China, Indonesia Expand Military Cooperation

Chinese C705 boosted into cruise flight on a firing test.

Chinese C-705 medium anti-ship missile.
China and Indonesia have started talks on the local production of C-705 anti-ship missiles, as part of Indonesia’s efforts to achieve independence in weapons production. The initial talks were conducted as part of the first China-Indonesia defense industry cooperation meeting held in Jakarta on Wednesday, July 25, 2012.

According to sources in Indonesia, a seaside site for the production plant and open sea testing has already been located. The Indonesian Navy already received C-705 missiles and has recently conducted a successful firing test in the Sunda Strait.

Indonesia is currently negotiating three levels of cooperation – local assembly of C-705 missiles from kit supplied from China, partial production of kit elements in Indonesia and collaborative research and development regarding future missile programs.

Indonesia and China have tightened their military cooperation in recent months, culminating in the recent “Sharp Knife” joint Special Forces exercise in China, involving Chinese and Indonesian special forces. China has also invited ten Indonesian Air Force pilots to train using a Sukhoi fighter flight simulator in China.

Indonesia has already embarked on similar international cooperationIn 2011 Jakarta embarked on a joint development with South Korea, eying the development of an advanced, yet affordable stealth fighter. A similar cooperation is eying the development and construction of Korean designed submarines. Jakarta is cooperating with the Netherlands on building the SIgma class frigates while Spanish based Airbus Military selected Indonesia as its regional hub for building C-295 transport medium transport planes.

“We have allocated Rp 150 trillion [US$15.8 billion] to modernize our weapons-defense system from 2010 to 2014. It would be wasteful paying such a huge amount to foreign defense industries without any attempt to improve our own.” Chairman of the Indonesian House of Representatives’ Commission I on defense issues, Mahfudz Shiddiq.

Chinese C705 boosted into cruise flight on a firing test.