Lockheed Martin F-16V Event, Jakarta

Remarks by Ambassador Blake at the Lockheed Martin F-16V Event, Jakarta

Good afternoon everyone. Thanks to Lockheed Martin for the invitation to attend this event today to demonstrate the F-16 cockpit simulator

The U.S. and Indonesia have a strong and growing partnership that the visit of President Jokowi to Washington will clearly demonstrate.

One pillar of our relations is our strong defense ties.

We have a strong shared interest in regional security, stability, and safety.

The U.S. and Indonesian militaries are working together to build bilateral and regional capacity to respond to common security threats, such as piracy.  We are also boosting cooperation on issues such as humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, maritime security, and international peacekeeping.

The United States military greatly values its strong and growing security cooperation with the Indonesian Armed Forces.

In addition to helping Indonesia achieve its defense modernization goals through improved access to both training and equipment, the United States and is proud to be Indonesia’s top partner in annual exercises, training, and other bilateral engagements.

As part of this defense modernization effort, the Government of Indonesia is considering the purchase of newest generation F-16 airplanes from the U.S.:  the F-16 VIPER.

The Indonesian military has a long history of flying American-made F-16 airplanes. The F-16 VIPER, the model we’re all talking about here today, is the latest in a long line of high quality aircraft the United States has decided to offer to Indonesia. Indonesia would be the first and only country to have the F-16 VIPER in its fleet in the world.

The F-16 platform is a proven aircraft.

The F-16 VIPER can be fitted with a suite of advanced systems to detect, deter, and engage at very long range.

The aircraft is uniquely suited to Indonesia’s stated goals of greater maritime domain awareness.  The advanced radar system can pick out ships in difficult marine conditions to help combat IUU fishing, illegal logging and incursions into Indonesian territory.

Operating the F-16 VIPER is also cost effective.  F-16s are both reliable and highly efficient, meaning they not only cost roughly 30% less to operate per flight hour than competitors, but they can fly longer before requiring routine scheduled maintenance.

Defense cooperation not only with the United States, but with other militaries in the region, is a critical component to promoting safety, security, and stability in Southeast Asia.

Interoperability is the cornerstone of effective defense cooperation, and F-16 VIPER’s not only take advantage of Indonesia’s own familiarity with the F-16 platform.  Many of Indonesia’s regional defense partners fly F-16s, which translates directly into stronger and more effective regional cooperation, and more opportunities for joint exercises and training with a greater diversity of counterparts.

As we continue to grow our security cooperation with our Indonesian partners, we want to help ensure they have the right tools to achieve their stated goals, in this and other important areas of bilateral cooperation.

We look forward to continuing to build our relationship under President Jokowi’s and President Obama’s leadership, including through supporting his vision for Indonesian maritime security capabilities

With that, I’ll turn it over to our hosts for the remainder of the program.

As prepared.