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Indonesia to modernize defense equipment: President

(Xinhua)

08:51, September 09, 2011

JAKARTA, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Thursday that the country plans to modernize military equipment to boost defense system.

President Yudhoyono told a cabinet meeting that the government had risen the budget for defense sector, the highest among others sectors. "There is much urgency to conduct a modernization and build strong forces, as the number of defense equipment have badly need a rejuvenation," Yudhoyono said at the State Palace.

The president said that the government targeted to modernize all the equipment of police and military by 2014 or 2015.

Yudhoyono stressed to improve the process and mechanism in supplying the equipment, such as transparency and accountability.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago country with over 17,500 island, plans to purchase scores others Sukhoi jet fighters from Russia and a number of submarines.

Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said that Indonesia needs about 150 trillion rupiah (some 17.544 billion U.S. dollar) within the next 15 years. "The 150 trillion rupiah funds would be used for purchasing new military equipment and maintaining them," Minister Purnomo said after the cabinet meeting.

Strong defense system was needed to guard the country's territory, particularly the border areas, he said.

Terrorism and transitional crimes are among the challenges being faced by the Indonesian police and military.

Indonesia has diversified the sources of its defense equipment after exiting from the U.S. embargo of purchasing military spare parts following the accusation of violating human rights.

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