Thirteen armored passenger carriers ( APC ) made by state enterprise PT Pindad Indonesia have arrived for an Indonesian battalion in Adshit Al Qusayr, Lebanon, the Indonesian Military ( TNI ) announced Friday.
The six-wheel drive units, complete with a weaponry system, arrived at the battalion, called Indobatt, part of the Garuda XXXIII-D contingent, at its headquarters Thursday, the press release said.
“It evokes a certain pride to have Indonesian-made products receive international recognition,” the release went on.
The 13 units were transported by a civilian freight ship rented by the UN that left Tanjung Priok seaport in Jakarta on March 8.
The ship berthed at Beirut International Seaport on April 6 before being delivered to Indobatt headquarters by the battalion, which serves as part of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon ( Unifil ).
Unifil was created by the UN Security Council in March 1978 with an original mandate to con-
firm Israeli’s withdrawal from Lebanon. The original mandate has been adjusted twice, in 2000 and
Unifil’s mission is to, among others, monitor the cessation of hostilities; accompany and support
the Lebanese armed forces’ deployment throughout southern Lebanon, and extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to the civilian population and the voluntary and safe return of displaced people.
Deputy commander of Unifil’s eastern sector Col. Surawahadi and Indobatt’s commander, Lt. Col. Andi Perdana Kahar, conducted a checking-on-arrival of the new carriers, dubbed ANOA.
Compared to the previous similar carriers the TNI used, the French-made VAB, ANOA has several advantages including its six wheels, global positioning system and video camera at the carrier’s rear and back door, which could be operated manually using a hydraulic system.
The carrier also has two emergency exits on its left and right.
Along with the arrival of ANOA came 18 new personnel for Indobatt, comprising five technicians for
the carriers from the Army, two carrier drivers from the Army Strategic Command and 11 carrier drivers from Jakarta’s military command.
“Through the new carriers and personnel for Indobatt, we hope to improve our positive performance in making a good name for the country in the international community at Unifil in South Lebanon,” the release said.
Pindad’s spokesman Timbul Sitompul told The Jakarta Post that the carrier was fully designed by Pindad.
“We only import the machines from [French automaker] Renault,” he said. Timbul said Pindad first launched the six-wheel drive APC last year.
“We have manufactured another 154 for the defense ministry to be distributed to TNI’s Army, the
Navy and the Air Force,” Timbul went on.
He said for the TNI, APC’s price is tagged at Rp 6 billion ( US$666,000 ) to Rp 7 billion each.
“But that’s a special price for the state,” he said.
Pindad is trying to tap the international market with the APC. “We’re talking with Malaysia about the possibility of purchase,” Timbul said.
He said the carrier had the same quality as other APCs made abroad, but offered a more competitive price.
Dimension: 6,000 x 2,500 x 2670 millimeters
Weight: 11 to 14 tons
Speed: 90 kilometers per hour
Power to weight ratio: 22.85
Distance capacity: 600 kilometers