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A Big Bus in the Air

Akhyari Hananto
Akhyari Hananto
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A Big Bus in the Air
The Indonesian air force could buy an unspecified number of Alenia Aeronautica C-27J Spartans to augment its fleet of military transport aircraft. It will assess the aircraft based on its "operation requirements, technical specifications [and] logistics support", says air force chief Air Chief Marshal Imam Sufaat. Apart from the C-27Js, the service is also reportedly considering the Airbus Military C-295 that is licence-produced in Bandung by state-owned Indonesian Aerospace. "We also need a middle transport fleet. This could be met with the procurement of C-27J Spartans. A CN-235 has the capacity to transport about three tonnes of load while a Spartan is able to carry a load of up to 10 tonnes," the air force chief adds. The service is focused on the purchase of transport aircraft due to an anticipated increase of military operations in the next five years, he adds. Alenia is waiting for the air force to provide information on the number of aircraft needed and delivery schedule before it offers its aircraft. "Indonesia has a need for transport aircraft. Of course this is of interest for Alenia Aeronautica, as we believe that the C-27J tactical transport aircraft can meet these requirements. We believe that their requirement could be quite urgent: air mobility is certainly crucial for a country like Indonesia," adds the Finmeccanica subsidiary. In addition to Fokker F-27s and CN-235s, the Indonesian air force also operates de Havilland Canada DHC-5s, Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules and Lockheed L-100s, Fokker F-28s and Airbus Military C-212s for its military airlift and transport. The C-27J is operated or has been ordered by several air forces around the world, including Bulgaria, Ghana, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Morocco, Romania and Slovakia. The US Air Force and US Army also operate the type as the Joint Cargo Aircraft. India has issued a request for information for 16 medium military transport aircraft, to which Alenia has responded. Taiwan is also looking to buy the C-27J as well.
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