This is based on the Command scenario Indonesian War: Air Battle Over Java. I did an after-action report of it, but figure it works as a Command Fiction as well.
Commonwealth forces have participated in airstrikes against a major Indonesian Air Force base. Six aircraft have been lost to enemy action. Damage appears to be major, with the airbase ceasing operations since the bombardment.
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Since the 1995 war, the two sides have adopted radically different lessons learned from the climactic battle over central Java. For the Commonwealth, especially Australia, the biggest was all-weather, high-altitude attack capability. From a military perspective, going flat-out even after taking casualties to AAA was essential to neutralizing the threat to the Commonwealth navy. Yet this would not always be a luxury they could afford, so the acquisition of JDAM-style munitions was an absolute must.
For Indonesia, the choice was harder. They chose land-based high-altitude SAMs. There was a practical reason for this-to counter an enemy that can fly at high altitude and hit targets accurately, you need obvious defenses. But there’s also politics. Despite being an archipelago, the Indonesian Army has historically been by far the most politically influential branch of the nation’s military-a situation compounded by it remaining intact and suffering relatively few casualties, while the air force and navy were shattered.
So a system that it could control appealed to the Army brass, which is why the major cities now boast S-300s protecting them. To the extent that they fit into a cart-before-the-horse strategy, it’s to inflict unacceptable losses on Australian attackers. Only now the threat comes from the PLAAF attacking from the north instead of Australia attacking from the south.
The TNI-AU has been rebuilt with a handful of modern fighters, while the navy has become a Philippines-esque shriveled wreck.
With relations improved to the point where a 20th anniversary commemoration was handled exceptionally well by both nations, it remains unclear whether the upgraded arsenals will clash again. But the Australians are getting ahead of the curve, acquiring standoff weapons to defeat the horizon-limited SAMs…