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The Indonesian Army

Discussion in 'Army & Security Forces' started by DavidDCM, Mar 31, 2010.

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  1. DavidDCM

    DavidDCM Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    There are lots of threads in this forum related to the Singaporean and Malaysian Armed Forces, yet very few about the Indonesian military, despite being the biggest player in Southeast Asia.

    In the last few months there were quite a lot interesting new developments, which in my eyes are worth being discussed.

    One of the more interesting things that happened was a speech by the general who is the current commander of the Indonesian armored corps (or cavalry corps, as it is called in Indonesia). I couldn't find an English version of it, so I'm just linking the Indonesian news article citing that speech:
    Antara News, Feb 9, 2010

    The most important points in this article:
    - The Indonesian army is procuring 22 vehicles of a so called "Tarantula" 6x6 armored vehicle armed with a 90 mm canon from South Korea. The vehicles are to be delivered in 2010. I've never heard of a Tarantula and Google isn't coming up with anything, so probably this is the Indonesian name for it.
    - The army is planning to replace the ageing AMX-13 with a main battle tank. No timeframe given.
    - Two new armor bataillons are to be established in 2011 and 2012, both based on the island of Kalimantan/Borneo.

    The last point coincides with the fact that the Indonesian army is planning to create a new regional command ("Kodam", comparable to a division in strength and task) in Kalimantan this year, a plan that has caused suspicion among several countries.

    If anyone cares to share a thought, I'd be happy to read it.
     
  2. Ananda

    Ananda Active Member

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    David,

    The reasons why little development being discussed on the Indonesian Army in my oppinion can be said on several factors:

    1. After the down of General Soeharto, the viasco in East Timor, the Army is still under suspiscions for some time by the political elite, also the outside world much more willing to cooperate with the Air Force, Navy or the Police.
    2. So many things in the Army need to rehab first. The procurement practices is one ofthem. Thus besides the shrinking budgets, also the way the budget being used need to reorganize. Now the army consist more than 80% of total armed forces, thus the Army budgets was more for improving renumerations and living conditions for avarege soldiers. That's why many new procurements was more to the Navy and Air Force.
    5. Internall security now more and more down to the Police, and notthe Army. Thus there are also reorganizations on Army strategy with more on Border protections. Thus this one of the reasons why additional Districk Command (Kodam) being build in area like Kalimantan and Papua.In such that there are presures for the Armyto redeploy more of their forces from densely populated area in Java and Sumatra, to Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Papua, and outer islands.
    4. In the second term, current administrations was more willing (also due to improvement in Economic numbers) to spend more procurements in defense equipment. MOre also related with the strategy for improvement on local defense equipement. From the other thread, I already stated many potential procurements will be tied up to South Korea, since South Korea so far is the nation that show willingness to help local defense industries on improving their capabilities.

    In such the 90mm canon armoured vehicles will be based on South Korean technology, but with more than half of materials sources domestically in Indonesia and final assembly also in Indonesia. You will found some difficulty finding it on line..since the final design still clouded. However many believe in here that the lower part will be based on the same design as existing Pindad APC (Anoa) http://www.army-technology.com/projects/pindadpanzer/
    Potential for MBT being procured already talked for some time here, since from large Asean nations like Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore...we and the Philipines are the only one still not operating any MBT.
    In the end of 70's and early 80's South Korea from my understanding offer us South Korean build M 60. However this turned down by Soeharto due to his insistances that Indonesia did not introduces MBT to down the supiscions from the neighbours. The Army then chooses to increase the number of AMX 13 and made some improvement on existing AMX 13. Inthe 90's once again the Army try to get Leopard 1, however again Soeharto change that to Scorpions.

    Now many ofthe law makers feel time's is right for Indonesia to introduces MBT to replaces the aging Light Tanks. Potential sources are Rusia, and South Korea.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  3. Chino

    Chino Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Curious, does MAF station any of their PT-91 in Borneo Sabah/Sarawak?

    I have always argued in favour of MBT's.

    Even if TNI faces no external threats, the MBT can play an important role in anti-insurgency.

    In Vietnam and other more recent conflicts, one thing is evident: the RPG will penetrate most, if not all, thinly-armored vehicles. For example, the AFP (Philippines) have lost many AFV to RPG fire. For a country with limited resources, it is not hard to imagine top commanders holding back armor support for the infantry lest they be lost.

    Thus infantry might find themselves often going into the fight without proper armor support and suffering heavier casualty rates as a result.

    An MBT - though not completely immune to RPG - stands a better chance of increasing the survivability of the crew.
     
