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Indonesia defence expo aims to bridge local and foreign companies

A model of a South Korean-made jet fighter is displayed during the Indo Defence Expo at the Jakarta Fairground yesterday. More than 600 exhibitors from 50 countries are participating in the expo. Ricky Yudhistira/The Jakarta Post

Publication Date : 08-11-2012


The 2012 Indo Defence Expo and Forum, Indonesia's largest military equipment exhibition, is expected to boost partnership between local and global defence companies, says  Vice President Boediono.

Given the fact that local companies are still developing, Boediono emphasised that international cooperation on defence technology will still play a pivotal role in strengthening the Indonesian Military's minimum essential force.

"While we are building our defence business and its supporting industries, we can also boost the industry by fostering partnerships with established overseas companies," he said during the opening ceremony of the 5th defence expo at Jakarta International Expo Kemayoran in Central Jakarta yesterday.

Boediono added the efforts of domestic companies in engaging international cooperation had been supported by the National Defence Industry Law passed in early October.

The law mandates foreign defence companies to provide education, training and transfer of technology to their local counterparts, in order to participate in improving the capabilities of Indonesia's defence industry.

The biennial event is indeed a prospective forum for domestic companies to get new deals as 600 companies from 50 countries are participating in the four-day exhibition.

Among them are the world's biggest defence contractors, such as American global aerospace and defence company, Lockheed Martin and Russian aviation giant Sukhoi.

Robert Laing, an executive from Lockheed Martin, said that his firm had initiated a partnership with a local company, CMI Indonesia, prior to the enactment of the National Defence Industry Law.

The agreement was signed in February and they recently completed a review to check the readiness of CMI to begin production. The review qualified the Bandung-based company to start manufacturing the TPS-77 and FPS-117 long-range surveillance radars.

Lockheed and CMI are jointly pursuing the National Airspace Surveillance — Republic of Indonesia programme, with a purpose to produce more than 20 new radars.

"If we get the contract, all the ordered radars will be made in Indonesia. And maybe, we can produce more for export," he told The Jakarta Post.

Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) has had a partnership with state-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PT DI) since 2005.

Junhyun Jo, a KAI marketing executive, said that PT DI is responsible for reassembling, colouring and checking the FA-50 light combat aircraft ordered by Indonesia's Air Force.

"We want to conduct more production here, but this means we need to build new facilities, which needs big investment," he said.

The Indo Defence Expo is not only being used as an up-to-date military equipment market, but is also a space for the government to show its latest shopping items.

German tank producer, Rheinmetall, displayed Leopard 2 main battle tanks (MBT) and a Marder infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), which Indonesia has ordered 100 units worth US$280 million in an effort to upgrade its obsolete military equipment.

"The procurement is still in progress, but at least now we can see this Leopard MBT and Marder medium tank. By having these vehicles, we will have a complete series of tanks, ranging from light to heavy ones," said Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro at the expo venue.

Indonesia has been trying to upgrade the military worn-out equipment in recent years. In addition to the 2012 law on national defence industry, the government has proposed raising next year's defence budget to 77 trillion rupiah ($8 billion), from 72.54 trillion rupiah in 2012.


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