Written by Fakhrul Islam
Indo Defence Expo & Forum is a biannual event and this year it took place from 7th to 10th November. Hosted by the Indonesian Ministry of Defence, INDO DEFENCE 2018 Expo & Forum is one of the largest in the region. The exhibition welcomed exhibitors and visitors from all around the world with over 800 companies from 44 countries, including but not limited to Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, German, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, UK and the USA... ...
As with technology, the world is advancing at a blinding rate but with defense technology it advances with double the pace and thus there’s always something new to present to the world and events like Indo Defence Expo & Forum are the most perfect to showcase and attract new customers and contracts from different countries and militaries. This year’s Indo Defence Expo & Forum also had some new additions to the table.
KAPLAN MT/ HARIMAU MT OR THE MODERN MEDIUM WEIGHT TANK (MMWT)
The Medium Tank (MT), which has been jointly developed over a four-year period by FNSS Savunma Sistemleri of Turkey and PT Pindad of Indonesia to meet the operational requirements of the Indonesian Army, comes with a 105mm rifled gun in a Cockerill 3105 modular turret. The gun is fed by a bustlemounted automatic loader, which has enabled the turret crew to be reduced to commander and gunner. The turret is also armed with a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun.
Additionally, the tank utilizes modular armor, allowing for quick replacement upon damage. The hull armor of MMWT is categorized as STANAG 4569 level 4 protection, which means the tank can withstand 14.5×114mm AP rounds at 200 meters. The underbelly of the tank uses V-hull, able to withstand 10 kg AT mine under the tracks and under the center. Due to modularity, the armor can be augmented to level 5 protection (withstand 25 mm APDS-T at 500 m) without increasing the volume of the tank, with the frontal arc able to withstand 30 mm rounds.
Last but not the least the weight of the tank is really light, approximately 35 tons, enhancing the deploy ability parameters of the MT in soft terrains and existing road networks along with transportability throughout the archipelago. In comparison to the main battle tanks from other countries, which usually weight more than 50 tons, limit their deployment capacity in softer terrains and existing light road networks.
The vehicle was extensively tested in the past few months, both in Turkey and in Indonesia and it meets all of the requirements of an easy and rapid positioning, high-mobility, low-visibility, high-firepower and cost-effective medium weight tank. The Indonesian Army is expected to order as many as 44 units in a minimum initial contract and a total of 200 to 400 units to be produced in the later iterations.
RBS 70 NG VSHORAD
The man-portable RBS 70 NG VSHORAD system is a compact and lightweight air defense system which can be operated by small teams who can go anywhere. It can be mounted on vehicles of all sizes for rapid deployment or mobile force protection. Integrated sighting and advanced operator aids, including an auto-tracker and visual cueing, combine with high-precision and unjammable laser guidance to deliver an unbeatable ground-based air defense system.
ANKA MALE UAV
Turkish Aerospace Industries’ signature medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was showcased in the expo with a full-sized model in the stall just beside our own. During the exhibition Indonesian company PT Dirgantara and TAI signed a MoU to setup a framework of cooperation. Interestingly also during the exhibition, rather in its last leg, the Indonesian Ministry of Defence confirmed acquisitions of four weaponized medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles (MALE UAVs), and a passive electronic support measure (ESM) tracker.
Anka was displayed with its satellite communications capability, as well as a weapon fit including Roketsan’s 22kg MAM-L Smart Micro Munition. The UAV has a 17.3m wingspan, a 200kg payload capacity, and an endurance of some 24 hours.
This will not be the first acquisition of strike capable UAVs by Indonesia as earlier Indonesia has acquired four units of the Wing Loong UAV rom Chinese state-owned aerospace and defense company Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to fulfil the country's unmanned strike capabilities.
TUGASANDA TURANGGA MRAP
The Indonesian company Tugasanda Group (PT Karya Tugas Anda) unveiled a new version of its Turangga 4x4 armored personnel carrier (APC) based on a Ford F-550 Super Duty chassis. A first batch of 13 units has already been delivered to the Indonesian Army (TNI-AD) and will be followed by another 23.
