Monday, February 6, 2012

Welcome aboard: A number of the KRI Nenggala’s crew members stand on the ship’s deck as it arrives at the Navy's Eastern Fleet (Koarmatim) headquarters in Surabaya, East Java on Monday. The submarine just underwent an overhaul at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in Okpo, South Korea. (Photo: Antara/M Risyal Hidayat)

February 6 2012, Surabaya: The capabilities of Indonesian submarines are now on par with those fielded by neighboring countries after undergoing an overhaul in South Korea, Navy chief of staff Adm. Soeparno said Monday.

He was speaking at a ceremony welcoming the return of KRI Nanggala 402, which had been undergoing an overhaul process for the past 24 months by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in Busan, South Korea.

Made in 1981 by German shipbuilder Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in Kiel, the Type 209/1300 KRI Nanggala was the second submarine after being overhauled at DSME facilities after KRI Cakra 401 was overhauled in 2006.

“With the completion of the overhaul, now the capabilities of our submarines are on par with submarines deployed by our neighbors,” Soeparno told reporters after the ceremony at the Navy Eastern Fleet Command pier in Surabaya.

Malaysia has two French-made Scorpene class submarines. Singapore operates four Challenger-class submarines and two Archer-class submarines that were acquired from the Swedish Navy. Australia operates six Collins-class submarines that were built under cooperation with Sweden. Australia will modernize its submarine fleet by building 12 new larger submarines still in cooperation with Sweden. Vietnam will begin to receive four Russian-made Kilo class submarines from 2015.

During the overhaul process, KRI Nanggala was undergoing a retrofit, including replacing the upper structure from bow to stern, some parts of the propulsion system, sonar, radar, weapons system and combat management system (CMS).

KRI Nanggala can now submerge to a depth of 257-meters with a top speed of 25 knots, increasing from 21.5 knots.

Commanded by Lt. Col. Purwanto, the submarine has a complement of 50 personnel, including a special force unit for infiltration.

The implementation of the latest CMS allows the submarine to simultaneously fire four wire-guided surface underwater torpedoes (SUTs) in a salvo at four different targets. The 1,395-ton submarine can also fire eight torpedoes at the same time if needed. The CMS upgrade also allows the submarine to launch sub-missiles at surface or air targets.

“There are several types of missiles that can be launched, including Harpoon, Exocet, SUT or other types,” said Col. Tunggul Suropati, former taskforce chief from the Cakra-Nanggala overhaul in South Korea.

The Defense Ministry and DSME had signed a contract to procure three submarines worth about US$1.1 billion. The first two submarines will be manufactured in Busan, while the third at state shipyard PT PAL facilities in Surabaya through a transfer-of-technology mechanism. Indonesian engineers will also be involved in the production of the first two submarines.

Source: the Jakarta Post

Sunday, February 5, 2012

RI Navy's Submarine Returning From S Korea After Repair

KRI Nanggala-402. (Photo: Kaskus)

February 5 2012, Jakarta: The Indonesian Navy's submarine "KRI Nanggala-402" has arrived in Indonesian waters after undergoing a comprehensive repair for two years in South Korea, an navy officer said.

"KRI Nanggala which is expected to dock at Ujung Surabaya pier of the Navy's Eastern Fleet Command on Monday has probably arrived in Java Sea," the Navy's Spokesman Commodore Untung Soropati said here on Sunday.

He said KRI Nanggala will officially be welcomed by Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Soeparno and Chairman of the House of Representatives (DPR)'s Commission I Mahfudz Siddiq.

Like 'KRI Cakra-401', KRI Nanggala also underwent a total repair at South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Okpo.

The return of KRI Nanggala-402, a German made submarine, type U-209/1300 built in 1981, will reinforce the combat fleet of the country's Navy as a submarine arsenal along with KRI Cakri-401.

Source: Antara Bali

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tanks for sale but nobody can have them

Leopard 2. (Photo: KMW)

January 31 2012: But what the government wants to earn snapping the sale of old Armament. Only properly to those countries that want our tanks, the Chamber will not lose them.

Overcome Sales Tanks

Dust to dust flies next to a rolling Leopard 2A6 main battle tank on a picture in a brochure of Defense. For 119 of these tanks is the cabinet-like Rutte euros cheer. Potential buyers have already been reported, but it's not that simple. Take Indonesia. Both under the cheese cover and in the country's 245 million inhabitants, this debate erupted.

The Jungle

What should an archipelago with many jungles with such heavy tanks - a tank weighs as much as fifty Volkswagen Golfs - MPs want to know. Even more worrying our MPs to human rights. Papuans, the original inhabitants of New Guinea, should it suffer. Late last year were twelve deaths and hundreds of people arrested in riots. According to human rights organizations are still sentences to 20 years imprisonment, based on old Dutch colonial laws. To include SP, PvdA and Christian Union GroenLinks reason not to sell tanks. The PVV see that in a country where 86 percent is Muslim, not sitting.

But where should it go Dutch cast-offs? For years, saw no objection Netherlands to deliver tanks to Saudi Arabia and armored vehicles to Egypt and Bahrain, but now sees a majority in Parliament that would not sit. And even in countries like Yemen and Turkmenistan are "pretty strong reservations.

No wonder, because on 14 February, exactly a year ago that the Netherlands embarrassed by images of vehicles in the uprisings of the Arab Spring that suspiciously resembled the old Dutch Band radios. In response to parliamentary questions from Green MP Arjan El Fassed, was Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal recognize that the Netherlands' surplus defense materiel has repeatedly delivered to Bahrain. "There were also 35 M-113 and 25-YPR armored vehicles to" know the VVD minister.

Large Supplier

"In Egypt, when Maspero incident where in October of 27 deaths, tracked vehicles are used," says Christian Union MP CU. Fat chance that there were in our cast-offs. Netherlands are large supplier of armored tracked vehicles. Alone to Egypt between 1996 and 2006 there were over a thousand sold. Together with the Dutch treasury Bahrain Egypt spekte above 200 million euros.

The same amount would now Indonesia for the tanks have been reserved. And those pennies can Defence Minister Hans Hillen, who must cut 1 billion euros, or use it, even put a CDA-minister his "morality" for the side. PvdA MP Martijn van Dam, who was unsuccessfully attempted delivery of tanks to Egypt to stop: "The countries that want to buy tanks, we do not give. Look at the countries which we have made, there are few democratic countries. "

Source: Depers

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Indonesia Has Decided to Buy 60 BMP-3F

BMP-3F Indonesia marine corps. (Photo: Indonesia Navy)

January 30 2012, Moskow: Indonesia has decided to buy a floating armored vehicles, abandoned by the Russian military

Kurgan sell Indonesian infantry fighting vehicles (BMP-3F), who refuses to buy the Russian Defense Ministry. As told "Izvestia" a source in the military-industrial complex, in the next two years to Asian countries will take about 60 cars worth more than $ 100 million

The exact parameters of the deal, according to a representative of Rosoboronexport, including her final amount will be determined by February 10 at the time of signing the contract. But before the end of this year, Indonesia will receive at least 20 cars.

At the Kurgan explained that Indonesians will collect a separate party of BMP-3F, able to withstand a three-point storm.

- Cars will be completely out of Russian components. The only thing that there will not be produced in Russia - the Belarusian weapons guidance system, - said the representative of the plant.

According to him, the Indonesians have chosen one of the most complete sets of simple machines. However, even in this scenario the driver gets a broad overview of the BMP and the shooter may conduct aimed fire at all times. Thus the representative of the Kurgan explained that the Russian troops last delivery of BMP-3 was in 2010 - since the Defense Ministry does not buy these cars.

In 2010, then-Deputy Defense Minister for Armaments, Vladimir Popovkin, who now heads the Federal Space Agency, has publicly criticized the BMP, calling them "coffins" in which "nobody wants to go." These words have cost Russia a contract with Greece for 420 cars and provoked a strong criticism of the leadership of the country, including from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The cost of supplies was estimated at $ 1.5 billion

As told "Izvestia" a source in the military and political circles, the Greek military has lost interest in the Russian track car, but revised the terms of the contract. In which way have changed the conditions of the contract, the source said is difficult.

- In Greece, exchanged a few ministers of defense, but negotiations continue. The Greeks have carried out additional testing of the BMP-3, and again assessed the value of the contract - the source said.

In addition to the Greek interest in the BMP-3 showed some countries in Africa and Latin America, particularly Venezuela.

