The Indonesian Aerospace (IAe) has been producing MBB Bo-105 under license for several decades now. Some of these NBo-105, as the helicopter is known locally, were converted into armed helicopter in use with TNI-AD’s Army Aviation (PENERBAD). Suffice to say that NBo-105 has been produced in large numbers that the IAe has truly master the technology behind this type of helicopter.
TNI-AD’s PENERBAD has always seen the attack helicopter as force multiplier that supports its ground troops. Nevertheless, the Army has acquired 5 Mil Mi-35 Hind from Russia and has inducted them into Skadron 31. The operation of the Hinds has helped them to develop doctrine and tactics pertaining the utilisation of attack helicopter in combat hence in 2011, there has been plan to acquire up to 8 Boeing AH-64D Longbow Apache from the US. The Apache is no doubt, the most capable attack helicopter available today, but along with its state of the art capabilities comes the hefty price tag which has causes the Indonesian Government to postpone the plan to acquire them at least for several years.
True to the Indonesian ingenuity, the IAe has come up with its own local design of attack helicopter which is based from the dynamics of its locally produce NBo-105. The Bumblebee-001, as the attack helicopter proposal was known could be considered as a light attack helicopter with tandem seat configuration and armed with rockets and machine gun pod.
Later, IAe has come up with another concept design of Indonesian attack helicopter which utilises the dynamics of IAe NB-412, another helicopter which has been locally built in Indonesia which is based on Bell 412 helicopter. This new attack helicopter design, known as the Gandiwa (Rajuna’s bow) also incorporate tandem seat configuration but is more capable than the Bumblebee.
Powered by 2 Pratt and Whitney engines, it could reach the maximum speed of 140 knots with service ceiling of 2,000 feet. Projected weapon of the Gandiwa include M230 chain gun, Hydra 70 or CRV 7 rockets as well as Helffire missiles and Stinger missiles fitted on the four pylon stations on the stub wing.