Indonesian defense industry to manufacture ventilators

Jakarta, Indonesia (GDC) – Three Indonesian state-owned defense companies decided to produce ventilators for Covid-19 patients, as the country’s outbreak remains nowhere near its peak.

The Presidential Staff Office announced on Wednesday that the three companies – arms producer Pindad, aerospace company Dirgantara Indonesia and electronic technology company LEN Industry – will develop their own prototypes and produce thousands of ventilators per month once quality and safety requirements are met.

Representatives from the three companies met with Presidential Staff Office head General (ret.) Moeldoko to discuss the particular matter at the Bina Graha building inside the State Palace compound in Central Jakarta, earlier in the day. 

Moeldoko said President Joko Widodo has instructed domestic industries to produce the breathing machines due to a lack of global supplies, as demands are soaring amid the pandemic.

“The locally-manufactured ventilators will be used to help Covid-19 patients,” Moeldoko said in a statement. 

He said when domestic supplies are secured, the manufacturers may aim for export sales in the future.

LEN Industri President Zakky Gamal said his company targeted to produce 50 ventilators per day starting next month. 

“We need support from the Presidential Staff Office to speed up the development and streamline the process to acquire production and distribution permits,” Zakky said. 

LEN Industri, which has built military electronic equipment such as radars and tactical radios, is collaborating with the Technology Assessment and Application Agency (BPPT) to develop the prototype. 

Pindad, the main gun supplier for the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police, plans to build 40 mechanical ventilators per day using the company’s own resources, president director Abraham Mose said.

“Pindad will produce all the components by its own at the meantime,” Abraham said. 

Dirgantara Indonesia, which produces military personnel aircraft, is working with the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) and the Surabaya Institute of Technology (ITS) to develop the prototype, aiming to produce 1,000 ventilators per week.

“We will make sure that our prototypes pass all requirements by the Healthcare Facility Security Agency [BPFK],” Dirgantara president Elfien Goentoro said.

The Health Ministry said there were 18 different research teams working on ventilator prototypes involving various universities, research centers and medical equipment companies across Indonesia.

The BPFK, an agency under the ministry, is authorized to test medical equipment and issue licenses for qualified products.

“The BPFK has no concern about bureaucratic red tapes. Our priority is the safety of the device,” agency head Prastowo Nugroho said.

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