The U.S. has agreed to sell eight new Apache AH-64E attack helicopters and Longbow radars to Indonesia in a deal worth about $500 million.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the deal during a joint news conference with Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro during his visit to Indonesia.
The U.S. military will train Indonesian pilots and help in developing tactics, techniques and procedures for operating in the Southeast Asian security environment, a U.S. defense official said, adding that details of the delivery and training timeline are being determined.
The agreement represents a significant advance in military capabilities by a key U.S. partner and is the sort of investment the United States believes is prudent to support security in the Asia-Pacific region, the official added. The new capability “will help Indonesia respond to a range of contingencies, including counterpiracy operations and maritime awareness.”
“Helping ensure the region’s security and prosperity is a goal the United States strongly shares,” the secretary said. “The strong and enduring security partnership that has been built between the United States and Indonesia is a relationship the United States greatly values."
Progress on security includes increasingly complex exercises between the two militaries, and growing defense, trade and high-level policy engagement.
The two militaries recently launched an initiative to share best practices in defense planning and management to increase Indonesian military capability, Hagel said, and next month the United States and Indonesia will cohost a counterterrorism exercise under the framework of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus.
Developing long-term and enduring solutions to challenges like maritime security, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, counterterrorism, and the peaceful management of disputes in the South China Sea calls for greater cooperation and respect for rules and norms among all parties and the institutions that underpin them, the secretary noted.
“I am also pleased to be able to announce that the U.S. and Indonesia have pledged mutual support and cooperation on the search and recovery of U.S. personnel missing from World War II,” Hagel said.
Several Indonesian ministries have oversight of such requests, including defense, education and culture, and research and technology. All have agreed to process future requests from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, a joint task force within the Defense Department whose mission is to account for Americans listed as prisoners of war, or missing in action, from all past wars and conflicts.