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International relations on a wing and a prayer, hopefully.

When one hands over one's Lockheed C130H series Hercules aircraft, one might hope for something nice in return.  Hopefully.

When one hands over four Lockheed C130H series Hercules aircraft, formerly part of the Royal Australian Air Force, to one's neighbour Indonesia, one might expect something by way of diplomatic reciprocity.   Hopefully.

"Hopefully", seems to be the sum total of Australia's expectation-setting from us signing an agreement to gift the planes to Indonesia.  One of the planes is ready to handover now -  "Ain't Misbehavin' in Vegas", the Hercules formerly known as "Ain't Misbehavin" (love to know what the boys got up to to have the "in Vegas" added - I know there are enough spies here to put the word out, there's a challenge!).

Australia's Ambassador Greg Moriaty signed an Agreement for Australia to hand over a further 3 Hercules aircraft.  He said, “Hopefully, with the signing of this agreement, the bilateral relations between the two countries can be tied closer."

You'd hope so, wouldn't you?

In November, 1978, along with the whole 33rd intake of Australian Army Apprentices from Balcombe Barracks, I flew from RAAF Point Cook to RAAF Amberley on the way to the Land Warfare Centre, Canungra.   We flew with 4 rows of webbing seating, blokes facing each other with knees interleaved and each of us with our SLR rifles between our legs.   The group of Hercules planes we're handing over was delivered in August/Sept 1978 to the RAAF, could well be one of those planes!

With all its shortcomings, Qantas is more comfortable.

Australia grants 4 military 
aircraft to Indonesia 

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Fri, July 19 2013, 11:35 PM


Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Greg Moriarty signed an agreement to grant four C-130 type Hercules aircraft to Indonesia, on Friday.

“One of the aircraft, with tail number A97-006, is ready to be delivered,” said Purnomo after the signing of ceremony at the Defense Ministry on Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat in Jakarta, as quoted by tempo.co.

Three other aircraft with tail numbers A97-001, A97-003 and A97-009 still need to be renovated before being delivered to Indonesia.

“After renovation, the three aircraft will be delivered in stages starting from October this year to December 2014,” said Purnomo.

The renovation and delivery of the aircraft cost Aus$63 million - a contract price between the Defense Ministry and a maintenance contractor appointed by the Australian government, Qantas Defence Services (QDS).

The signing of the agreement on the grant for the three military aircraft was warmly welcomed by the Australian government.

“Hopefully, with the signing of this agreement, the bilateral relations between the two countries can be tied closer,” said Ambassador Moriarty in his speech.

Read more here, hopefully.