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08:04 AM, January 20, 2017
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Airbus A400M Aircraft

Indonesia has approved a US$2 billion for the acquisition of five Airbus A400M Atlas multirole aircraft to boost the country's military airlift capabilities.

The airframes will be acquired in the transport and utility configuration, and will be operated across the Indonesian Air Force's (Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Udara: TNI-AU's) Aviation Squadrons 31 and 32, IHS Jane's reported 18 January.

The acquisition, which received green light from the Indonesian House of Representatives' commission on defence, intelligence, and foreign affairs (Komisi I) in mid-January 2017, was approved with the condition that the final three airframes undergo final fit-out at state-owned PT Dirgantara's facilities in Bandung.

The provisions will be made in the contract to allow Indonesian engineers to study and observe the assembly of various major aircraft components, including wings and fuselage shells, for the first two airframes in Seville, Spain.

Indonesian defence minister Ryamizard Ryacudu first indicated in mid-2016 that the government is considering the acquisition of A400M aircraft to bolster the TNI-AU's military airlift and transport capabilities.

According to specifications provided by Airbus, the A400M can carry a maximum payload of 37 tonnes with a volume of 340 m3 in the logistics configuration. The aircraft can also accommodate up to 116 fully equipped soldiers or paratroopers, seated in four longitudinal rows, in the military transport configuration.

At its maximum payload, the A400M has an operating range of 1,780 n miles (3,300 km), while with a payload of up to 25 tonnes, the aircraft can take off and land on austere airstrips as short as 750 m.

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