Modernizing TNI – Editorial – The Jakarta Post
Editorial Board (The Jakarta Post)
Tue 5 October 2021
Today, the Indonesian Army (TNI) can celebrate its 76e anniversary modestly at the Merdeka Palace due to the protracted COVID-19 pandemic. However, this does not prevent the TNI from presenting its main weapon system (alutsista).
More than 100 vehicles belonging to the army will be deployed around the palace. The highlight, however, will be the flight of eight helicopters and 18 jet fighters over the grounds of the Presidential Palace.
While the Navy may be under-represented at the ceremony, efforts were made to strengthen the Guardian of the Sea.
Thus, the Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto just signed in September the contract for two Arrowhead frigates with the British shipyard Babcock, while in June he signed with the Italian shipyard Fincantieri a contract for six new FREMM multipurpose frigates and two frigates. second-hand Maestrale. In November 2020, the Navy began construction of two MHV-60 mine countermeasures vessels at the German Abeking & Rasmussen shipyard.
Prabowo also announced its intention to purchase 36 French-made Rafale and eight American-made F-15 Eagle II jet fighters.
Indonesia also still has a pending contract to purchase 11 Russian-made Su-35 Super Flankers, although it appears Jakarta doesn’t have to face Washington’s wrath with the dreaded Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. (CAATSA).
Strengthening the Navy and Air Force is imperative, especially with the latest developments in Indonesia’s strategic environment and Australia’s decision to procure nuclear-powered submarines from the United Kingdom or United States, following the AUKUS Anglosphere Trilateral Defense Pact.
Canberra had to worry about Beijing’s assertion with its growing strength for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to abandon the long-standing nuclear-weapon-free policy.
Whatever the reason for Australia’s purchase of nuclear submarines, the consequences for Indonesia are clear. With an ever-changing strategic environment, TNI must be prepared to take on any challenge using the appropriate technologies as force multipliers and to project power.
The navy, for example, must be able to monitor all ships, surface or submarines, that pass through Indonesian waters, not only along Indonesia’s three archipelagic sea lanes (ALKI) and the exclusive economic zone of Indonesia. Indonesia, but especially within our own territory and archipelago waters.
So far, the Navy and Air Force already operate planes for maritime patrol missions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that TNI must also improve its capabilities in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) warfare. Such capabilities can be used not only in wartime, but also to equip the TNI as first responders in future pandemics.
Other capabilities that TNI sorely needs are network-centric warfare and cyber warfare, as future warfare will likely be launched by a group of people sitting in an air-conditioned room pressing buttons and staring at dazzling screens. .
Given the complexity of future challenges, it is high time for the TNI to leave its comfort zone – dealing too many non-defense issues, and focus on external threats to the country’s territorial integrity.
It is only fair to TNI that the national leadership step up its game by providing a clear direction towards building a modern and professional defense force. It is also a necessity for the head of the TNI to share his responsibilities with a deputy as stipulated in the presidential regulation n ° 65/2019 on the structure of the TNI.
Happy birthday TNI.