Service of Skyhawk with Indonesia

Last revised November 8, 2001


In November of 1979, Indonesia purchased 14 surplus A-4E and two TA-4H Skyhawks from Israel for the Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Udara. They were assigned the TNI-AU serials of TT-0401 through TT-0414 for the A-4Es and TL-0415, TL-0416 for the TA-4Hs. The aircraft became operational in Number 11 Squadron (SkU11) at Hasanuddin Air Base near Ujung Pandang. The Skyhawks replaced Soviet aircraft that were aging and very largely idle because of the lack of spare parts.

Three years later (1982), an additional 16 surplus A-4Es were purchased directly from the U.S. After refurbishment at Indonesian expense, the latter Skyhawks became operational, beginning in 1985.  These planes were assigned to number 12 Squadron (SkU12) at Pekanbaru Air Base, Riau Province. The TNI-AU serials were TT-0431 through TT-0446.

As of November 1992, the Indonesian Air Force was operating 28 A-4E Skyhawks in the two squadrons. In 1996, all Indonesian Skyhawk operations were consolidated in SkU11 at Hasanuddin.

The territory of East Timor was absorbed by Indonesia during the late 1960s, but this was opposed by a long series of guerilla conflicts. Indonesian Skyhawks were active in action since 1982 in anti-guerilla operations in East Timor and in Papua New Guinea. Attrition has taken its toll and only a few of the A-4Es and TA-4Hs remain operational. By now, the tasks of the Indonesian A-4s have been taken over by BAe Hawks that were originally ordered in 1978.

Two additional TA-4Js were purchased from the USA in 1999 and, after upgrading in New Zealand, became operational in October of that year. The Skyhawks have a dual attack and reconnaissance role, and can carry VICON 70 or Minipan camera pods.

Sources:


  1. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Vol 1, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1988

  2. American Combat Planes, 3rd Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

  3. United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

  4. Douglas A-4 Skyhawk Variant Briefing: Part 2, Harry S. Gann, Wings of Fame, Vol 5, 1996.

  5. Skyhawk Association web site, www.skyhawk.org.

  6. Air Power Analysis Update--Indonesia, World Air Power Journal, Volume 28, Spring 1997.