In a brief statement on its web site, the Indonesian defence ministry said that Boeing is exploring “Chinook cooperation with Indonesia.”
The statement includes a photo of a Boeing executive handing a model Chinook to Indonesian defence minister Ryamizard Ryacudu.
Flightglobal sought comment from Boeing on the matter, but had received no response at the time of this story’s publication.
The Indonesian press release follows a US Department of Defence statement in late January that Boeing was formerly awarded a Foreign Military Sales contract for eight AH-64E attack helicopters, finalising a deal originally announced by former defence secretary Chuck Hagel in 2013.
Jakarta does not operate the Chinook, but in 2005 expressed interest in possibly obtaining four examples to bolster its disaster relief capabilities. CH-47Ds operated by Singapore were active in disaster relief operations following the 26 December 2004 tsunami, which laid waste to coastal regions of Indonesia’s Aceh province.
Were Jakarta to obtain the Chinook, it is not clear if it would buy the type in sufficient numbers to warrant a local assembly line. Still, local airframer PT Dirgintara Indonesia has experience building helicopters under licence from companies, such as Bell and Airbus Helicopter, and is also capable of making local modifications to green aircraft produced elsewhere.
U.S. Army CH-47F Chinook tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter.