Indonesia Plans 20 Percent Defense Spending Hike

Indonesia's Corvette Sigma class KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda. (Photo: koarmatim)

July 11, 2009, Jakarta -- Indonesia will increase its defense budget by 20 percent next year to compensate for years of low spending, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said July 10.

Speaking two days after apparently winning re-election for a second five-year term, Yudhoyono said new defense spending was possible thanks to economic growth forecast at around six percent next year.

"Starting in 2010, we'll significantly increase our defense budget from 33.6 trillion rupiah ($3.3 billion) in 2009 into 40.6 trillion by adding about seven trillion, or 20 percent," he was quoted as saying by Antara news agency.

"We'll increase that each year ... so we can be closer to the needed minimum force" with a budget of 100-120 trillion rupiah.
At 33.6 trillion rupiah, the defense budget is just 0.67 percent of Indonesia's total budget.

Years of low defense spending in the mainly Muslim country of 234 million people have been blamed for equipment shortfalls and fatal accidents involving military aircraft.
A military helicopter crash in June killed two personnel, and a Hercules transport aircraft crash in May killed more than 100 people. Twenty-four military personnel were killed in April when their training aircraft crashed into a hangar at an air base in West Java.


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