Indonesia secures $300 million drone deal with Turkish aerospace

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Indonesia has taken a significant step in the modernisation of its military equipment, purchasing 12 new drones from Ankara-based Turkish Aerospace, as reported by Reuters. The $300 million deal, confirmed by Indonesia’s defence ministry on Tuesday, adds to a series of significant investments in military hardware this year.

The acquisition follows other notable purchases including 12 Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets in an $800-million deal and 42 Rafale fighter jets for $8.1 billion. While these purchases are seen as efforts to replace ageing military assets, criticism has been levelled at the decisions, particularly regarding the age of the Mirage jets.

This move comes amid President Joko Widodo’s warning to maintain a “healthy” budget, having previously pointed to outsized spending by Indonesia’s security agencies. The defence ministry’s allocation for this year stands at 134.3 trillion rupiah ($8.89 billion), the most significant share of the country’s total budget, as per government data.

The agreement with Turkish Aerospace was finalised in February, and the drones are scheduled to be delivered within 32 months of the signing. Furthermore, the package also encompasses training and flight simulators, as detailed in the defence ministry’s statement.

These purchases underscore Indonesia’s commitment to updating its military capabilities at a time when defence modernisation is seen as vital. The continued spending has not been without controversy, as it raises questions about budget priorities and the wisdom of particular acquisitions.

The deal with Turkish Aerospace also underlines growing defence collaboration between Turkey and Indonesia, two predominantly Muslim-majority nations. It may set a precedent for further cooperation in technology and defence sectors.

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