrawal from use of the venerable T-34C-1 on 3 April 2018. Most exiting is of course the order for eleven Su-35S. Delivery of the first two is expected by late 2018.
Indonesian Army Aviation / Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Darat
This Service was activated on November 14, 1959, as Dinas Penerbangan Angkatan Darat (Army Aviation Service), or DINAS PENERBAD. The army was renamed TNI-AD in early 1974, but the flying corps is still referred to as PENERBAD. Although the army has been the TNI's strongest service, both politically and military, it did not play a significant role in Indonesia's aviation history until the mid 70's. Until 1965, PENERBAD's main task was VIP transport, communications and observation. In these roles it operated a large variety of aircraft in small numbers, e.g. the C-47 and DC-3, DHC-2, L-19A, and various models of the Grand-, Turbo- and Aero Commander. Fixed wing aircraft were mostly based at Kemayoran airport, Jakarta. In 1961 it received the unique Belalang 90 trainer, a locally modified Piper L-4J with relocated wings.
In 1965, the first helicopters arrived in the form of sixteen Mi-4s, later supplemented by approximately eight Alouette 3s. After the 1965 Coup, it suffered the same pilot shortage as the AURI and ALRI, to the point that PENERBAD had only one qualified Mi-4 pilot for sixteen helicopters in 1967! That year the first students were send to the US and France for pilot training. In the 1970's, PENERBAD also operated several Cessna models (e.g. Ce185, Ce310P), the Beech D-18S, DHC-3 and BN-2A. As the guerrilla in both Irian Jaya and East Timor continued, PENERBAD received its first Air Attack helicopters in 1977. These were the IPTN NBo105CB (eighteen received) and Bell 205A-1 (sixteen delivered) which is also used for Air Mobilisation. For general support duties, IPTN delivered six NC212M-200s from February 15, 1984.
In its recent history, PENERBAD has primarily focused on expanding its helicopter fleet. In September 1988, four IPTN NB412S models were delivered to attack helicopter squadron Skuad.1, supplemented in 1995 by three IPTN NB412HP (High Performance) models, and again two more in March 1997. Also delivered to Skuad.1 between 1990 and 1994 were six IPTN NBo105CB-4 attack helicopters. By August 1997, PENERBAD had purchased 21 Bell 205s on the US civil market, and were to convert them for military use. However, the deal was cancelled, because no export licence had been granted. Two ex-UAE Airforce DHC-5 Buffalos were delivered to the general support squadron Skuad.2, and the first (VIP) aircraft was handed over by IPTN on July 4, 1997, together with the first navy example. They replace the service's DC-3s withdrawn from use by October 1995. On June 19, 1997, six IPTN NC-212s were ordered at Le Bourget, and the first (VIP) example was delivered in 1999.
Late 1997, DINAS PENERBAD was reorganised as PUSAT PENERBAD (Army Aviation Centre), and had decided to form an integral helicopter squadron for the elite Special Forces unit Komando Pasukan Khusus (KOPASSUS), known as Detasemen Penerbangan Kopassus. They would be equipped with eight Mi-17-1V Hip-H's to be delivered in January 1998. Thus Kopassus would no longer be depending on Penerbad's regular heli forces. In November 1997, 50 technicians and pilots had started training in Russia, but the deal was postponed in January 1998. Finally, four Kazan manufactured Mi-17's were ordered for delivery in February 2004. However, this contract was changed again, and six Mi-17-V5s were received in August 2008. During a visit to Russia in April 2003, Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri signed a contract for the delivery of two Mi-35Ps, which arrived in Jakarta on September 15. They were handed over to Skuad.1 on September 20. Three more Mi-35Ps were delivered in September 2010. Both the Mi-35 and Mi-17 now serve with Skuad.31 which was formed on March 23, 2006. Finally, two dayglow EC120Bs were noted with the Pusat Pendidikan Penerbangan at Achmad Yani in 2009. They may be the first replacements for the H-300C in service since 1978.
