Source: U.S. Department of Defense
In a first-of-its-kind deal worth about $500 million, the United States has agreed to sell eight new Apache AH-64E attack helicopters and Longbow radars to Indonesia, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said here today.
Hagel announced the deal during a joint news conference with Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro after productive meetings this afternoon with Yusgiantoro and earlier today with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
The secretary is visiting Indonesia as part of an eight-day, four-nation trip that has included a stop in Malaysia and will take him this week to Brunei and the Philippines.
“Providing Indonesia these world-class helicopters is an example of our commitment to help build Indonesia’s military capability.”
The U.S. military will train Indonesian pilots and help in developing tactics, techniques and procedures for operating in the Southeast Asian security environment, a senior defense official said, adding that details of the delivery and training timeline are being determined.
The agreement represents a significant advance in military capabilities by a key U.S. partner and is the sort of investment the United States believes is prudent to support security in the Asia-Pacific region, the official said.
The new capability “will help Indonesia respond to a range of contingencies, including counterpiracy operations and maritime awareness,”
“The United States is committed to working with Southeast Asian nations to grow defense capabilities and deepen military-to-military cooperation with all of our partners.”
During the news conference with Yusgiantoro, Hagel said it has been impressive to watch a democratic Indonesia emerge as one of the most important contributors to peace and prosperity, not only in Asia, but also globally.