Procurement: Indonesia Buys The Missile Factory From China


March 23, 2012: China is aggressively marketing its weapons to Indonesia, offering low prices and no strings. The U.S., in contrast, has cut off Indonesia over human rights issues. The Chinese effort includes selling manufacturing licenses and helping to set up factories. The initial project in this area was to develop and produce 1,000, 122mm rockets for the navy. The Indonesian space agency (LAPAN) contributed some of its research. These R122 rockets are simple devices, with a range of 15 kilometers. Eventually, Indonesia would like to add guidance systems.

Encouraged by that Indonesia recently made a deal to produce more complex weapons, like the Chinese C-705 anti-ship missiles. Indonesia has been buying the larger C-802A missiles from China for the last four years. The C802A is a 6.8 meter (21 foot) long, 360mm, 682 kg (1,500 pound) missile with a 165 kg (360 pound) warhead. The C802 has a max range of 120 kilometers and moves along at about 250 meters a second.

The C-705 is a smaller missile, at 325 kg (715 pounds) with a 120 kg (264 pound) warhead and a range of 140 kilometers. It is similar to the French Exocet missile, which costs more than twice as much (over a million dollars each but the manufacturer is known to be flexible on pricing). The Indonesians see the Chinese missiles as a much better deal, especially since Indonesia is not looking to start a war anytime soon. So why pay premium prices for a premium, battle proven Exocet.

Indonesia wants to become more self-sufficient in weapons, and assembling C-705s, mostly from Chinese parts, is a start.

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