Theressia Silalahi & Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The Indonesian Air Force on Thursday received the second of five C-130J Super Hercules aircraft the government has purchased from US defense company Lockheed Martin.
The handover ceremony took place at the Halim Perdana Kusuma Air Force Base in East Jakarta, where Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto highlighted that the new fleet of multirole airlifters will strengthen the country's airspace defense.
"This US-made aircraft will add strength to our Air Force, and we will receive three more of this plane later this year and next year," Prabowo said. "We need a strong Army, Navy, and Air Force because our country is highly respected and rich."
The minister also mentioned that he participated in a 30-minute test flight with the new aircraft, which was operated entirely by Indonesian officers.
The first new Super Hercules was received by the Air Force in early March.
According to Lockheed Martin's statement on its website, the new C-130J-30s provide increased cargo capacity, speed, range, power, performance, and lower operating costs, supporting a wide range of mission requirements for decades to come.
"Indonesian Air Force crews have long trusted the C-130 to support the most challenging of missions facing Indonesia and other nations in the Pacific," said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions programs at Lockheed Martin.
Indonesia has operated C-130s since the 1960s, using its Hercules fleet for critical national and regional missions such as delivering humanitarian aid and disaster relief, as well as providing military and peacekeeping support around the Pacific Rim.
Lockheed Martin claimed that it has delivered 520 C-130Js to 26 operators in 22 nations.