Indonesia earmarks 1.56 bln USD for army modernization in 2013Souce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 15/02/2013 3:52 am in World / no comments
JAKARTA, Feb. 13 — The Indonesian House of Representatives has approved a military budget worth 1.56 billion U.S. dollars to update Indonesia’s weapons system this year, aiming to strengthen and modernize the country’s military arsenal, an army general said Wednesday.
Army Chief of Staff Pramono Edhie Wibowo said the 1.56 billion U.S. dollars budget approved was to buy new weapons and replace the old ones simultaneously by phase in 2013.
“The army will acquire 24 units of helicopters of 412 type, Leopard tanks, cannons and rockets with a firing range of up to 100 kilometers,” Pramono said, adding that negotiations are in progress for the purchase of 20 units of helicopters of black hawk type.
Indonesia’s Antara news agency quoted the General Pramono as saying that the army would start buying the equipment directly from the producing countries in line with the procedure and the equipment would be distributed by phase to various regions which need modernization of weapons system.
As the biggest country and economy in Southeast Asia, Indonesia has begun to leverage its growing economy to overhaul its aging military hardware. Indonesia raised its defense budget to 8 billion U.S. dollars for 2013, a 6.6 percent increase from last year.