The latest satellite imagery on 12 July 2014 acquired by DigitalGlobe shows a new aircraft support area at Indonesia’s Pekanbaru Airbase.
The F-16 were donated by the Obama Administration to strengthen bilateral ties, with Indonesia paying just under USD 750 million for aircraft upgrades which included new avionics, engines, landing gear, and other components. The Hill AFB Ogden Air Logistics Complex located in Utah carried out the upgrades.
The upgrades bring the F-16s up from the Block 25 to the Block 52 standard with the Indonesian press reporting an upgraded AN/APG-68 (V) fire control radar and Block 52 Link 16 datalink, AN/ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare Management System, ALR-69 Class IV Radar Warning Receiver, a Modular Mission Computer Version 5 and ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispenser Set.
Indonesian sources are reporting the transfer as the Peace Bhima Sena II agreement after the 1980s foreign military sales program which initially provided Indonesia with their first unit of F-16 aircraft.
Last month, the USAF sent out a four man Mobile Training Team to support six Indonesian Air Force instructors. The instructors will reportedly provide training to Squadron 3 at Madiun and Squadron 16 at Pekanbaru—the two squadrons splitting the 24 aircraft.
Partly in confirmation, satellite imagery from July 2014 shows a new support area on the south side of Pekanbaru Airbase, a location in western Indonesia near the Malacca Strait. New aircraft shelters and a maintenance hangar were confirmed. No additional construction activity was observed on imagery from late September 2013 at Madiun.
Prior to the F-16 arrival, the Indonesian air force in June sent officials to observe RED FLAG – Alaska, one of the U.S. Air Force’s premier air-to-air fighter exercises.
According to a USAF statement, the remaining 21 aircraft will be transferred to Indonesia by the end of 2015.