The 2014 Singapore Airshow (February 11-16) fulfilled its promise as Asia’s leading aerospace and defense industry gathering, with an exhibitor base of more than 1,000 companies from 47 countries, representing about a 10-percent increase on the last staging of the biennial event.
Indonesian Air Force
They’re still here! The Indonesian Air Force Jupiter aerobatic team’s appearance has survived the current diplomatic spat between Singapore and Indonesia, caused by Jakarta’s naming of a new warship for two marines who bombed an Orchard Road building here in 1965. The pair were tracked down, put on trial and executed by Singapore, which is upset by the naming. Indonesia said that the Ministry of Defence here withdrew invitations to more than 100 of its military officers, to attend the airshow.
Boasting one of the fastest growing economies in the world is allowing Indonesia to invest much-needed funds in its military. After years of stagnation caused by the 1997 financial crisis, leading to most of Indonesia’s military acquisition programs being cancelled, the situation deteriorated further when the U.S. imposed an arms embargo in 1999 that lasted until 2005.
Indonesia signed a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) with the U.S. government to buy eight new Boeing AH-64E Apache helicopters during U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s recent trip to Southeast Asia. The Pentagon valued the transaction at $500 million; it represents the first sale of Apaches to Indonesia.
Almost three months on from the crash of a pre-series aircraft in Italy on May 11, Alenia Aermacchi’s M346 jet remains grounded as investigations into the causes of the accident continue. The Italian manufacturer has insisted there are no similarities between this incident and the November 2011 accident in which a prototype M346 crashed off the coast of Dubai after appearing in the airshow there.
Russia won export orders for weapons exceeding $15 billion and delivered weapons worth $14 billion in 2012, compared with $13.2 billion of weapons in 2011. “Surely, Russia will continue cooperation with her traditional partners in the sphere of military-technical cooperation,” Russian president Vladimir Putin told a meeting of the government’s committee for military-technical cooperation with foreign countries in December. “But it is of not less importance to us to enter new markets, expand the nomenclature of deliveries and services.”
Embraer (Chalet B387) is showing a Super Tucano in the static park here for the first time. “This aircraft has a great future; air forces from all over the world have been asking us about it since we won the U.S. Air Force competition,” Embraer Defense and Security CEO Luiz Carlos Aguiar told AIN. Also here at Paris, Aguiar is promising a new announcement about the KC-390, the Brazilian design that could be a serious competitor in the future market for airlifters.
The first T-50 advanced jet trainer for the Indonesian Air Force has been flown in Korea by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI). The first export order for the T-50 was placed in 2011, and is worth $400 million for 16 aircraft, according to the Indonesians.
Top Russian officials have confirmed sales deals with China for the Sukhoi Su-35 and with Indonesia on an additional quantity of Su-30MK2 multirole fighters.
Eurocopter has announced new business for EC145 and EC725 helicopters in recent weeks from Indonesia and Kazakhstan. They involve cooperative deals with local aerospace companies that Eurocopter hopes will enhance the company’s future sales growth in southeast Asia and central Asia.
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