BAE Systems has established a wholly owned subsidiary in Indonesia as part of its bid to enhance its industrial footprint in the Southeast Asian country.
Mark Burgess, BAE Systems’ vice-president for Malaysia and Indonesia, told IHS Jane’s on 7 November that the new company – PT BAE Systems Services Indonesia – commenced operations in October, focusing on providing enhanced service support for the Indonesian Air Force’s fleets ofHawk Mk 109 trainer/light attack aircraft and Mk 209 lightweight multirole fighter aircraft.
“We have a good working relationship with the air force here,” said Burgess at the Indo Defence Expo and Forum in Jakarta. “That relationship has developed significantly to the point that earlier this year we signed a rolling contract covering spares and repairs… to improve the serviceability and availability of the Hawk fleet. Part of the requirement for setting up the rolling contract was that we had to set up a BAE Systems’ company here, which we have now done.”
The Indonesian Air Force took delivery of 32 Hawk Mk 209s and 8 Hawk Mk 109s from 1996. However, the availability of the aircraft deteriorated as the Indonesian government continued its policy of diversifying its suppliers of services. BAE Systems re-engaged in the programme about two years ago and is now “on-track” to meet availability targets.
While the newly launched BAE Systems subsidiary is dedicated to providing support to the Indonesian Air Force in continuing to improve the availability of the Hawk aircraft, it has also boosted the company’s presence in Indonesia as it looks to expand its maritime capabilities.
Burgess said: “What has justified a bigger presence and more people here is, in part, the success with the Hawk support programme, but also the other opportunities that have emerged over the past couple of years, predominately on the maritime side.”
Burgess identified a number of potential opportunities in Indonesia in which BAE Systems is expected compete. These include upgrades of – or replacements for – ageing Bofors guns on board existing Indonesian Navy ships as well as supplying its Bofors 57 Mk3 gun system for the KCR-60 fast attack craft being constructed by PT Pal Indonesia. The KCR-60 programme currently consists of three ships but is expected to expand to more than 20 vessels over the next decade.
Another maritime opportunity is Indonesia’s potential and expected bid for three BAE Systems-built offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) owned by Brunei but never put into service. Following a contractual dispute, Brunei accepted the ships in 2007 and intends to sell them to a third party. Burgess said that BAE Systems had already expressed its willingness to the Indonesian Navy to undertake support of the OPVs should Jakarta decide to procure the vessels.
Publication:Jane’s Defence Industry
Author:Jon Grevatt, Jakarta