- The final phase of the TNI's Minimum Essential Force (MEF) programme focuses on air force and navy modernisation
- Funding remains a major challenge as foreign loans are required to support major acquisitions
The Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has outlined the military procurement priorities for the Indonesian National Armed Forces (Tentara Nasional Indonesia: TNI) as it enters the third and final phase of its long-term modernisation programme.
In presentations to the House of Representatives' defence commission in November, the MoD tabled plans for a multi-billion-dollar investment in assets including fighter aircraft, transport aircraft, tanks, air defence systems, and surface combatants to support the 2020-24 phase of the TNI's Minimum Essential Force (MEF) programme.
However, with Indonesia continuing to face a shortfall in defence spending, the country is expected to require substantial foreign loans to support much of this modernisation drive. The country will also look to support procurement through countertrade with commodities such as palm oil and coffee.
Similar funding methods underpinned the two previous phases of the MEF programme in 2009-2014 and 2015-19. In line with this modernisation drive, Indonesia also aims to ensure that its national defence industry is involved in all military imports. Such participation will likely be greatest in naval and land programmes, given the scope of local capabilities.
The most expensive procurement identified in the 2020-24 priorities is the Indonesian Air Force (Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Udara: TNI-AU) project to acquire Lockheed Martin F-16V Block 70/72 Fighting Falcon multirole combat aircraft.
The MoD confirmed that the TNI-AU is planning to acquire 32 F-16s (two squadrons), which would cost about USD2 billion. Jane's understands that the F-16V has been identified by the TNI-AU as a replacement for its ageing BAE Systems Hawk 109/209 strike aircraft.
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