According to the head of analytical department of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis Alexander Khramchikhin, the refusal of the Ministry of Defence BMP was logical and clear:

- The concept of BMPs obsolete. The machine has a weak defense of mine, as well as protection from the sides of the RPG and small arms bullets from small distances. In addition, BMP-3 is poorly designed layout of the troop compartment - infantryman awkward to get out of the car.

Chief Editor of "Arsenal" Victor Murakhovski contrast, said that the BMP-3 is in great interest abroad.

- The United Arab Emirates BMP-3 is involved in the tender along with American and British Bradley Warrior. As a result, the UAE military chose BMP-3. Now Emirates 700 Russian vehicles - an example Murakhovski.

According to him, BMP-3 was designed for large-scale battles and is not intended to patrol dangerous areas. Most of the deaths of soldiers in it was due to the disruption in home-made land mines. At the same time the men were traveling on top - on the armor of BMPs to control the environment around the road.

Source: Izvestia

Monday, January 30, 2012

Indonesian military seeks to boost weaponry, skill to face more challenges

MBT T-90S. (Photo:

January 30 2012, Jakarta: Indonesian military has attempted to modernize its weaponry that will put it a par with neighboring countries and boosted skills of personal as the challenges to be faced in the future.

Indonesia has had ten Sukhoi jet fighters and aimed to receive two others each year by 2014 and several F16 war planes, but many others weaponry had been aging. The government had added the task of the military to deter terrorism along with police. Besides, transnational crimes and separatism in Papua still threatened the country.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has said that the government sought to purchase military equipment from European countries suffering from the economic crisis and may want to trim their weaponry, from which the president expected Indonesia could buy them cheaper.

Negotiations had been done and as many as to the countries by the army for the purchase, Army Chief of Staff General Pramono Edhie Wibowo has said. The army chief of staff said that about 14 trillion rupiah (some 1.54 billion U.S. dollars) had been allocated for the plan for 2011 and 2012.

Among the equipment to be bought were tanks, helicopters for combat and transport, anti-war plane equipment and others, said Wibowo.

"We have made a priority. We will buy the weaponry simultaneously, and we expect that all the equipment that we need can be purchased by 2014," he said.

The general said that Indonesian army's equipment were outdated and their quality was behind neighboring countries over the last two decades.

The country also wanted to buy 100 Germany-made Leopard 26-A tanks from Dutch as the negotiation had been completed by both sides, but it was still opposed by both parliaments, Indonesian Military Commander Admiral Agus Suhartono said.

But, the admiral said that there were many other options should the plan was failure, one of them was the Russian-made T-90 tank.

T-90 tank has been developed from T-72 tank which is the most modern tank at the Russian navy and army. The tank is classified to equal with the Germany-made Leaopard 2A6 tank and 2A7 tank. "In purchasing weaponry, we will see which is the best among the option we have," said Suhartono.

On personal skill, Indonesian army aimed at boosted intelligence capability and professionalism through education and training. "We aim to increase the capability of intelligent unit in a bid to boost supervision, particularly on terrorism across the nation, " the army chief of staff said.

Indonesian security authority have taken prevention effort against the militants in the country after it had been hit by a series of major suicide bombings since 2000, including the Bali in 2002 and 2005, Australian embassy blast in 2004, JW. Marriot Hotel explosion in 2003 and the twin luxurious hotel blast in Jakarta in 2009.

Recently, the militants had turn to small-scale strikes that killed dozens of people and divided the jihad movement into many smaller cells.

On Monday, Indonesian military, conducted an integrated anti terror drill in Jakarta and Bandung of West Java for three days.

The drill was aimed at synchronizing the command between anti terror squads operated by Indonesian army, navy and air forces in case a terror attack takes place, the TNI Commander Admiral Agus Suhartono said. "We have seen arms conflicts deemed to astray the security in Papua and Aceh. Besides that, there were also moves from certain groups aimed at inviting restless among the public," he said.

Source: XINHUA

Indonesian military defends plan to buy Dutch tanks

Leopard 2. (Photo: KMW)

January 30 2012, Jakarta: Indonesian Military Commander Agus Suhartono on Monday defended the military plan to purchase 100 Leopard tanks from the Netherlands saying that the tanks could not be produced by local firm while the army badly needed such weaponry to boost strength.

The plan was made as the Indonesian military seeks to modernize its weaponry to make them in par with the strength of neighboring countries.

The commander said that the military would abort the plan should the weapon could be produced by an Indonesian company.

"If we can make the tank by ourselves, we will purchase it from the domestic firm, but if we do not, we should cooperate with other countries," said Suhartono.

Some lawmakers had expressed their disagreement to purchase Leopard tanks because they do not conform with the geographical condition of Indonesia.

"The tanks have met the requirement, the specification needed by our military. We will meet what our army requires," Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said.

Indonesia had hoped to buy the tanks from Netherlands with lower prices as the country was trimming its budget for weaponry that might lead it to reduce its military equipment.

Indonesian army had been also negotiating with several countries in Europe on weaponry purchase, Army Chief of Staff General Pramono Edhie Wibowo said.

Indonesia has allocated about 14 trillion rupiah (some 1.54 billion U.S. dollars) to support the weaponry modernization plan for 2011 and 2012, he said.

Terrorism and separatist movements are among the main threats being faced by the Indonesian army.

Source: XINHUA

Military organizes antiterrorism drill

(Photo: Antara News)

January 31 2012, Bandung: In anticipation of a growing number of social conflicts, the Indonesian Military (TNI) is organizing an antiterrorism drill to help soldiers build synergy among different military units.

In his opening speech, military chief Adm. Agus Suhartono predicted in the near future national security would become more complicated.

“The drill is expected to build teamwork among members of the different forces,” the military chief’s operational assistant Hambali Hanafiah said, reading out the written speech of the military chief in a ceremony at the Sulaiman Airbase in Bandung, West Java, on Monday.

The military chief cited some armed conflicts in Papua and Aceh that had disrupted public security and order. Given the security condition, he said, the Indonesian military had to anticipate threats to national unity.

The antiterrorism drill involved of the military special forces such as the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus)’s antiterrorism unit, the Navy’s Jalamangkaran detachment and the Air Force’s Bravo-90 detachment, Antara reported.

The antiterrorism drill started Monday at the Halim Perdanakusuma airbase in Jakarta and will be continued at Husein Sastranegara airbase in Bandung on the second and third day.

Source: the Jakarta Post

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Indonesia Exports Armored Vehicles to Malaysia

Anoa. (Photo: Berita HanKam)

January 28 2012, Banjarmasin: Head of the Indonesian Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) Marzan A Iskandar said his agency in cooperation with weapons maker PT Pindad was ready to export armored vehicles to Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam.

"BPPT and PT Pindad are cooperating in the production of armored vehicles to be exported to Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam," Marzan said here on Friday.

He said that his side was also concentrating on modernizing the combat equipment of the Indonesian Army (TNI-AD) to replace its old equipment. The BPPT chief added that his agency had now almost finished 150 armored vehicles to replace the TNI-AD’s old combat equipment.

"Not only armored vehicles, the BPPT is now also able to produce explosive materials that can replace the imports."

Source: KOMPAS

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Indonesian Air Force Procures Eight More Fighter Aircrafts

Super Tucano. (Photo: Embraer)

January 27 2012, Yogyakarta: Eight fighter aircraft will be bought from Russia and Brazil in the near future to complement the main weaponry system of the Indonesian Air Force, the force’s chief, Air Marshal Imam Sufaat, said here Thursday.

"The eight fighter aircraft will consist of four Sukhois from Russia and four Super Tucanos from Brazil. The eight new aircraft will arrive in Indonesia in 2012-2014," he said.

According to Marshal Imam Sufaat, at a later stage of the procurement for major weaponry systems (defense equipment) the Air Force until 2024 will also buy six units of Sukhoi fighter aircraft, Super Tucano 16 units, T-50 from South Korea 16 units, and F-16 30 units.

"With this procurement of defense equipment the Indonesia Air Force in 2024 will have 180 combat aircraft. It is an effort of the Air Force to build its strength as well as modernizing and regenerating the defense equipment owned today."

The Marshal said many planes owned by the Indonesia Air Force is now aging at average of 30 years, so they needed rejuvenation. If they are replaced the treatment cost will be very high since there were some aircraft spare parts that are not provided because the factories that produced the aircrafts are no longer operating.