  4. Ananda

    Ananda Active Member

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    True, if the level of Insurgencies that facing TNI was more sophisticated. The fact is from what gather until now, TNI in the hight of East Timor & Aceh insurgencies was hardly ever faced by RPG. Most of the opossitions rely on small guerilla band armed at most by light machine guns. Thus the level of Armoured support for TNI in Aceh and East Timor were relatively sufficients, since the thin armoured vehicles in which TNI operates still sufficient to counter the threat from insurgencies.

    Now the insurgencies that's still faced by TNI was in Papua..this also much lower level than what Aceh & East Timor insurgencies capable off. In fact the Papuan band was much less armed compared to the JI Terorists cells that recently being broken by the police in Aceh.

    I think that's also why MBT was not in the priority lists for some time. Recent interest in MBT was more to level the playing field with the rest of Neighbourhood.
     
  5. DavidDCM

    DavidDCM Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Ananda, yes the idea of Indonesia procuring a Main Battle Tank has been floating around in internet forums and blogs since many years, but that was only talk. But this time it was no blogger or random internet guy who said it, it was the commander of the armored corps himself.

    Chino, the PT-91M are based in Negeri Sembilan, West Malaysia. The same goes for all the Infantry Fighting Vehicles. On Borneo, the most powerful Malaysian vehicle is a 6x6 vehicle with a 90 mm gun (Sibmas AFSV90)
     
  6. Ananda

    Ananda Active Member

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    Agree David, that's why I also says that the intentions on getting MBT now is stronger than before. Besides that articles, the Deputy Defense Minister Gen Syafrie Syamsudin in one occasions last year also stated that Part of Russian equipment that being offered to Indonesia also included T 90.

    In Other part, sources in PT. Pindad also show interest from South Korea to further developed armoured vehicles appart from the 90mm Canon Armoured Vehicles. This deal also related with the offering of K1A1.

    However this can only be said as strong intentions. This because up until now the procurement of Armoured Vehicles that allready have green lights in parlements:
    1. 150 Anoa 6x6 APC from PT. Pindad
    2. 22 90 mm Canon Armoured Vehicles from PT. Pindad (co developed with South Korea)
    3. 17 BMP 3 from Russia

    No official mentioned on the lists for MBT. Infact the lattest press release from Armed Committee in parlements nudged on planned co developed of Amphibious Armourde Vehicles from PT Pindad (with possible partner also South Korean).

    That's why i'm still putting the procurement of MBT as an 'interest'. It's getting strongger, however no official procurement plan has been made yet (at least on open Media sources).

    Sorry most of the sources in Local Media with Bahasa.

    The bulk of new procurements still goes to the Air Force (additional Flankers, Radars, Missiles System, Patrol Aircraft and COIN/Super Tucano) and Navy ( Submarines, Light Frigates, LPD, LST, MPA Aircraft, Yaskhont SSM, Chinese SSM and local built missiles boats).
     
  7. DavidDCM

    DavidDCM Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Yes, I agree there. It will take many years to realize.

    What I find more interesting is the reorganisation of the military structure on Kalimantan. A new Kodam, including two new armor battalions is pretty big news in my eyes. It will enhance the Indonesian military's capabilites on Kalimantan.
    Both Indonesia and Malaysia traditionally have very little military presence on Kalimantan/Borneo. I always interpreted this as a political statement. They wanted to avoid the impression of a fortified border, thus they stationed only few soldiers there and equipped them with second-line equipment. These new announcements came as a surprise to me, as I didn't anticipate that either Malaysia or Indonesia would change this status anytime soon.

    In regards to the local sources, I understand Bahasa Indonesia, so I'd be glad if you could link them, as I'm very interested in what's going on in Indonesia.
     
  8. Ananda

    Ananda Active Member

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    David,

    If you understand Bahsa Indonesia, you can try this two Blog:
    DEFENSE STUDIES
    ALUTSISTA : ALAT UTAMA SISTEM SENJATA

    The good news about this two blog's consists only Defence Related news, specially for Indonesia. Off course there are other defense related news from outside Indonesia, however compared from other media sources, you will found Indonesian defense related issues more concentrated on this two blogs.

    I think the blog owners is defense journalist/writers. However those two blogs does not show particullar point of view of theblog owners, thus it's more neutral for someone whoose only interested in getting news.

    You can also goes to Detik.Com/Forum/Politik/Militer, sometimes you might get lucky in there. However in my oppinion that forum mostly consits on nationalistic chatting/bravado in which (in my oppinion) sometimes way ahead of reality. Well you will alwyas can found something interesthing from time to time from the pile of incoherent nasionalistic gibberish.

