Indonesia and Brazil have signed a new defense agreement in a bit to expand the scope of their ties, the defense ministry in Jakarta said last week.
Indonesia and Brazil already have a significant defense relationship, with defense being one of the areas of cooperation the two emerging powers have pursued under their broader strategic partnership, established in 2009. This has included the sale of Brazilian defense equipment to Indonesia, which has often been the main focus of media accounts (See: “Indonesia May Kill Brazil Defense Deals Amid Execution Row”).
On April 5, Brazil’s Defense Minister Raul Belens Jungmann Pinto and Indonesia’s Director General of Defense Potential Sutrimo officially signed a new memorandum of understanding on defense on the sidelines of the Latin America Aerospace and Defense (LAAD) Exhibition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This followed the earlier March 30 inking of the pact by Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu and Brazil’s Ambassador to Indonesia Rubem Antonio Correa Barbosa.
The current agreement aims to further deepen the ongoing defense collaboration between both countries. According to Indonesia’s defense ministry, it includes areas such as high-level visits and meetings; human resource development; exchange of knowledge and experience in fields such as military operations, intelligence, and science and technology; and defense industry cooperation.
Emphasizing the significance of the move, Jungmann said that the agreement marked a new era in relations between the two countries and added he hoped that it would be followed by concrete steps. On the Indonesian side, one initial point of emphasis was increasing support for Brazilian defense products that Indonesia’s military (TNI) currently operates. This includes maintenance of the Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano aircraft procured in 2012 and Avibras Astros II multiple rocket launcher systems acquired in 2014.
The Indonesian delegation at LAAD 2017, where the agreement was signed, included several major representatives from the national defense industry such as PT Dirgantara Indonesia and PT Pindad.