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Indonesian Army Aviation Command
Pusat Penerbangan Angkatan Darat
Indonesian Army Aviation logo.png
logo of the Indonesian Army Aviation
Founded 14 November 1959
Country  Indonesia
Branch Lambang TNI AD.png Indonesian Army
Type Army aviation
Role Combat support
Size Five squadrons
Part of Central Executive Agencies
Garrison/HQ Semarang, Central Java
Motto(s) Wira Amur
Website http://puspenerbad-tniad.mil.id/
Commander Maj. Gen. Stephanus Tri Mulyono [1]
Ceremonial chief Brig. Gen. Eko Susetyo
Roundel insignia Roundel of Indonesia – Army Aviation.svg

The Indonesian Army Aviation Command (Bahasa Indonesia: Pusat Penerbangan Angkatan Darat) abbreviated Puspenerbad or simply Penerbad is the Army aviation unit of the Indonesian Army which has a means to support the combat mobility of the troops and also transport Infantrymen for Air assault operations. Penerbad is considered as an integral part mainly in cases of Air assault operations parallel to other Armament Corps of the Indonesian Army. Other additional tasks conducted by the unit can be implemented to support non-combat operations such as Search and rescue, Disaster relief, etc.

History[edit | edit source]

The Indonesian army aviation was born in 1959 when the doctrine of Heliborne Troops or Air Mobile was being developed in various circles. In Sarawak, the British SAS launched an air assault operation with Westland Wessex Mk.1 helicopter containing 16 personnel. During the Vietnam War, the US Air Force operated in the form of Air Cavalry by the 1st Cavalry Division and Sky Soldier by the 173rd Airborne Brigade using UH-1N Huey, UH-1 Iroquois and CH-47 Chinook helicopters supported by AH-1S attack helicopter Cobra and CH-54 Flying Crane. In Algeria, the French Army conducted a similar operation with Alouette-III.

When the Army Chief of Staff made a Decree on the establishment of the Army Aviation Detachment (Den Penerbad) on November 14, 1959 with the task of taking care of all activities concerning the field of organic army avition, at that time Den Penerbad did not have any aircraft at all. At that time the news was heard that Dr. AK. Gani DHC-2 Mk.1 Beaver's plane which was being overhauled in Singapore will be sold, then the army immediately bought it.

As a follow up, some officers including Captain Binjamin Hadi, Captain Burhan Ali and Captain Sukartono were sent to the United States to attend an aviator education at the US Army Aviation School in Fort Rucker, Alabama in 1959 followed by a second batch in 1962 consisting of Lieutenant Colonel Juono, Captain Dolf Latumahina, Captain Sudewo, Captain Daud Natawiyoga, 1st Lt T.M.F. Worang and several other officers.

Military operations[edit | edit source]

Indonesian Army - MBB (IPTN) NBO-105CB-4

The Beaver was the only aircraft owned by Den Penerbad which participated in Operation Trikora for the liberation of West Irian. In 1963 Den Penerbad received two Cessna L-19 aircraft in the framework of the US Military Assistant Program. Both planes were deployed in Operation Kilat for crushing Kahar Muzakkar's rebellion in South and Southeast Sulawesi in 1964. The L-19 was not only used for surveillance but also carried out air-fire with AK-47 assault rifles.

Indonesian Army Aviation helicopters training in Natuna Island, Riau Island

In line with the development of the Armed Forces ahead of the West Irian Liberation Struggle and during the confrontation of Malaysia, Indonesia received military equipment from the Eastern Bloc, among which 15 Mil Mi-4 Hound helicopters of Soviet aid to Penerbad. In early 1965, the helicopter was transported to Indonesia by Antonov An-12 plane, then assembled by the Air Force technicians at Husein Sastranegara Airport, Bandung. The Air force technicians also assembled a giant Mil Mi-6Hook helicopter at the Halim Perdanakusuma AFB, Jakarta.

An AH-64E Apache Guardian of the US Army and a Mi-35 Attack Helicopter from the 31st Squadron, Indonesian Army Aviation, take off for a flight together during an attack/reconnaissance training mission in Semarang, Indonesia during Garuda Shield

The Mi-4, which has a capacity of 14 people and armed with a 12.7 mm DShK-machine gun, was widely used to support G-30S crushing operations in Central Java in 1965-1966. In addition, 2 Mil Mi-4 helicopters were also operated to quell the remains of the G-30S, the Sarawak Guerrilla People's Force and the North Kalimantan People's Forces in West Kalimantan in 1966-1968.

