The Russian Defense Ministry has published a press release stating that a working group of Navy officers from the Republic of Indonesia had visited Vladivostok on Tuesday March 10. During the negotiations of the representatives of the Russian Pacific Fleet and Indonesian Navy, the two sides agreed on the conditions of the first joint military exercise which will bear the name of “Orruda 2020”. A planning conference was held at the Pacific Fleet officers’ house, where officers of the combat training Department, the international military cooperation Department of the Pacific Fleet, and an Indonesian delegation discussed the preparations for the first Russian-Indonesian naval exercise “Orruda-2020”. The parties have previously agreed on the location, timing and composition of participants of the upcoming exercise.
Russian-Indonesian relations were at their peak in the late 1950s and early 1960s when Moscow provided the bulk of Indonesia’s military hardware, making the country’s defences forces one of the best equipped in East Asia. Between 1959 and 1965, Russia gave Indonesia one cruiser, 14 destroyers, 14 submarines, eight anti submarine patrol vessels, 20 missile boats and several motor torpedo boats and gunboats. The Indonesian marine corps was also reinforced by armoured and amphibious vehicles, and naval aviation with ASW helicopters and Il-28 bombers. However, the honeymoon ended when Russia-Indonesia relations went into a freeze as the fiercely anti-communist Suharto allied himself with the US.
Indonesia has ordered a batch of amphibious armored vehicles from Russia to enhance the capabilities of its marines and replace ageing Soviet-era machines, operated by the military. Indonesia Marine Corps already operates over 50 BMP-3F and expected to get 22 BMP-3F and 21 BT-3F vehicles. BMP-3F is a modern infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), designed specifically to meet the needs of marines. While the vehicle is very light, weighing only some 18 tons, it packs quite a punch – it’s equipped with a 100-mm gun, 30-mm autocannon. BT-3F is a armored personnel carrier (APC) version based on BMP-3F with the original turret replaced by a smaller remote weapon station with either 7.62, 12.7 or 14.5mm machine.