"Although some of the aircraft were not able to function optimally, we have maximized the combat aircraft to secure the territory of Indonesia from outside threats. It was also supported by the addition of defense equipment needed based on the calculation of aircraft and the number of runaway that can operate the combat aircraft," the Marshal Imam explained.

Source: KOMPAS

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Indonesia bid to buy tanks under rare scrutiny

Leopard 2 Bundeswehr. (Photo: Bundeswehr)

January 26 2012, Jakarta: Indonesia’s ambition to modernize its ageing military hardware at a time when its economy is powering ahead has hit a temporary roadblock from an unlikely quarter: its MPs.

The parliamentary commission overseeing defense and foreign affairs, which has tended to be supportive of such ventures, was this week sharply critical of the army’s proposals to buy 100 secondhand Leopard tanks from the Netherlands.

At a hearing on Tuesday, its members grilled Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and military chiefs on whether the Dutch were serious about the sale, if enough was being done for the country’s sea and air defenses, and whether the large German-made tanks — which many Asian countries already have — were really the best buy for the sprawling archipelago’s defense needs.

They were also concerned that the purchase would hinder efforts to develop Indonesia’s own defense industry.

“These tanks that weigh 60 tonnes are not suited for Indonesia’s terrain, 70 percent of which is sea,” said Susaningtyas Kertapati of the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), who added that many of the roads were in too poor a shape to accommodate the weight of the tanks.

Commission deputy chairman Tubagus Hasanuddin took a more nuanced line, saying: “There is no question that we need main battle tanks. What we need to study, though, is whether the Leopard is the best item for our needs.”

In response to the barrage of fire, armed forces (TNI) commander Agus Suhartono stressed that the proposals to buy 100 Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks — for which $280 million had been allocated — were just that for the moment.

“It is not a final decision,” he said. “There are many other tanks that are also under consideration.”

The latest debate comes a week after Purnomo unveiled plans to modernize the country’s military hardware following a decade of relative restraint in its spending.

But the planned purchase of the Leopard tanks from the Netherlands, which bought them 10 years ago, is unique in that the Dutch insisted it would strictly be a government-to-government arrangement, and that no middlemen, fees or commissions would be involved, army chief of staff Pramono Edhie Wibowo said last month.

On Tuesday, Lieutenant-General Pramono noted that negotiations with the sellers were ongoing, and that the Dutch government had given the assurance that it would see to the sale if the Indonesians were willing.

Some Dutch MPs have pressured their government not to sell the tanks to Indonesia for fear that they will be misused, citing the military’s checkered past and continuing concerns over its role in human rights violations.

Lieutenant-General Pramono said the Leopards would be Indonesia’s first main battle tanks, and having them would allow its own defense industry to benefit from technology transfers.

The purchase would also help support Indonesia’s joint military exercises with neighboring countries, which have largely welcomed the planned purchases, he added, citing Singapore as an example.

“Indonesia is one of a few countries in Asia that do not have the Leopard,” he said, citing East Timor and Papua New Guinea as countries without such a tank. Singapore has some 100 Leopard 2A4 tanks.

Last year, Indonesia’s military purchases included six Su-30 Sukhoi fighter aircraft from Russia, three submarines and 16 T-50 Golden Eagle fighter aircraft from South Korea, and eight Embraer counter-insurgency aircraft from Brazil.

Its equipment list for this year — main battle tanks aside — includes multiple launch rocket systems, assault and attack helicopters, fast patrol boats and a guided-missile destroyer, as well as grants of 24 F-16s from the United States and four C-130s from Australia.

Noted defense group Jane’s in a recent report: “There is a strong will in Indonesia to deter future threats to its abundant energy resources, and to protect itself from natural disasters and terrorism.”

The matter is likely to come up for discussion again in a few months’ time.

Tubagus, who is from the Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle, told The Straits Times: “It is clear that the purchase of the Leopard is not finalized yet.

“Ideally, we should look to buy medium tanks first so we can produce good ones of our own suited to our conditions,” he said. “After that, say from 2014, we can then talk about main battle tanks.”

Source: the Straits Times

Indonesia Military Powers Up

Indonesian Marines take cover during a beach assault exercise at Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands as part of this year's Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2008 exercise. RIMPAC is the world's largest multinational exercise and is scheduled biennially by the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Participants include the United States, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Netherlands, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Paul D. Honnick (Released)

January 18 2012:On Monday, Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, flanked by the country’s military leadership, announced that after 10 years of frugality on the part of the military designed to give precedence to political reform, the country was now entering an intensive period of military procurement. Coming from many countries, such talk would sound reckless, if not dangerous. But coming from Indonesia, it should be welcomed.

Purnomo also spelled out his 2012 wish list, which includes tanks, multiple launch rocket systems, a guided missile destroyer, and retrofits for ex-U.S. F-16s and ex-Australian C-130 transport planes. And much more new equipment is to follow before the end of President Yudhoyono’s term in 2015, not least three new South Korean submarines.

For the first time in recent memory, the Indonesian defense ministry has money in its pocket. Announcing the acquisition of an additional six Su-30 Sukhoi fighter aircraft over the weekend, Purnomo could be heard to boast: “Our economy is very strong and we have a defense budget of Rp 150 trillion [$16.3 billion].” While that figure represents a multi-year procurement budget, Purnomo is right to feel flush. In December, the government decided to revise the defense allocation upwards, giving defense a 53 percent year-on-year increase. That presents Jakarta with a 2012 defense budget of $7.9 billion – a total that should finally bring the defense budget above the 1 percent of GDP mark (just).

It has long been the stated aim of the Yudyohono administration to elevate defense spending to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2015. Analysts have often speculated that the government lacks the political will to make that happen, but the huge 2012 budget hike means that this goal is now attainable. Allocating 1.5 percent of GDP to defense in 2015 would yield a defense budget in the $14 to 15 billion range, assuming the Indonesian economy continues to grow at 6 percent to 7 percent annually. That means that Jakarta now needs to grow its defense budget by 20 percent to 25 percent in 2013, 2014 and 2015 to reach its target – which is doable, so long as the wider economy stays healthy. And since the Indonesian economy is exceptionally well insulated against global shocks, continued growth is likely.

The numbers are highly significant, because a Southeast Asia in which Indonesia has a $15 billion defense budget starts to look like a very different place. It would see Indonesia overtake Singapore as the region’s biggest military spender, and leave others like Malaysia and Thailand trailing a long way behind. Since Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s biggest country by far, its neighbors will hopefully look on this as a natural development and not try to compete – which they would in any case struggle to do. So long as Indonesia remains on its current trajectory of democratic consolidation, and it remains the hub of the ASEAN community, its emergence as a military power shouldn’t destabilize the region.

Indonesia’s rise is naturally attracting attention. China’s Defence Minister, Gen. Liang Guanglie, met the Indonesian ambassador on Monday, in an encounter that Xinhua described under the headline “China, Indonesia eye for [sic] closer military links.” But mainly it’s China that’s keen to foster closer military ties with Indonesia. Apart from a joint Sino-Indonesian missile production program initiated in early 2011, China is yet to find a significant role in Indonesia’s rise to strategic prominence. While Australia, the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea and the United States are now actively all involved in the re-equipping of the Indonesian armed forces – often on terms that are quite favorable to Jakarta – China has made few inroads. Its offer of JF-17 fighters, for example, doesn’t appear to have aroused much enthusiasm among the Indonesians.

Indonesia’s military modernization won’t be without its setbacks: already, attempts to buy Dutch Leopard 2 tanks have become bogged down in parliament. But with no shortage of friends, and adequate levels of defense funding for the first time in well over a decade, Indonesia seems close to standing up as a regional power. Furthermore, by maintaining a friendly distance from both China and the United States, as Jakarta seems determined to do, it can once again become a leader of non-aligned countries, and an anchor of stability in the Asia-Pacific.

Trefor Moss is an independent journalist based in Hong Kong. He covers Asian politics, defence and security, and was Asia-Pacific Editor at Jane’s Defence Weekly until 2009.

Source: the Diplomat

Navy Helicopter Makes Emergency Landing In Tegal

(Photo: ANTARA/Oky Lukmansyah/ss/pd/12)

January 25 2012, Tegal, Central Java: A navy helicopter made an emergency landing in a field in Padaharja, Kramat sub-district, Tegal, Central Java, on Wednesday because of bad weather.