TNI-AD made a quantum leap forward in 2018 when eight AH-64E Guardians arrived for SkUAD11/Serbu. Other recent reinforcements include twelve AS550/AS555AP armed helicopters for reconnaissance and scouting missions. They are used by SkUAD12/Serbu and SkUAD13/Serbu. To that end, new facilities were erected at Gatot Soebrot, South Sumatra, and Kalimarau airport, Tanjung Redep, East Kalimantan, respectively.
Indonesian Naval Aviation / Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Laut
The Dinas Penerbangan Angkatan Laut, or Indonesian Naval Aviation Service was activated on June 17, 1956, as Dinas Penerbangan ALRI (Naval Aviation Service), and renamed Dinas Penerbangan TNI-AL or DISNERBAL, in early 1974. The first aircraft to enter service in numbers were eighteen Gannet AS-4/T-5s bought in the UK in 1957. They were purchased for the ASW role as an alternative for the S-2F Tracker, which the US refused to sell due to the political situation at the time. In August 1957, the first six students arrived in the UK to start their pilot training at RAF Oakington (Vampire) and the Fairey factory at White Waltham (Gannet). The first two aircraft arrived with Skwadron Udara (SkwU) 100 in 1960, and were based at the former MLD base Morokrembangan, Surabaya.
In July 1962, ALRI relocated six Gannets from SkwU.100, and two UF-2s from Flight Udara 300 to Liang airbase, Ambon, in order to cover the sea north of Sulawesi during the conflict over Dutch New Guinea. Two Gannets remained at Morokrembangan for pilot training. In August 1962, the aircraft had moved to Morotai, preparing for the invasion of Dutch New Guinea. Late August 1962, after the conflict had come to a peaceful end, they returned to Liang via Mapengat, Manado, while one Gannet fatally crashed near Ambon. Soon afterwards, the unit returned to its home base.
During the Confrontation with Malaysia from 1964 until 1966, Gannets of SkwU.100 were based at Tanjung Pinang, Riau, and also flew from Denpasar, Bali. As the UK was a participant in the conflict, the flow of spare parts was immediately stopped, and the ALRI had to resort to cannibalism to keep the Gannets operational. Within a few years, the Gannets were grounded and withdrawn from use. By 1965, as the Confrontation was at its peak, the ALRI had taken delivery of its first Eastern Bloc aircraft. A total of fifteen Mi-4 helicopters (nine ASW and Maritime Patrol-, five General Purpose- and a single VIP model) for SkwU.400 were delivered from late 1963. The ALRI was also to receive the TU-16KS, but tactical airpower was deemed more important, so ten Il-28T torpedo bombers and two Il-28U trainers entered service with SkwU.500. These second hand former Soviet aircraft were delivered including 59 RAT-52 torpedoes, and based at the new Juanda naval air station south of Surabaya, where the first flight took place in April 1965. That same year ALRI also received fourteen Beagles from the AURI, but these were never used due to their age. SkwU.600 was activated in 1965, and operated the C-47. The first Alouette 2 helicopters arrived with SkwU.400 from France in 1964. In late 1965, the ALRI Order of Battle looked like this:
- Skwadron Udara 100 Gannet AS4/T5 Morokrembangan, Surabaya
- Flight Udara 300 UF-2 Morokrembangan, Surabaya
- Skwadron Udara 400 Mi-4, SA318C Juanda, Surabaya
- Skwadron Udara 500 IL-28T/U Juanda, Surabaya
- Skwadron Udara 600 C-47 Juanda?, Surabaya
- Flight Markas Grand Commander 689F Juanda, Surabaya
Following the October 1965 Coup, the Il-28s soon became unserviceable, and were grounded in 1967 (or 1970, but some reports say the Il-28 was still operational in 1972!). Several trainers, communications and VIP aircraft also served with DISNERBAL, allocated to SkwU.200. An Aero Commander 680FLP was received in October 1967 (and a Grand Commander 500?). In October 1968, four DC-100 Lark Commanders arrived and joined SkwU.400 (by 1978), but were later transferred to SkwU.200. This unit also received the F-33A Bonanza, ordered in August 1986, and the TB-9 Tampico. A new Maritime Patrol unit formed in 1975 is SkwU.800, receiving twelve GAF N-22Bs from December 1975 at Juanda. Six more advanced GAF N-22SL models supplemented them from June 1981.
