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Indonesian research body issues scathing assessment of country's air defence radars

An Indonesian governmental research agency has issued a scathing assessment of the country's network of air defence radars and suggested the nation is presently ill-equipped to detect incursions into its airspace.

The assessment was provided in an Indonesian Institute of Sciences (Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia: LIPI) presentation, which was co-published with private tertiary institution, Telkom Institute of Technology Purwokerto. LIPI is the de facto scientific research authority in Indonesia.

According to LIPI, the Indonesian National Air Defense Forces Command (Komando Pertahanan Udara Nasional: KOHANUDNAS) operates a constellation of air defence radars, most of which are largely obsolete.

This constellation includes older equipment that have largely been discontinued by the respective manufacturers, such as the Thomson TRS-2215D and TRS-2230D air defence systems, the AR-325 Commander S-band radar, and the Master-T tactical 3-D radar.

According to LIPI, Indonesian agencies and contractors have not been able to procure components to support the operation of a large number of these radars for several years now, given that these components are no longer in production.

LIPI also estimates that systems such as the TRS-2215D, which is currently deployed at Ranai in the Natuna Islands cluster and at Dumai on Sumatra island, can only detect aerial threats that are within a 100 n mile radius of the respective radar stations.

“As such these radar units are no longer able to undertake the duty of securing Indonesia's airspace effectively,” said the agency in the presentation that was forwarded to Janes on 10 August. The presentation was intended for staff at the Indonesian Ministry of Defense (MoD).

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