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Indonesia mulls joint arms industry with India

By Xinhua

Jakarta : Indonesia is actively considering setting up joint ventures with India to produce military equipment after defence officials of the two countries met here last week, local press reported Friday.

Indonesia is also seeking ways to procure tanks, ships and heavy ammunition from India and studying the possibility of using India's maintenance services for fighter jets it bought from Russia, reported English daily The Jakarta Post.

Indian military and defence officials have reviewed Indonesia's defence companies, including PT LEN, PT PAL, PT Pindad and PT Dirgantara, to determine what types of military products the two countries can produce together, the newspaper quoted a government spokesman as saying.

Defence officials from the two countries gathered here last week in the first-ever Joint Defence Cooperation Committee meeting. "During the joint committee meeting, we talked about how we can cooperate in the military and defence sector, as well as what kind of products and services India can provide for the Indonesian Army, Navy and Air Force," said spokesperson for the Defence Ministry Brigadier General Butar.

"For instance, the Army is considering buying tanks and other heavy ammunition, while the Air Force is studying the possibility (of India) doing maintenance on our Sukhoi planes because the country has a license from Russia to produce the planes," added Butar.

Indonesian officials were of the view that letting India do the Sukhoi maintenance would be cheaper than giving the service to Russia.

And, as India has the capacity to build warships, Butar said, the Navy and PT PAL could cooperate with Indian firms on this.