TNI Cancels AW 101 Helicopter Purchase
Responding to the news on the purchase of AW 101 (Agusta Westland) helicopter by the Indonesian Air Forces to carry troops and Search and Rescue (SAR) team, President Joko Jokowi Widodo said he would first ask for confirmation from the Ministry of Defense.
However, the President also warns his administration against irregularities in the purchase in the future. Later, I will ask Ministry of Defense first because this is the Ministrys matter. One thing for sure, if there are irregularities, there will be consequences, the President said after inaugurating Motaain Border Post in Silawan Village, East Tasifeto District, Belu Regency, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Province on Wednesday (28/12).
Nevertheless, President Jokowi also expressed the Governments wish to advance Indonesias defense industries and if the countrys defense industries can meet the needs of Indonesias primary weaponry defense system (alutsista), the Government will prioritize the development of alutsista. Since the beginning, I say that if we can produce alutsista at home, then do it. Otherwise, even if we have to import them, there should be calculation, the President said.
In the meantime, Head of Information Division of the Indonesian Air Force First Marshal Jemi Trisonjaya denied the Air Force secretly bought the helicopter. He asserted that the purchase has been approved by the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Defense, and Commission I of the House of Representatives (DPR). The Air Force is not alone. There are related stakeholders. The Air Force cannot do it alone, he said.
Speaking separately, Commander of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) General Gatot Nurmantyo said the TNI has cancelled the purchase of the helicopter and will ?send a cancellation letter to the contractor. One thing for sure, I have made a cancellation letter, Gatot said in Jakarta, Wednesday (28/12).
However, Gatot did not specify when the cancellation letter was made and said the letter will become a guideline for the Air Force to take actions. Weve cancelled the purchase, the TNI Commander said. (UN/BPMI/ES) (Naster/YM/EP)