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Indonesian army to implement modernisation program
Publication Date : 30-04-2014
The Indonesian Army is planning to transform its primary weapons defence system through increased collaboration with local universities and homegrown military industries.
Army chief of staff Gen. Budiman said that the plan, which will cover 2015 through 2019, had been approved by the government and the House of Representatives.
“We have stated in our work plan submitted to the House that more funds in our budget will be allocated for the weapons system,” he said at a press conference following the unveiling of a speedboat under the project at Ancol Beach in North Jakarta on Tuesday.
Budiman said upgrading the weapons system was urgent and important as the trend in battle and warfare was to rely more on higher-speed, more accurate and better-measured weaponry.
Budiman said the House approved a total budget of 36 trillion rupiah (US$3.09 billion) for the Army this year. About 72 per cent of the budget will be spent for personnel salaries. Some 17-18 per cent is allocated for operations and maintenance and 9 per cent for weaponry and equipment.
“We are using the 9 per cent, which means around 3.5 trillion rupiah, to fund the weapons system and all research needed for that,” he said.
To prevent graft and wasteful spending in the modernisation program, Budiman said he had asked generals and high-ranking officers in the Army to sign an integrity pact to ensure that all procurement and research programs for the weapons system would be transparent and efficient.
On Tuesday, the Army unveiled a new model of speedboat called the “Komando”, built in collaboration with a group of technicians and experts from local universities, including Surya University, a campus established by prominent Indonesian scientist Yohannes Surya.
Other universities involved in the project are the Surabaya-based 10 November Institute of Technology (ITS), Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) and the Semarang, Central Java-based University of Diponegoro (UNDIP). The Army also invited PT KKB, PT Tesco Indomaritim and PT Dok and Perkapalan Kodja Bahari Galangan IV to manufacture the boats.
Budiman said that as of now, the Army and its partners had built two of the speedboats, but planned to have another eight this year. He said that one of the boats cost 12 billion rupiah, cheaper than buying from abroad.
“Finland manufactures the same type of speedboat and it costs 24 billion rupiah, so it’s far cheaper if we build them by ourselves,” he said.
Budiman said the Army would use the speedboats to patrol border areas such as Natuna, Bangka Belitung, Aceh and East Nusa Tenggara.
The “Komando” speedboats can be operated on the high sea, coastlines, rivers and swamp areas, and have a capacity of 31 passengers and three crewmembers. “Currently, the boats can only reach a maximum of 35 knots, but we are developing newer ones that can reach 45 knots,” he added.
Also in the pipeline are programs to build laser guns, remote weapon systems, UAV/Super Drone, Integrated Optronic Defence System, Gyrocopter, Multi Rotor and Flapping Bird.
Another piece of sophisticated equipment in development by the Army and its contractors is the nanosatellite, which can be used for land-imaging and monitoring. “We plan to export more of our locally made weapons and equipment, but currently we are focusing on research and improving capability,” Budiman said.