    On the Kodam estabishment in Borneo/Kalimantan, well offf course it's politically related statement.
    For Local Political View: THe Army now has relinguished most of internal security responsibilities to the polices, thus must be redeployed to the less densely but stratgic area.
    For Regional Political View: Indonesia Army now more serious on filling the ' defense gap' in the strategic area.
    But that's my oppinion :)
     
  9. DavidDCM

    DavidDCM Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Yes, and I agree with this opinion :)
    I just didn't expect the Indonesian government to make such a move during these times. Both governments have tried to stay on friendly terms despite the Ambalat dispute and the BBC advertisement clash last year. The beefing up of the Kalimantan military presence just looks misplaced in my eyes.

    I also agree on your oppinion that the army seems to be neglected in favor of the navy, air force and even marine corps. But you also have to consider that one of the biggest problem of the Indonesian army is simply its size. Modernizing it is a huge cost factor and will take a long, long time, and improvements are not as easily visible as in the other forces. The purchase of 150 Anoas is a good start, but the army needs many more of them as they are still operating uncounted numbers of obsolete vehicles that all need urgent replacement in the next couple of years, like the half-century old BTR-40 or Saracen armored car, which have long since disappeared from other armies.

    BTW, thanks for those links, I sure gonna take a look at them :)
     
  10. STURM

    STURM Active Member

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    I think it's a matter of dealing with immediate priorities and the need to make the best out of a tight budget. Indonesia is unlikely in the immediate future to face any threats on land but there is an urgent need to improve the capabilities of the TNI-AU and TNI-AL to monitor it's vast airspace and waters.

    IMO a point to take note of is the fact that like armies in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, the main priority of the TNI-AD these past few decades has been dealing with low intensity threats and internal security. If I'm not mistaken until the recent deliveries of Singaporean made 155mm's, the TNI-AD didn't operate anything larger than 105mm's [Ananda pls correct me if i'm mistaken].

    The Malaysian army is still in the process of developing a doctrine and tactics for their
    PT-91s. It is unlikey that any of the PT-91s will be based in East Malaysia in the near future. In Indonesia's case, given its geography and present security concerns I think that the best move would be to go for rapidly deployable AFVs as opposed to MBTs. Some years back the army received some Scorpions and Stormers. Ananda, I like what Nimda did with the Kor Marinir's PT-76s. Has the whole PT-76 fleet been upgrade or only a portion? Also, is the LRAC standard issue or only issued to certain units?
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
  11. DavidDCM

    DavidDCM Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Yes, except for the five FH-2000 howitzers received from Singapore in 1997, the Army has nothing bigger than 105 mm. The Korps Marinir is operating the Russian 122 mm M-30, but not the army.

    The change that you mention, from internal thread to conventional forces, becomes clear when we see the current army's plans. The army makes steps similar to Malaysia and Singapore. With the advent of the Anoa APC, they have turned one light infantry battalion into a Mechanised Infantry battalion and plan to create another two mechanised infantry battalions. Prior to this, armoured vehicles were centred in the so called cavalry battalions of which every regional command had one, while the normal infantry was made mobile by unarmoured trucks.

    So in the future these Anoa-equipped mechanised infantry battalions will be very similar to Singapore's Terrex-equipped mechanised infantry battalions.
     
  12. Ananda

    Ananda Active Member

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    Just like David stated,and I have mentioned on other thread,until 155mm from Singapore come, TNI AD only used 105mm as the biggest calibre. Seems 155mmonly being tried, thus only 1 batery purchased. Curiosly though seems there bigger voices for MLRS than artillery tubes for further artillery development. Still need to be seen.

    Not all PT 76 upgrade, however from marinnes inventory, at least half being upgarded. The un-upgraded ones seems going tobe replaced by BMP-3
     
  13. DavidDCM

    DavidDCM Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Ananda, have you heard anything about follow-up orders of the Anoa beyond the first 150 pieces?
     
  14. Chino

    Chino Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Let's look at one the least discussed areas of the armed forces of Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia: Political power.

    Which of the three armed forces has the most political power, most politicised or are most closely-linked to the politics of the country?

    And which one is the least?

    Has the political nature of TNI changed post-Suharto?

    If this topic is undesirable, my apologies in advance.
     
  15. Ananda

    Ananda Active Member

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    @David, no I haven't heard any follow up on Anoa besides the current 150. Anoa supposedly to replace the Old Avis Whelled Armoured Vehicles. Thus with the Old Avis gone, the Inventory of Wheeled APC in the Army will consist of Cadilac-Gage V 150, VAB, and Anoa.

    The follow on project are Wheeled Armoured Canon Vehicles (which will used at least 60% compatibility with Anoa), and Amphibious Anoa. The Canon vehicles already in the Order, while Pindad already in development stages for prototype of Amphibious Anoa. This suppose goes to the Marines.

    Chino for me it's not a taboo subjects. In my Oppinion even after Soeharto TNI will still be more politicised compared to Malaysian and Singaporean armed forces.

