Aerospace company PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PT DI) delivered on Thursday five antisubmarine helicopters and one CN235-220 maritime patrol aircraft to the Indonesian Navy based on a contract that was signed in 2013 between PT DI and the Defense Ministry.
Under the contract, the Navy purchased 11 helicopters worth 132 million euros (US$149.44 million) and two CN235 aircraft worth US$59 million.
State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno expressed hope over cooperation between the Defense Ministry and the aircraft maker being maintained in the future.
“With close cooperation, we could develop a strong defense industry,” she said at the headquarters of PT DI in Bandung, West Java, adding that the ministry as the largest user of PT DI products was a loyal customer.
Rini said the cooperation could also be expanded to spare part purchases and military equipment maintenance. “So don’t send [the military equipment] to other places for maintenance. We are able to repair the planes and supply the spare parts,” she added.
Meanwhile, Defense Ministry defense facility head Agus Setiadji said the delivery of parts for helicopters and planes would strengthen the Navy’s defense. He said the Navy needed such equipment to patrol the country’s expansive maritime territory.
The CN235-220 maritime patrol aircraft could be used optimally to patrol border areas to prevent illegal fishing, human trafficking, drug trafficking, smuggling and other immigration violations, Agus said, adding that the plane could also be used to carry out search and rescue missions to help survivors of natural disasters.