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Indonesia to revive indigenous defence industry

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EADS C-212 Aviocar, a turboprop-powered STOL medium transport aircraft is also produced under license in Indonesia.

JAKARTA (BNS): Indonesia has decided to strengthen the national defense system and gradually reduce its dependence on imported defense weapons and equipment, according to an agency report.

Antara news quoted Chairman of the Commission I of the House of Representatives Kemal Aziz Stamboel, as saying that thorough effort must be made to strengthen state-owned defense industries.

“The procurement of national weaponry system for the defense forces should be based on products of local defence industries.”

“We hope that there will be a thorough synchronization of the existing forces in long- and- short term plans in the procurement of weaponry system for the defence forces,” he said.

Former vice chairman of the House Commission I Yusron Ihza Mahendra said Indonesia must follow in the footsteps of India and Brazil by revitalizing its defense industries.

The country has enough human and natural resources as well as the financial capability to build its national defense industry which can be developed into a profit producing center for this world largest archipelagic country, he added.

Indonesia which has been under a US and UK-led arms embargo, has revived dreams of an indigenous defense industry especially with current production capabilities ranging from transport vessels and aircraft, armored personnel carriers to small-caliber firearms.

PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PT DI), for example, is producing the medium CN-235 and light NC-212 Aviocar transport aircraft in cooperation with the Spanish aerospace firm CASA EADS.

PT Pindad has moved from license producing SS-1 asault rifles of Belgian company FNC to its own design of SS-2 assault rifles, which are said to combine the accuracy of the American M-16 with the reliability of the notorious Russian AK-47.

State shipbuilder PT PAL Indonesia has just delivered two landing platform docks (LPDs) to the Indonesian Navy, the report said.

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