As a big nation of 240 million people, it is normal that Indonesia should have big and powerful army forces. Historically, the development of military manpower in term of quality has been successfully achieved as indicated by the success of Armed Forces to safeguard the nation against the threats of internal security upheaval. Notwithstanding, due to economic consideration the development of weaponry had been given low budget allocation.
However, according to Global Firepower (GFP) based on the criteria they set up in 2016, Indonesia is ranked as 12th among all nations in the world. The analysis could be too good to be true especially when we consider the past government policy which gave low priority on armament development.
It is only during the last decades that the government with the support of parliament starts to increase the defense budget. The imports of sophisticated war equipment were still mandatory while the political will to increase the capacity of the domestic capability to produce them was put forward.
Apart from their customary products, today some strategic State-owned Enterprises are determined to produce high-tech weaponry products:
1. PT. Pindad, the Army Industrial State-owned Enterprise produces 19.5 kilos weight infantry fighting rifle (IFR). The fame of IFR goes world-wide after its bullet can tear up the steel tank body in military training. Having 1,055 mm barrel length of the overall length of 1,755 mm and with bullet caliber of 12.7 x 99 mm, it can be loaded with 10 bullets firing muzzle velocity of 900 m/s with a maximum effective range of 2,000 m.
IFR can make use of three different bullets, namely MU3 M for shooting practice or training, MU3 SAM for tearing the body of steel tank and MU 3 BLAM for blowing up and shattering the target. There is an only limited production of IFR, most of which today goes to Special Armed Forces and salable at the price of Rp 200 million (USD 15,300) each. According to Pindad director, the profit is limited but the main important things qualified product at world level.
As compared with other countries, IFR has good quality related to distance range, accuracy, and silencer which can reduce the sound down by 30 decibels, and is completed with night vision equipment and telescope to enlarge the target up to 25 times.
2. Pindad has also other important products such as panzer and tank. It produces two kinds of panzers as Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), namely Badak and Anoa which are capable to carry 3 crew plus 10 passengers. The latter has four variants namely Lurking, Chained Wheel, Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) and Cannon Anoa. Its body dimensions are 6 m length, 2.5 m width, 2.5 m – 2.9 m height and 11-14 tons weight (for combat), resistant to shooting ammunition of 12.7 mm. The Anoa is equipped with the main armament of 12.7 mm MG, CIS 40 AGL, and secondary armament of 66 mm smoke grenade launcher. It is powered by 340 hp six Renault diesel-engines-cylinders capable to speed up of around 90 km/h and operate within the range of 600 km-distance. The Anoa uses double wishbone independent suspension to maintain its stability while firing its 90 mm cannon. Albeit so many orders mostly come from Asian countries, Pindad will not be able to meet many orders unless it can get capital of no less than Rp 5 trillion.
Other than producing panzers, Pindad also modifies the old France made AMX-13 tank produced in 1980-an. With the length of 6.36 m, 2.5 m width and 2.35 m height weighing 14 ton, the modified AMX-13 has 105 mm caliber cannon in place of the old 75 mm one. With the turret of 105 mm it equals to Abram-class, the top American tank.
3. The government, through the state-owned company PT PAL, determines to improve national fleet development and Navy warships.
To fulfill the order of Ministry of Defense scheduled to be submitted in 2017, PT PAL is in the process of constructing a destroyer of frigate class which dimensions are 105.11 m length, 14.2 m width, speed of 28 knots, displacement of 2365 tonnes.
PT PAL is also constructing a Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV) under the order of Philippine Defense Ministry scheduled to be submitted in May 2016. SSV is a development of Landing Platform Dock (LPD) Class having the length of 123 m, 21.8 m width, capable to carry personnel up to 621 maximum. SSV has a maximum speed of 16 knots p/h, displacement of 7200 tones, with the sailing range up to 9360 nautical miles.
So far PT PAL has also produced KCR-60 or Missile Speed Boat at Surabaya dockyard having specifications of length 60 m, width 8.10 m, displacement of 460 tonnes and a maximum speed of 28 knots (52 km/h), with 43 crews. Its main weapons are 4 X C-705 SSM, 1 X 57 mm Bofors and 2 X 20 mm Denel Vektor G 12. Its expected output is 35 until 2024.
In addition, PT PAL produces 3 units trading vessels of 50,000 DWT and 2 units trading vessel of 20,000 DWT annually. PT PAL engineers have mastered the bulker ship technology of 50,000 DWT, container ship of 1,600 TEUS, and tankers of 30,000 DWT. Today PT PAL is in process of mastering the technology of industrial supporting components for electric energy power such as a boiler.
4. PT Dirgantara Indonesian (PTDI), the Airplane State-owned Enterprise is known as the producer of CN235 and CN250. Recently PTDI is preparing to build N219, a new generation plane capable to carry 19 passengers and cargo with maximum weight up to 2,500 kilos. Putting into consideration that 70% of Indonesian airfields are just 800 m long, its capability to take off and land at a short 600 meters airfield, make it suitable for the most Indonesia airfield condition.
Having low operational cost at the speed of 395 km per hour and the price of around USD 4-5 million it is very competitive as compared with Twin Otter and Cessna Caravan around USD 6-7 million per unit, which makes a total of 100 orders from domestic and some potential buyers from foreign countries. PTDI is planning to produce the next generation of its kind namely N245 and N270, each with a bigger body, increasing speed, and more passengers to carry.
Now the government also pays attention to increase the strength of Air Force weapon for which Indonesian Ministry of Defense has cost sharing agreement (CSA) with Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) in January to co-produce fighting jets. The Ministry has allocated the fund up Rp 18 trillion for the construction 5 prototypes of the plane. Four planes to be assembled and built up in Korea while another one in Indonesia. The four planes produced in South Korea are assembled by both Korean and Indonesian engineers who are posted to work there in order to gain a transfer of technology. All five planes will roll on out of the hangar and undergo flight test in 2020.
Working hand-in-hand cooperatively PT Pindad, PT PAL, PTDI (formerly IPTN) and National Electronic Institution (LEN) will build and develop unmanned planes, drones, submarines, invisible boats and stealth planes in the future depending on the availability of technology, capital, and constant orders.
Indonesia companies have been able to produce the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with long-range self-controlled pilot aimed to be used in military reconnaissance and missile delivery. In order to make good reconnaissance, UAV must be able to fly at 200 m minimum height, 60 km/h flight speed and 60 minutes flight duration