Mid-2019, TNI AU will be Strengthened 2 New Air Squadrons

Mid-2019, TNI AU will be Strengthened 2 New Air Squadrons
TNI AU's C-130 H Hercules fleet. Image source: AVTEN / Ery.

avten.asia - Until mid-2019, the Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU) will inaugurate two new air squadrons. Both are the 27th Air Squadron in Biak and 33rd Air Squadron in Makassar.

27th Air Squadron/ Medium Transport were placed at Manuhua Air Base, Biak, Papua and will be inhabited by CN295/CN235 aircraft. While the 33rd Air Squadron/ Heavy Transport were placed at the Sultan Hasanuddin Air Base, Makassar and filled with C-130 H Hercules.

"Regarding the addition of the squadrons, hopefully by the middle of this year we will formalize the 27th Air Squadron that we have placed in Biak. The infrastructure is now being built. In the near future we will inaugurate 1 squadron of Hercules (33rd Air Squadron) in Makassar,” explained the Air Force Chief of Staff, Air Chief Marshal Yuyu Sutisna to the media crew in Airforce Headquarter, Cilangkap, East Jakarta, Tuesday (9/4/2019).

At present, TNI AU has strengthened 9 CN295 aircraft and plans to increase the power of 3 more units purchased from PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI). While the CN235 aircraft will be increased to 14 units, which currently have 12 units.

The total number of CN295 and CN235 aircraft will be divided in two to be placed in 2nd Air Squadron and 27th Air Squadron.

Besides that, Yuyu explained, the presence of the 33rd Air Squadron in Makassar to compensate for the strength of the Army Strategic Reserve Command which had formed the 3rd Division in the area.

"Why (33rd Squadron) in Makassar, because Kostrad formed 3rd Division in Makassar. So that it must be balanced with the readiness of Hercules to accelerate troop movements, "he explained.

To complete the defense in eastern Indonesia, TNI AU also formed the 9th Air Squadron at the Silas Papare Air Base, Jayapura. Construction of facilities and infrastructure is ongoing.

This squadron will be filled with the H225M Super Cougar helicopters (formerly the EC725 Caracal). In early January, the Ministry of Defense signed a contract with PTDI to procure 8 units of the Heavy Transport class helicopter.