Land Platforms

Rheinmetall confirms Indonesian Leopard 2 contract

13 November 2013

The first Indonesian Marder 1A3 IFVs take part in Armed Forces Day celebrations on 5 October. Source: Rheinmetall

Indonesia has acquired 103 Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks (MBTs), 42 upgraded Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicles, and 11 armoured recovery and engineering vehicles from surplus German Army stocks, Rheinmetall Defence confirmed in a 13 November statement.

The statement said that Rheinmetall would supply the vehicles, "logistical support, and ammunition worth roughly EUR216 million [USD290 million]" under a contract signed in December 2012, which "now comes into full force following the successful completion of all legal formalities".

Indonesia approached Germany to purchase the Leopard MBTs in August 2012, but approval of the bid was delayed because of political opposition in Berlin, which cited concerns over Indonesia's human rights record. These concerns also lay behind a preceding Dutch government decision to veto a similar bid from Jakarta in 2012 to purchase surplus Royal Netherlands Army Leopard MBTs.

Two Leopard 2A4s and two Marder IFVs were reportedly shipped to Indonesia early to take part in Armed Forces Day celebrations on 5 October.

Once in service with the Indonesian Army (the Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Darat, TNI-AD), the materiel purchased from Germany will be supported through an industrial arrangement signed by Rheinmetall and the Indonesian Ministry of Defence in 2012. The deal will see the German company transfer undisclosed technologies to Indonesian state-owned land systems specialist PT Pindad (Persero) and the TNI-AD's Ordnance Depot and Signal Corps.

IHS Jane's reported in August that the first MBTs would be assigned to the 8th Cavalry Battalion of the 2nd Division of the TNI-AD's Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad), based in Pasuruan district, East Java province. This battalion had previously been outfitted with the Scorpion reconnaissance vehicle and Stormer armoured vehicle from the British-designed Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) family.

Roads around the Pasuruan base have been widened and hardened to accommodate the MBTs, which at 60 tonnes are far heavier than any other vehicles in the TNI-AD's inventory. Before the Leopard acquisition, the service's primary offensive land platforms were French-produced AMX-13 and Soviet-era PT-76 light tanks, both of which weigh about 14 tonnes.

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