"This is the second contract for the procurement (of LIFT aircraft) and the continuation of cooperation with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI)," Chief of the Public Relations Bureau at the Defense Ministry's Secretariat Air First Marshal Penny Radjendra noted in a press statement released on Thursday.
According to Radjendra, the Defense Ministry had established cooperation with KAI that dated back to the year 2014.
Early in 2014, the Defense Ministry had, for the foremost instant, received 16 LIFT aircraft of the T-50 Golden Eagle type from KAI as the aircraft’s producer, Radjendra stated.
"To meet the Indonesian Air Force’s (TNI AU's) requirement (for such aircraft), in 2021, the Defense Ministry continued the cooperation with KAI by planning to procure six more T-50 fighter jets," he noted.
The planned procurement of six LIFT aircraft has been through the standard operating procedures by involving relevant ministries and government institutions, he remarked.
Radjendra explained that the planned procurement of aircraft had also prioritized the aspects of efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, and accountability, so that the objectivity of each phase of the procurement process can be accounted for.
"The procurement of six T-50 aircraft, manufactured by KAI of South Korea, is conducted by considering the optimum utilization of domestic components to support the development of domestic strategic industries," he stated.
Radjendra affirmed that the procurement of T-50 aircraft is also part of the Defense Ministry's efforts to meet TNI AU's strategic requirements.
"The effort is aimed at grooming reliable fighter pilots to maintain the sovereignty of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia spanning from Sabang (in the west) to Merauke (in the east)," he stated.