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Indonesia: Deteriorating Primary Defense Weapon System

Another Indonesian military helicopter crashed on Monday in Cianjur, West Java, raising concerns among Indonesians regarding the country's deteriorating Primary Defense Weapon System (Alutsista).

Last month, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yuhoyono (SBY) admitted [id] defense weapons procurement budget alleviation. However, he claimed that the government didn't cut the weapons maintenance budget.

Indonesia is currently having an unease bilateral relation with the neighbor country Malaysia over Ambalat. Both country claim ownership over the oil rich sea block situated in Celebes Sea which borders with Malaysian state Sabah.

Despite the agreement made by both governments to eliminate show of force, many believes that it's a crucial moment for Indonesia to defend its sovereignty.

A post appeared on Pemuda Indonesia baru blog questions the quality of Indonesian army:

Kembali Pesawat TNI jatuh padahal belum lama tragedi Hercules berlalu. Pesawat jenis Helicopter Bolco milik TNI angkatan Darat (AD) ini yang membawa 3 penumpang dan 2 kru. Pesawat ini dikabarkan jatuh di desa Pagelaran, Cianjur Selatan, Jawa Barat.

[...]

Kejadian naas ini membuat kita bertanya-tanya, Sekuat apakah TNI kita? Pertanyaan ini timbul dikarenakan saat ini bangsa kita dihadapkan pada situasi yang sangat penting untuk membuktikan bahwa TNI kita Kuat. Dimana Negara tetangga kita saat ini sedang asyik-asyiknya memamerkan kekuatan (Show Force) tentaranya di Ambalat.

[...]

Menurut salah seorang Anggota DPR, bahwa kekauatan TNI saat ini masih diatas Tentara diraja Malaysia, Tolak ukur dari pernyatan beliau adalah kuantitas, dimana Jumlah personel dan peralatan TNI masih lebih banyak bila dibandingkan dengan Tentara Diraja Malaysia. Tapi bagaimana dengan kualitas?

Jatuhnya pesawat milik TNI yang terjadi beberapa kali belakangan ini dapat dijadikan sebagai indikasi bahwa kualitas Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI) perlu dipertanyakan. Benar memang dari jumlah kita menang tapi dari kualitas sangat diragukan.

Once again a military air craft crashed, while the Hercules tragedy happened not so long ago.  A Bolco type Helicopter belongs to the Indonesian Army, the helicopter took three civilians and two crew members. The craft crashed in Pagelaran Village, South Cianjur, West Java.

[...]

The unfortunate event makes us wondering, how strong is our Military? This question arise in the midst of a crucial event when the army is supposed to be able to show its strength. Our neigboring country is ardently showing its military force (Show of Force) in Ambalat.

[...]

According to one people's representatives, Indonesian military force is still above Malaysia's, however his assesment was based on quantity, where (it's a fact that) our personnel and weapons are bigger in number compared to those belong to Malaysian Army But what about the quality?

The Army's plane crash that happened a few times lately could raised question regarding the quality of the Indonesian Army. Indeed we win in terms of quantity, (but) our quality is questionable.

Dwi Eka wrote a post on Think and Act for National Defense, not long after the crash of Lockheed C-130H in East Java last month, which killed 101 passengers and army members. She stated that Primary Defense Weapon System has been a serious topic within the government, and since 2007 the Indonesian military (TNI) experienced budget cut that made them  struggle to maintain the Alutsista.

TNI adalah ujung tombak pertahanan negara, dan pertahanan negara adalah penentu kedaulatan dan kelangsungan negara.

[...]

Boleh jadi, permasalahan alutsista bukan hanya karena terbatasnya anggaran melainkan serapannya yang juga rendah. Anggaran yang telah ditetapkan dalam APBN ketika dicairkan tidak tepat sasaran, atau mengalami kebocoran. Adanya sistem fee yang telah membudaya sangat mempengaruhi kualitas proyek. Sehingga tidak heran jika ada yang menginginkan audit ditubuh TNI. Ini tentunya didasari atas niat yang baik, bukan sama sekali untuk menggembosi TNI itu sendiri, melainkan sebaliknya, dengan sistem pengadaan & perawatan alutsista yang transparan & terukur, kita ingin agar TNI dapat menyerap anggarannya sebesar-besarnya untuk peningkatan kekuatan pertahanan. Audit dimaksudkan untuk melihat sejauh mana serapan anggaran itu berlangsung dan jika ada indikasi penyimpangan maka dapat segera dicari solusinya.

Selain itu, untuk meningkatkan serapan anggaran, masing-masing pihak secara jujur dan ikhlas harus menjunjung profesionalisme dengan mengedepankan aspek moralitas bahwa semata-mata kita berjuang untuk mempertahankan harkat dan martabat negara.

Berikutnya perlu dikaji ulang secara mendalam pula tentang bagaimana menata kembali sistem perekrutan, meningkatkan standar pendidikan prajurit dengan mengutamakan profesionalisme bukan pengharapan materi semata, dan mengisi kembali pos-pos yang selama ini terabaikan seperti memperkuat kembali wilayah perbatasan dan pemeliharaan aset negara serta kemampuan tempur personil TNI.

Upaya ini diharapkan dapat meningkatkan serapan anggaran yang terukur kinerjanya. Dengan demikian publik pun akan paham dan merelakan sebagian anggarannya dialihkan untuk sektor pertahanan.

The TNI (Indonesian National Army) is the lance of national defense, and national defense determines the state's sovereignty.

[...]

We can assume that Alutsista problem was not caused by limited budget, but also because the budget's absorption is low. The use of the available budget, which is included on the national budget,  is off target or leaked. The Fee system influences the quality of the (purchasing) projects. No wonder if some wants to see audit within the Indonesian Military. The audit is, of course,  a good intention, not at all a way to deflate the TNI but on the contrary, with a transparent and measured Alutsista's procurement and maintenance system the people are hoping that the TNI will absorp as many available budget as possible in order to enhance our national defence. The audit aims to see how well the military use the budget, so we can look for solution if there's any sort of (budget) divergence.

Moreover, to increase the absorption of the budget, each individual needs to be honest, sincere, professional, and sets out the morality aspect because we're fighting for the country's honor and dignity.

On the next level, we need to seriously reassess the recruitment system, increasing the education (and training) standard of our soldiers by emphasizing on profesionalism instead of material compensation, and refilling the abandoned posts, like enhancing our border strength and maintenance of the state assets and also combat capacity of the TNI's personnels.

This efforts hopefully could increase a well targeted budget's absorption.  With this the public will understand and allow their money to be invested for the defense sector.

Speaking to a local journal,  Air Vice Marshall Sagom Tamboen  said [id] that openly speaking about national defense and main defense weapon system could endanger Indonesia and the civilian population.

In Indonesia, homeland security and defense information is classified, according to the state law.

Next July, Indonesians will head to the ballots to choose the next RI 1 (Republik Indonesia 1 – head of state). The Alutsista matter is fast becoming the favorite agenda for the three hopefuls, each of them claim to increase the procurement budgets if they're elected.

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