The Defense Ministry has accepted a grant comprising 14 Insitu ScanEagle drones and three Bell 412 helicopters from the United States as security aid, Jakarta expects the equipment to further strengthen the Navy’s maritime patrol operations throughout the archipelago.
House of Representatives Commission I overseeing intelligence, defense and foreign affairs approved on Wednesday the grant from the US, although lawmakers reminded the Defense Ministry to conduct reassessment on the conditions of the drones and the helicopters so as to prioritize national security.
Sakti said in 2014 to 2015, the US offered the Indonesian Military (TNI) a grant under Foreign Military Financing (FMF). The Navy accepted the offer in 2017, which covered a grant consisting of the ScanEagle drones, unmanned aerial vehicles built by Boeing subsidiary Insitu and an upgrade of Bell 412 helicopters.
The US$28.3 million-worth ScanEagle drones were expected to improve the Navy’s intelligence surveillance reconnaissance and ultimately strengthen the nation’s defense system, Sakti said.
He also believed that the three Bell 412 helicopters worth US$6.3 million would be able to improve the Navy’s effectiveness in carrying out military operations and increase the capabilities of national defense.
“ScanEagle drones will only be used by the Navy for special purposes. We will only spend around US$719,886 to integrate and ensure the data security of the equipment with other defense systems,” Sakti said, adding that state-owned electronic components maker PT LEN Industri would handle the integration.
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