According to IHS Jane’s, the Indonesian Navy has submitted a request to the country’s finance ministry for the acquisition eight more naval helicopters with anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. According to figures indicated in the request, the Indonesian Navy has requested for a total sum of IDR5,191 trillion (USD375 million) for the acquisition. It has been proposed that the funds be sourced from the country’s defence budgets for the years 2020-24.
Indonesia Navy currently operated 11 new AS565 MBe Panther helicopters in 2014 as part of efforts to improve the Indonesian Navy’s embarked aviation and ASW capabilities. Nine other airframes are currently being fitted for multimodal missions and will replace the service’s fleet of ageing BO 105 helicopters. The Panther variant that has been supplied to the Indonesian Navy has an increased maximum take-off weight over its predecessors, at 4,500 kg, compared with 4,300 kg for earlier versions of the AS 565. The aircraft is equipped with two Safran Arriel 2N engines that have been optimised for ‘hot and high’ conditions, and enables the helicopter to reach a top speed of 165 kt and a range of 780 km.