Tuesday, 30th September 2014

T50i fighter jets strengthen Indonesian Air Force

Kamis, 13 Februari 2014 23:56 WIB | 2.608 Views
T50i fighter jets strengthen Indonesian Air Force
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (second right) made a fist after seeing the cockpit of Korean-made fighter jet T-50i Golden Eagle in the Air Force Base Halim Perdanakusumah, Jakarta. (ANTARA FOTO/Widodo S. Jusuf) ()
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesias Air Force (TNI AU) has been strengthened by new fighter jets T 50i Golden Eagle made in South Korea.

A total of 16 units or a squadron of the fighter jets were handed over by the Ministry of Defense to TNI AU during a ceremony at the military headquarters, here on Thursday, attended by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro.

Also witnessing the handing over ceremony were Army Chief of Staff General Budiman, Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Marsetio, and Air Force Chief of staff Marshal Ida Bagus Putu Dunia.

Indonesia has purchased 16 T 50i Golden Eagle fighter jets and all of them have completely been delivered.

Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro explained that the delivery of the fighter jets was based on a contract signed on May 25, 2011 worth US$400 million.

The T-50i jets made by Korean Aerospace would replace Hawk MK53 at the 15th Air Squadron at Iswahyudi airbase in Madiun, East Java, as combat trainers.

The aircraft, measuring 43 feet long with a wing span of 31 feet and a height of 16 feet, is actually the same of the fourth-plus generation of planes because its specification is not like the common T-50 aircraft but that of FA-50 fighter minus air radar.

The fourth generation of modern aircraft is expected to be able to train young TNI AU pilots to become guardians of the countrys air space with front line fighters such as F-16 C/D, Sukhoi 27/30 and other front line generation 4.5 including K/IFX made in Indonesia-Korea and other modern fighter jets.

This type of the aircraft would later be equipped with air radar so that it can carry out all kinds of operation missions day and night.

TNI AU chief of staff Marshal Ida Bagus Putu Dunia stated earlier that TNI AU was proud to receive the sophisticated aircraft from the government.

"The aircraft will later be operated at Iswahyudi airbase in Madiun, East Java, to replace MK53 that has been operated since 1980," he added.

He pointed out that in the future, eight of the 16 T 50i Gold Eagles will be made ready to be part of the "Blue Eagle" Jupiter Aerobatic Team that TNI AU once had.

The commander of Squadron 15th Wing 3 of Iswahyudi air force base, Lt Col Wastum commented that he was proud to be given an opportunity to fly T 509 Golden Eagle, which is very sophisticated, equipped with a digital avionic, armament and radar warning receiver systems, such that it will be able to detect the presence of enemies coming from all directions.(*)