Thursday, August 26, 2010

Govt urged to meet TNI's need

Govt urged to meet TNI`s need for adequate mily hardware
Thursday, August 26, 2010 04:11 WIB | National | | Viewed 96 time(s)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government has to find a quick solution to the National Defense Forces (TNI)`s problem of inadequate military hardware and needs to improve servicemen`s welfare, a legislator said here Wednesday.

Fayakhun Andriadi, a member of the House of Representatives (DPR)`s Commission I, said the solution lay in implementing a Minimum Essential Force (MEF) buildup program or providing the TNI with minimum standard defense hardware and improving soldiers` welfare.

He noted that buying defense equipment was not like shopping for clothes in a department store, while the goods were not always in ready stock.

"It always has to begin with negotiations, followed by contract signing, and then the factory can start producing the equipment. This is a long process, whereas the TNI has the heavy responsibility of guarding our borders and protect our sovereignty," he said.

Citing an example, he said, when Indonesia wanted to have Russian Sukhoi fighter planes, it took about 20 months to produce the aircraft.

There was also the experience of buying 6x6 size `Anoa` tanks from PT Pindad in which it took at least 15 months to complete the order. When the Navy needed a submarine, it had to wait 55 months, he said.

"All military hardware purchases take a long time, while the responsibility of guarding the republic can`t wait that long, while foreign border provocations are happening time and again," He said.

Therefore, according to Fayakhun, the MEF pattern of acquiring defense equipment was better than the method the government was now following, a method that was expensive and time consuming.

"Ideally, when we have the funds, we buy the stuff. But in reality, with the export credit (K/E) mechanism the government has been adhering to so far, the Defense Ministry buys the defense equipment on credit from the seller, thereby allowing brokers to reap enormous profits," he said.

"Eventually, we have to pay back the credit with interest, and plead for donor countries` lenience, whereby we reduce our sovereignty in the security and defense field (especially in defense equipment procurement), and are always being dictated by foreign parties," Fayakhun said..

"The K/E mechanism was actually adopted because we had no budget for defense and security, or the funds available in one budget year wee never sufficient to make a purchase," he said.(*)

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