Sep 10, 2013

    Jakarta's arms shopping list

    INDONESIA has come up with a shopping list to modernise its weapon systems.

    The army chief of staff, Lieutenant-General Budiman, said it plans to purchase 16 assault helicopters, 12 light armed scout helicopters and eight AH-64 Apache attack helicopters.

    The country also aims to procure 45 Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks, a number of Leopard 2A Evolution tanks and 50 infantry fighting vehicles.

    It is also buying multiple-launch rocket systems with a range of 115km for two battalions, and nine batteries of short-range air-defence weapon systems for three battalions.

    The move comes as Indonesia continues to modernise its main weapon systems to become, by next year, South-east Asia's strongest military power.

    Indonesia launched two PC-43 fast patrol vessels, manufactured by PT Palindo Marine Shipyard, at Batu Ampar Port in Batam on Thursday.

    Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said the two patrol boats - the KRI Pari 849 and the KRI Sembilang 850 - were part of an order of four PC-43s, it having been 10 to 15 years since Indonesia last updated its weapons.

    Mr Purnomo said the modernising drive was related to the United States' decision to station littoral combat ships in Singapore and Australia's move to relocate its main naval base from Sydney to Brisbane.

    However, he added that the defence policies of both countries were not aimed at Indonesia, but were a response to the South China Sea disputes.