National

Government to buy attack
aircraft, bombs

The government is set to sign a number of memorandums of understanding on defense equipment acquisitions involving a number of domestic strategic and defense companies.

Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said the MoUs would be signed on the opening day of the Indo Defense, which is to be held at the Jakarta International Expo in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, on
Nov. 10-13.

Purnomo said the MoUs included the purchase of two standard squadrons of Super Tucano light attack aircraft to replace the Air Force’s OV-10 Broncos.

“We will include state aircraft maker PT Dirgantara Indonesia [DI] for maintenance work. We also hope DI can manufacture some of the parts and components,” he said.

Other MoUs to be signed include the purchase of P-100 and P-100L bombs locally made by a Malang in East Java-based private company in cooperation with state arms and munitions maker PT Pindad. The bombs are armaments for the Air Force’s fleet of Russian made Sukhoi Su-27/30 fighters jets.

Another private company in Tulungagung will sign an MoU supplying parachutes for Indonesian paratroopers.

“We will also sign an MoU for defense rockets pending the final test results,” Purnomo said.

“The test will be held Saturday at the Combat Training Center in Baturaja, South Sumatra.”

Purnomo said the rockets had a range of 14 kilometers, and that the government planned to acquire 1,000 of them by 2014 and 750 by 2013.

He also added that there was still ample time for more MoUs.

The Indo Defense has been held biennially since 2004. This year’s event will be held concurrently with the second Indo Aerospace and the first Indo Marine bundled in the Indo Defense, Indo Aerospace, Indo Marine (IDAM) Expo and Forum.

Purnomo said more countries and individuals would take part in the expo than in previous years.

“There will be participants from 38 countries, and 17 of them will have their own country stalls,” he said.

Herman Wiriadipoera from Napindo, the event organizer, said the public would have the opportunity to enjoy aerobatics shows performed by the Roullettes from the Royal Australian Air Force.

“There will be two shows each day involving eight airplanes,” he said.

The expo is open to the public on the last day with a Rp 50,000 (US$5.5) entrance ticket.

Herman said the entrance fee was being imposed not to make a profit but rather to “screen” visitors.

The organizer said it expected to receive some 20,000 visitors this year. The 2008 expo  held at Halim Perdanakusumah Airport in East Jakarta received around 14,000.

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