The pilot of the HU-417 helicopter of Squadron 400 said he had to make the emergency landing because visibility was too low.

"Visibility was only 10 meters so it would have been dangerous if we continued the flight," he said.

He said he was on the way from Surabaya in East Java to Jakarta when suddenly the weather turned bad and winds were very strong at around 12.30 hours.

He said he should have landed in Jakarta by now as the flight by helicopter would only take around 3.5 hours.

"But because of the bad weather we had to stop the journey and landed in Tegal." He had landed in Semarang before because of rain and for refueling.

Tegal navy base commander Lt. Col Frich Flack said this was the second incident.

"Initially we did not know that a helicopter had landed in Kramat because there was no information from the central command. I have suggested they would fly on Thursday while waiting for the weather to clear up," he said.

Source: ANTARA Bali

Indonesia’s Submarine Play

KRI Cakra-401, Indonesia submarine. (Photo: DID)

January 19 2012: The latest $ 1.1 billion contract for three Type-209/1400 diesel-electric submarines looks set to breathe new life into the Indonesian Navy (Tentera Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut or TNI-AL). It represents the third major TNI-AL purchase after the acquisition of new corvettes and landing ships since 2000 and has also been described as a move to “maintain power balance in the region,” prompting various analysts to attribute the purchase to Jakarta’s attempt to play regional submarine “catch-up.”

For more than three decades, TNI-AL operated two German-built Type-209 submarines. However, many deem them insufficient for Indonesia’s wide array of maritime security needs given its vast archipelagic expanse.

As far as the TNI-AL is concerned, the minimum required capabilities are circumscribed by the Defense Strategic Plan 2024, which called for at least 10 submarines. Even back during the early Cold War years, the TNI-AL’s fleet of Soviet-supplied Whiskey-class submarines were barely sufficient. Assuming mandated needs for routine maintenance and training cycles, only one Type-209 boat is available at all times. This submarine force will most likely be stretched to its limits in times of crisis.

Still, the pair of submarines does offer a modicum of “fleet-in-being” deterrent against potential foes considering decades of experience gleaned by TNI-AL’s submarine crews and their familiarity with the Indonesian archipelagic environment, which will certainly be exploited to maximize the deterrent effects of this tiny force. It isn’t presumptuous to assume that the two Type-209s have already completed a major portion of their useful operational lifespan notwithstanding recent refurbishment. The new submarines may partially replace and eventually substitute the existing pair, thus leaving the TNI-AL with only three operational boats by end of 2025.

Such a force is still small and barely sufficient for Indonesia’s needs. In contrast, Vietnam, also with a significant coastal geography, will be able to muster six submarines once its Russian-built Kilo Project-636 boats become operational before 2020. Singapore, with a considerably smaller coast to cover, will probably muster four submarines assuming that the ageing ex-Swedish Sjöormen-class is retired and then supplanted by the newly-inducted Västergotlands.

From a technical perspective, the newly-acquired Type-209/1400s were far from what an earlier TNI-AL chief once promised back in 2009, namely to be “more superior” to those possessed by neighboring navies. Even though they sold the Type-209 to Indonesia, the South Koreans no longer rely on this class, which is now gradually being supplanted by the more advanced Sohn Won-Il class (Project KSS-2) which is a modified German Type-214 variant. Therefore, the Type-209/1400 represents little incremental capability over existing Type-209 models.

Moreover, the new boats aren’t known to be equipped with “breakthrough” capabilities that may otherwise tip the balance of naval power in Southeast Asia. For instance, there’s no provision known for air-independent propulsion that can prolong endurance underwater as in the case with Singapore’s Västergotlands. Even if TNI-AL’s new boats can utilize submerged-launch anti-ship cruise missiles, this capability is not new, given that Malaysia’s Scorpene-class submarines are already outfitted with the SM-39 Exocet. The Vietnamese Kilos, meanwhile, are reported to be armed with Russian-designed Klub-S missiles.

In sum, quantitatively and qualitatively, TNI-AL’s newest submarine purchase may not significantly affect the regional balance of naval power. However, this acquisition reflects an unprecedented expansion of the regional submarine inventory. From a maritime security and safety point of view, this still warrants concern.

On the one hand, the confined Southeast Asian maritime geography – characterized by semi- enclosed and narrow water-bodies – makes for excellent submarine operations (though it’s a headache for anti-submarine hunters). On the other hand, this provides an ideal recipe for potential incidents, inadvertent or otherwise. Virtually all submarines operated by regional navies are equipped with signal intelligence capabilities and this amplifies the risk of naval incidents at sea with potential security ramifications. This is especially so given sensitivities over longstanding maritime-related disputes.

Moreover, regional submarine rescue capacity is far from adequate considering the numbers of submarines in or about to enter service. To date, only Singapore can muster a full-fledged submarine rescue capability in the form of the Swift Rescue submarine rescue vessel and its DSAR-6 submersible. Currently, the Malaysian and Indonesian navies don’t possess equivalent capabilities and their ongoing modernization programs don’t appear to include the acquisition of such.

By comparison, most Northeast Asian submarine operators possess relatively significant submarine emergency response capabilities. Japan, for instance, possesses dedicated, specialized capabilities for complex submarine rescue operations. Even the antiquated North Korean Navy possesses a Kowan-class catamaran-hulled rescue ship equipped with a rudimentary diving bell for its force of over 20 operational combat submarines.

Southeast Asian countries can leverage an earlier agreement from late last year to bolster regional naval cooperation by considering collective submarine emergency response capacity-building. Given the operational sensitivities of national submarine activities, confidence-building measures such as zonal restrictions on submarine operations aren’t likely to materialize. However, collaboration in submarine emergency response offers an alternative avenue. In this regard, Singapore can play a leading role in planting the seed for such a capacity in Southeast Asia.

One way to do so is to pool submarine emergency response capacity and devise regional protocols to deal with contingencies related to submarine incidents. However, no regional cooperation can wholly substitute capacity-building at the national level. Existing submarine operators and aspirants should ensure that such capacity is prudently developed in parallel with the introduction of submarine capabilities. As it stands, while Southeast Asian navies are busily seeking an underwater combat capability, most if not all of them appear to have neglected this crucial issue.

Koh Swee Lean Collin is an associate research fellow in the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies, a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Source: the Diplomat

Monday, January 23, 2012

Indonesia targets broader supply base amid sanctions concern

BMP-3F Indonesia Marines. (Foto: Indonesia Marine Corps)

January 20 2012: Indonesia's senior military commander has vowed to encourage the government to continue diversifying its suppliers of materiel in light of concerns that sanctions might be imposed on the country over allegations of human rights abuses.

Admiral Agus Suhartono, the commander-in-chief of the Indonesian National Armed Forces (Tentara Nasional Indonesia - TNI), said in comments published by state-run news agency Antara on 18 January that the TNI remains aware that procurement plans could be restricted by the possibility of a military embargo being imposed on the country. In recent months Washington has restated its concern about human rights in Indonesia.

"A possible embargo has always been a reason for the TNI to feel worried when it wants to procure weapons from overseas," said Suhartono. "We, as users, always study what will meet our needs and which country [the equipment can] be acquired from. Only after [confirmation that we can purchase the equipment] will we do it through a contract."

Source: Janes

Saturday, January 21, 2012

RI could build MBT if technology was available

MBT Leopard 2A4 SAF. (Photo: Mindef)

January 20 2012, Jakarta: Indonesia could build its own main battle tank (MBT) if the country could acquire sufficient knowledge, Deputy for Science and Technology Relevance and Productivity at the Research and Technology Ministry, Teguh Rahardjo said on Friday in Subang, West Java.

The Indonesian Army’s plan to buy some 100 surplus, German-made Leopard 2A6 MBTs worth some US$280 million from the Dutch has drawn criticism from politicians and observers saying the government should have acquired such tanks from state-owned arms maker PT Pindad.

“The purchase of Leopard MBTs is an opportunity for researchers to learn how to improve their capabilities,” he said as quoted by Antara news agency. “The Leopard’s technical specifications such as in accuracy of fire are extremely advanced.” He added that Indonesia so far had only acquired the technology to make wheeled armored personnel carriers but not tracked tanks which could overcome various difficult terrains.

The Dutch army is abolishing its heavy armored divisions in defense budget cutbacks to cope with the prolonged economic crisis.

