The Indonesian government has decided to cancel the purchase of 11 Polish-made Skytruck light transport planes as its state aircraft maker PT Dirgantara Indonesia has been able to produce similar planes, a Defense Ministry official said.
“If we are able to produce similar planes, we will not need to import them,” the ministry`s director general of defense facilities, Air Commodore Eris Herryanto, said here Friday.
The cancellation did not affect the existing close relations between the two countries. In fact, Poland continued to offer Indonesia US$75 million in loans which was originally to be used for the purchase of 11 light transport planes, he said.
“The government appreciates the offer. But the government in this case the defense ministry is still undecided about accepting or rejecting the offer because the matter largely depends on our need,” he said.
“Indeed, the money is already there. But if we have not yet needed military armaments from Poland, we cannot use it. So, we have to consider the offer first,” he said.
Chief of the Indonesian Navy Headquarters` Information Service Commodore Iskandar Sitompul cited uncertain bureaucratic proceducers as one of the reasons for the cancellation.
On a separate occasion, Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono said the cooperation with Poland was established during the Megawati Soekarnoputri government.
At that time, the two countries agreed for the first time to cooperate in the procurement of Skytruck planes worth US$135 million, he said.
Through the cooperation, the two countries also discussed the percentage of the local components from Indonesia to produce the planes, he said.
PT Dirgantara Indonesia would work 3-6 percent of the total contract value to produce the local contents of the planes. But the government decided to cancel the purchase of Skytruck planes and ordered PT Dirgantara Indonesia to produce such planes, he said.
Source: Defence World