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Hagel Announces U.S. Deal to Sell Attack Helicopters to Indonesia

August 26, 2013

[According to news reports there are no restrictions on the use of these
attack helicopters. In 2002, more than 90 organizations worldwide issued
a joint letter opposing the sale of these attack helicopters to
The groups warned that the
helicopters will escalate conflicts in Indonesia, especially in the
rebellious region of West Papua : "Providing these helicopters would
pose a direct threat to Papuan civilians."  There is no reason
to believe otherwise. – John M. Miller/ETAN]

U.S. to Sell $500 Million of Attack Helicopters to Indonesia

By Gopal Ratnam & Berni Moestafa – Aug 26, 2013 8:59 AM ET

The U.S. agreed to sell a fleet of Apache attack helicopters to the Indonesian Army in a transaction valued at as much as $500 million.

Indonesia will buy eight Apaches and the U.S. will provide training to their pilots on tactics, techniques and procedures for operating in Southeast Asia, a U.S. defense official said in an e-mailed statement.

“The U.S. for the first time has agreed to sell Indonesia new AH-64E Apache attack helicopters,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a prepared statement from Jakarta where he met his counterpart Purnomo Yusgiantoro.

The helicopters, fitted with Longbow radar, are made by Chicago-based Boeing Co. (BA)Various models of the Apache are flown by the U.S. Army and the military in Egypt, Greece,Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the U.K., according to its website.

The U.S. in 2005 lifted restrictions on arms sales and military cooperation with Indonesia, which were imposed in 1991 because of the country’s human rights record. A defense cooperation agreement was signed about five years later.

In November 2011 the U.S. agreed to provide Indonesia with 24 refurbished F-16 jet fighters from the Pentagon’s used aircraft inventory. The jets are made by Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)of Bethesda, Maryland.

Indonesia has made progress in improving transparency and protection of human rights, according to Hagel. This may “lead to even more momentum in our defense relationship,” he said.

Economic Performance

The U.S. didn’t attach conditions restricting the use of the Apache aircraft, according to Yusgiantoro. Indonesia is buying new helicopters as it hasn’t modernized its armed forces for the past 15 or 20 years because of the 1998 Asian financial crisis, he said at a joint press briefing with Hagel.

“In other countries when economic performance gets better, when there’s good economic growth, some funds can be used to modernize the armed forces,” the minister said. “That is what’s happening with Indonesia.”

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is due to hand over power in elections next year, is seeking to shore up his legacy of political and economic stability in the world’s fourth-most populous nation. As he nears the end of a decade in power, the leader faces an economy that is growing at the slowest pace since 2010, a slumping rupiah and the fastest inflation in more than four years.

Gross domestic product increased 5.81 percent from a year earlier in the three months ended June 30, the first time the economy expanded less than 6 percent since 2010. The rupiah fell to the weakest since April 2009 today, while inflation in July climbed to 8.61 percent.

To contact the reporters on this story: Gopal Ratnam in Jakarta at gratnam1; Berni Moestafa in Jakarta at bmoestafa


Hagel Announces U.S. Deal to Sell Helicopters to Indonesia

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

JAKARTA, Indonesia, Aug. 26, 2013 – In a first-of-its-kind deal worth about $500 million, the United States has agreed to sell eight new Apache AH-64E attack helicopters and Longbow radars to Indonesia, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said here today.

Hagel announced the deal during a joint news conference with Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro after productive meetings this afternoon with Yusgiantoro and earlier today with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The secretary is visiting Indonesia as part of an eight-day, four-nation trip that has included a stop in Malaysia and will take him this week to Brunei and the Philippines.

“Providing Indonesia these world-class helicopters is an example of our commitment to help build Indonesia’s military capability,” Hagel said.

The U.S. military will train Indonesian pilots and help in developing tactics, techniques and procedures for operating in the Southeast Asian security environment, a senior defense official said, adding that details of the delivery and training timeline are being determined.

The agreement represents a significant advance in military capabilities by a key U.S. partner and is the sort of investment the United States believes is prudent to support security in the Asia-Pacific region, the official said.

The new capability “will help Indonesia respond to a range of contingencies, including counterpiracy operations and maritime awareness,” he added.

“The United States is committed to working with Southeast Asian nations to grow defense capabilities and deepen military-to-military cooperation with all of our partners,” the official said.

During the news conference with Yusgiantoro, Hagel said it has been impressive to watch a democratic Indonesia emerge as one of the most important contributors to peace and prosperity, not only in Asia, but also globally.

“Helping ensure the region’s security and prosperity is a goal the United States strongly shares,” the secretary said. “The strong and enduring security partnership that has been built between the United States and Indonesia is a relationship the United States greatly values.”

Hagel said President Barack Obama looks forward to his October visit to Indonesia and to deepening ties between the two countries.

Progress on security includes increasingly complex exercises between the two militaries, and growing defense, trade and high-level policy engagement, the secretary added.

The two militaries recently launched an initiative to share best practices in defense planning and management to increase Indonesian military capability, Hagel said, and next month the United States and Indonesia will cohost a counterterrorism exercise under the framework of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus.

ASEAN is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, whose 10 member states are Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Defense ministers from these nations attend the annual ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting, or ADMM. And the ADMM-Plus is made up of ASEAN members and eight dialogue partners: the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, New Zealand and Russia. This year’s ADMM-Plus meeting will be start tomorrow in Brunei.

Hagel said the United States welcomes Indonesia’s leadership in promoting regional security cooperation through ASEAN and regional forums such as the East Asia Summit.

“The United States is committed to further strengthening the U.S.-ASEAN relationship and I look forward to meeting with my counterparts this week at the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting- Plus in Brunei to address the many security challenges we face in this region,” he said.

Developing long-term and enduring solutions to challenges like maritime security, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, counterterrorism, and the peaceful management of disputes in the South China Sea calls for greater cooperation and respect for rules and norms among all parties and the institutions that underpin them, the secretary noted.

“I am also pleased to be able to announce that the U.S. and Indonesia have pledged mutual support and cooperation on the search and recovery of U.S. personnel missing from World War II,” Hagel said.

Several Indonesian ministries have oversight of such requests, including defense, education and culture, and research and technology. All have agreed to process future requests from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, a joint task force within the Defense Department whose mission is to account for Americans listed as prisoners of war, or missing in action, from all past wars and conflicts.

The United States believes that about 1,800 U.S. personnel are still missing in action from World War II in the waters and lands of Indonesia, a senior defense official said, adding that while not all are recoverable, current research indicates that hundreds ultimately may be found and brought home.

“The United States commitment to this effort is important to our personnel serving today,” Hagel said, “to make clear that we stand by our pledge to leave no one behind.”

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