House, Govt Support National Defense Industry
Chair of the Commission I of the House, Meutya Viada Hafid (middle, front row), poses for a photo op with her colleagues during a working visit. Photo: Singgih/rni
The House of Representatives and the government are committed to promoting the development of national defense industry, said Chair of the Commission I of the House, Meutya Viada Hafid, adding that such industry plays a crucial role in protecting national sovereignty. President Joko Widodo has also promised to enhance the national defense industry, while Commission I have enacted Law No. 16/2012 on the Defense Industry to allow national defense industry to be the major player in the domestic sales of arms.
“We are now in the talks of purchasing 4 billion rounds of ammunition, along with some different types of weapons that are currently in procurement process with the Defense Ministry, and also tactical vehicles ‘Maung’,” she said during a working visit to PT. Pindad, a state-owned weapons manufacturer, in West Java’s Bandung on Friday (17/7/2020).
The Defense Ministry and PT. Pindad have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for the procurement of 1 billion rounds of ammunition per year. Within the period of 2020 to 2023, PT. Pindad will supply a total of 4 billion rounds of ammunition to the Defense Ministry through a deal valued at up to Rp. 19 trillion. The Defense Ministry’s budget has increased from Rp. 110 trillion in 2019 to Rp. 131 trillion in 2020. Meanwhile, for 2021, the additional budget has been proposed at Rp 129.3 trillion.
The substantial budget allocation is expected to provide value added to the domestic arms industry. "These are some of the many products from PT. Pindad that needs more promotion so that Indonesia can be the major player in the domestic defense industry," the Golkar Party politician asserted.
Ms. Hafid added that while purchase of domestic products of the arms industry has not been dominant, positive development of the national defense industry proved that the Defense Industry Law has been well-implemented. “Though we are still importing some primary weapons systems, we always put transfer of knowledge as a prerequisite for every cooperation we develop with our foreign counterparts. In the meantime, we also hope PT. Pindad could play its role to help develop our national defense industries,” she said.
The North Sumatera constituency legislator also highlighted that the government is committed to supporting the national defense industry by purchasing PT. Pindad’s products. Compared to their foreign equivalents, PT. Pindad’s products are known for their competitive advantage that Indonesia can be proud of after all. (skr/sf)