India has agreed to impart submarine training to Indonesia as part of a bilateral effort to diversify defence cooperation.
During Defence Secretary Mohan Kumar’s South East Asia visit, the two countries also agreed to cooperate in defence manufacturing and expand military to military cooperation. Mr. Kumar visited Indonesia on January 17-18 and Singapore on January 19.
India already trains Vietnamese sailors in operating Kilo class submarines and its pilots on Su-30 fighter aircraft, both Russian built platforms India operates in large numbers. This move also fits into India’s larger engagement with the region as part of its ‘Act East’ policy.
“On military to military ties, the present Army exercise has been expanded to a company level. The two sides have agreed to start Air Force exercises and also expand maritime cooperation, which includes Navy training in submarines and so on,” defence sources said on Wednesday.
Sources observed that Indonesian defence industry had strengths in some areas and, like in India, is largely dominated by Public Sector Undertakings. “We can do some components and sub-assemblies for them. They are also interested in some technologies,” sources said. Discussions were under way.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo was in India in December last year and both sides had agreed to “conclude a substantive bilateral Defence Cooperation Agreement” and “explore collaboration between defence industries for joint product”ion of equipment with technology transfer.”