Indonesia-Australia relations deteriorate


Senior Member
Dec 20, 2012
Indonesia boosts military presence near Australia and ramps up efforts to increase its firepower |

INDONESIA has boosted its military presence near Australia and ramped up moves to increase the firepower of its armed forces, according to a report.
It comes at a time of growing turmoil in Australia's relationship with our northern neighbour after revelations last week Australian Navy vessels breached Indonesia's territorial waters while enforcing the Coalition's asylum seeker policy.
As The Jakarta Post reports, Indonesia has deployed "a number" of navy vessels to patrol its coast after the Australian incursion last week. The nation's Air Force has also programmed four radars to monitor the country's southern border.
Indonesia is reportedly awaiting the delivery of 30 F-16 fighters, a dozen Apache attack helicopters and 103 Leopard battle tanks from the US and Germany, and is purchasing a dozen Russian submarines armed with cruise missiles. Indonesia has also expanded its Marine Corps.
Indonesia sends warships to patrol southern border | World news |

Indonesian warships, including torpedo and missile craft, have been moved to its border with Australia following Australia's admission last week that some of its vessels had inadvertently entered Indonesian waters.
The Indonesian navy's chief spokesman, Commodore Untung Suropati, has confirmed a number of warships had moved towards the Australian border including frigates, fast torpedo craft (KCT), fast missile craft (KCR), corvettes and maritime patrol aircraft, the Jakarta Post reported.
"All the ships are on the move, patrolling the waters," he said without specifying how many ships had been deployed.
Air force radar was also being used to patrol the border for Australian boats and Air Commodore Hadi Tjajanto said Australia was "reachable" from the Makassar base.
Australia apologised unreservedly last week after it was revealed there had been several naval incursions into Indonesian waters under its border protection plan designed to combat people-smuggling Operation Sovereign Borders.
The Indonesian president's foreign affairs spokesman, Teuku Faizasyah, said: "A violation of our national territory for any reason cannot be tolerated."
"If Prime Minister Abbott asks President Yudhoyono and the Indonesian people to understand Australia's seriousness with regards to its sovereignty, in the same vein, Indonesia also asks Australia to understand our firm commitment to our vital interests."
Indonesia has 16 Sukhoi Su-27/30 Flankers ready to fly to the border if an Australian ship is detected in Indonesian waters. It is estimated the aircraft would take about an hour to make the trip.
Indonesia is also beefing up its defence forces, with one MP naming Australia as the country's greatest threat.
TNI gears up, sets sights on foreign threats | The Jakarta Post

As the Indonesian Military (TNI) begins to perceive the growing threat from other nations, it is accelerating efforts to strengthen deterrence by overhauling its structure to allow for faster troop deployment, expanding the Marine Corps and procuring long-range offensive weaponry.

In what is expected to be among President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's most far-reaching military policies, a regulation is planned for June on the formation of defense groups under joint-command, locally abbreviated as Kogabwilhan.

The plan will integrate the regional resources of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force into multi-service groups that will be positioned in certain defense flashpoints integral to preserving the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

"But the function of the Kogabwilhan will not be limited to that. It will also serve as a deterrence to other countries as the command will have the flexibility and the needed resources for rapid deployment," said Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro recently.

Each Kogabwilhan group will be equipped with its own fleet of warships, jet fighter squadron and Army units. Each group's commander, a three-star general, will be given the authority to respond without having to go through the red tape at the TNI headquarters in Jakarta.

Under the existing structure, the TNI cannot immediately respond to, for example, a foreign incursion into the eastern territory until its central command assigns a three-star commanding officer and drafts deployment and logistics orders.

"We're always on alert over future threats from other countries. But our existing structure and command are not sufficient to promptly respond. The Kogabwilhan will patch up the holes," said Defense Ministry's director general for defense planning Rear Marshall FX Bambang Sulistyo.

The government is planning to have four Kogabwilhan groups cover several flashpoints, which according to the ministry officials, are Aceh, Natuna in Riau Islands, Papua and Attambua in East Nusa Tenggara.

Aceh was included due to fears another separatist movement could emerge, and also because of its strategic location at the mouth of the busy Strait of Malacca.

Meanwhile, Natuna sits near the South China Sea, where China is in border rows with several ASEAN nations that are mostly backed by the US. Indonesia is not involved in the territorial disputes. Papua was chosen because of its separatist conflict and Attambua for its proximity to East Timor (Timor Leste) and Australia.

The headquarters of each Kogabwilhan group will not necessarily be at the deployment location. For example, to cover Natuna, the command could either be set up in the West Kalimantan provincial capital of Pontianak or in Riau's capital of Pekanbaru.

"We have not decided whether to have three or four Kogabwilhan groups. If we have four then it should cover the areas of eastern, western and central Indonesia. The command for Java should be a stand-alone," said Purnomo.

To support the policy, the ministry is undergoing a so-called "right-sizing" in its personnel assignments, in which priority will be given to strike units rather than to support ones.

"There will also be no expansion in the number of troops. What we are doing is reassigning personnel to priority divisions," said Purnomo.

Indonesia has around 460,000 military personnel, as of 2013, and every year around 13,000 retire.

As part of the restructuring, Purnomo said that the ministry was in the process of expanding the Marines, with the latest addition being the 10th Marine Battalion in Setokok Island, some 4 kilometers southeast of Batam Island in Riau Islands province.

President Yudhoyono is scheduled to inaugurate the battalion, initially commissioned with 600 personnel, in March.

In a sign that the TNI is serious in setting its sights outward, it recently agreed to the purchase of a dozen Russian Kilo-class submarines. A team is scheduled to fly to Moscow at the end of the month to process the purchase through Russia's export credit facilities, which carry low interest rates.

"What will be the game changer is not the Kilo-class subs themselves, but the Club-S cruise missiles onboard," said Purnomo, adding that the missiles could hit a target 400 km away.

The country is also waiting for the deliveries of 30 refurbished F-16 fighters and a dozen Apache attack helicopters from the US starting this year, as well as 103 refurbished Leopard main battle tanks from Germany.

House of Representatives defense, intelligence and foreign affairs committee member Susaningtyas Handayani Kertopati said the TNI should strengthen its "outward-looking" approach at a time when there were signs of escalating threats.

"The greatest threat will obviously be from Australia," she said.
This, on top of the earlier Indonesia-Australia spying row, is a godsend to Chinese strategic planners, since it is a long-term irritant with lots of national pride at stake.

My sources tell me those radar systems watching Australia were built with Chinese assistance. Think of it as a Chinese '---- you too' to America's radar stations in Taiwan, Korea, and Japan.

The other thing to note is that Indonesia has over half a dozen other straits with enough water depth to substitute for Malacca, and yet enough shallow water in between each to make ASW easy relative to the open waters of the Pacific. This means if China gets Indonesia on its side, China's shipping can make it home safely through the Indonesian archipelago even if Malacca is blockaded.


Regular Member
Mar 15, 2011
It's election time in Indonesia. Australia's used to the politicians of our Islamic neighbours slagging us off before elections.

Guess the CPC will be erasing the history of Indonesian's genocidial pograms against ethnic Chinese.

Indonesian's, and Indo- Malay's in general, really, really don't like the Chinese. But sure, good luck with your plans.

Global Defence