The G-30S crackdown resulted in a halt in the supply of spare parts from the Eastern bloc state. In 1972, the entire Mi-4 belonging to the Penerbad was declared grounded and removed. As the supply of Mi-4 spare parts began to become rare, the joint Indonesian-Malaysian operation in the communist crackdown on the border areas of the two countries was supported by three of the seven Alouette-III helicopters purchased from France via Hankam in 1970, with an 8th arriving in 1975.

In Operation Flamboyan (limited combat intelligence) in East Timor prior to the start of Operation Seroja on 7 December 1975, Puspenerbad was deployed with three Alouette-III helicopters. In 1976 Puspenerbad raised NBO-10CB-powered NBO-10 Detachment made up of the nationally produced planes from Indonesian Aerospace with a Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander added to the fleet the year after. In performing its duties, Puspenerbad provides combat assistance as well as administrative assistance in the form of logistical transportation and air medical evacuation. The aid was greatly beneficial to the troops who were maneuvering in the field.

In the mid-1990s Puspenerbad was reinforced by several Bell-205A-1 and NBell 412 helicopters. Puspenerbad was withdrawn from East Timor in the last days, when the TNI and Brimob left the province in September 1999. In Irian Jaya, Puspenerbad supported Marthin Tabu's crackdown operation in 1977 and the release of hostages of the Lorentz research team captured by the Kelly Kwalik mob in Mapenduma in 1996.

In Aceh, Puspenerbad deployed its aircraft to provide combat support as well as administrative assistance to ground troops to support the Police who were carrying out the task of enforcing law and order as a result of the Free Aceh Movement rebellion under the leadership of Hasan Tiro until 2006. Today the IAAC is also active in the ongoing battle against Islamic insurgents in the Celebes provinces.

Squadrons[edit | edit source]

Puspenerbad currently has five squadrons and one training center, which are:

  • 11th Squadron/Assault (Semarang, Central Java)
  • 12th Squadron/Assault (Waytuba, Lampung)
  • 13th Squadron/Assault (Berau, East Kalimantan)
  • 21st Squadron/Sena (Pondok Cabe, South Tangerang, Banten)
  • 31st Squadron/Assault (Semarang, Central Java)
  • Army Aviation Corps Training center (Pusdik Penerbad) located at Semarang, Central Java

Airbases[edit | edit source]

  1. Army Airbase Ahmad Yani, at Semarang
  2. Army Airbase Pondok Cabe, at South Tangerang
  3. Army Airbase Gatot Subroto, at Way Kanan regency, Lampung

Commanders[edit | edit source]

  • Brigadier General Poltak MP. Sidabutar (2002 - 2009)
  • Brigadier General Arifin Seman (2009-2010)
  • Brigadier General Nabris Haska (2011-2012)
  • Brigadier General Mochamad Wachju Rijanto (2012-2013)
  • Brigadier General Moch. Afifuddin, S.E., M.M. (2013-2014)
  • Brigadir General Benny Susianto, S.Ip. (2014-2016)
  • Major General Suko Pranoto (2016-2017)
  • Major General Besar Harto Karyawan (2017-2018)
  • Major General Stephanus Tri Mulyono (2018–present)

Equipment[edit | edit source]

Aircraft Origin Role Versions In service Note
CASA C-212 Aviocar  Spain Maritime Patrol & Tactical Transport NC-212-200 4 Manufactured under license by Indonesian Aerospace
MBB BO 105  Germany Utility/Assault gunship NBO-105 30
Mil Mi-17 Hip-H  Russia Utility Mi-35 Hind-F 16
Mil Mi-35 Hind  Russia Assault gunship Mi-35 Hind-F 8
Bell 412  Canada
United States
Utility/Assault gunship Bell 412

Bell 412SP

Bell 412EP[2]




Manufactured under license by Indonesian Aerospace
Airbus Helicopters Fennec  France
light attack helicopters 12 (6 single-engine dan 6 twin-engine, untuk diserahkan 2016)[3]
Boeing AH-64 Apache United States attack helicopters AH-64E 8 (delivery finished February 2018)[4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Mayjen Besar Harto Jadi Pangdam Siliwangi Gantikan Doni Monardo". 19 March 2018. https://news.detik.com/berita/d-3924272/mayjen-besar-harto-jadi-pangdam-siliwangi-gantikan-doni-monardo?. 
  2. "PT. DI, Serahkan 4 Helikopter BELL-412ep" Website defense-studies.blogspot.com
  3. "Indonesian Army receives the first helicopter Fennec", www.strategic-bureau.com, 10 November 2014
  4. Ellis Taylor, "Boeing awarded Indonesian Apache contract", www.flightglobal.com, 27 Januari 2015

External links[edit | edit source]

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