Air Force to consider An-70 Instead of Hercules

7:06:00 PM
JAKARTA, -- National Army Indonesian Air Force plans to replace heavy transport aircraft C-130 Hercules of the elderly. According to the Air Force Chief Marshal Agus Supriatna, studies on the Hercules replacement candidate has been sent to the Ministry of Defence.

"Already we send away the day before A-1310 Hercules crash in Medan last week," said Agus told Tempo at the Air Force Headquarters , last weekend.

In a study sent to the Ministry of Defense, Air Force targeted two types of heavy transport aircraft, the Airbus A400M Atlas and Antonov An-70. About the price of each is the domain of the Ministry of Defence.

Assistant Planning Syafii Air Force Chief Air Marshal M. Young said the replacement of the Hercules aircraft modernization program entry main weaponry system TNI titled "Minimum Essential Force" (MEF). "It should be included in the strategic plan 2015-2019 procurement," said Syafii.

Marshal Agus Supriatna expect the government to prioritize the planned purchase of the heavy transport aircraft, especially after the fall of Hercules in Medan. Artificial plane crash in 1964 that claimed the lives of 33 Air Force personnel and six members of the Army as well as 83 civilians who came aboard.

Indonesian Air Force Hercules Type B suspect manufactured Lockheed Martin, the United States, it falls as one of the engines broke down and collisions with radio towers Joy FM is fixed within a radius of 15 degrees from the runway end Suwondo Air Base, Medan.

Agus said heavy transport aircraft is one of the main weaponry system (defense equipment) is important for the Air Force. This type of aircraft is not only used for military missions but also for humanitarian missions, such as sending aid when there are natural disasters. During this time the Air Force relied only 24 units of Hercules type B and H, which is stored in two locations, namely in Squadron 31 Halim, Jakarta, and the Squadron 32 Abdul Rachman Saleh, Malang.

"Type B was made in 1964, while type H year 1978- 1982, "Agus said.

He also asked the government did not purchase or receive grants of used aircraft from a foreign country because it could endanger pilots and technicians. Air Force also had the best technical history of the former. "It's dangerous at all if we do not know the plane was never broken anything. Different if buying new, we know the best damage records, so we know how to treat them, "said Agus.

The Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence Lieutenant General Prabowo expressed Ediwan ministry agrees with the Air Force plan. Unfortunately, Ediwan reluctant to mention the amount of funds that will be pursued by the government. "Clearly, these purchases entering MEF 2016-2019 strategic plan," said Ediwan, yesterday.

Parliament gave the green light. Deputy Chairman of Commission I Tantowi Yahya said that if the government proposed a purchase of replacement aircraft Hercules in the State Budget 2016, the Parliament will not reject. "As long as the funds are available and the government to buy new weapons system," said Tantowi. "It is not the time to buy a used defense equipment."

The Antonov An-70 medium-range transport aircraft.  An-70 aircraft is able to carry a payload of 47 tonnes, while its competitors from the West A-400M can carry a payload of 37 tons.

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