Indonesia’s state-run defence industry holding, Defend ID, was recently launched to strengthen and modernise the country’s defence capabilities. In less than a month since its inception, PT Len and Thales have marked Defend ID’s first milestone by signing a contract for Thales GM403 radars that will help Indonesia achieve superior situational awareness and modernise its sovereign airspace.

Bobby Rasyidin, president director of PT Len Industri, and Frederique miller, vice president for Sales, Land and Air Systems at Thales, signed the contract at Thales’ headquarters in Paris on 17 May. The contract will span the next few years with Thales building the radars and Command and Control and PT Len constructing the radar stations, providing the installation and integration of the systems and managing civil works for the program, supported by Thales. Certain components on the radars will be locally manufactured by PT Len, and the project will involve the transfer of radar technology and building of local indigenous capabilities, enabling Indonesia to further strengthen its local defence industry.

The GM403 is currently in service with 17 nations worldwide and is a proven and reliable radar that provides superior situational awareness that help armed forces enhance airspace sovereignty amidst constantly evolving threats. Featuring full digital stack beam technology, the GM403 can detect and track threats such as low-flying UAVs while simultaneously detecting higher-altitude targets from stealth aircraft to fighter bombers at distances of over 500 kilometres. The digital architecture of the GM403 ensures that the radars remain resilient to new threats, cyber-attacks and electronic warfare tactics. When fully implemented into service, Thales radars will increase protection over the Indonesian airspace.

“Our working relationship with Thales which dates back several decades gives us the confidence that Thales is the right partner to help us drive Defend ID forward. This new radar contract is a further testament to our strong partnership and aligned vision to build expertise locally. Through this project, PT Len will be building the next generation of defence engineers in Indonesia,” said Rasyidin.

“Through this contract, Thales is delighted to help Indonesia safeguard and enhance the sovereignty of its airspace with one of the world’s most advanced air surveillance radars, capable of detecting new threats in a rapidly changing airspace.  Our commitment to Indonesia goes beyond just providing equipment. With this contract and the strategic partnership agreement signed last month, we are excited to deepen our strategic partnership with PT Len to define a roadmap for Indonesia’s defence modernisation, including the development of a national Command & Control (C2) centre and to build local radar MRO activities,” said Miller.

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