JI-Jakarta. Indo Defence 2022 is not only the newest of weapons technology exhibition, but it’s also being storefront for homeland defence industry capability. And biennial exhibition has been making cooperation between homeland defence industry with their partners from abroad.

The exhibition has announced its theme “Peace, Prosperity, and Strong Defence’. The message of this exhibition is there’s enough to achieve peace and prosperity without strong defence. In this exhibition, at least 905 companies from 59 countries will show their weapons newest technology. There are 154 participants as Indonesia defence industry from Indonesia which are comes from state owned company, private owned company also joining in this exhibition which will be held at JI Expo Kemayoran, Central Jakarta from November 2 till November 5, 2022.

Indo Defense Expo and Forum is designed to offer you the most cost-effective marketing opportunity to gain access to top military defense officials and decision makers in just one location. Featuring the latest in military, aviation and maritime defense and security technology, Indo defense is a comprehensive meeting point of key decision makers, defense authorities and companies from around the world.

Enhancing business activities, the exhibition provides International seminars, symposiums, free technical product presentations, hands-on product demonstrations and networking with industry experts to explore and transfer information related to the latest technological updates among participating countries. But we have basically question is what’s the urgency of Indo Defence exhibition for Indonesia? And what kind the newest military weapons which can make easily to win the war in modern era?

The world military strength portrait

In 2021, Global Firepower had released the portrait of world military strength. The United States, Russia, China, India and Japan have highest score on military strength in the world. Meanwhile, Indonesia has stationed at 16 from 140 countries, but in South East Asia (ASEAN), Indonesia has stationed as the strongest military capabilities. Global Firepower has given power index to Indonesia 0,2685 points, its mean Indonesia’s military strength will same with major power countries index power. Indonesia’s position is under Germany’s military at 15 world ranking, but we are above than Saudi Arabia which are stationed at 17 world ranking.

Global Firepower calculates the power index using more than 50 indicators per country, resulting in a unique formula. A small country can compete with developed countries because it has advantages in several indicators in its calculations. The smaller the power index score, the higher the military rank of a country. On the other hand, the higher the power index score, the lower the military rank.

ASEAN’s rank military capability

There is 9 from 11 ASEAN’’s countries which are Global Firepower index power, as bellow :

Indonesia has recorded as the strongest military capability in ASEAN. Indonesia’s military strength can see from military personel and the main defence systems more than other ASEAN’s countries. Indonesia’s military personel amount is 1.080.000 in 2021, and at least 280.000 are paramilitary personel.

In the air forces, the Indonesian military force is equipped with 41 fighter aircraft, 38 special attack aircraft, 64 transport aircraft, 17 special mission aircraft, 1 tanker fleet, 188 helicopters, 15 attack helicopters, and 109 training aircraft. Then on land, there are 332 tanks, 1,430 armored vehicles, 153 self-propelled artillery, 366 crane artillery and 63 rocket projectors. While at sea, the Indonesian military is reinforced by 4 submarines, 7 frigates, 24 corvettes, 10 mine warfare, and 179 patrol boats.

Same with previously years, Vietnamese’s military capability still on second rank among ASEAN’s countries. Vietnamese’s military capability is under Indonesia’s military. From a fleet point of view, his submarines are the most conspicuous of them all. The Vietnamese military has 6 submarines, the most of any other country in Southeast Asia. The strength of the Vietnamese navy is also equipped with 9 frigates, 14 corvettes, 8 mine warfare, and 26 patrol boats. On land, Vietnam was reinforced with 2,155 tanks, 5,500 armored vehicles, 100 self-propelled artillery pieces, 1,120 crane artillery pieces and 810 rocket projectors. The total recorded military personnel are 5,522,500 consisting of 482,500 active personnel and 5,040,000 paramilitaries. Finally, Vietnam's air power is equipped with 75 combat aircraft, 39 transport aircraft, 4 special mission aircraft, 99 helicopters, 25 attack helicopters and 30 training aircraft.

