Indonesia plans to buy F-16V Block 72

Indonesia plans buy F-16V
Indonesia plans to buy F-16V.

Indonesian Air Force Chief Air Marshal Yuyu Sutisna recently announced a plan for the acquisition of the most advanced variant of the F-16, the F-16V, starting next year. The aircraft would be incorporated in the 2020-2024 strategic plan period.

"We will buy two squadrons of jet fighters as part of our strategic plan for 2020-2024. We're aiming for the latest type, the Block 72 Viper," Yuyu told Antara news agency during a visit to Riau on Oct. 28.

He said Indonesia still relies on F-16 fighter jets for its air defense, with 33 of them still in operation at the Roesmin Nurjadin Air Base in Pekanbaru, Riau, and the Iswahjudi Air Base in Madiun, East Java.

Indonesia began buying F-16 in the early 1990s, one of the first customers in Southeast Asia, but most of these planes do not have modern warfare systems.

"Hopefully the plan will go ahead starting Jan. 1 next year. Purchasing that variant means we will have the most sophisticated F-16s. Many countries are using this jet fighter, which proves its reliability" Yuyu said.

The number of aircraft that the nation intends to purchase has not been specified, but the plan of the armed force is to establish two Squadrons so a couple of dozen can be assumed.

In addition to the F-16s, Indonesia is also considering to buy the Russian-made Sukhoi Su-35 jet fighter.

"We're also in the process of buying jet fighters from the east, the Sukhoi 35," he said.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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