F-16 Reference

3rd Skadron Udara ( TNIAU)


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3 SkU ( TNIAU)
Version: F-16A/B/C/D block 15/25
Role: Air Defense, Attack
Tailband: N/A
Motto: Sarang Naga (The dragon’s nest)
Badge: An F-16 on top of the Indonesian flag.

Sideways profile for 3 SkU in 2009.

F-16 History

Operations on the F-16 started with the squadron in 1989 after the delivery of all 12 aircraft were completed. The primary role of the squadron is air defence, while ground attack is the secondary task. All aircraft were delivered in the Operational Capability Upgrade (OCU) standard giving them some capacities of the later C/D models, including the upgraded F100-PW-220 engine with digital controls, provisions for the AIM-120 and AGM-65 missiles. The latter have been carried over the years, while the AMRAAM missile was never adopted.

In 1999 the TNI-AU began upgrading its F-16s with the ‘Falcon-Up’ program to have an 8000 hour lifespan available to them. Since the late nineties however, serviceability of the aircraft has been low since the delivery of spare parts from the US was halted on several occasions, with only a small number of aircraft being available at any time.

Indonesian viper with typical camouflage scheme [TNIAU photo]

Indonesian F-16s have had their share of different camouflage schemes over the years. The original colour scheme was a three-tone blue-grey camouflage. This was changed in 2000 to a grey-green camouflage being called the ‘Millennium scheme’.

Within the squadron a aerobatic tradition existed which was continued with the delivery of the F-16. The first team to erect was called ‘Elang Biru’ (Blue Falcon). They started flying demonstrations in 1995. The colour scheme of the participating aircraft was changed to bright blue and yellow in 1996. The team was disbanded in 1998, but in 2001 a new team was formed under the name ‘Jupiter Blue’. Instead of a solitary F-16 unit, this time the team consisted from the F-16, Hawk MK-53 and Hawk Mk.109.

In 2014 the first of 24 second-hand aircraft purchased from the USAF started arrivinf in Indonesia. Before their dedicated squadron - the 16th - was established, these aircraft were first inducted into the squadron. In the end only 18 of these airframes are meant to go to the new squadron with the remaining 6 staying with the 3rd squadron to augment the 10 remaining A/B models. TO bring all these airframes to the same standard, plans are in place to give these older airframes the MLU update, but a final timing nor budget hasn't been decided yet.

TNI-AU F-16A block 15 #TS-1611 is returning from a mission. [Photo by Alex Sidharta]

Aircraft Markings History

1989 - 1996

The scheme consisted out of a three-tone blue-grey camouflage. No unit insigna or country insigna were displayed on the aircraft.

1996 - 2000

During this period the complete Indonesian F-16 fleet was painted with the Elang Biru scheme. This scheme had a blue base color on the tail with a yellow band running across it. The serial number was applied in the center with the Indonesian flag on top.

2000 - present

A new grey-green camouflage scheme was introduced called the 'Millennium scheme'. The serial number is displayed in the center of the tail with a red markings on top, being from the 3rd Wing.

Unit History

  • 1951: Activation of the squadron in Tjililitan
  • 1951: P-51D/K 'Mustang'
  • 1958: P-51D/K 'Mustang' (Abdulrachman Saleh AB)
  • 1960: P-51D/K 'Mustang' (part of 3 Wing)
  • 1976: OV-10F 'Bronco'
  • 1989: F-16A/B 'Fighting Falcon' (Iswahjudi AB)
  • 2014: F-16C/D 'Fighting Falcon' (simultaneous)

F-16 Airframe Inventory


Special Thanks

Alex Sidharta

Errors and Omissions

Oct 06, 2023 - 10:10 AM
Additional Info

Since 2020, the 3rd Sku operated F-16AM/BM (upgraded F-16A/B) with grey color scheme

Feb 04, 2024 - 05:05 AM
Color Scheme

1. Incorrect image for '2000 - present'

in the photo is 'Elang Biru' color scheme, not the green-grey color scheme

2. since 2020, F-16A/Bs were upgraded to AM/BM and uses the 3 tone grey scheme, the green-grey scheme is still used by the F-16C/Ds

Feb 04, 2024 - 05:07 AM
F-16C/D no longer in service with this unit

Since september 2022, all F-16C/D on this unit were moved to the 14th Air Squadron in the sambe AFB, the 3rd SQN will only fly the upgraded F-16AM/BM


Feb 04, 2024 - 05:10 AM

the motto for this SQN is "Uruvikrama Ghataka"

or "Valiant and Deadly" in english

'Dragon' or 'Dragon's nest' or 'Sarang Naga' is nickname, NOT motto

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