Indonesia to lift defense budget to boost weaponry modernization

3:25:00 AM
JAKARTA, -- The Indonesian government will increase the budget for defense from the current level of 0.8 percent of the state budget to 1.5 percent, Defense Minister Ryamizard Rayacudu said here Thursday.

Minister Raymizard stressed that the move aims to change the slow pace of the development of the country's weaponry in recent years, in part due to economic crisis, to put it on a par with other ASEAN countries.

The 0.8 percent of the state budget amount is equal to 83 trillion rupiah (some 6.815 billion U.S. dollars), according to the ministry.

Minister Raymizard said the improvement of Indonesian weaponry quality has to rely much on local contents.

"We need a self reliance on weaponry. We do not rely on other countries," he said at a defense seminar here.

President Joko Widodo has disclosed that he will continue the modernization of weaponry in the country which has been undertaken by former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

According to Yudhoyono, the modernization drive targets to achieve what he called "a minimum essential force," not aiming to trigger an arm race in the region. Terrorism, human trafficking, insurgency and drug smuggling are among the main challenges facing Indonesian armed forces.

Troops stand in formation in front of 155mm cannons and multiple launcher rocket system weaponry as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono leads celebrations marking the 67th anniversary of the Indonesian armed forces at Halim Perdana Kusumah airport in Jakarta, Oct. 5, 2012.


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