The Jakarta Post
State-owned weapons producer PT Pindad is preparing to produce its latest type of light-armored vehicle, called a Badak, for the Indonesian Army.
'Vice President Jusuf Kalla has ordered 50 units of Badak for the Army, and we are preparing to start production,' Pindad president director Silmy Karim told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.
Kalla visited Pindad in Bandung last week and ordered 50 units of Badak. Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu and Industry Minister Saleh Husin accompanied Kalla during the visit.
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo has also encouraged the military to purchase Badaks as part of the modernization of its weaponry systems.
Jokowi conveyed his interest when he visited an exhibition during the Indonesian Military (TNI) executive meeting in Jakarta last December.
The Badak, which means rhinoceros in Indonesian, is a modification of Pindad's previous light-armored vehicle, the Anoa, which was also named after a native species from Sulawesi.
The product is a joint venture between Pindad and the Belgium-based Cockerill Maintenance & Ingenierie SA Defence (CMI). The Badaks will be fitted with a locally-built Cockerill 90P turret (90 millimeter) developed by CMI. Pindad has sent several employees to Belgium to learn the technology.
The vehicle was shown to the public for the first time in November 2014 during the Indo Defense exhibition. Currently, the Badak has passed several required tests and is now ready for purchase.
Silmy said that the price for a Badak would be Rp 30 billion per unit, which was cheaper than a South Korean-made light-armored vehicle named Tarantula, previously purchased by Indonesia for Rp 35 billion per unit.
'Even though it is cheaper, we guarantee our product can compete with other vehicles in its class,' Silmy said.
Besides preparing the Badak for the Army, Pindad is also busy producing other kinds of light-armored vehicles, namely the Anoa and Komodo, as well as ammunitions and weapons needed by TNI.
'We produce Anoa and Komodo regularly,' Silmy said.
He acknowledged that the company had gained more purchasing orders from TNI.
'It means the government and the military have prioritized the national industry to meet their needs,' Silmy said.
He added that several countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia were also interested in buying Anoa vehicles.
'We will seal the contract soon,' Silmy said, refusing to give the specific names of the countries.
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