Teguh said his ministry was ready to help PT Pindad to assess and develop the technology used in the Leopard tank. “If this is to become a technology transfer program that will be developed nationally, we are aiming to master it in the next five to 10 years,” he said. “But of course it will depend on the readiness of the weapons and engine-producing industries.” He said it had been quite a long time since the Indonesian Military (TNI) had replaced its aging and obsolete tanks.

The Defense Ministry expects to sign the contract for the Leopard MBTs in the first half of this year despite strong opposition from several quarters including both Indonesian and Dutch parliamentarians.

Source: the Jakarta Post

Russian excursion

January 21 2012, Jakarta: A naval officer explains parts of anti-submarine warship Admiral Panteleev to students at Jamrud Utara Port in Surabaya, East Java, on Saturday. Besides the Admiral Panteleev, two other ships, the Fotiy Krylov and the Boris Butomo, docked at the port as part of a joint military drill with the Indonesian Navy. (JP/Indra Harsaputra).

Source: the Jakarta Post

German leopards with Indonesian spots

Leopard 2A6 Bundeswehr. (Photo: Bundeswehr)

December 17 2012: The four-hour meeting at the Hilton Hotel, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, at the end of September was the first sign that the Indonesian Army's wish to own heavy-body main battle tanks would materialize soon. The team headed by Army Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Budiman has the important job; to bring home the main battle tanks type Leopard 2A6.

A Tempo source who was in the meeting said that Jo Fick, Head of Marketing and Sales of the Dutch Defence Ministry, was very enthusiastic in explaining his major weapon system sales plan. "Jo Fick offered quite a lot that time," he said.

In addition to battle tanks, the Netherlands also wants to sell off its F-16 fighter jets, Fokker 50 planes and Cheetah armored vehicles. However, the discussion finally focused on the purchase of Leopard 2A6 tanks in line with the offer made by the Dutch government to the Indonesian government last July.

The Dutch government is indeed in the process of reducing its weapons as required by the EU. Offered in their letter of last July were 150 units type 2A6 Leopard tanks complete with maintenance service and ammunition.

Budiman said that an agreement has been reached with the Dutch Defense Ministry at the meeting to realize the transaction soon. However the Dutch government has one important demand; the transaction is to be made between the governments without brokers. "We agreed to it right away," related Budiman. "This is in line with the instruction from General Pramono Edhie Wibowo (Army Chief of Staff).

Pramono confirmed this. "We want to eliminate the role of broker from the weapons deal," he stressed to Tempo, Thursday two weeks ago.

As a main battle tank, the Leopard has long been the Indonesian Army's dream weapon. Main battle tanks (MBT) are usually used by cavalry units. "Just imagine, all this time, our cavalry units never owned a heavy tank," quipped Pramono Edhie. Currently the army owns 100 units of Scorpion tanks manufactured in the 1980s. Scorpion is a British-made lightweight tank. In the meantime, neighbor Malaysia owns 48 units of Ukraine-made T-91 MBT and Singapore 196 units of Leopard 2A4.

The brother-in-law of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono continued that the army decided on Leopard after taking into consideration technicality and superiority. He considers Leopard the best battle tank in the world. "It is being used in 15 countries," Pramono elaborated.

Although they are secondhand tanks, Budiman ascertained that the tanks are in good condition. "They have never been used in war or serious training," he assured. The tanks purchased by the Dutch government in 2003 are well maintained in a hanger.

Budiman stressed that the purchase transaction is almost complete although they are still negotiating the price. "We are almost reaching an agreement on the price," he informed. He expects the tanks to arrive in Indonesia next year.

The Tempo source added that this was the first time in a decade that a foreign arms purchase is made without the involvement of brokers. Consequently, the deal will likely face rejection at the domestic front. "There are talks that old players who usually brokered arms deals are visiting the House (DPR)," he said.

Coincidentally, criticism began to emerge from Senayan. Salim Mengga, of the House Defense Commission of argued that Leopard was not suitable for Indonesian geographical conditions. "The heavyweight Leopard is not suitable for the landscape full of hills, rivers and lakes," remarked Salim, Wednesday two weeks ago.

Budiman rebutted this. "I've already tried Leopard. Fuel efficiency and mobility are its best characteristics. Even Abrams (the US-made tank) could not match it," he maintained. When necessary, the tank can even pass through a tree by smashing it at high speed.

Bridges in rural areas may not be strong enough for the tanks, "But Leopards can submerge underwater up to 100 meters," he added.

The 62.5-ton weight of the tank indeed attracted criticism lest bridges and overpasses in Jakarta not withstand it. However, according to Pramono Edhie, there is no ground for such fear. "I've already checked with the road developers and was assured it would not be a problem," he claimed.

The commander of Cavalry Weapon Headquarters, Brigadier-General Purwadi Mukson explained that the tank tracks measure 0.6-0.8 meters in width and 5.8-6 meters in length. If the tank's weight is divided by the two front measurements the pressure it produces is not more than 1 kilogram per square centimeter. "The maximum pressure is just 7.64 tons per square meter or 0.764 kg per square centimeter," he elaborated.

The army plans to keep all 100 units on Java island. A senior army official disclosed that 38 tanks will be stationed in the Regional Military Command and the rest will be allocated to the battalion cavalries at the Army Strategic Reserves Command in Jakarta, Malang and Pasuruan, and for training use in Baturaja and Padalarang. "Meanwhile the old tanks will be moved to Bengkayang, West Kalimantan and Bulungan, East Kalimantan," he concluded.

Leopard 2A6

- Weight: 62.5 ton
- Maximum speed: 68 km/h
- Power: 1,500 HP
- Total production: 832 units

Anti-airstrike weapon:
- 4,700 bullets of 7.62 caliber
- 360-degree rotation
- Remote control weapon system (RCWS)

Arms and ammunition:
120 mm caliber gun, L55 smoothbore barrel, complete with DM11 capability equipment

Type of ammunition:
DM33, DM38/48, DM12, DM18, DM53A1, DM63, DM11, DM58, DM31

Commander's brake:
A newly developed control system to ensure the tank can be stopped by the commander of the tank in case of emergency.
RCWS: Use anti-airstrike weapon controlled by joystick and optronic visual sensor.
DM11 capability: Latest sophisticated high explosive with the concept where explosion can be programmed in line with desired distance and height.

Source: Asia Views

Friday, January 20, 2012

Indonesia plans to buy 100 Leopard tanks from Netherlands

MBT Leopard 2A6 Bundeswehr. (Photo: Bundeswehr)

January 20 2012, Jakarta: Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said on Friday that the governments of Indonesia and Netherlands have completed talks on Indonesia's plan to buy 100 Leopard tanks from Netherlands and are waiting for approvals from respective parliaments.

The plan was made as the Indonesian military seeks to modernize its weaponry to make them in par with the strength of neighboring countries.

The defense minister said that the Leopard tank 2A6 was suitable with the specification of weaponry needed by the Indonesian army.

"The tanks have met the requirement, the specification needed by our military. We will meet what our army requires," Yusgiantoro said.

Nevertheless, both governments of Indonesia and Netherlands had to convince their parliaments which seemed to oppose the plan.

Several Indonesian lawmakers have said that the tanks were not suitable with the geography of Indonesia, while the parliament in Netherlands voiced concern that the tanks could be used for military operation against human rights by Indonesian military.

Minister Yusgaintoro said that his ministry was to discuss the plan with the parliament in a hearing on Tuesday.

"A hearing with lawmakers on Commission One (in charge of politics and defense) in parliament building on Tuesday is discussing about the purchase plan," he said at the police academy here.

Indonesian military has sought to buy weaponry with higher quality and lower prices. Indonesia had expected to be able to buy the tanks from Netherlands with lower prices as the country was trimming its budget for weaponry that might lead it to reduce its military equipment.

Indonesian army had been also negotiating with several countries in Europe on weaponry purchase, Army Chief of Staff General Pramono Edhie Wibowo said.Indonesia has allocated about 14 trillion rupiah (some 1.54 billion U.S. dollars) to support the weaponry modernization plan for 2011 and 2012, he said.
Among the equipment to be bought were tanks, helicopters for combat and transport, anti-war plane equipment and others, said Wibowo.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has said that the government sought to purchase military equipment from European countries suffering from the economic crisis and might want to trim their weaponry, from which the president expected Indonesia could buy them at cheaper prices.

Terrorism and separatist movements are among the main threats being faced by the Indonesian army.

