J C Menon
The U.S has approved the sale of eight MV-22 Block C OSPREY tilt-rotor aircraft and related equipment to Indonesia at an estimated cost of US$2bn. This is comes after the State Department made a determination approving the possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Indonesia after the Defence Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on 6th July.
The V-22 is joint service multirole combat aircraft utilising tilt-rotor technology to combine the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. With its rotors in vertical position, it can take off, land and hover like a helicopter and once airborne, it can convert to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight. This combination results in global reach capabilities that allow the V-22 to fill an operational niche unlike any other aircraft.
Besides the eight aircraft and and technical support services, the Government of Indonesia has requested to buy:
- 24 AE 1107C Rolls Royce Engines
- 20 AN/AAQ-27 Forward Looking InfraRed Radars
- 20 AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning Systems
- 20 AN/APR-39 Radar Warning Receivers
- 20 AN/ALE-47 Countermeasure Dispenser Systems
- 20 AN/APX-117 Identification Friend or Foe Systems (IFF).
- 20 M-240-D 7.64mm Machine Guns
- 20 GAU-21 Machine Guns
This is in addition to other elements of technical and programme support, but there are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. The prime contractors will be Bell Textron Inc and the Boeing Company.
Since entering service in 2007 with the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) in 2009, the V-22 has been continuously deployed. The aircraft has seen extensive action in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and as part of a U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) supporting a long-range rapid reaction/crisis response force. Missions undertaken around the world include casualty evacuation, tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, resupply, VIP transport, and theatre security cooperation.