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NEWS UPDATES 23 December 2009

Indonesia to equip warships with Chinese missiles

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The Indonesian Navy`s warships will be equipped with missiles made in China, national news agency Antara quoted Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Agus Suhartono as saying Monday.

"We will continue to procure C-802 missiles from China after we tested the weapon with good results,` he said adding that the Indonesian Navy was also negotiating with China to obtain C-705 missiles that were more slender in shape.

"Both types of missile will be added to the armament of the navy’s fast patrol boats and Van Speijk warships," Agus said.

He said the navy would increase the combat capabilities of its Van Speijk and fast patrol boats by integrating their armament systems with weaponry from China.

"We are still unable to make missiles domestically. But fortunately, state shipbuilding firm PT PAL already has the technology to integrate weapon systems imported from abroad with those already in place on our warships," he said.

The navy chief admitted with limited budget for his department, his officials would continue making a priority scale on the procurement of weaponry system.

"Our main priority now is security in sea border areas and the outer islands of Indonesia," he said adding that the navy would also replace some 27 of its warships with newer types and better combat capabilities.

Agus Suhartono had previously said Indonesia’s western waters were prone to various maritime crimes such as smuggling, human trafficking and poaching.

"The sea crimes are not the only problems we have in the western waters. In these areas we also have border problems with India, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia," the navy chief said.

He said that in order to maintain security in the area, the navy conducted routine patrols in the Indonesian western waters. It had maintained joint patrols with its counterparts from India, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.

As a result, the maritime crime rate in the western waters had dropped, particularly in the Malacca Strait.


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