The Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has refuted a United States Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announcement that it had requested to buy eight Bell-Boeing MV-22 Block C Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft for $2 Billion.
Secretary General of the Indonesian MoD, Donny Ermawan Taufanto asserted that there were no plans to purchase the MV-22 Osprey adding that there is a possibility that it (the announcement) was only a one-sided claim from the US.
"No, we are not there yet to plan (purchase) the Osprey aircraft," Taufanto, told reporters after a working meeting with the House of Representatives Commission in Jakarta, Wednesday.
Donny said that the Ministry of Defense now prioritizes domestic-made products in the purchase of defense equipment. While possible (to purchase foreign equipment), he said he would use (prefer) domestic aircraft.
"Maybe it could be like that, I don't know yet, but the point is we are not yet buying there (the Ospreys)," he emphasized.
The DSCA had announced July 7 that the Government of Indonesia has requested to buy eight (8) MV-22 Block C Osprey aircraft including engines, radars and related equipment amounting to US$2 Billion.
The DSCA delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today. The prime contractors will be Bell Textron Inc., Amarillo, Texas and The Boeing Company, Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, the announcement read.
The proposed sale of aircraft and support will enhance Indonesia’s humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities and support amphibious operations. This sale will promote burden sharing and interoperability with U.S. Forces, the DSCA statement on the announcement had said.
From the DSCA announcement, it is clear that the request to buy has come from Indonesia. But with Taufanto’s denial, a lot of questions now arise.
Soon after the announcement, images of the Osprey caricature in TNI (Indonesian Air Force) colours appeared on social media. Some US based media reports said the Osprey buy was to help the TNI counter China.
The Indonesian air force has been cutting down on defence procurement due to budgetary constraints. It has put off replacing old fighter jets and helicopters.