Indonesia Discusses Possible Defence Sales With Pakistan

This is an article published in our December 2016 Issue.

Indonesia’s state-run Antara News agency reported on 21 September that Indonesia had offered to sell defence equipment to Pakistan, stating that former Indonesian army General (retired) Wiranto, who serves as Indonesia’s current coordinating minister for political, security and legal affairs met with Pakistan’s chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee, General Rashad Mahmood, earlier that week and discussed the possible defence sales.

Speaking from his office following the talks, Gen. Wiranto announced that, among the equipment considered for Pakistan were an undisclosed number of Airbus CN-235 family turboprop freighter aircraft, produced by the state-owned PT Dirgantara Indonesia, as well as Indonesia’s PT Pindad Anoa six-wheel drive Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), and assault rifles.

It is still unclear which variant of the CN-235 Pakistan is looking to acquire, as Indonesia currently produces both the CN235-220 military version, operated by Indonesia’s air force and the CN235-220 maritime patrol aircraft variant, which is in use with Indonesia’s navy. The Anoa APC developed by the local manufacturer PT Pindad, resembles the French GIAT Industries/Nexter VAB four-wheel drive APC, and was first unveiled to the public in 2006.

Talk of sales between the two countries comes as Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo seeks to develop and promote Indonesia’s local defence industry abroad, developing new markets for state-owned defence firms and their products. Ties and cooperation between Indonesia and Pakistan have considerably deepened in recent years, from business deals to student exchanges: “Relations between the two countries’ armies are very close. Gen. Mahmood has asked for maintaining and developing that relationship,” Gen. Wiranto told journalists following the talks. During his visit to Indonesia in late September, Gen. Mahmood also met with Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo, commander of Indonesia’s armed forces, to discuss ways to develop and strengthen defence cooperation and ties between the two countries, as well as various geopolitical issues of common interest for both countries, including the continuing threat from political violence throughout the region.