Indonesia Seeks India’s Defence Technology, Explores Joint Production Opportunities

Defence Industry
FILE PHOTO: Soldiers stand next to military vehicles as people gather to protest against the military coup, in Yangon, Myanmar, February 15, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

New Delhi: In a move to counter China’s ambitions of expanding in South East Asia, Indonesia has sought defence technology from India to strengthen its safety devices.

It is exploring joint defence production with India, and looking at the possibility of co-producing military vehicles and water cannons. The proposed initiative is planned on Indonesian territory to enable the acquisition of defence technology skills.

India’s deputy national security adviser Pankaj Saran visited Jakarta last week to meet with key presidential aides, including Indonesian defence minister Prabawo Subianto and presidential chief of staff H. Moeldoko, in collaboration with the expansion of defence partnerships. Defence production was an important item on the agenda.

Counterterrorism was also considered at the Saran conference. Subianto visited the Indian Embassy in Jakarta and signed a condolence letter after General Bipin Rawat died in a helicopter crash last week.

It is understood that  Moeldoko said in a meeting with Saran on December 8 that Indonesia and India have some common interests, including the defence sector.

“We have the same interest in dealing with extremism and  so we can develop cooperation to build stronger relationships in the defence sector,” Moeldoko said.

Jakarta and New Delhi are expected to focus on technology transfer and the development of local manufacturing in the defence sector. Indonesia is not the petitioner for the South China Sea region, but Jakarta remains vigilant for Beijing’s growing ambitions in the region.

India and Indonesia have also decided to expand maritime cooperation and partnerships in the Indian Ocean Territory. The question of the possibility of exporting BRAHMOS cruise missiles to Indonesia and how to further deepen maritime security cooperation was highlighted at the meeting.