On October 16, 1975, the town of Balibo in East Timor fell into Indonesian hands, and five Australian journalists were killed. As a protest, Australia postponed the GAF Nomad delivery. From September until November 1977, a new TNI offensive in East Timor saw the first use of Nomads on offensive surveillance missions. SkwU.600 received the first of ten IPTN NC212M-200s in March 1984, but continued to operate the surviving DC-3s on a limited scale until at least late 1993. The Mi-4s had been withdrawn from use in 1972, and had not yet been replaced. In December 1977, the IPTN NBo105CB revived SkwU.400, six being delivered. Four years later, in April 1981, it resumed its ASW role with the arrival of the Wasp HAS1, and ten former Dutch Navy (MLD) examples entered service at Juanda. The unit continued to expand, and the first of four Exocet equipped IPTN NAS332F Super Pumas arrived in December 1984, followed by six IPTN NB412Ss from March 1989.
On March 8, 1996, the Chief-of-Staff of the Naval Aviation Service announced the planned purchase of the IPTN CN235-MPA (Maritime Patrol), NC212 (Light Transport) and GAF Nomad (Tactical Maritime Patrol). From the original batch of eighteen GAF N22B/SL Nomads delivered, only nine remained operational by January 1997 and a contract worth AUS$2 million for twenty second-hand Nomads was signed in November 1996. The first seven ex Royal Australian Army GAF N22Bs arrived at Juanda after their ferry flight via Darwin, Kupang and Sumbawa Besar in January 1997. The deliveries were completed by August 8, 1997, when the twenty aircraft were handed over to SkwU.800 in a ceremony at Juanda. Four additional Nomads (two N22-MPAs and two N24-MPAs) were purchased in 2001, probably in Australia.
Late 1994, program On Top II was to have added three NC212s, three NC212-MPAs and three NBo105s to the service's strength and after some delay a contract with IPTN was confirmed in June 1996. The NC212-MPAs replaced the old Nomads with SkwU800, and are equipped for maritime patrol and surveillance operations with Thomson-CSF AMASCOS (Airborne Maritime Situation Control System) avionics, Ocean Master Surveillance Radar, CHLIO FLIR and Sextant Avionique systems. The three Basic Military NC212s were delivered by 2003 and the first NC212M-200 PATMAR (MPA) was delivered on May 12, 2005. Delivery of the NBo105s, fitted with similar equipment less the CHLIO system, may have started in early 2000. A veteran that entered service was the DHC-5 Buffalo. Two ex-UAE Airforce aircraft were overhauled by IPTN at Bandung, and the first one was delivered to SkwU.600 on July 4, 1997. They replaced the C-47. On June 17, 1998, the three remaining airworthy Wasps were finally grounded. An additional IPTN NB412 was delivered in March 1997.
In January 2001, Kadisnerbal (Chief of Naval Aviation) Laksma TNI Yayun Riyanto announced that the TNI-AL had decided to buy two Mil Mi-17 and eight (later changed to sixteen) new Mi-2 light transport helicopters. A contract for the Mi-2s was signed in March 2003, and two were subsequently delivered to SkwU.400. Ten would be based at Juanda, Surabaya, and six in Jakarta. Further deliveries by PLC Rostov Mil were however blocked because of the high price and the fact that the helicopters were second hand! Also, PZL-Swidnik SA could deliver new Mi-2s for less money. The TNI-AL took delivery of three Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri training helicopters from September 2001, and assigned them to SkwU.200. On February 14, 2005 three EADS Socata TB-9 GTs and two TB-10 GTs entered service with SkwU.200. In July 2005, seven PZL-Mielec M28B-1RI maritime patrol Skytrucks and three M28B-1TDI light transport Skytrucks were ordered with deliveries to start in late 2005. However, this order was cancelled.
The Navy did acquire maritime patrol variants of the C295 and has strengthened its helicopter fleet considerably with nine AS365N3+.
