| JAKARTA, March 20
JAKARTA, March 20 Indonesia plans to buy more
than a dozen Russian Sukhoi fighter jets and domestically made,
missile-equipped patrol ships as part of a $15 billion five-year
campaign to modernise its military, defence officials said on
Southeast Asia's largest economy has sharply increased its
defence budget since 2010 as the military looks to bolster its
capacity to protect shipping lanes, ports and maritime
Indonesia is also wary of being left behind as China,
Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and other Asian nations ramp up
Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said Indonesia wanted
to buy a full squadron of the Sukhoi fighter jets and the patrol
He also warned delegates at a military conference that
rapidly increasing military spending and stronger defence
capabilities in the region could sow distrust and fuel rivalry.
"If this is not accompanied by enhanced transparency that
improves trust and confidence, it could run the risk of an arms
race that adversely impacts on peace and stability," he said.
Another Indonesian military official said the plan was to
buy as many as 16 more Russian Sukhoi fighter jets, 17 patrol
vessels, three light frigates and an undisclosed number of tanks
Indonesia also planned to upgrade a squadron of U.S.-made
F-16s. Indonesia already has more than 10 Sukhoi jets.
Last October, the Defence Ministry said it was set to buy
130 Leopard 2 tanks from Rheinmetall AG of Germany
worth a total of $280 million.
Indonesia, a vast nation of islands with key sea lanes and
54,700 km (34,000 miles) of coast, has also ordered three
submarines from South Korea to expand its fleet to five.
Defence spending in 2012 stood at 72.5 trillion rupiah
($7.54 billion), up 30 percent from 2011. It is expected to rise
to 77.7 trillion rupiah in 2013.
(Editing by Robert Birsel)