Republic of Singapore Air Force's A330 MRTT Tanker Aircraft
Republic of Singapore Air Force's A330 MRTT Tanker Aircraft

Indonesia Approves $700 Million in Foreign Loans for Two Aerial Tankers

The Indonesian Ministry of Finance has granted approval for the country to obtain up to $700 million in foreign loans to procure two aerial tankers for the Indonesian Air Force, Ridzwan Rahmat reports in Janes. This was revealed in a notice issued by the MoF on 26 April listing a total of 31 Indonesian Ministry of Defence programmes for which funding through foreign loans has been approved. Janes also was first informed that the Indonesian Air Force had appointed GMF AeroAsia, a subsidiary of national carrier Garuda Indonesia, for assistance with an in-depth study on Indonesia’s aerial refuelling capabilities.

Aircraft maintenance and repair company GMF AeroAsia also known as PT Garuda Maintenance Facility Aero Asia Tbk, is ready to serve the needs of military aircraft. Maintenance of military aircraft is one of the latest business expansion, in collaboration with the Indonesian Air Force. Cooperation in the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry sector has only begun this year. The contribution of GMF to reduce maintenance costs is that it has increased our capability in the country so that goods are not shipped abroad. At present, GMF has obtained a license for the maintenance of Airbus A320 aircraft engines, which previously only had a Boeing 737.

Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aerial refuelling aircraft

In January 2018, Indonesian Air Force officials were reportedly studying both the A330 MRTT and Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aerial refuelling aircraft for a future modernisation programme. Both of aerial refuelling aircrafts will dramatically increase the range of Indonesian Lockheed Martin F-16C/D and Sukhoi Su-27/30 and planned Su-35 Flanker fighters. The Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) is an aerial refuelling tanker aircraft based on the civilian Airbus A330. The Boeing KC-46 Pegasus is an American military aerial refueling and strategic military transport aircraft developed by Boeing from its 767 jet airliner.

Top candidate is the Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT). In Asia and Pacific the A330 MRTT is used by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF). When an order for the tanker transporter is placed, the Indonesian Air Force will become the newest user of this type of aircraft in the region. The Indonesian Air Force was said to be comparing aircraft compatibility with its current aircraft; life-cycle costs; interoperability with current and future assets; and potential funding and technology transfer options with state-owned aircraft manufacturer Indonesian Aerospace (PTDI).

Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT)