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Indonesia launches Defend ID holding firm

Defend ID, Indonesia's new defence holding company, is expected to play a role in major state projects such as the production of the country's new Harimau medium tank (pictured). (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Indonesia has launched a holding company to consolidate the capabilities of the country‘s state-owned defence industrial base.

The establishment of the new company, named Defend ID, is intended to spur indigenous capability and reduce the Southeast Asian country's dependency on military imports.

The firm was formally launched on 20 April, following the issuance of a government directive in January. Under this order, Defend ID is held and operated by state-owned defence electronics firm PT Len Industri.

The order states that the new company will also have a “holding” responsibility for four other national firms. These comprise shipbuilder PT PAL, land systems firm PT Pindad, aerospace company PT Dirgantara, and explosives and propellants specialist PT Dahana.

At a ceremony to launch the firm at PT PAL's facilities in Surabaya, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said, “We need to push developing independence in the domestic defence industry to enter a new era of competition.”

Widodo outlined an objective for Defend ID to meet the requirements of the Indonesian military and to become integrated into international global supply chains. He said Indonesia sources about 40% of its defence products from local firms.

He added, “I have waited long for Defend ID, and I will always push for our state defence industry firms to be consolidated more, have a strong ecosystem, and be able to compete.”

According to government regulations, Defend ID will conduct business activities in sectors such as electronics, aircraft and their components, shipbuilding, vehicles, weapons, ammunition, and explosives.

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