Indonesia obtained approval from U. S. government on its proposal to acquire AH-64 Apache combat helicopters with procurement document signed by Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
"Thanks to the American government, they allow us to have the Apaches. Indonesia is thinking to build the Apache squadron in the future," Purnomo told a joint press conference held in his ministry on the sidelines of his bilateral meeting with Chuck Hagel. He added that for initial phase, Indonesia planned to build one squadron of AH 64 Apache helicopters for the Army.
The Indonesian defense minister said that the planned procurement on Apache attack helicopters was part of the country's plan to modernize its arm forces.
In its military modernization plan, Indonesia has procured Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30 Flanker fighter jets from Russia, Leopard Main Battle Tanks from Germany, anti-insurgency planes Tucano from Brazil, trainer planes from South Korea and is now expecting delivery of 24 F-16 used planes grant from U.S and four C-130 Hercules military cargo planes from Australia.
During his bilateral meeting with Hagel, Purnono discussed development of global issues, bilateral defense relations and preparing materials for the upcoming high profile ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM Plus 8 slated for Wednesday in Brunei.
"We also discussed plans to set up Defense Institution for Reform Initiative where Indonesia and U.S. would share together, with U.S. would bring us the reform initiatives in defense sector, " Purnomo said.
The minister also said that Indonesia and U.S. will co-host Counter Terrorism Exercise (CTX) scheduled from Sept. 5 to 13 in Indonesia peacekeeping forces training center located in Sentul, West Java. The event would be participated by 18 countries.
Before his meeting with Purnomo, Chuck Hagel who arrived in Indonesian capital on Monday, made a courtesy visit to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in presidential palace.