The Indonesian Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Darat: TNI-AD) took delivery of its first three Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters from the U.S. on December 18.
Indonesia sought eight AH-64E in 2012 in a $1.42 billion U.S. deal that includes 140 AGM-114R3 Hellfire II anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), 19 General Electric T-700-GE-701D turboshaft engines, training, spare parts and logistical support.
The AH-64E is the latest variant of the Apache, a heavyweight attack helicopter platform capable of anti-armour and anti-infantry operations. It is the mainstay attack helicopter of the U.S. Army as well as the U.K., Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Israel and others.
Jakarta formally inked the deal when the U.S. Defense Department issued a $296 million order to Boeing manufacture the helicopters. Indonesia, along with Qatar and India, is among the Apache Guardian’s new customers with orders on Boeing’s current orderbook.
Leveraging its defence and civil deals, the Indonesian government is hoping that Boeing will invest in the country with offsets and co-production workshare.
Speaking to local media, Indonesia’s Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan said, “Now Boeing is operating an office in Singapore. They should also have it [in Indonesia],” adding, “they [Boeing] also need to think about having an assembly plant here to build some parts of the planes.”
The TNI-AD is reportedly in talks with Boeing for the possible purchase of CH-47F Chinook heavy transport and utility helicopters. The CH-47F has a maximum take-off weight of 22.6 tons and a payload capacity of 10.9 tons. It can travel a cruise speed of 291 km/h and has an operational radius of 370.4 km.
If brought to fruition, a Chinook deal would begin building the logistics element of Indonesia’s widespread airpower modernization efforts, which are seeing the induction of new attack assets in the form of the AH-64E and refurbished F-16C/D Block-25 from the U.S. Jakarta also has 11 Su-35 from Russia on order.