Indonesia will purchase 24 F-16 fighter jets from the US to modernise its primary weapon defence system (Alutsista), according to Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) Air Marshall Ida Bagus Putu Dunia.

Speaking at the commencement of 140 Air Force officers at Adi Soemarmo Air Force Base in Surakarta on December 20, he said the procurement is part of the Indonesian Defence Ministry’s plan to continue improving the army’s minimum national defence strength.

Indonesia will receive eight of the new planes in 2014 and the remainder will be procured in the following year, he revealed.

Apart from F-16 fighters, the TNI-AU will also purchase a Hercules and CN2 9,000 aircraft and four radars, he added.

Putu Dunia said as the TNI-AU is entering a crucial phase of the 21st century, his body will modernise its primary weapons defence system and operational infrastructure while increasing personnel skills to face the challenges of a modern war.-VNA