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Indonesia, Russia move forward in defense cooperation

09-21-2011 14:11 BJT

by Abu Hanifah

JAKARTA, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Russia is stepping up its defense cooperation with Indonesia by drafting plans to set up a joint venture of armaments and military vehicles with Indonesian government-run defense industries.

Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Alexander Ivanov has said recently that Russia inches ahead in defense cooperation with Indonesia.

"We had undergone negotiations with PT Pindad, prepare to sign a MoU," Alexander said on Tuesday, referring to the MoU with its Indonesian counterpart in armament joint production. PT Pindad is Indonesia's armament producer, ran by Indonesian army.

Alexander was quoted by local media as saying talks with Indonesian ship and plane builder, PT PAL and PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) "are underway now. We are now preparing the MoU drafts on joint production," adding that a MoU with PAL and PTDI are expected later this year.

Alexander said that through the joint production on defense and strategic industries, transfer of Russian technology to Indonesia can be resumed as Indonesia has long been a Russia's friendly country that massively used Russian technology in the past.

Back in 1960s, during the administration of Indonesia's first President Soekarno, most of Indonesia's defense armaments and vehicles were supplied by Russia that made it the most formidable forces in southern hemisphere.

With the latest models of fighter and bomber planes from Russia, Indonesia had the most modern air force fleet at that time.

Indonesia now resumes using Russian Sukhoi fighter jets and Mi 35 and Mi 17 helicopters with some now have joined Indonesian forces' fleets and some other are expected to be delivered from Russia in the near future.

Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro welcomed the Russian initiative to undertake joint production in defense industry with Indonesian firms, saying that there will be more cooperation in defense sector with Russia in the future.

"It was a sweet surprise as Russian has long been known as selective to select partners in joint production of defense equipments," Purnomo said.

He said that besides joint production and military equipment purchases, Indonesia would also sent its military cadets to study in Russia.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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