Thailand is one of ASEAN’s countries which is not colonialized from other countries. Thailand has stationed at third rank ASEAN’s military strength with index score is 0,4427 point. With a military budget of US$7.2 billion, Thailand's ground force is equipped with 840 tanks, 2,500 armored vehicles, 50 self-propelled artillery pieces, 583 tow artillery and 17 rocket projectors. The total military personnel are 701,000, with details of 361,000 active personnel, 200,000 reserve personnel, and 140,000 paramilitaries. Then the Thai navy is armed with 292 assets consisting of 7 frigates, 7 corvettes, 5 mine warfare, 1 helicopter carries, and 49 patrol boats. While in the air, the Thai military is reinforced by 75 combat aircraft, there are 18 special attack aircraft, 50 transport aircraft, 20 special mission aircraft, 261 helicopters, 7 attack helicopters, and 163 training aircraft.

The 4th place was occupied by a country that had just been hit by a political crisis, Mynamar, with an index score of 0.6521. As a country controlled by the Military Junta, Myanmar's total defense budget is recorded at US$2 billion. Myanmar's total military personnel number 515,000 (0.9 percent of the total population) with 405,000 active and 110 paramilitary personnel. On the ground, Myanmar's military force is armed with 595 tanks, 1,700 armored vehicles, 40 self-propelled artillery pieces, 1,869 crane artillery pieces and 496 rocket projectors. Then at sea, the Myanmar military is equipped with 5 frigates, 3 corvettes, 1 submarine, 2 mine warfees, and 79 patrol boats. Finally, Myanmar's air force consists of 60 combat aircraft, 21 special attack aircraft, 27 transport aircraft, 5 special mission aircraft, 86 helicopters, 9 attack helicopters, and 88 training aircraft.

Although Singapore's population is relatively small with a relatively small area, Singapore's military strength cannot be underestimated. Global Firepower 2021 data puts Singapore in 5th place in Southeast Asia with a score of 0.4566. Surprisingly, Singapore's total military personnel amount to 1,467,500 or cover 23.6 percent of Singapore's total population. The details are 72,500 active personnel, 1,385,000 reserve personnel, and 10,000 paramilitaries. With a sizeable military budget of US$10.7 billion, Singapore's ground forces are equipped with 170 tanks, 3,100 armored vehicles, 48 self-propelled artillery pieces, 77 crane artillery pieces and 24 rocket projectors. At sea, the Singaporean military is equipped with 6 frigates, 6 corvettes, 4 mine warfes, and 10 patrol boats. While in the air, Singapore's forces are armed with 100 fighter aircraft, 9 transport aircraft, 9 special mission aircraft, 73 helicopters, 18 attack helicopters, 10 tanker fleets, and 36 training aircraft.

Malaysia is ranked 6th with an index score of 0.7451. The government budgeted 3.85 billion US dollars to strengthen the Malaysian military. Malaysia's military personnel number 429,000 with 110,000 active personnel, 52,000 reserve personnel, and 267,000 paramilitaries. Malaysia's ground forces are equipped with 48 tanks, 1,380 armored vehicles, 196 artillery cranes and 54 rocket projectors. At sea, Malaysia has 10 frigates, 6 corvettes, 4 mine warfes, 2 submarines and 32 patrol boats. While in the air, the Malaysian military is equipped with 26 combat aircraft, 13 special attack aircraft, 18 transport aircraft, 4 special mission aircraft, 42 helicopters, 4 tanker fleets, and 40 training aircraft.

One of the largest archipelagic countries in the world, the Philippines, ranks 7th with a score of 0.8291. As a country located in the South China Sea region, the Philippines' position is prone to conflict, coupled with several terrorist attacks in the southern Philippines which are quite threatening. The Philippine government also put a budget of 4.25 billion US dollars to strengthen its military. The Philippines' total active military personnel number 315,000 or 0.3 percent of the population. 125,000 of them are active personnel, 130,000 reserve personnel, and 60,000 paramilitaries. On land, the Philippines is equipped with 4 tanks, 6,000 armored vehicles, 12 self-propelled artillery and 285 crane artillery. While at sea, the Philippine military force consists of 2 frigates, 4 corvettes, and 55 patrol boats. Lastly, Philippine air power is equipped with 25 special attack aircraft, 21 transport aircraft, 9 special mission aircraft, 100 helicopters, and 24 training aircraft.

