During a recent meeting between India’s deputy national security adviser Pankaj Saran and Indonesian defence minister Prabawo Subianto, it was revealed that the nations are discussing the joint production of military vehicles and equipment.

Any production would likely take place in Indonesia so that India could share its defence technologies with the southeast Asian nation. The partnership would also allow both countries to focus on developing local manufacturing industries, particularly in the defence sector.

Indonesian presidential chief of staff H. Moeldoko stated during the meeting that Indonesia and India share several common interests in the defence industry. He said both countries are committed to addressing radicalism and extremism, so they can cooperate “to build stronger relations in the defence sector.”

In addition to defence technology, Indonesia and India have also agreed to expand their maritime cooperation and partnership in the Indian Ocean Region. Several Indian firms are reportedly planning to build ports in Indonesia.

Bolstering Military Ties

Earlier this year, the Indonesian and Indian navies carried out a military drill in the southern Arabian Sea to “further improve interoperability and understanding” between the two friendly naval forces.

A former Indian ambassador to Indonesia said in January that military cooperation between the countries has strengthened over the last 17 years because of regular joint exercises. He also revealed that India and Indonesia would soon conduct joint air force drills amid border tensions between New Delhi and Beijing.

In addition to India, Indonesia is also seeking improved military ties with the Philippines. In November, the Indonesian military participated in a virtual two-week training activity with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to boost their interoperability in urban and jungle special operations.

Indonesia also hosted joint naval exercises with China amidst tension over fishing rights in the South China Sea. Both navies performed communication drills, search and rescue operations, and formation manoeuvres.