Jakarta– The Indonesian Air Force has less than half of the aircraft needed to safeguard the country’s airspace, said Air Force Chief of Staff Vice Marshal Chappy Hakim.
"Currently we only have seven squadrons of fighters, five transport squadrons, one maritime patrol squadron, three helicopter squadrons and two training squadrons," Vice-Marshal Hakim told the House of Representatives on Feb 16.
"Actually we need 13 fighter squadrons, 14 transport squadrons, three surveillance squadrons, seven helicopter squadrons and six training squadrons."
He said apart from a shortage of funds, the US-led arms embargo had also added to the Air Force’s problems.
“It is difficult to get spare parts for our aircraft, particularly for fighters," he said.
Indonesiaowns a number of American-made jets such as A-4 Skyhawks, F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-5 Tigers as well as C-130 Hercules transporters. It also has four Russian-made Sukhoi fighters, two Su-27 SKs and two Su-30 SKs. These fighters, however, are not equipped with weaponry.
* Air Force has less than half of required aircraft (The Jakarta Post, Feb 17)