Indonesian, U.S. Jets Face Off Near Java

From Times Wire Services

In a tense encounter above the Java Sea, U.S. fighter planes locked their missiles on Indonesian warplanes deployed to intercept them, an Indonesian air force official said Friday.

Rear Air Marshal Wresnowiro said air force radar detected the F-18 Hornets maneuvering over Bawean Island off the northern coast of Java island Thursday. He didn’t say how many American planes there were.

Two Indonesian F-16 fighter jets intercepted the U.S. planes and warned them that they were in Indonesian airspace, he said. Communication was established and the incident resolved.


“It was tense as the F-18 planes went into attack positions,” said Wresnowiro, who goes by a single name. “They adopted an attack maneuver and had their missiles locked on our planes, ready to fire.”

Wresnowiro said the U.S. planes were guarding an aircraft carrier, two frigates and a tanker traveling in the area.

The naval convoy had sought permission from the Indonesian government, he said, “but our bureaucracy is too slow to pass the security clearance.”

Wresnowiro said Indonesia was considering whether to send the United States a complaint.

A U.S. Embassy spokeswoman said officials were looking into the report.