Source: Xinhua

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.(Foto: abror/

January 20, 2012, Jakarta: Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Friday asked military officers to better understand international laws, and take a peaceful solution as their first choice in resolving conflict with other countries. "Please carry out standard of operation well. The procedure is well accepted in any country," President Yudhoyono said at the Police Academy here.

The president made the statement after the military was criticized for its handling of conflicts and problems in some remote areas in the vast archipelago country, such as Papua.

While rejected the criticism, Yudhoyono asked the military to safeguard the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Indonesia peacefully settled the three-decade insurgency and integrated the rebels into the local community in the northern tip of Sumatra island of Aceh in August 2007 thanks to the assistance of international community.

However, the separatist free Papua movement, known as OPM ( Organisasi Papua Merdeka), still poses a threat to the government as the group has often targeted civilians, workers and facility of U.S. mining giant PT Freeport in Papua that killed dozens of people.

On the level of ASEAN, President Yudhoyono asked the military officer to comply with the Treaty and Committee Cooperation that put dialogue on priority.

"The point is that should there be a conflict in the region we are obligated to settle it peacefully. That is the main idea of ASEAN. And it has been supported by other ASEAN member countries and other countries," said Yudhoyono.

Nevertheless, the president said that it did not mean that the military must give up military means.

Source: Xinhua

RI could build MBT if technology was available

Leopard 2A4 Singapore Army. (Photo: Mindef)

January 20 2012, Jakarta: Indonesia could build its own main battle tank (MBT) if the country could acquire sufficient knowledge, Deputy for Science and Technology Relevance and Productivity at the Research and Technology Ministry, Teguh Rahardjo said on Friday in Subang, West Java.

The Indonesian Army’s plan to buy some 100 surplus, German-made Leopard 2A6 MBTs worth some US$280 million from the Dutch has drawn criticism from politicians and observers saying the government should have acquired such tanks from state-owned arms maker PT Pindad.

“The purchase of Leopard MBTs is an opportunity for researchers to learn how to improve their capabilities,” he said as quoted by Antara news agency.

“The Leopard’s technical specifications such as in accuracy of fire are extremely advanced.”
He added that Indonesia so far had only acquired the technology to make wheeled armored personnel carriers but not tracked tanks which could overcome various difficult terrains.

The Dutch army is abolishing its heavy armored divisions in defense budget cutbacks to cope with the prolonged economic crisis.

Teguh said his ministry was ready to help PT Pindad to assess and develop the technology used in the Leopard tank.

“If this is to become a technology transfer program that will be developed nationally, we are aiming to master it in the next five to 10 years,” he said.

“But of course it will depend on the readiness of the weapons and engine-producing industries.”
He said it had been quite a long time since the Indonesian Military (TNI) had replaced its aging and obsolete tanks.

The Defense Ministry expects to sign the contract for the Leopard MBTs in the first half of this year despite strong opposition from several quarters including both Indonesian and Dutch parliamentarians.

Source: the Jakarta Post

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Indonesia firm delivers new patrol plane

CN235 MPA Indonesia Air Force. (Photo: Indonesia Air Force)

January 19 2012, Jakarta: The third of four CN-235 maritime patrol aircraft by PT Dirgantara Indonesia has been delivered to the South Korean coast guard.

The CN-235 is a twin-engine turboprop. It has a range of more than 3,100 miles, a cruise speed of 157 mph and is outfitted with a tactical computer system and tactical navigation.

The aircraft is 70 feet in length and weighs about 21,000 pounds.

"The delivery of another aircraft to the government of South Korea once again shows that the confidence of other nations in PTDI is still going strong," PTDI said. "This confidence will be maintained continuously, to allow PTDI to obtain subsequent contracts not only from the South Korean government but also from customers who require an aircraft of the size of the CN-235.

"Aircraft deliveries are also proving to the world that Indonesian workers are able to provide their contribution to the nation and to the state by using his work to meet the requirements of other nations throughout the world."

The first two aircraft were delivered to South Korea last May under a $94 million contract. PTDI said the fourth will be delivered during the first quarter of this year.

Source: Latin Business Today

Navy expects new submarine by 2015

Chang Bogo submarine. (Photo: US Navy)

January 20 2012, Jakarta: Navy chief Admiral Soeparno has said the first of three submarines built in South Korea will be finished by 2015. He said the procurement contract had been signed by officials from the Indonesian Defense Ministry and South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding Marine Engineering in December.

“The first submarine will be completed by 2015,” he said on the sidelines of military leaders meeting at the Indonesian Military (TNI) headquarters on Wednesday.

Soeparno said the first submarine would completely be built in South Korea while the two others would be a joint production by Indonesians and South Koreans.

Earlier, Deputy Defense Minister Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin said the contract mentions that there will be a transfer of technology in the construction of the submarines. “Indonesian shipbuilding company PT PAL will send 50 technicians to South Korea,” the former Jakarta military commander said.

In the construction of the second submarine, he said, the Indonesian technicians are expected to have played roles.

Source: the Jakarta Post

Three Russian Warships Arrive In Surabaya

RFS Admiral Pantelev. (Photo: Indonesia Navy)

January 20 2012, Denpasar: Three Russian warships, namely the Admiral Panteleev, Fotiy Krylov and Boris Butoma, have arrived at Surabaya's Tanjung Perak seaport, according to a press release issued by the Indonesian Navy's 5th Main Base here Thursday.

On hand at the port to greet the three Russian warships were Russian Embassy officials and senior officers of the Indonesian Navy's 5th Main Base in Surabaya and a group of typically Surabaya Remo dancers.

The purpose of the three Russian warships' visit to Indonesia was to strengthen the relations between the two countries, in addition to carrying out joint exercises with the Indonesian Navy.

All the three warships would stay in Surabaya for four days from January 19 to 22 to conduct a series of activities.

On the agenda of the Russian warships crew during their visit in Surabaya were a courtesy call on the commander of the Indonesian Navy's 5th Main Base, receiving Indonesian Navy officers on board the Admiral Pantelev, a meeting with the mayor of Surabaya, and sports matches with members of the Indonesian Navy's Eastern Fleet Command.

The Admiral Pantelev is a battle ship with anti-submarine weapons, the Fotiy Krylov a rescue tug boat and the Boris Butoma a marine tank vessel.

Col Maman Firmansyah, operations assistant to the commander of the Indonesian Navy's 5th Main Base, said the Indonesian Navy welcomed the three Russian warships' visit. During their sail through the Malacca Strait up to the Port of Tanjung Perak , the Russian naval flotilla was escorted by an Indonesian warship. "When they depart, we will also escort the three Russian war ships up to the Indonesian sea border," he said.

Last January 18, the Russian defense attaché, Colonel Vladimir Fedorovich Afasenkov, visited the Indonesian Navy's 5th Main Base Headquarters in Surabaya to coordinate about the expected arrival of Russian warships.

Source: Antara Bali

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

TNI looking to join war on terror

January 19 2012, Jakarta: The Indonesian Military (TNI) said that it would not be making quick decisions on whether to deploy its personnel to join the nation’s fight against terrorism. TNI chief Adm. Agus Suhartono said a joint team from the military, the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) and the National Police was now working on the details of the standard operation procedure that would allow military personnel to join the fight against terror.

“We are still completing the procedure. We want to make sure that when we finally deploy our personnel we will not violate any laws or regulations,” Agus said in a press briefing at TNI headquarters in Cilangkap, East Jakarta, on Wednesday.

Agus, however, maintained that to date, the military had been involved in preventive measures and had conducted early detections in relation to possible terrorist activities throughout the country.

In a speech made during the 66th anniversary of the TNI, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that it should join the counterterrorism effort. The TNI could have a greater role in the fight against terrorism with the endorsement of the National Security Bill, which may give the TNI broader authorities relating to the realm of counterterrorism.

But as the House of Representatives was dragging its feet on the bill’s deliberation, it would take a while before the TNI could join the effort.

In a statement published on Jan. 9, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said a larger role for the TNI in the fight against terrorism “was not a good idea”. “However logical it may seem on the surface, the TNI is now almost 10 years out of date in understanding the nature of the terrorist threat,” said Sidney Jones, senior advisor with ICG’s Southeast Asia office.

Jones further said that without specialized knowledge of how extremist groups function in Indonesia today, the TNI’s involvement will bring no added value to the fight against terrorism.

“It is more likely to bring confusion, competition and duplication of effort,” she said in the statement.

