KOMPAS – People’s Representative Council (DPR) Commission I guarantees that Indonesia will no longer buy used weaponry from abroad. In addition to ensure the country’s defense, the step is taken to ensure the safety of Indonesian soldiers.
“The Commission I and the Indonesian Military Chief have the same views. In the future, Indonesia won’t buy used primary weaponry defense system (alutsista), “said the Commission I Deputy Chairman, Tantowi Yahya, Sunday (5/7), in Jakarta.
Earlier, the DPR wanted the government to buy new aircraft. But the government decided to bring them in through grants, enhancing their capabilities later. Indonesia finally obtained 24 F-16s from the United States.
“We cannot undone what we’ve done. We must continue the transactions because we’ve already paid. But, in the future we’ll buy the new ones, “said Yahya.
According to the plan, as many 24 F-16s will be sent to Madiun, East Java, from Utah, United States. All 24 aircraft were made in the 1980s. In 2010, TB Hasanuddin, vice chairman of DPR Commission I (2009-2014) wanted the government to purchase six new F-16 aircraft, but the government wanted to get them through grants to obtain more aircraft.
According to the Commission I Chairman, Mahfudz Siddiq, the procurement of non-grant new weaponry is actually an old ambition. It had become a policy direction of the TNI Strategic Plan 2010-2014 Phase I . However, he said, that goal could not be fully materialized.
“After the alutsista procurement policy repeatedly ended with accidents, the evaluation is absolutely necessary. We must be ready to face the consequences and risks. At present, the key to the modernization of existing weaponry is in the government’s commitment to come up with an adequate budget, “said Siddiq.
Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo, chief of staff of the Indonesian Army and the prospective TNI Chief, vowed to evaluate the airworthiness of military aircraft. The move was a response to the instruction of President Joko Widodo regarding fundamental overhaul of the management system of defense equipment and the strengthening of zero accident.
“I have to conduct evaluation. So the Air Force aircraft will fit to fly. But, if you look at what happened [in Medan, North Sumatra] why the aircraft could crash, then, we must conduct evaluation, “Nurmantyo said after meeting the President at the Presidential Palace.
Related to the modernization of weaponry systems, Nurmantyo said, in the future the TNI should get new weaponry. In addition, according to the President’s direction, the procurement of weaponry systems should also involve domestic defense industry.