Riau airbase to be reinforced with 16 units of F-16 jet fighters

Riau airbase to be reinforced with 16 units of F-16 jet fighters

The Roesmin Nurjadin Airbase in Pekanbaru, Riau, is to receive 16 units of US-made F-16 Fighting Falcons jet fighters this year to strengthen military defences in the country's west, especially the island of Sumatra.

Airbase commander Col. Muhammad Khiril Lubis said in Pekanbaru on Thursday that the airbase would be supplied with five units of F-16 jet fighters from the Defence Ministry next month.

"We will receive the five jet fighters in May," Antara news agency quoted him as saying.

He added that the airbase was currently home to five units of F-16 jet fighters and 16 units of British-made Hawk 100 and 200 ground attack aircraft.

Lubis said the airbase would receive a further six units of F-16 bombers from the ministry by the end of this year.

The airbase's reinforcement with the operation of two squadrons of bombers is in line with the government's plan to upgrade the airbase's status to Type A from the current Type B.

He went on that with the airbase's reinforcement required not only new warplanes and a sophisticated arsenal, but also professional soldiers skilled in operating and maintaining the modern military technology.

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