State-owned aircraft manufacturer, PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PT DI), and the Defense Ministry have signed a contract to purchase eight H225M Cougar helicopters and nine Bell 412EPI helicopters. The deal is estimated to be worth USD 330 million and USD 183 million respectively. The Cougar helicopters are a product of cooperation between PT DI and Airbus Helicopters, France. Bell helicopters is sourced from Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., Canada.
The procurement was made under the discretion of President Joko Widodo to be used for natural disaster management. The Cougar helicopter will be used as transportation for Indonesian Air Force in disaster affected areas, meanwhile the Bell helicopters will be given to the Indonesian Army Force. The procurement of the Cougar helicopters is to be completed within 24 months, while the Bell helicopters are going to take 36 months in consideration of limited production capacity of the company of 10 units per year.
Subsequently, the ministry is looking to acquire a special aircraft to address forest fires. The purchase is expected to be carried out this year.