The Jakarta Post is reporting that the In the interest of national security, the Republic of Indonesia's House of Representatives and the government have agreed to purchase the country’s own military communication satellite, with procurement targeted for 2018, a lawmaker has stated.
The deputy chairman of the House Commission I that oversees defense and foreign affairs deputy chairman, Asril Tanjung, said Indonesia had been using satellites facilitated by foreign countries such as Australia and the US and that poses a risk to national security. Indonesia also used a Garuda 1 communication satellite operated by Asia Cellular Satellite and constructed by US-based Lockheed Martin; however, the permit to use that satellite slot expired in 2015 and should be immediately replaced so that Indonesia does not lose the slot, Asril added.
"Indonesia could secure the country's interests since the satellite would be operated independently by the Defense Ministry. The procurement is important since other countries already have their own satellite, which is ideal since [military communication] is secretive in nature," Asril stated.
The decision to acquire the satellite was made following a series of discussions held by Commission I with relevant stakeholders, including the Defense Ministry and Finance Ministry, which approved the budget, as well as the Communications and Information Ministry, which regulates patent rights.
From the previous budget of $849.3 million, the House and the Finance Ministry have approved a request for funding from the Defense Ministry to acquire a military communication satellite from Airbus Defense and Space for $699 million.
Article written by Marguerite Afra Sapiie