The draft of a revision to the existing Counterterrorism Law made available to The Jakarta Post was expected to boost the power of the nation’s law enforcers to act in countering terrorism in its infancy and also to prevent radical movements from growing and inciting violence.

A draft from the Law and Human Rights Ministry revealed several key articles that may help counterterrorism officers launch preemptive measures.

One of the key points stipulates the prosecution of any individual who incites hatred that then compels followers to commit violence. If proven in a court of law, the individual would face a prison sentence of between five and 12 years.

Security expert from the University of Indonesia, Andi Widjajanto, said that the proposal in the draft could yield opposition from civil society groups because of the proposal’s potential for limiting civil liberties. “It has the potential to violate freedom of speech and freedom of assembly,” he said.

“On the detention issue for example, I learned that the revision proposes a longer detention period from only seven days detention without legal assistance to 120 days,” he said.

Separately, Eva Kusuma Sundari, a member of the House’s Commission III on legal affairs and laws, human rights and security, said that lawmakers had not yet prioritized the revision of the anti-terrorism law.

“We are currently deliberating the Child Protection bill and the Corruption Eradication Commission bill,” she said.

Source: the Jakarta Post

Russia's Pacific Fleet Task Force Pays Visit to Indonesia

RFS Admiral Panteleyev visited to Indonesia (27-29/5/2011). (Photo: Mikhail Tsyganov)

January 19 2012, Moskow: A Pacific Fleet task force led by the Admiral Panteleyev destroyer docked at the Indonesian port of Surabaya on Thursday, the fleet’s spokesman said.

The Admiral Panteleyev destroyer, accompanied by the Fotiy Krylov salvage tug and the Boris Butoma tanker, are paying a friendly visit to the Indonesian port city of Surabaya on return to their home port in Vladivostok from an anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden.

The spokesman said that during the visit the officers and sailors of the warships will meet with their Indonesian colleagues and tour the city.

During its four-month anti-piracy mission, which ended on January 15, the ship escorted a number of convoys of civil vessels through pirate-infested waters off the Horn of Africa. The Russian Navy has maintained a presence off the Horn of Africa since October 2008, with warships operating on a rotation basis.

Source: RIA Novosti

Korea eyes tenfold growth in defense exports

T-50. (Photo: KAI)

January 16 2012, Seoul: As the global economy continues to struggle, countries around the world are increasingly seeking to tighten military spending.

Top officials at the state-run Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), however, see it rather as an opportunity for South Korea to increase its global market share in the defense industry.

In fact, the country last year exported a record amount of defense goods worth $2.4 billion as high-tech military products such as T-50 training jets successfully entered the foreign market, exceeding its $1.6 billion goal.

They point out that South Korean defense companies armed with advanced technology, quality and attractive pricing will continue to expand their territories overseas at a time when everyone wants to get “better value for their money.”

“DAPA set a goal of nearly doubling exports to $3 billion this year, compared to its 2011 export target of $1.6 billion,” said DAPA commissioner Noh Dae-lae in an interview with The Korea Times Friday.

“I believe DAPA can exceed its goal once again as export deals worth $5 billion are currently under negotiations.”

The DAPA chief said South Korea may seal new foreign sales deals for T-50 high-end trainers, propeller-driven KT-1 basic trainers and military support ships in the first half of the year.

Korea’s growing dominance

Noh said South Korea will become a major player in the global defense market, overtaking nearly all competitors, including Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

“South Korea can boost its annual volume of arms exports to $10 billion,” said the former head of the Public Procurement Service.

Only the United States signed contracts for weapons worth more than $10 billion in 2010, according to the Global Defense Market Year Book 2011 by the Defense Agency for Technology and Quality.

The United States sealed deals for weapons worth $21.2 billion, taking up 52.7 percent of the global export market that year, followed by Russia with $7.8 billion, or 19.3 percent.

The United Kingdom, France and Germany, which sold more than $3 billion worth of weapons on average over the past several years, only managed to sign deals worth $1.4 billion, 1.3 billion and $100 million, respectively in 2010.

South Korea’s arms exports reached a new high of $1.17 billion in 2010, despite the global economic slowdown

Laying foundation for tenfold growth

Noh said South Korea’s export volume of arms products will see a significant leap in the next few years as it has successfully laid the foundation for stable demands last year.

“Unlike other commodities, defense products require at least 20 to 30 years of maintenance and support from manufacturers,” he said.

“Once we gain trust in foreign markets, more contracts are certain to follow.”

He said the price of weapons manufactured here will significantly drop as the country’s defense firms continue to increase exports and enjoy economies of scale.

South Korea signed a $400 million contract with Indonesia to sell 16 T-50s in May last year, becoming the world’s sixth country to export a supersonic aircraft.

It also won a $1.12 billion deal to supply three 1300-ton, Type-209 submarines to the Southeast Asian country.

Seoul is currently carrying out the final round of a feasibility study for a new jet development project, codenamed KF-X, in partnership with Indonesia, which has expressed a willingness to buy 50 jets and shoulder 20 percent of the $5 billion development funding.

Turkey has also expressed its intention to invest funds worth 20 percent of the KF-X project.

He said the country's defense industry will soon turn into an export-oriented one, given that the local defense market amounted to $7 billion last year.

“South Korea’s defense products have a competitive edge over those from other countries as developers here take into account all possible threats from North Korea,” he said.

He stressed that he will make extensive field tests mandatory prior to deploying them from this year in an effort to ensure zero-defect products.

Mutual benefits with allies

Noh said a significant portion of arms deals with South Korea have been made with the country’s blood allies that fought to defend democracy on the peninsula during the 1950-53 Korean War.

He noted that DAPA is ready to offer a generous technology transfer especially to its allies and those who participated in the Korean War.

“We had to acquire technologies in a very humiliating way,” Noh said. “We do not want our allies to go through the same ordeal that we had to go through.”

“It is not desirable to think of only maximizing profits in dealing with defense exports,” he said. “I think defense exports can be undertaken for mutual benefit and in partnership, which helps our allies deter possible threats from other nations with conflicted interests.

Korea designated the defense industry as one of the country’s new growth engines of the economy in 2009.

Who is Noh Dae-lae?

Noh Dae-lae is the sixth commissioner of the state-run Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). The 55-year old has a straightforward personality and extensive experience in financial planning and budget management.

He spearheaded a number of crisis management measures, such as job creation, when the nation was hit by the global economic downturn in 2008.

The seasoned bureaucrat studied law at Seoul National University, completed a doctoral course on finance and economics at the University of Cologne in Germany and earned his Ph.D. in public administration at Kyungwon University.

Noh entered public service after passing the examination for higher civil service in 1979. He is known for getting things done and making decisions in a rational manner.

The DAPA chief worked at the Economy Planning Board until 1993 and headed the public administration coordination division under the Prime Minister’s Office from 1994 through 1996.

He served as a finance and economics advisor at the Korean Embassy in Frankfurt and later as a finance and economy counselor at the Korean Embassy to the United States.

Noh was also a director general for the policy coordination bureau at the Ministry of Finance and Economy, assistant secretary at the Ministry of Strategy and Finance and an administrator at the Public Procurement Service. 

Source: Korea Times

House says TNI’s priorities wrong in Leopard tank procurement

Leopard 2A4 SAF. (Photo: Mindef)

January 18 2012, Jakarta: Lawmakers from the House of Representatives’ Commission I overseeing defense said that the TNI had lost its focus in the country’s defense strategy by planning to spend lavishly on main battle tanks for the army and spending too little on the navy and air force.

Long considered obsolete, the country’s weapons systems will see a major refurbishment after Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro confirmed on Monday that the government would earmark Rp 150 trillion (US$16.41 billion) for modernizing the TNI’s weaponry.

The TNI is under fire for planning to procure 100 Leopard 2A6 tanks from the Netherlands, which has phased out its armored divisions to cut its defense budget due to the European debt crisis.

Many have viewed the German-made Leopard tank as unsuitable to Indonesian terrain, which is dominated by thick forests and riverbanks.

The tank is regarded as more suitable for arid battlefields such as those in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The Leopard, which reportedly costs $5 million per tank and is considered one of the most expensive tanks in the world, also has relatively high operating costs as each unit boasts a twin turbo-charged V-12 diesel engine under its hood.

House Commission I chairman Mahfudz Siddiq said on Tuesday that the procurement of the state-of-the-art tanks was unnecessary and thus should not be on the TNI’s shopping list.