    True TNI will not have 'classic' political representatives in Parliment anymore, however they will not relinquished their political influences all over.
    In sense, from my reading, TNI will put themself like Turkey military. Out of 'conventional' political circle, but will maintain themself as 'Guardian' of basic principle/ideology of the Republic. In Turkey case it's the Attaturk ideology, in Indonesia it's Pancasila. Both have simmilarity on emphassing on Seculer strong Central Government which need to hold the integrity of the Republic.

    In Short, they will be as 'watch dog' to the Civies Politician for not deviated much from basic priciple of the Republic, which is secularism and national unity under strong central government. How it's going to interprate on day to day..well need to be watch more.;)
     
  16. STURM

    STURM Active Member

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    The Malaysian Armed Forces traditionally have steered away from poilitics and have no say in political matters or how the country is run. The same goes for Singapore.
    I'm sure OPSSG will be able to elaborate more :)

    Ananda, can you recomend any good online sources in English on the TNI-AD? I'm very interested in it's organisation. There was a very good Korps Marinir site in BI but I can't seem to find it any more.
     
  17. Ananda

    Ananda Active Member

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    If you want to see the organisation structure and how it works, I think the guys that build TNI AD site in wiki doing pretty good job (quite suprissing considering what come in to wiki this days :D)

    You can also visit the Official Site. However it's very general. Seems our Armed Forces still quite shy on disclosing themselves in the official site.

    Unoffcially, the two blogs I recommeded to David in this thread was quite good for Indonesia Military news related. Condidering those two blogs consist mostly on the 'extracting' News, and not the Blog Owner point of view.

    The rest yo have to scry over several news online outlet like KOMPAS.com ; http://www.mediaindonesia.com; Majalah Defender | Teknologi - Taktik dan Pengetahuan Militer or Official Antara (Indonesian News Agency) site. There are other web site, blog site, and other Indonesia forum chat that yo can visit from time to time, however mostly talk on Nationalistic bravado, and only occasionally you can get 'real' news.

    Sadlly mostly in Bahasa, but the big ones usually alraedy connect to Google Translation.
     
  18. Chino

    Chino Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    To both Ananda & Sturm

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Actually, I don't quite know how to position SAF in terms of whether they are politicised or not.

    But SAF officers often move on to take very senior position in the government. Out PM for one. And several others including Brig Gens and Admirals etc. They don't completely relinquish their military titles often having something like "Brig Gen (ret)" attached to their names.

    If you ask me, I think the MAF is the least politicised of the three military.

    Corporal (ret) Chino :D
     
  19. DavidDCM

    DavidDCM Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Yes, that would seem to be the logical step. But from what I read so far, things are different. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    The old Alvis vehicles are used by the cavalry battalions (Yonkav). But the Anoas all go to other units, like the newly created Mechanised Infantry battalion (Yonif Mekanis 201) which was normal light infantry before and did not have any armored vehicles. So it appears that the cavalry battalions will have to stick with their Alvis vehicles for quite some time.

    That's why I asked about a possible follow-up order. Maybe you've heard something about that matter.

    But thanks so far for your informative answers :)
     
  20. Ananda

    Ananda Active Member

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    David, problem is no official distribution lists so far for all those 154 Anoa's. Those 3 new Mechanised Infrantry Batalions could be have composite forces of Cadilac Gage Commando Families (V 150, V 100 and Scout), VAB and Anoa (just like the Mechanised Batalions in Jakarta Military District Command/ Kodam V).

    I still see some of Anoa's will be used as Alvis APC (sarracen) replacements since the lattest data only show 50's of them still operational. Further from sources here, it's been stated from Army Maintanances that further upgrading of The Sarracen was stop after 15 vehicles, due to inspections review show upgrading costs for the rest was about the half of acquisition costs simmilar number of Anoa.

    So far Pindad try to get export order for Anoa to keep production line open after the 154 order from the Army. They try to sell it to Malaysia and stated already getting interest from Sri Lanka. Afterall with simmilar capabilities with VAB, Anoa's dirt cheap :).

    Possible hinted that Pindad expect further order for Anoa (at least dommestically), was the anouncement from Pindad in March that they're negotiating with Mercedes Benz for Anoa's engine ANTARA News: Pindad Jajaki Mesin Panser Dari Mercedes. I say it's possible hint, since all current Anoa's productions used Renault Engine.

    One thing for sure though, Maintaining Mercedes Diesel is more economical in Indonesia compared to Renault ones, since the populations of Mercedes Diesel in here was quite abundant (second only to Hino). Further Mercedes Indonesia do have Diesel engine manufacturing facilities near Jakarta, although current line smaller then the requirements for Anoa.