The government has high hopes that local arms manufacturers can step up their production capacity to facilitate its efforts to modernize Indonesia’s primary weapons defense system amid delayed plans to acquire foreign arms as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Entering the third and final phase of its long-term modernization program this year, the Defense Ministry has moved to leverage the role of domestic players in developing the national defense industry, amid the continued shortfall in overseas defense spending.
“Procurement for our weapons defense system will focus on developing the local industry by way of transfers of technology with principal [manufacturers],” Deputy Defense Minister Wahyu Sakti Trenggono told The Jakarta Post recently.
As part of the ministry’s key programs this year, Wahyu said that state-owned companies in the defense sector would focus on pioneering products as set out in the ministry’s defense roadmap.
In presentations to the House of Representatives’ defense commission last year, the ministry unveiled plans for a multi-billion-dollar investment in assets including fighter and transport aircraft, tanks, air defense systems and surface combatants to support the last phase of the Indonesian Military’s (TNI) Minimum Essential Forces (MEF) program.
Wahyu said PT PAL Indonesia would be developing naval vessels, while PT Dirgantara Indonesia (DI) made propeller aircraft and helicopters and artillery specialist PT Pindad manufactured land combat vehicles.
The ministry is the only government agency to hold on to more than Rp 100 trillion in funds from the 2020 state budget, following the reallocation of state expenditure for the COVID-19 response.