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The Importance of National Defense Industries For Indonesia

Indonesia is a great country with its population and rich resources. But unfortunately Indonesia is still a developing country in its status among world power competitions. The requirements needed to be a great power are available for Indonesia. But Indonesia is still behind China, India, and maybe Brazil. Besides big population, rich natural resources, economic and technology development, China and India have big and strong military capacities. In international politics, a country that has formidable military forces can use it as leverage in international competitions. From economic negotiations to border disputes, the size and posture of military forces also contribute to the results of the mentioned negotiations and disputes. So in peace time, military power still serves to national interests.

Certainly, high economic growth and capacities are needed to build a strong and modern military forces. But, there is another factor that enables the two country to build formidable military forces. That factor is their national defense industries. Their military forces are supported and supplied by their strong defense industries. Previously, they imported military weapons from West and Russia. Then they conducted research and development for those weapons. They also required licenses and transfer for technology in weapon imports. In the end, they are now capable to produce their own military hardware and weapon without too much dependent to weapon producers from West and Russia.

In case of Indonesia, it seems that this archipelago country is following China and India in developing national defense industries. Indonesia has several state-owned companies that has started producing military hardware and weapon for Indonesian National Armed Forces. The first company is Pindad. This company makes APC (Armored Personal Carrier) Anoa, assault rifles SS2, and ammunition. The second is PTDI or Indonesian Aerospace (IAe). This company produces airplane CN-235 for military and civilian utilities. PTDI is making CN-235 MPA for Indonesian Air Forces. PTDI also produces helicopters and provides refitting services for maintaining aircraft. The third is PT. PAL. This company produces ships for military and civilian utilities. PT. PAL already produced fast patrol boats for Indonesian Navy.

Indonesia slowly and gradually is building its capacities in national defense industries. After military embargo from USA, Indonesia has learned that they need to be less dependent from other countries in procuring military hardware and weapon. This is just the beginning. The latest news is South Korea and Indonesia signed MoU in researching and producing 4.5 generation fighter aircraft. Hopefully, in year 2020 Indonesia has nationally-produced 4 squadron semi-stealth fighter aircraft.