Thursday, May 9, 2013

Germany approves tank sale to Indonesia

BERLIN - The German government has approved the sale to Indonesia of about 100 Leopard 2 tanks and 50 armoured personnel carriers but has put off a decision on a tank sale to Saudi Arabia, a defence source said on Friday.
Germany's national security council, which includes Chancellor Angela Merkel and some cabinet ministers, must approve large arms sales and the government never comments on its decisions.
Indonesia, southeast Asia's largest economy, had previously indicated it would buy 130 Leopard tanks from Germany's Rheinmetall AG as part of a US$15 billion (S$18.5b) five-year campaign to modernise its military.
The German source did not say how much the deal was worth but Indonesia said last year the value of the initial agreement to buy 130 tanks was US$280 million.
Indonesia, which has economic growth of above 6 per cent, is wary of being left behind as China, Vietnam, Thailand and other Asian nations ramp up defence spending. This year it announced plans to buy more than a dozen Russian Sukhoi fighter jets as well as domestically made, missile-equipped patrol ships. (AsiaOne)
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