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[*] posted on 13-7-2017 at 12:15 PM
Indonesia, defence and strategic matters

Revised Indonesian budget brings modest increase

Craig Caffrey - IHS Jane's Defence Industry

12 July 2017

Key Points
- Marginal increase of 1.2% approved for defence
- Funding to be used to support UN peacekeeping operations and satellite lease payments

Indonesia’s revised budget for 2017 includes a further marginal increase in defence expenditure to IDR109.3 trillion (USD8.17 billion), a 1.2% increase over the approved budget and a 4.6% boost compared with the draft budget.

According to accompanying information released by the Indonesian Finance Ministry on 6 July, the additional funding will be used to finance satellite lease payments and to support Indonesia’s involvement in the United Nations MINUSCA peacekeeping operation in the Central African Republic.

More generally, the 2017 defence budget is expected to continue to progress towards meeting the goals of the ‘Minimum Essential Force’ (a concept aimed at delivering Indonesia’s minimum force structure and operational readiness requirements), to improve border security and to support the local defence industry.

(165 of 408 words)
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[*] posted on 6-10-2017 at 12:16 AM

Indonesia Strengthens Navy, Air Force In Face of China Expansion (excerpt)

(Source: Nikkei Asian Review; published Oct 5, 2017)
By Jun Suzuki

JAKARTA --- Amid a rapidly changing regional security environment, Indonesia, one of the most powerful military countries in Southeast Asia, has drastically shifted the main focus of its defense strategy.

Having been dominated by the army for decades, the Indonesian National Armed Forces' air and marine defenses are now being strengthened in response to Beijing's push into the South China Sea and the growing threat posed by cross-border terrorism.

On Thursday, the National Armed Forces held a parade marking their 72nd anniversary at the port of Cilegon in Banten Province on the western tip of Java. Taking center stage was the diesel-electric attack submarine KRI Nagapasa-403, the country's third sub.

An Apache Guardian attack helicopter, due to be supplied to the armed forces, was another piece of state-of-the-art equipment on display. The new helicopter will also be used for counter-piracy operations, according to a military officer.

Demonstration flights of F-16 and SU-30 fighters were also performed in an event designed to showcase the country's developing air and marine defense capabilities. President Joko Widodo said, "The Indonesian Armed Forces will be the strongest and best equipped military in Southeast Asia."

Since declaring independence in 1945, Indonesia has largely managed to avoid full-scale conflict with another country -- the only exception other than the struggle against Dutch colonial rule was a brief confrontation with Malaysia during the years under Sukarno, the country's first president.

The country has, however, often relied on the army to keep the peace domestically and quell secessionist movements. Troops have been sent to put down pro-independence uprisings in Aceh in northern Sumatra as well as on the western part of New Guinea Island that belongs to Indonesia.

The circumstances, along with resistance leader Sudirman exerting his influence as the first commander-in-chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces, have meant the navy and air force have played second fiddle in the Indonesian military since independence.

Successive political leaders have come from army backgrounds, not least Suharto, whose dictatorship lasted more than 30 years, and former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Today, the army accounts for nearly 80% of the country's 400,000 military personnel. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Nikkei Asian Review website.

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[*] posted on 6-10-2017 at 07:53 PM

Strongest and best equipped eh? Yeah, right...

They will never overtake Singapore for a start, let alone us...

In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 7-10-2017 at 12:13 PM

Until they get serious, by which I mean realistic numbers of 4.5 or 5th generation aircraft for the territory they are defending, AWA&Cs, in-flight refuelling, the capability for forward deployment and realistic training schedules and warstocks, they are nothing more than playing at soldiers, sorry, airmen.

It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed,
the lips acquire stains,
the stains become a warning.
It is by will alone I set my mind in motion
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[*] posted on 23-10-2017 at 08:17 PM

October 23 2017 - 5:50PM

US refuses to divulge why Indonesian military chief Gatot Nurmantyo denied entry

Jewel Topsfield and Karuni Rompies

Jakarta: The United States is refusing to divulge why it denied Indonesian military chief Gatot Nurmantyo entry to the US as its own embassy in Jakarta scrambles to get to the bottom of the diplomatically embarrassing affair.

