This article from the Jakarta Post reports that Indonesian Air Force officers will travel to the US to acquire second hand F-16C/Ds that are currently stored in the aircraft boneyard in Arizona. The details of the purchase are:
The 30 aircraft will come free of charge. But six of them will be cannibalized for their parts. The Indonesians are expected to spend US$400 million to US$600 million equipping the rest with advanced avionics and weaponry and buying 28 Pratt and Whitney engines.
On the face of it this seems to be a good deal. Yes, Indonesia will still need to integrate the weapons and avionics but it has had US aircraft for a while so hopefully this upgrade work will not be technologically difficult. Where the news starts getting a bit more questionable is talk of politicians wanting the air force to avoid getting reliant on US weaponry again. This has been an ongoing Indonesian ambition since the Leahy provisions were passed into US law about ten years ago. The rationale is that if the Indonesian military becomes overly reliant on the US for weapons, including spare parts, then Indonesia will be vulnerable to another US arms embargo. The problem is the flip side, over diversification of Indonesian weapon systems. The SU-27s and SU-30s are still without weapons and there are reports that their electrical systems are incompatible with existing Indonesian systems. Indonesia has British, US, Russian and South Korean aircraft. Who would want to be an Indonesian logistics officer.
Another interesting paragraph in the article is where critics, not further defined, give a good list of alternates for acquisitions.
Critics question why greater priority is not being given to maritime reconnaissance aircraft, ocean-going patrol craft and transport planes, but protecting a nation's air space is a source of pride for a military - and a president - concerned about national sovereignty.
Worth a read.