Thursday, November 11, 2010

Indonesia Nears Decision on Lockheed F-16A/Bs, C-130B/H Upgrades

By Greg Waldron

Indonesia should make a decision on a mid-life upgrade for its Lockheed Martin F-16A/Bs in 2011 or 2012, but could also buy an additional batch of six Block 50/52 fighters.If the upgrade takes place it will extend the service life of the Indonesian air force's current F-16s from 4,000 to 8,000 flight hours, and make them as capable as new-build models, says an industry source. An upgrade to all 10 aircraft is likely to cost around $150 million.In addition, Lockheed is pushing for Indonesia to purchase six more F-16s in the Block 50/52 configuration to give it a full squadron of 16 operational aircraft.Another option, albeit less likely, would be for the nation to replace its current F-16s with ex-US Air National Guard Block 50/52 airframes. However, these would have a remaining service life of only 1,500h each and be less compatible with the US Air Force's support system for the type.


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