Indonesian Ministry of Defence orders two Airbus A400Ms

New airlift aircraft for Indonesia to be delivered in multirole tanker and transport configuration.

Anita Hawser
18 November 2021
New order from Indonesia expands the A400M's footprint in Asia-Pacific (Photo courtesy of Airbus)



Airbus has secured orders for two additional Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) for the UAE's Air Force, and a new export order for two A400M new generation airlifters from the Indonesian Ministry of Defence at the Dubai Air Show.

The contract, which will become effective in 2022, will bring the total number of A400M operators to 10 countries. The agreement includes a complete maintenance and training support package. A Letter of Intent was also signed for the future acquisition of four additional A400M aircraft.

”This new order will further expand the A400M footprint in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. “The A400M offers outstanding capabilities to Indonesia,  providing  its Air Force with the perfect platform to deliver large and heavy loads into remote areas  and  multiplying its air-power projection thanks to reliable aerial refuelling capabilities.”

Capable of operating from rough and short runways, the A400M will strengthen the Indonesian Air Force’s  airlift capabilities to rapidly respond to any crisis, demonstrated in the aftermath of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck the country in 2018.The A400M was the first large airlifter able to deliver heavy loads like fuel trucks and excavators as well as food, clothes and medical supplies using a damaged and short runway in Palu (Central Sulawesi, Indonesia).

“The A400M is a truly multi-role platform and will greatly enhance the Indonesian Air Force’s tactical air-to-air capabilities,” Indonesia's Minister of Defence, Prabowo Subianto, stated. “This aircraft will play a key role in other key missions including paratrooping and heavy cargo transportation.

The minister stated that Indonesia is  looking at additional A400M acquisitions in the near term, with future A400M developments such as firefighting being an important capability it is exploring jointly with Airbus. “The A400M will become a national asset and the cornerstone for Human Assistance and Disaster Response missions, beyond its tactical and air-to-air capabilities,” he stated.

The A400M can carry heavy and outsize loads across strategic distances, deliver them into tactical locations, while offering the added aerial refuelling capability.

With the ability to fly fast and at high and extremely low altitudes, the A400M is the ideal platform for refuelling fighter and other major aircraft by means of two underwing refuelling pods.

Its built-in air-to-air refuelling capability allows rapid reconfiguration as a tanker, making it easily adaptable to changing operational scenarios and missions. This adaptability is unique to the A400M, which can be refuelled in flight.