School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS)

Companion to East Timor

Indonesian aircraft

The Indonesian Air Force was poorly equipped because the Sukarno government had acquired most aircraft from Soviet Bloc countries. When the Suharto government came to power, the USSR suspended its military assistance, causing a sharp decline in the effectiveness of the air force. The most important aircraft were the C-130 (Hercules), which provided most of the air transport, and the OV-10 (Bronco), which provided Indonesia's ground-attack and close air support capabilities. The air force was hampered by relatively low technical proficiency. Military assistance from Australia and the US helped to improve its effectiveness in the war against East Timor.