The baffling incident threatens to cause ructions in the relationship between the two countries with a banner calling for the expulsion of the US Ambassador erected over a major thoroughfare in Jakarta on Monday morning. 

Indonesian Armed Forces Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo had been invited to a countering violent extremism conference in Washington. Photo: AP

It could also play out domestically in favour of the nationalist General Gatot, who is widely believed to have political aspirations at the highest level and has long believed foreigners are engaged in a proxy war to undermine Indonesia.

Earlier this year General Gatot temporarily suspended military ties with Australia over teaching materials perceived as derogatory at a Perth Army base.

He has previously raised concerns about the US Marines that rotate through Darwin, implying they are there for the eventual takeover of Papua, and spoke of putting a stop to Australia trying to recruit Indonesian officers as spies or agents of influence.

Acting Deputy Ambassador Erin McKee reiterated the Embassy's apology after being summoned to meet Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Monday morning and said there was "absolutely no issues" with General Gatot Nurmantyo's ability to travel to the US.

"The Embassy is working very hard to understand what transpired around this incident and we hope that it will not happen again," Ms McKee said. "We deeply regret the inconvenience this incident caused."

By submitting your email you are agreeing to Fairfax Media's terms and conditions and privacy policy .

Ms McKee said General Gatot was invited to a countering violent extremism conference in Washington by General Joseph Dunford, the US's highest ranking military official. The US "welcomes his participation".

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi will press for an explanation from the US. Photo: AP

"We have resolved the matter," she said.

But Ms Retno said Indonesia continued to demand an explanation for what happened.

A banner in Jakarta saying: "Expel the American ambassador from our land" erected over major Jakarta thoroughfare on Monday morning. It was later removed. Photo: Supplied

"I received information that the situation has been resolved but I told them it was not enough," she said.

"For us this is an important issue. We are not only working from Jakarta with their embassy here. Yesterday I lost count of how many times I spoke with the Indonesian Ambassador in Washington to - once again - seek clarification over what happened."

A banner in Jakarta proclaiming 'We are not afraid of America. Bravo National Armed Forces'. It was posted following the US decision to bar General Gatot Nurmantyo from entering the US. Photo: detikcom

Moments before his plane was due to depart from Jakarta on Saturday, General Gatot was informed by Emirates he had been denied entry to the United States by US Customs and Border Protection despite having a visa.

Indonesian National Armed Forces spokesman Major General Wuryanto said General Gatot would not attend the conference despite the US's subsequent assurances he was welcome.

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry was told the initial rejection was due to "an internal matter within the US government", according to Hikmahanto Juwana, a professor of International Relations at the University of Indonesia.

He told Fairfax Media no further information was provided.

"If the issue is not appropriately responded to by the US government it will affect the Indonesia-US relations," Professor Hikmahanto said.

"The Indonesian Government (must) strongly protest if no clarification is provided or if the clarification given is not appropriate. If needed, summon the Indonesian Ambassador to go home for consultation.

"If still unheeded, it is just possible that the Government may expel the US Ambassador to Indonesia or (declare him) persona non grata.

"The public should exercise patience and ... give opportunity for the government to take steps to maintain the state's dignity."
The US has a history of denying former Indonesian generals entry to the US.

Putative 2019 president candidate Prabowo Subianto told Reuters in 2012 he was still refused a US visa over allegations, which he denies, that he instigated riots that killed hundreds after Suharto's overthrow.

However what makes this latest incident so bizarre is that General Gatot was declared to have a clear human rights record by the Commission of Missing Persons and Victims of Violence in 2015.

One analyst said the US never provided clarity on its reasons for denying entry: "The Embassy will surely never tell us".

He also suggested a reason the US Embassy in Jakarta looked so inept was because there was no guidance from Washington.
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[*] posted on 26-5-2018 at 12:44 PM

Indonesia’s new anti-terrorism law broadens scope for pre-emptive action against militants; early disruption of terrorist cells likely

Deepa Kumar - IHS Jane's Country Risk Daily Report

25 May 2018


On 25 May 2018, the Indonesian parliament’s lower house amended the 2003 anti-terrorism law, now enabling security forces to take pre-emptive action against suspected militants.

