Indonesia Ministry of Defence Orders Two Airbus A400M Atlas Military Transport Aircrafts
Indonesia Ministry of Defence Orders Two Airbus A400M Atlas Military Transport Aircrafts

Airbus Seeks to Renegotiate Contract with Indonesia for A400M Tactical Airlifts

European multinational aerospace company Airbus is seeking to renegotiate with Indonesia for the two A400Ms that the latter has ordered due to tight supply of Titanium. The aerospace company finds it difficult to execute the contract with the price of $685 million. CNBC Indonesia reported that Airbus imports fifty percent of its titanium from Russia but the war in Ukraine has disrupted prices and supply. The United States and Europe have imposed financial sanctions on Russian banks, individuals and other entities after Russia invaded Ukraine. There are as yet no sanctions on Russian commodity exporters such as VSMPO-Avisma, which supplies titanium to planemakers Boeing and Airbus. Airbus has said it relies on Russia for half its titanium needs, while a U.S. industry source said VSMPO-AVISMA provided a third of Boeing’s requirements.

In January 2017, Indonesia approved the acquisition of five A400Ms to boost the country’s military airlift capabilities. In March 2017, a letter of intent with Airbus was signed by Pelita Air Services which represents a consortium of Indonesian aviation companies. In March 2018, the Indonesian Air Force and state entity Indonesia Trading Company (ITC) announced they were considering ordering two A400Ms which would be crewed by the Indonesian Air Force and act in an air freight role helping to balance the prices of goods across the archipelago, they were interested in its ability to operate from rough landing strips where a normal air freighter could not and the possibility of industrial offsets. In November 2021, Airbus confirmed that the Indonesian Ministry of Defense had signed a deal with Airbus for 2 A400Ms, with an option, in the form of a letter of intent, for four additional aircraft.

Indonesian Air Force Airbus A400M Atlas Military Transport Aircraft

The Airbus A400M Atlas is a European four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. It was designed by Airbus Military (now Airbus Defence and Space) as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities to replace older transport aircraft, such as the Transall C-160 and the Lockheed C-130 Hercules. The A400M is sized between the C-130 and the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III; it can carry heavier loads than the C-130 and is able to use rough landing strips. Along with the transport role, the A400M can perform aerial refueling and medical evacuation when fitted with appropriate equipment. The A400M is large enough to carry six Land Rovers and trailers, or two light armored vehicles, or a dump truck and excavator, or a Patriot missile system, or a Puma or Cougar helicopter, or a truck and 25-ton trailer.

The Airbus A400M increases the airlift capacity and range compared with the aircraft it was originally set to replace, the older versions of the Hercules and Transall. Cargo capacity is expected to double over existing aircraft, both in payload and volume, and range is increased substantially as well. The cargo box is 17.71 m (58.1 ft) long excluding ramp, 4.00 m (13.12 ft) wide, and 3.85 m (12.6 ft) high (or 4.00 m (13.12 ft) aft of the wing). The maximum payload of 37 metric tons (41 short tons) can be carried over 2,000 nmi (3,700 km; 2,300 mi). It features a fly-by-wire flight control system with sidestick controllers and flight envelope protection. Like other Airbus aircraft, the A400M has a full glass cockpit. More than 30 percent of the airplane’s structure is made of composite materials.