Indonesia has formally received into service the first Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters that arrived in-country in late 2017.
An acceptance ceremony for the first three of eight helicopters on order was held at the Army Aviation Centre (Puspenerbad) at Lanud Ahmad Yani Semarang in central Java on 16 May, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced. The country’s defence minister, Ryamizard Ryacudu, attended.
The Indonesian Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Darat: TNI-AD) will fly the Apache alongside the Russian-built Mil Mi-35 assault helicopters it received from 2003. With Apache deliveries set to be concluded by the end of the year, the TNI-AD will fly four from the Natuna Islands, which are located on Indonesia’s maritime borders with Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam at the southern tip of the South China Sea. While Indonesia does not claim ownership of the South China Sea islands, Beijing’s ‘nine-dotted line’ claim overlaps with Jakarta’s push for its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Natuna islands region.