New measures include a legal basis to charge Islamic State-affiliated returnees from Iraq and Syria and an increase in the duration of preventive detention from seven days to up to 21 days. It also envisages a broader role for the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) to support the efforts of the police’s counter-terrorism unit, Densus 88. This follows a series of attacks on 13–14 May 2018, when suicide bombers detonated low-yield improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at three churches and a police headquarters across the East Java province.

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[*] posted on 3-10-2018 at 08:11 PM

Indonesia ratifies defence agreements

Jon Grevatt, Bangkok - IHS Jane's Defence Industry

02 October 2018

Indonesia has ratified defence co-operation agreements (DCAs) with Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in Jakarta announced on 2 October.

The DCAs – both intended to facilitate defence trade and related industrial collaboration – were previously agreed in principle but required presidential ratification to become law, said the MoD.

The MoD indicated that the DCAs will also enable Indonesia to engage with Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands in military research and development projects but did not elaborate. The agreements include activities such as military exchanges and military training and education programmes.

Indonesia has previously identified opportunities to supply Saudi Arabia with military aircraft.

(131 of 424 words)
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[*] posted on 7-11-2018 at 05:05 PM

Indonesia’s Defence Market Poised to Expand

05 November 2018 Jon Grevatt Ridzwan Rahmat

Indonesia's defence spending is expected to return to solid growth from 2020 onwards as budgetary constraints ease in the country.

Between 2018 and 2024, Indonesia's defence budget is forecast to expand by 36 percent from $7.2 billion to $9.9 billion, making it one of the region's top military spenders. Total expenditure on military investment, encompassing military procurement and research and development, during this period is expected to be about $10 billion.

"Indonesia is currently facing a myriad of conventional military and non-traditional challenges," said Ridzwan Rahmat, principal defence analyst at Jane's. "Besides continued tensions around the Natuna Islands in the South China Sea as well as maritime piracy issues in its territorial waters, the country is also confronting the recent emergence of groups that have pledged loyalties to international terror organizations."

Driven by escalating strategic concerns, the Indonesian Armed Forces require a wide range of equipment. Procurement programs that the government is prioritizing over the next few years include new fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, such as fighter jets and heavy-lift helicopters; a range of naval vessels including surface combatants and submarines; and land systems including a new medium-weight tank.

Against this background, the Indonesian defence market is shifting, with the country demonstrating a commitment to diversify its suppliers. Over the next few years, more than 30 countries are expected to export military equipment to Indonesia. Dominant suppliers are expected to be Russia, South Korea, the United States and several countries from Europe, although IHS Markit analysis suggests that Indonesia is also willing to engage with vendors as diverse as Turkey, Brazil, China, Australia, Belarus and the Czech Republic.

"This diversification reflects Indonesia's commitment to encouraging competition and its intention to secure attractive collaboration packages in defence procurement programs," said Jon Grevatt, APAC defence industry analyst at Jane's.

Indonesia's indigenous defence industrial capability is still somewhat limited but with the government's commitment to develop related competencies as a means to boost the economy, it is gradually developing thanks to collaboration with foreign contractors.

A number of co-development and production projects have emerged in the past few years and this is expected to remain a priority strategy for the Indonesian government as it continues to modernize the Indonesian Armed Forces.

Posted 05 November 2018 by Jon Grevatt, Analyst – Asia-Pacific Defense Industry, Jane's by IHS Markit and Ridzwan Rahmat, Senior Naval Analyst, IHS Jane's
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[*] posted on 18-6-2019 at 09:12 PM

Indonesia introduces long-term contracting guidelines

Jon Grevatt, Bangkok - Jane's Defence Industry

17 June 2019

Indonesia has introduced regulations to encourage the government to award long-term contracts to local defence companies, with the aim to support indigenous capability development.

The "terms and procedures for the procurement of defence and security products on long-term contracts" came into effect in May and applies to the production of defence platforms, as well as components and subsystems.

The directive states that long-term contracts for specific products can be awarded if the arrangement fulfils several criteria.

These include long-term requirements within the Indonesian armed forces, an expectation that manufacturing will last at least one year, that the product will continue to meet operational requirements, and that the product's technical specifications will not change for at least five years.

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