“The issue has been raised by my colleagues from this commission. In the context of land defense, is [this type of tank] really needed? What is needed may not be a main battle tank like the Leopard, but rather a mid-level tank,” he said.

The commission chairman said that the TNI should instead focus on spending more on high-tech ships or jet fighters.

Mahfudz said that if necessary the TNI should spend more on naval vessels as he thought the Indonesian Navy had a “more vital role than ever” at present.

“The first priority for the TNI is to buy more equipment for the navy, because 70 percent of Indonesian territory is open water. The area most prone to external threats today is the sea. Look for example at the recent tensions in the South China Sea,” Mahfudz said.

Mahfudz, however, agreed that modernization of TNI’s military hardware was necessary for the country to cope with developments in the Asia-Pacific region.

“If the tensions [in Asia-Pacific] turn into military conflict, Indonesia must be able to respond,” he said. In a meeting with Commission I lawmakers on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said that the price tag on the new weapons systems was commensurate with the improved standing of Indonesia in the Southeast Asian region.

“The country’s foreign policies, whether through diplomacy or defense, are complimentary to each other,” Marty told lawmakers.

He said that the improved weaponry would strengthen the country’s defense.

“The government has implemented the defense policy [to modernize TNI’s weapons systems] and it will certainly strengthen and support us,” Marty said.

Marty, however, downplayed fears that the TNI’s decision to modernize its weaponry was in anticipation of the prospect of escalating tensions in the Asia-Pacific region this year.

“This is not directly related to any regional threats. Indonesia is very open and transparent in conveying this plan to countries in the region and they understand it very well,” he said.

Source: the Jakarta Post

TNI constantly aware of possible military embargo

Anoa manufactured by PINDAD. (Photo: Berita HanKam)

January 18 2012, Jakarta: National Defense Forces (TNI) Commander Admiral Agus Suhartono said Indonesia`s military remains constantly aware of the possibility of a military embargo being imposed on the country for some reason.

"A possible embargo has always been a reason for the TNI to feel worried when it wants to procure weapons from overseas," Agus said after the first day of a TNI leadership meeting here on Wednesday.

Therefore, he said, a thorough study had to be done before planning to procure weapons to see whether the hardware to be acquired would really meet existing needs and to determine which country they would be acquired from.

"We as users always study what will meet our needs and which country they will be acquired from. Only after they have all been confirmed will we do it through contracts," he said.

The TNI commander said the government especially the TNI had cooperated with many countries to complete and modernize the country`s arsenal.

"For example, in the procurement of submarines we have been cooperating with South Korea and missiles with China and others," he said.

Indonesia was the target of a military embargo by the US and its allies in 1999 in connection with alleged violations of human rights by the country`s military in then East Timor or now Timor Leste.

The embargo caused the level of readiness and capability of the country`s military`s weapons to decline drastically especially weapons made by the US and its allies. The embargo was eventually lifted in stages as of November 2005.

An embargo threat has now emerged again from the Dutch parliament that has rejected the TNI`s plan to purchase 100 Leopard Main Battle Tanks due to TNI`s alleged human rights violations in the past.

Source: ANTARA News

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Two Sukhoi To Be Delivered This Year

January 17 2012, Jakarta: Two of six Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30MK2 jet fighters ordered by the Indonesian government for its Air Force will be delivered later this year, Air Force Chief of Staff Imam Sufaat said.

"Two of the planes will be delivered in 2012, two in 2013 and two other in 2014," he said after attending a leadership meeting of the Defense Ministry here on Monday.

At present the Air Force has 10 Sukhoi jet fighters consisting of six Sukhoi SU-27SKM and four Sukhoi SU-30MK2. The air squadron of Sukhoi jet fighters is at Sultan Hasanuddin Airbase in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

Source: ANTARA Bali

Indonesia In Dark On Dutch Tank Purchase

Leopard 2A6. (Photo: ©Bundeswehr/Trotzki)

January 14 2012, Jakarta: Legislator Tubagus Hasanuddin said the House of Representatives had been surprised by media reports on the Defense Ministry’s plan to purchase 100 Leopard tanks from the Netherlands at a cost of nearly $600 million.

“So far, we have not received any official statement from the ministry indicating that they would be buying the tanks,” said Tubagus, a deputy chairman of House Commission I, which oversees defense and foreign affairs.

The lawmaker from the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) said the commission would not issue a decision on the planned purchase until it had more information.

According to Tubagus, the ministry had invited commission members on a visit to the Netherlands a few weeks ago, which the lawmakers had declined.

“The ministry’s invitation to join them on the visit should not be seen as our endorsement of the planned purchase,” he said. “If we wanted to make the visit, we would have done it at our own expense.”

Commission members will explore a possible probe into the political aspects of the procurement, he said.

The planned purchase has been dogged by criticism since being announced a few months ago. Most of the legislators on Commission I have spoken out against it and called on the government to rethink it.

Commission member Yahya Sacawirya, from the Democrats, cited two concerns: the technical specifications of the tank and the procurement process itself.

“We need to consider the use and benefits of such a weapon system and whether it is suitable for conditions here,” he said.

Yahya also warned the Defense Ministry against making the purchase without first receiving the approval of the House. “We need to hear the details behind the plan,” he said.

Source: the Jakarta Globe

RI to spend big on military

Leopard 2A6 Bundeswehr. (Photo: ©Bundeswehr/Trotzki)

January 17 2012, Jakarta: Indonesia will begin the process of modernizing its military hardware after a decade of internal reform riding on the back of an improving economy, Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro told reporters on Monday.

“The Indonesian Military [TNI] has been involved in internal reform, such as disengagement from political and business activities,” he told a press conference after a leadership meeting at the ministry.

“All this time, the TNI has refrained from procuring major weapons systems.”

Also attending the press conference were Defense Deputy Minister Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin, TNI chief Adm. Agus Suhartono, Army chief of staff Gen. Pramono Edhie Wibowo, Navy chief of staff Adm. Soeparno, Air Force chief of staff Marshal Imam Sufaat and ministry secretary-general Vice Marshal Eris Heryyanto.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Security and Legal Affairs Djoko Suyanto attended the leadership meeting and delivered a speech to the participants.

Purnomo said most of the procurement could take a long time to realize from planning to delivery as there were various agencies involved in the process.

“Each individual service will describe their needs to the TNI headquarters, which will submit the request to the ministry,” he said.

“Once agreed, we have to talk with the National Development Planning Board [Bappenas] and the Finance Ministry to find the appropriate funding.”

He said that because most procurement processes required a long time to realize, the funding usually involved a multiyear system.

Purnomo said the ministry had Rp 150 trillion (US$16.41 billion) to spend over five years to procure major weapons systems.

“Rp 50 trillion will be used to accelerate achieving the Minimum Essential Force, Rp 55 trillion for procurement and Rp 45 trillion for maintenance and repair.”

As Indonesia enjoys improving economic growth, the defense budget has gradually been increased over the past few years. This year the budget is Rp 64.4 trillion almost triple that of the Rp 23.92 trillion in 2006.

The ministry’s Defense Facilities Agency chief Maj. Gen. Ediwan Prabowo said most of the shopping list would be sealed in the first half of this year.

“We are still currently looking for candidates for each weapons system. So we have not yet decided the model and pricing,” he told the press conference.

Previous reports have, however, indicated preference among the end users. For the main battle tank (MBT), the Army is said to procure the German-made Leopard 2A6 from the Netherlands, which is abolishing its armored divisions to cut its defense budget due to the global crisis.

Pramono said neighboring countries already have MBTs, including Malaysia, which had the Polish-made PT-91 and Singapore, which had the upgraded Leopard 2A4. “The Army only has light tanks so far and we do need MBTs.”

He admitted that there were other MBTs on the market and that representatives from other countries had offered their own MBTs.

“But we have to buy what we can afford and it has to be battle proven,” he said, adding that the Leopard was used by a dozen other countries.

The plan to purchase MBTs has been criticized, with some saying they would be too heavy for road infrastructure here, with a Leopard weighing some 60 metric tons. Observers have also said that such MBTs do not fit well in Indonesian geographic conditions.

“If we are at war, why would we need roads? Leopards can cross rivers up to 4-meter deep, so there is no problem,” Prabowo said.

Other than MBTs, the shopping list also includes various types of helicopter, howitzer, multiple launch rocket system (MLRS), various types of ship and anti-aircraft missile.

Source: the Jakarta Post