By By Ernie Stephens, Editor-at-Large | June 9, 2014
The Indonesian Navy has announced its intention to purchase 16 Airbus Helicopters AS565 Panther aircraft for use in anti-submarine warfare. The medium twin-engine helicopter - a militarized version of the AS365 Dauphin - will come equipped with an assortment of specialized technology, including dipping sonar, and will be based aboard the service’s SIGMA 10514-class guided missile corvettes.
“The contract is in the final stages of being approved by the defense ministry,” said Vice-Admiral Untong Suropati, head of communications. “However, we are not able to give a timeline as to when the helicopters will be delivered.”
PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI), an in-country aerospace company, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus Helicopters to support the new Panthers, as well as the government’s EC175 Cougars and AS350/AS555 models through maintenance, overhaul and repair services.
“[PTDI’s] cooperation with Airbus Helicopters results from a long-term relationship built on trust,” said Budi Santoso, PTDI’s president director. “And each company will support the other with this new strategic collaboration for the mutual benefit of both parties.”
Indonesia has the second largest navy in Southeast Asia based on personnel and vessels.
Related: Attack Helicopter News