Murky AW101 Delivery Perplexes Indonesian Defence Officials

11 Februari 2017

AW101 Mk.641 registration ZR343 construction number MSN 50248, 09 February 2017, at Halim AFB Jakarta – Indonesia (photo : Inilah)

Jakarta will launch an investigation into the delivery of a Leonardo Helicopters AgustaWestland AW101 VIP helicopter, part of a deal that was apparently cancelled.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the Indonesian air force ordered three AW101’s in a VIP configuration on 24 November 2015.

AW101 Mk.641 registration ZR343 construction number MSN 50248, 19 January 2017, without TNI-AU’s logo, in Yeovil – England (photo : Rich Pittman)

So far, only one of the helicopters, MSN 50248, is shown as having being delivered. This aircraft had previously been destined for the Indian Air Force as part of a 12 aircraft deal, but this was scuppered in 2014 by allegations of corruption around the Indian procurement. It was delivered to the Indonesian air force on 15 January 2017.

AW101 Mk.641 registration ZR343 construction number MSN 50248, 19 December 2016, with TNI-AU’s logo, in Yeovil – England (photo : Rich Pittman)

The Indonesian delivery supposedly took place despite a presidential decision in late 2015 to cancel the requirement.

AW101 Mk.641 registration ZR343 construction number MSN 50248, 14 September 2014, in VIP configuration with AgustaWestland logo, during NATO summit in Wales – England (photo : AgustaWestland)

Indonesian president Joko Widowo reportedly favours the Airbus Helicopters H225, for which Indonesian Aerospace (IAe) produces the upper and lower fuselage. IAe also conducts MRO work for Airbus Helicopters rotorcraft operated in the country.

The precise whereabouts of 50248 are unclear. State news agency Antara says that the aircraft has been delivered to Halim air base outside of Jakarta, although FlightGlobal was unable to confirm this.

AW101 Mk.641 registration ZR343 construction number MSN 50248, 20 August 2013, in VIP configuration without Indian Air Force’s logo, at Newquay Cornwall airport, South West England (photo : Chris England)

In TV interviews, Indonesian defence officials have expressed dismay about the delivery. The air force chief of staff says the order was placed by his predecessor, and adds that the aircraft has, in fact, not been handed over. An investigation will be made into the purchase.

The country’s armed force’s chief says that he was not aware of the order in the first place. The defence minister, meanwhile, says that the finance ministry has paid for the aircraft.

AW101 Mk.641 registration ZR343 construction number MSN 50248, 15 May 2013, in VIP configuration with Indian Air Force’s logo, at Newquay Cornwall airport, South West England (photo : Chris England)

FlightGlobal requested comment from the manufacturer, but had yet to receive a response at publishing time.

AW101 Mk.641 registration ZR343 construction number MSN 50248, 04 January 2013 (photo : Rick Ingham)

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that Jakarta’s rotary-winged VIP fleet comprises three assets: an H225M that is less than one year old, and a Bo105 that is 30 years old. It also has an 15 year old AS332 in storage.

(FlightGlobal)

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