Indonesian Air Force spokesman First Marshal Bambang Samoedro says the force will receive the first four Super Tocano aircraft in March next year as part of the realization of early plans to purchase a squadron of 16 Super Tocano warplanes.
“This has been our commitment to fulfill the Minimum Essential Force [MEF] that has been set by the government,” Bambang told journalists during a press tour conducted at the Adisutjipto Air Force complex Friday.
Later on, he added, these four Tocanoes would be placed at the Abdulrahman Saleh Air Force base in Malang, East Java.
The purchase was made as the airforce was in need to replace the OV-10 Bronco aircraft, which has been in service for more than three decades.
Col. Chandra Siahaan, who was also on site, said that the turboprop-driven aircrafts were important for the air force in order to safeguard the whole region.
“We could use this aircraft to come to places that are almost unreachable by others,” he said.
Up to this date, the air force has been equipped with the Sukhoi squadron, a squadron of US-made F-16 Falcon fighter jets and F-5 Tiger bombers, two squadrons of British-made training Sky-Hawks and Hawk bombing jets, which have been regularly deployed to maintain the country's sovereignty over its vast air space.