The Indonesian air force can only get about half its
aircraft into the air. That's partly because the United States has refused to
sell spare parts for the American aircraft that make up most of the air force.
But mainly, the air force is poorly run. The embargo lasted for six years,
because of human rights accusations against the military. Although the embargo
was lifted in 2005, Indonesia had already decided to look elsewhere for its
aircraft needs. The current spare parts shortage is more the result of
corruption in the air force procurement system, than because American suppliers
will not sell.
About 80 percent of the air force planes are airworthy. With a sufficient
supply of parts, and enough competent maintenance personnel, all could be in
the air. Most of the aircraft are helicopters and transports, which, when they
are flying, are working non-military runs most of the time. The new Russian
aircraft will come with a supply of spare parts. When those are gone, the
Russian aircraft will stay on the ground as well.