Indonesia: March 6, 2001

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Indonesia has signed a series of defense agreements with India, including expanded military-to-military contacts, exchanges of training opportunities, and (in the future) major purchases of Indian-made weapons by the Indonesian military. Indonesia has been seeking a new source for weapons since the US halted most arms sales over human rights complaints. India has been desperately seeking arms export customers for some time. The move is a major shift for Indonesia, which has been openly concerned over India's increasing naval forces and the construction of military bases on Indian islands near Indonesian territory. What Indonesia really needs is a source for spare parts for US-made equipment. Only four of Indonesia's C-130s can fly, and only eight of the nation's 30 military helicopters are operational. (The US agreed to provide some C-130 spare parts under strict controls that the aircraft be used for humanitarian missions.) Indonesia needs to replace many old items (some of them originally made for WWII).--Stephen V Cole 

 

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