JAKARTA, Indonesia – Since 1992, Russia has exported arms worth more than $2.5 billion to Indonesia, Russian arms exporting company Rosoboronexport said on Tuesday.
“The USSR and the Republic of Indonesia have been cooperating in the defense industry since 1958. These ties between Moscow and Jakarta intensified between the late 1990s and the early 2000s,” he told Rosoboronexport.
The Russian arms export company added that Russia sold to Indonesia BTR-80A armored combat vehicles, BMP-3F infantry fighting vehicles, Kalashnikov assault rifles, Sukhoi Su fighters and Mi helicopters, as well as other military weapons and equipment .
The company noted that Moscow has signed a contract for the supply to Indonesia of BT-3F amphibious armored vehicles and BMP-3F infantry fighting vehicles also on Tuesday.
Indonesia has ordered a batch of amphibious armored vehicles from Russia to enhance the capabilities of its marines and replace ageing Soviet-era machines, operated by the military.
The contract was signed in the capital city of Jakarta on Monday, according to Rosoboronexport. Indonesian military is expected to get 21 BT-3F and 22 BMP-3F vehicles, at a total cost of over $170 million.
BMP-3F is a modern infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), designed specifically to meet the needs of marines. It boasts enhanced seafaring capabilities, yet lacks some implements of a ground combat-focused version. While the vehicle is very light, weighing only some 18 tons, it packs quite a punch – it’s equipped with a 100-mm gun, 30-mm autocannon and three machine guns. Indonesia already operates over 50 BMP-3s, including its marine variant.
BT-3F is an armored personnel carrier (APC), based on BMP-3F. While it lacks powerful armament, having only machine guns at its disposal, it is spacious enough to accommodate 15 marines as well as two crew members. Indonesia is the first foreign country to get its hands on the modern amphibious APC, according to Rosoboronexport.
The new APCs are likely to replace – partially, at least – Soviet-made old BTR-50P and truly antique K-61 amphibious vehicles, that are still operated by the Indonesian army.