National Search and Rescue Agency / Badan Nasional Pencarian dan Pertolongan (BASARNAS)
The National Search and Rescue Service was formed on February 28, 1972. It received its first two IPTN NBo105CB helicopters in 1983 for SAR duties. Three additional NBo105s, including one stretched version, were received by mid 1996. A single H-500 and Bell 206 have been withdrawn from use. Two former IPTN BK-117s were noted in 2000, although their use by BASARNAS is unclear.
By 2010, ten NBo105CBs remained in service; seven with TNI-AU SkU6 at Atang Senjaya and three additional NBo105CBs with SkU400, TNI-AL at Juanda/Surabaya. These have been augmented by a single AW139 and two AS365N3. Notably, they also supported the military task force (MTF) of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
For convenience, we have included the BASARNAS aircraft in the Air Force and Navy orders of battle at the appropriate bases.
Aerosport Federation of Indonesia / Federasi Aerosport Indonesia (FASI)
The Satuan Udara Federasi Aerosport Indonesia (FASI) was activated under its current name on January 17, 1972. Indonesia's Aerosport Federation Aviation Unit has its main operating centre at Pondok Cabe, south west of Jakarta, but its activities span all of Indonesia, with aircraft at Husein Sastranegara, Bandung, and Kalijati, Subang. Aircraft maintenance is performed at Halim Perdanakusuma. The unit flies mainly in the weekends, and uses former TNI-AU aircraft in support of the federation’s activities, such as skydiving, aero modelling and gliding. Most pilots are (former) TNI-AU pilots. They also participate in air races, and its commander used two immaculate Harvards as his personal transport until ca 2001.
Aircraft over the years included the C-47/DC-3, T-6/AT-16, AS-202, T-34A Mentor, L-4J, Aviat Husky-A1, SC7 Skyvan, Ce150, Ce180, Ce185, Ce401, PZL-104, Pa23, Pa32, Pa34, UF-2, An-2, Schweizer SGS2-22 and other gliders.
For convenience, we have included the FASI aircraft in the Air Force battle at the appropriate bases and airfields.
Agricultural Aviation / Satuan Udara Pertanian (SUP or ST)
The Satuan Udara Pertanian (SUP) is the Airforce's Agricultural unit which was activated on June 16, 1971, flying the PZL-104 Wilga. Their first base was Kemayoran International Airport, in Jakarta. The PZL-104s were supplemented by the PC-6B (in 1977) and the Ce188 (by 1982), and a Ce185 was also in use. The PZL-104, Ce188 and Ce185 have since been withdrawn from service. After closure of Kemayoran, the unit relocated to Kalijati.
The PC-6s are often used by the Federasi Aerosport Indonesia (FASI) for skydiving, see above. The SUP flies primarily in the weekends but only two PC-6s remained by 2008. The ST is siad to have been dissolved, the last Turbo Porters were sold off on the civil market in October 2017.
For convenience, we have included the SUP aircraft in the Air Force battle.
Indonesia Air and Aquatic Police / Korps Kepolisian Perairan dan Udara (Polisi Udara - POLAIRUD)
The air and aquatic police found its origin in the establishment of the water police as part of the National Police on 1 December 1950. Guarding the vast aquatic bodies surrounding the islands was the main task. When the two first water police units were formed, on 16 January 1953, it soon became apparent that aerial assets would be needed in support. This led to the inclusion, by presidential decree on 5 December 1956, of the air section. Each year, this anniversary is celebrated at Pondok Cabe on 5 December, but counting back to 1950. So 2020 will see the 70th anniversary.
The branch underwent various name changes and since 2002 it is called Korps Kepolisian Perairan dan Udara (KORPOLAIRUD), the Air and Aquatic Police Corps. The aircraft and helicopters are centered at Pondok Cabe in the Komplek Polisi Udara (air police complex) there. From this hub, the aerial assets are detached to regional police directorates. These regional directorates usually are water police and their bases are usually on the seaboard. So, when helicopters are detached they use either the regional airports or land at the police barracks of the regional police.
All aircraft have a white front and blue aft fuselage marked with 'POLISI' titles and carrying the KORPOLAIRUD badge on the nose. Since no regional assets are fixed, as far as we know the regional police badges are not worn on the aircraft but only on the uniforms of the men and women of Polairud.