Rheinmetall is due to complete deliveries of the Leopard 2 RI main battle tank to Indonesia by March 2017.
Indonesia ordered 61 Leopard RI MBTs among other vehicles in a package worth some $280 million in December 2012.
The other vehicles included were 42 Leopard 2+ MBTs, 42 upgraded Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicles and ten specialist vehicles (four Büffel armoured recovery vehicles, three Leguan bridge-layers and three armoured engineering vehicles)
Indonesia was the second Asian country to adopt the Leopard 2 after Singapore, although some wonder at Indonesia’s wisdom in purchasing such heavy MBTs given the country’s archipelagic nature, poor roads and jungle-clad terrain.
All Leopard 2+ tanks have been handed over, this variant being a Leopard 2A4 with retrofitted air-conditioning system. Meanwhile, the first eight Leopard 2 RI MBTs reached Indonesian shores in May.
‘RI’ tanks are 2A4s taken from surplus German Army stocks and upgraded by Rheinmetall to include an add-on Advanced Modular Armour Protection (AMAP) suite from IBD, plus all-electric gun control equipment to replace its electro-hydraulic system. The driver benefits from a rear-view camera, plus a 17kW auxiliary power unit fuels air-conditioning and other systems.
Modification to the 120mm 44-calibre gun and associated sight system allows DM11 programmable HE rounds to be fired. PT Pindad, Indonesia’s premier state-owned defence manufacturer, is partnering with Rheinmetall to produce ammunition for and to support the Leopards and Marders.
Indonesian Marders have upgraded power packs, suspension and ballistic protection, plus an air-conditioning unit is fitted. The hull roof is raised 300mm to increase volume in the troop compartment. A Pindad spokesman told Shephard: ‘We’re currently discussing with the army to assist a second batch in a Marder enhancement programme that will enable conversion into various types: command, ambulance and logistic versions.’
Indonesia also received three Bushmaster 4x4 protected mobility vehicles from Thales Australia in February 2014 as part of a $2 million government-to-government sale. These are used by Indonesian KOPASSUS special forces. The army also possesses 22 Doosan DST 6x6 Black Fox vehicles procured in 2009. These South Korean vehicles are fitted with a CMI Defence CSE 90LP turret featuring a Cockerill 90mm gun.