Indonesia has added a total of 16 new T 50i Golden Eagle fighter jets to its air force.
The Indonesian Ministry of Defense has handed over a squadron of the fighter jets to the Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU) in the presence of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro.
Korean Aerospace built 16 T 50i Golden Eagle fighter jets for the air force under a $400m deal signed on 25 May 2011.
The new fighter jets have been designed to replace Hawk MK53 at the 15th Air Squadron at Iswahyudi airbase in Madiun, East Java, as combat trainers.
The T 50i Golden Eagle, which is similar to the fourth generation of planes such as the FA-50 fighter, measures 43ft in length with a wing span of 31ft and a height of 16ft.
The new fighter, which has the option to equip air radar later, can carry out all kinds of operation missions day and night.
The air force intends to use the modern aircraft to train young TNI AU pilots to lead the country’s front line fighters such as F-16 C/D, Sukhoi 27/30 and K/IFX.
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TNI AU staff chief Marshal Ida Bagus Putu Dunia said that TNI AU has been proud to secure the sophisticated aircraft from the government.
"The aircraft will later be operated at Iswahyudi airbase in Madiun, East Java, to replace MK53 that has been operated since 1980," Dunia said.