Indonesia Negotiating Purchase of US Apache Helicopters

Defense minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said that negotiations for the purchase of some Apache helicopters from the US were still ongoing.

“It is still under process but what is important is that the US government has approved it,” he said here on Saturday.

Purnomo was here to monitor distribution of cash handouts for the poor following the government’s recent decision to increase the prices of subsidized fuel oils.

The minister said the idea to purchase a number of assault helicopters was connected with the preparations for the formation of an Apache Squadron as part of efforts to build a defense system to safeguard the country’s sovereignty.

He said several countries in Asia such as China and Japan are currently also building their defense forces.

“Seeing the conditions we must also prepare ourselves but it is not for war but for protecting Indonesia’s sovereignty,” he said.

He said the Apache helicopters would also be used to secure the country’s natural resources that are located in areas bordering other countries.

The minister said as part of the development of the country’s defense forces the Indonesian Navy is also preparing anti-submarine helicopters that could be carried by Indonesian warships, a fleet of destroyers of ships with missiles and submarines.

“Thank God, Indonesia’s economy is quite good so that some funds could be used for improving public welfare and defense power to meet future challenges,” he said.

The army plans to purchase 40 Apache helicopters at a cost of US$40 million per unit. 
Sumber : Antara