The Indonesian government has approved the acquisition of five new Airbus A400M multirole aircraft. The acquisition is a significant step in the Indonesian Air Force's modernisation efforts
Indonesia has approved a sum of USD2 billion for the acquisition of five Airbus A400M Atlas multirole aircraft to boost the country's military airlift capabilities, multiple sources from within Indonesia's government and defence industry confirmed to IHS Jane's on 18 January.
The airframes will be acquired in the transport and utility configuration, and will be operated across the Indonesian Air Force's (Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Udara: TNI-AU's) Aviation Squadrons 31 and 32.
The acquisition, which received an official greenlight from the Indonesian House of Representatives' commission on defence, intelligence, and foreign affairs (Komisi I) in mid-January 2017, was approved with the condition that the final three airframes undergo final fit-out at state-owned PT Dirgantara's facilities in Bandung.
IHS Jane's also understands that provisions will be made in the contract to allow Indonesian engineers to study and observe the assembly of various major aircraft components, including wings and fuselage shells, for the first two airframes in Seville, Spain.
Indonesian defence minister Ryamizard Ryacudu first indicated in mid-2016 that the government is considering the acquisition of A400M aircraft to bolster the TNI-AU's military airlift and transport capabilities, although no details on numbers were given then.
According to specifications provided by Airbus, the A400M can carry a maximum payload of 37 tonnes with a volume of 340 m3 in the logistics configuration. The aircraft can also accommodate up to 116 fully equipped soldiers or paratroopers, seated in four longitudinal rows, in the military transport configuration.
At its maximum payload, the A400M has an operating range of 1,780 n miles (3,300 km), while with a payload of up to 25 tonnes, the aircraft can take off and land on austere airstrips as short as 750 m.