US, Indonesia Agree on F‑16 Transfer

WASHINGTON — The U.S. and Indone­sian pres­i­dents issued a joint state­ment today from Bali, Indone­sia, reaf­firm­ing their deep­en­ing engage­ment and announc­ing the planned trans­fer and upgrade of 24 Excess Defense Arti­cle F‑16s to the Indone­sian air force.

Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma is in Indone­sia par­tic­i­pat­ing in the East Asia Sum­mit. The sum­mit has occurred annu­al­ly since 2005, fol­low­ing the annu­al Asso­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Nations lead­ers’ meet­ing. The Unit­ed States and Rus­sia par­tic­i­pat­ed in the sum­mit for the first time this year. 

Obama’s joint state­ment with Indone­sian Pres­i­dent Susi­lo Bam­bang Yud­hoy­ono today not­ed the two lead­ers affirm the sum­mit is the region’s pre­mier forum for lead­ers to dis­cuss strate­gic polit­i­cal and secu­ri­ty issues. 

Accord­ing to a White House fact sheet, Indonesia’s addi­tion of 24 F‑16s will allow that nation’s gov­ern­ment to sig­nif­i­cant­ly bol­ster air defense capac­i­ty with­out com­pro­mis­ing the defense bud­get and oth­er nation­al priorities. 

The fact sheet notes that when the regen­er­a­tion is com­plete, the air­craft will be updat­ed with advanced mod­u­lar mis­sion com­put­ers, improved radar and avion­ics, and the capa­bil­i­ty to car­ry and field more advanced weapon­ry and sen­sors. At least 30 Indone­sian pilots will receive F‑16 train­ing in the Unit­ed States, and mobile train­ing teams from the Unit­ed States will train Indone­sian air­craft maintainers. 

Accord­ing to the fact sheet, the Defense Depart­ment is cur­rent­ly work­ing with the Indone­sian Min­istry of Defense to devel­op a let­ter of offer and accep­tance for the 24 air­craft while await­ing com­ple­tion of the final required con­gres­sion­al noti­fi­ca­tion. The noti­fi­ca­tion is expect­ed to be com­plete and the offer and accep­tance let­ter ready to be signed in ear­ly 2012. The U.S. gov­ern­ment is work­ing to begin deliv­ery of air­craft by July 2014, as request­ed by the gov­ern­ment of Indonesia. 

The new agree­ment rep­re­sents the largest trans­fer of defense arti­cles in the his­to­ry of the U.S.-Indonesia bilat­er­al rela­tion­ship, the fact sheet said. 

The joint state­ment also reflect­ed dis­cus­sion between the two coun­tries on issues includ­ing human rights, clean ener­gy, edu­ca­tion, cli­mate change and envi­ron­men­tal projects. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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