Aerial Warfare

Indonesian Air Force Completes Enhanced Mid-life Upgrade on fifth F-16


The Indonesian Air Force now operates a fleet of five F-16 A/B airframes that have been upgraded under the Falcon STAR (Structural Augmentation Roadmap) and enhanced mid-life upgrade (EMLU) programme. The fifth airframe, with serial number TS-1605, has completed its first post-upgrade flight. The first upgraded F-16, which bears the serial number TS-1610, was rolled out in April 2020. This airframe, with three other aircraft that have since been upgraded under the same programme, were showcased in a 17 August flypast held as part of Indonesia’s Independence Day celebrations.

 Indonesian Air Force Falcon STAR and EMLU programme
Indonesian Air Force Falcon STAR and EMLU programme(Photo by TNI AU)

Since 2017 the Indonesian Air Force with Lockheed Martin and Indonesian Aerospace is upgrading their existing F-16A/B with the Falcon Star eMLU upgrade program that include new avionics, new armament capability that could carry AMRAAM, and JDAM, new aircraft airframe that will last longer, Sniper ATP, LITENING, and Bird Slicer IFF. Upgraded airframes have been applied with a Pewter grey livery, which replaces the older Tosca green paint scheme. The upgrade is being carried out by Indonesian companies supervised by Lockheed Martin in Air Squadron 042. The aircraft will be redeployed for operational duties with the Squadron 3 at the Iswahyudi Air Force Base in Madiun, East Java.

 Indonesian Air Force Falcon STAR and EMLU programme
Indonesian Air Force Falcon STAR and EMLU programme(Photo by TNI AU)

The Indonesian Air Force ordered a total of 12 F-16A/B block 15OCU aircraft. The Indonesian Air Force considering her task to protect a territory of in total 12 million square kilometers, intended to acquire a total of 60 F-16s to give an adequate air defense capability. However, on June 2nd, 1997, president Soeharto of Indonesia cancelled the order. On August 5th, 1997, Indonesia announced it would proceed with a buy of 12 Su-30K fighters instead.The contract (12 Su-30K and 8 Mi-17V), worth approximately USD $600 million, will be partly paid for with Indonesian palm oil.

Indonesian Air Force F-16 Block 52ID
Indonesian Air Force F-16 Block 52ID Peace Bima-Sena II programme(Photo by TNI AU)

With the latest order of 24 second-hand U.S. Air Force F-16C/D’s of the block 25 version, the capabilities of the Indonesian Air Force are expanding rapidly with the more advanced airframes being delivered in 2014 and 2015. These would be upgraded to block 52 status (52ID). Six more airframes would also be included as spare part resource. The total investment would be around $600 million and these airframes would replace the surviving F-5E/F’s. These F-16s were upgraded with a toned-down version of the CCIP upgrade package including the latest MMC-7000 mission computer and M5 software package which makes these airframes more or less block 50/52 equal

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