Subject: Indonesia asks US to provide naval vessel, radar to secure Malacca Strait

also: US to help Indonesia develop radar to secure Malacca Strait

BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific July 20, 2006 Source: Koran Tempo website, Jakarta, in Indonesian 20 Jul 06

Indonesia's Defence Ministry asks US to provide naval vessel, radar

Text of report by Rieka Rahdiana carried by Indonesian Koran Tempo website on 20 July

Jakarta: The Indonesian Defence Ministry has asked America for assistance in the form of a fast patrol boat and radar. Defence Minister Juwono Sudarsono made the request to US Chief of Naval Operations Adm Michael G. Mullen during a courtesy call in Jakarta yesterday.

"Indonesia's position in Southeast Asia and the shipping lanes that run through the Indonesian archipelago are very important to many major nations, such as America, Japan, Korea and also India," explained the minister. According to Sudarsono, America believed it needed to provide as much assistance as was required to Indonesia's navy. Sudarsono was hopeful that the assistance would be given.


US to help Indonesia develop radar to secure Malacca Strait

JAKARTA, July 20 (Asia Pulse/Antara) - The US has pledged to help Indonesia develop a radar system in the Malacca Strait which is one of the world`s busiest sea passages, a cabinet minister said.

"The radar system is expected to help improve our capability so that we can cooperate more effectively with the Singaporean and Malaysian navies to secure the strait," Defence Minister Juwono Sudarsono said after a meeting with US Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Michael G Mullen here on Wednesday.

He said the technical assistance offered by the US was very important in view of the fact that the 500-mile strait was the world`s busiest sea lane as around 90 per cent of world trade routinely passed through it.

He said Malacca Strait security was also the concern of countries that used the lane to facilitate their economic activities such as the US, Japan, China, Korea and India.

Besides radar system, Juwono said Indonesia also needed swift patrol boats with appropriate radar capability to equal Malaysia and Singaporean capability in securing the strait.

He said Indonesia at present has 124 patrol boats but 40 per cent of them are not functional because of equipment and spare part problems.

After meeting with Minister Juwono Admiral Mullen met with Defense Forces` Commmander Marshal Djoko Suyanto to discuss efforts to improve defense cooperation between the two countries.

"So far military cooperation between the US and Indonesia especially between the Indonesian and US navies has been going on well. We hope the cooperation could be increased in the future," the spokesman of the Defense Forces` Headquarters, Rear Admiral Sunarto Sjoekronoputra, said after the meeting.

One of the cooperation programs to be increased is in the field of education and training for officers, he said.

-------------------- Joyo Indonesia News Service

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