The Turangga APC can carry 12 people including the commander and driver. It is fitted with subsystems from Aselsan (Turkey), including a roof-mounted acoustic small arms detection device, retractable mast-mounted battlefield surveillance radar (left) and a retractable mast-mounted surveillance package (right), consisting of day/thermal cameras and a laser rangefinder. It has a welded steel armor body that provides ballistic protection to STANAG 4569 Level 2. Bullet/splinter-proof windows provide the same level of ballistic protection, as well as situational awareness through 360°.
The vehicle is powered by a 6.7-litre V8 turbocharged diesel engine, coupled to a fully automatic six-speed transmission, 4-wheel drive. 335/80 R20 run-flat tires are fitted with a bead lock system.
Other options include a roof-mounted protected weapon station, a remote weapon station or turret, which would typically be armed with a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun, front-mounted winch, firing ports, siren and communications equipment, including radios and a vehicle intercom.
PT PINDAD KOMODO WITH CMI DEFENSE CPWS GEN 2
The Komodo is a 4x4 light armored personnel carrier developed and produced by Indonesian company PT Pindad. The vehicle was unveiled during Indo Defence 2012. According to PT Pindad, the Komodo's monocoque armored body is bulletproof to 7.62 mm or lower caliber. The Komodo's turbo intercooler diesel engine has a total horsepower of 215 PS at 2500 rpm, allowing the vehicle to achieve the weight ratio of around 30 hp/ton. The normal cruising range of the Komodo is at 450 kilometers, with an average speed of 70 km/h. The Komodo's off-road capabilities have been tested in various conditions ranging from mountainous terrain to mud and sand. The Indonesian army has already ordered several Komodos in various versions including Mistral mobile SAM launcher variant.
The new Komodo variant unveiled at Indo Defence 2018 features the new CPWS Gen. 2 turret by CMI (which was unveiled this year at Eurosatory). Beyond the advantages of the CPWS (Cockerill® Protected Weapon Station) in particular in terms of crew protection during the reloading operations of the main weapon, this CPWS Gen. 2 presents, with its unique configurable hatch, the ability to adopt different configurations depending on the mission profile.
Four configurations are available:
- Fully closed hatch: allows the crew to operate in a hostile environment with a maximum level of protection;
- Elevated hatch: allows the crew to perform 360° direct observation manoeuvers and, if necessary, allow for the use of individual weapons;
- Large Open Hatch: allows the crew to evacuate the system quickly and securely;
- Removed Hatch: allows the crew to patrol in an exposed position, ideally for operations other than war.
Moreover, the versatility of the CPWS Gen. 2 is reinforced by its ability to integrate different main weapons, depending on the mission to be fulfilled. In particular, it is designed to accommodate M242 25mm caliber guns and M230LF 30mm caliber guns. Finally, the CPWS Gen. 2 retains the advantages of its predecessor: it is remotely operated from the vehicle on which it is integrated; it allows for reloading under armour and, given its lightweight, it can be integrated on all types of 4x4, 6x6, 8x8 and tracked chassis.
It is to be noted that the CPWS Gen. 2 turret on the Komodo also features two notional anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM).
MEKATRONIK 81MM MORTAR
The Indonesian army was both happy and ecstatic to present its new 81mm mortar with autoloader. The system weighs 825 kg. The hydraulic autoloader is powered by a 24 volts DC engine that also serves to make the mortar turn with a 360° radius. A surprising asset is that the movements of the mortar are implemented simply with a common Android smartphone loaded with the appropriate software. The minimum elevation is 45° and the maximum one is 83°. The rate of fire turns around 5 rounds per minute.
This fully indigenous mortar is the result of a project launched in 2016. Most probably, the trailer used to display the mortar for road transportation is not the actual model the army will purchase, as it could not be used off-road.