Cambodia, ranked 8th with a score of 2,2751. The total Cambodian military personnel are 195,000 with 125,000 active personnel and 70,000 paramilitaries. Cambodia's ground forces are armed with 635 tanks, 1,000 armored vehicles, 713 crane artillery and 420 rocket projectors. At sea, Cambodia has only 26 patrol boats. While in the air Cambodia is equipped with 4 transport aircraft and 17 helicopters.

Laos ranks last or 9th with a power index score of 3,3003. Laos' military budget is relatively minimal, which is 18 million US dollars. Its military personnel consists of 30,000 active personnel and 100,000 paramilitaries. On land, the Lao military is equipped with 160 tanks, 250 armored vehicles, 34 self-propelled artillery pieces, 87 crane artillery pieces and 64 rocket projectors. Then the Laos air fleet was strengthened with 2 transport aircraft, 4 training aircraft, and 27 helicopters. Because Laos is a country "the land locked country" or a landlocked country, the Lao military is not strengthened by a naval fleet.

What kind the newest military weapons which can make easily to win the war in modern era?

The military strength and capability is one of strategic conditions which must be achieved by every countries to  rise their homeland security and to make deterrence factor for other countries who will attack them. But the current military weapons must be customized with the next defence threats. 

The current military technology and weapons such as CSS-2 "East Wind" intermediate range missiles and medium-range missiles (DF-21s) which are produced by China. Several countries have modern tank such as Leopard 2A7 from Germany. This tank has more accuracy attacking power and modern fire control system; South Korea has produced modern tank such as K2 Black Panther. This tank uses undisclosed type composite armor and explosive reactive armor modules. The front armor is claimed to be able to withstand direct attacks from 120 mm tank shells, which are fired from L55 guns. The overall level of protection is similar to that of the M1A2 Abrams, considering the K2 is much lighter. The Black Panther tank is also equipped with an active protection system and a countermeasures system, which further enhances its survivability on the battlefield. The K2 Black Panther is armed with the latest German 120 mm/L55 cannon, similar to those on the Leopard 2A6 and 2A7. The tank has a highly sophisticated fire control system that can see, track and fire automatically at visible vehicle size targets, even helicopters flying low without the need for a human operator.

Challenger 2 has produced by England. Challenger 2 has the newest Chobham armor and one of covered tank in the world. Challenger 2 has offered the highest level of protect system. This England’s tank is armored with rifled 120 mm which very accurately. Challenger 2 has kept the longest tank to tank destroyer record. Eventhough, Challenger 2 machine is under quality than its rival.

Armata’s tank is Russia’s main battle tank from the new generation. Armata will change T-72 , T-80 and T-90 tank step by steps. The Armata has a number of advanced designs and features and has little in common with the T-90. Specs are kept secret, but the Armata is probably one of the best-protected tanks in the world. The Armata has a newly developed base shield, made of steel, ceramic and composite materials. The Armata will reportedly also be equipped with the new Afghanit active protection system, which is currently under development. The tank is armed with a new 125 mm smoothbore gun which is more accurate than previous Russian tank guns.

Obviously, the modern military weapons has been producing related to the era of threat when the weapons is produced. Like intelligence progress, the military weapons and military capability still depend to military personel itself. In the era of digital technology, micro-robotics technology, cyber army and cyber intelligence military, artificial intelligence military and outer space military competition, so every country must allocate enough money for modernization military technology and weapons. Can Indo Defence`show the above current military technology and weapons?

The writer is an international issues observer, He had earned his master tittle from the University of Indonesia (UI). Previously, he had political bachelor degree at the University of Jember (Unej) in Jember, East Java.

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