The domestic defense industry has continued to develop as the government provides ample space for the private sector to help build Indonesia’s defense industry, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said.
“This is a very good development and most importantly we can adopt as many new technologies as possible in the field of military defense. The most important thing is that,” Jokowi said in his opening speech at the Indo Defense 2022 Expo and Forum in Jakarta on November 2, 2022.
The biennial event features arms and defense technology sales exhibition as well as promotional event for international defense and security equipment manufacturers. The event was first started in 2004. It is the largest exhibition in Southeast Asia and a world calendar event. It exhibits a number of technological advances in aviation, naval and land. The event also showcases various technologies from many countries and companies around the world to explore technology transfer among nations that participates in the event.
Collaboration among countries
Other than exhibiting military equipment, the event also holds a number of seminars.
“In general, there are more than 900 participating companies from around 60 countries,” said Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto.
In his speech during the opening ceremony, Prabowo, who would run as a presidential candidate in the 2024 election, stated that without a strong defense, peace and prosperity would be hard to achieve.
The event also presents seminars on specific issues such as technological advancement after procurement, technological transfer and R&D.
“This technology can be done through acquisition and procurement. However, it can also be done through how the technology can be learned by Indonesia so that in the future Indonesia can be more independent,” said First Marshal Oki Yanuar, Deputy Assistant Logistics Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
On the other hand, the event also boast technologies such as unmanned aircraft system (UAS), warship technology, infantry equipment, armored equipment & technology and aircraft technology.
The event also exhibits civilian products from ships, aircraft, cars and UAS.
Problems of technological transfers
However, there were three problems being addressed in one of the seminars, namely problems of acquisition, technological transfers and better economy.
Firstly, the acquisition problems would be a matter of the manufactured products that should cover the costs of R&D.
“Indonesia produces one prototype but it has a lot of flaws, while America produces a fighter jet that had undergone hundreds of revisions,” said Yono Reksoprodjo, Head of Technology Transfer and Offset of Defense Industry Policy Committee (KKIP).
Meanwhile, the number of buyers also affects the production costs because there should be a lot of units being procured in a single sale to cover the cost of R&D, which is very expensive to start with.
Secondly, technological transfer could be a problem since it takes time for the local industry to study the technology after procurement. However, whether the technology is still up to date after the purchasing process is finished remains a question.
Thirdly, for a better economy relates to the defense industry’s cutting cost by having large sales. As the defense industry business keeps going due to sales procurement by the state. The more the procurement, the more manpower labor is being paid. Thus, it affects microeconomy and later affects macroeconomy as a whole.