The Indonesian Air Force will receive MALE-class UAVs of Turkish and Chinese production

Image source: Фото: commons.wikimedia.org/Mztourist

TSAMTO, April 24th. The Indonesian Air Force will soon receive new MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) class UAVs of Turkish and Chinese production.

According to ANTARA news, the Chief of Staff (Commander) On April 22, during the celebration of the 78th anniversary of the Indonesian air fleet at the air base in Bantul (Yogyakarta Special Region), Air Marshal Mohammad Tony Harjono announced that Chinese-made MALE CH-4 class UAVs, as well as Turkish Anka and Bayraktar, would soon be put into service).

TSAMTO's comment:

Regarding the CH-4B of the Chinese CASC Corporation (China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation), it is known that six UAVs of this type are currently in service with the Indonesian Air Force, the contract for the supply of which was signed in 2019. The first two UAVs were demonstrated in October 2019 during a parade dedicated to the 74th anniversary of the Indonesian Armed Forces. Therefore, at the moment it is not entirely clear whether the CH-4B is supposed to be delivered under a new order or whether it means the adoption of devices already in Indonesia.

At the same time, Indonesia is implementing a national project for the development of a MALE-class attack UAV, which includes several design features of the CH-4. The device is known under the designation "Elang Hitam" (Elang Hitam / Black Eagle). The development is being carried out by PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) together with the Indonesian Air Force Command, the state-owned PT Len company, the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) and a number of other national manufacturers.

As for the Turkish devices, the Indonesian Ministry of Finance approved the request of the country's Armed Forces for the purchase of attack UAVs at the expense of foreign loans in February 2023.

The purchase of UAVs is included in the list of 16 programs for which the Ministry of Finance has granted permission to receive foreign loans, provided that official contracts are signed by the Ministry of Defense before December 31, 2023. Permits for the purchase of UAVs were provided separately to each of the three branches of the armed forces and included an article on ammunition for them.

For the Indonesian Air Force, the Ministry of Finance approved a loan of up to $200 million for the purchase of UAVs and a limit of $38.115 million for the supply of ammunition.

The type of UAVs being purchased was not disclosed, however, as for ammunition, the documents specifically stated that the Air Force should purchase light guided munitions MAM-L. This suggests the acquisition of Turkish-made drones.

A loan of up to $100 million was approved for the Indonesian Navy, and up to $10.89 million was allocated for the purchase of ammunition for UAVs. As in the case of the Air Force, MAM-L ammunition was purchased.

Recall that the Chief of Staff (Commander) On April 19, 2024, Admiral Muhammad Ali of the Indonesian Navy presented in Jakarta a naval development plan for the period from 2025 to 2044 as part of the Golden Indonesia 2045 strategic initiative.

During his speech, the Admiral revealed some categories of military equipment planned for purchase. In particular, the Bayraktar TB2 and Akinci UAVs of Turkish production were mentioned.

There is currently no specific information regarding the purchased MALE-class UAVs for both the Air Force and the Indonesian Air Force, issued in the form of contracts.

Last year, it was reported that the acquisition of Turkish devices would "pave the way" for the joint production of these UAVs at the enterprise of the state-owned company PT Dirgantara Indonesia in Bandung.

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