Indonesia and German defence company Rheinmetall on Thursday signed an agreement that paves the way for the purchase by the Asian nation of 150 tanks from Germany.
“The memorandum of understanding (MoU) is related to transfer of technology and maintenance,” said Major General Ediwan Prabowo, head of the defence facilities agency at the Defence Ministry.
Prabowo said he hoped the contract for the purchase of 100 Leopard main battle tanks and 50 lighter Marder tanks would be signed this month.
Prabowo told that he hoped to sign both the MoU and the contract on Saturday, after a defence exhibition in Jakarta in which Rheinmetall was among the companies from 40 countries participating.
He said there were still some minor sticking points, mostly technical, and that there were no pending political or legal issues.
He also said Indonesia wanted the first batch to be delivered this year, but Rheinmetall had not given assurances about the timing.
Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, has embarked on an ambitious drive to modernise its under-equipped military and build a defence industry.
Also on Thursday, the Defence Ministry signed a similar agreement with Brazilian defence company Avibras Industria Aeroespacial for the purchase of multiple launch rockets.
Source: Deutsche Presse Agentur