The House of Representatives is defending its decision to approve a grant of 24 used F-16 Fighting Falcons fighter jets because the deal is guaranteed by the US government. US presence is widely deemed crucial to backing up Indonesian diplomatic efforts in upholding sovereignty over its vast territory.
Deputy chairman of House Commission I on defense, foreign affairs and intelligence Hayono Isman said his commission finally approved after Washington guaranteed that the used fighters would be renewed and upgraded in Utah and that the upgrading process would be conducted through the foreign military sales under joint supervision by the two countries.
“The U.S. government and its [air force] have guaranteed that following the renewal and upgrading, the fighter jets would be capable of flying for another 20 years because their remaining airframe of 3,000 hours would be increased and their avionic, armament and computer systems will be upgraded similar to the latest Block 50/52 variant,” he told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
He said the renewal and upgrading process would be directly handled by the two countries’ air forces. Thus, it was a government-to-government deal and there would be no brokerage in the process because the procurement of all the components needed for the renewal and upgrading would be conducted through the foreign military sales and the supervision would involve a joint team from the Indonesian Air Force and House Commission I.