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Pindad delivers more Panzer APCs

by Staff Writers
Jakarta (UPI) Feb 4, 2009
Small arms and vehicle maker Pindad has delivered to the military 33 Panzer armored personnel carriers, of which 13 are for peacekeeping duties in Lebanon.

The latest delivery of the APC-2 6X6 is part of an order for 150 Panzers signed in 2008. All are due for delivery by the end of this year.

The government-owned manufacturer delivered 20 last February, followed by 40 in July, a statement from Pindad said.

The majority will be of the standard 6X6 configuration for carrying personnel. Others are configured for ambulance duty, recovery work, logistics standby and mortar launching. There are also several 4X4 versions for use as forward observer vehicles and 15 specially designed for fast commando operations.

At the handing-over ceremony at the Pindad head offices in the West Java capital city of Bandung, the government dispelled doubts over it seeing through the original order for 150 vehicles. Minister of Defense Purnomo Yusgiantoro said the government remains committed to supporting indigenous military equipment manufacturers.

He also said that 2010 is the year that the government will do all it can to help put the Indonesian defense industry back on a more solid financial footing, given the past year or more during which clients and manufacturers have had difficulty in getting bank loans.

Minister for State Owned Enterprises Mustafa Abubakar acknowledged the difficulties faced by similar state-owned defense industries given defense budget constraints.

Nonetheless, Adik Soedarsono, director of Pindad, said he expects the government to help strategic companies such as Pindad, especially for making initial investments for tooling up for large orders to help it meet delivery deadlines. At stake are export orders, such as for 32 Panzers for Malaysia for its own peacekeepers in Lebanon. Also, discussions are ongoing with Nepal for Panzers, Adik said.

Oman and Bangladesh are also thought to be interested in buying Panzers, according to analysts.

Design planning for the 18-foot-long and nearly eight-foot-wide Panzer began in 2003 from a need by the Indonesian army for an APC in the restive Aceh province against rebels. The first vehicle was rolled out for public view in late 2008.

Combat weight is around 14 tons for a maximum speed of 55 mph from the Renault MIDR 062045 six-cylinder turbo-charged diesel engine. Gears are six forward and one reverse.

The Panzer accommodates 10 personnel plus three crew members. A 12.7mm machine gun can be mounted, capable of 360 degree rotation, or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher.

A fire-support version using a CMI Defense's CSE-90 turret with the Cockerill 90mm Mk III was unveiled at Indo Defense and Aerospace exhibition 2008.

Pindad was founded by the Dutch colonial rulers in Surabaya, the capital of East Java province, in 1808 under the name Artillerie Constructie Winkel. It moved to Bandung in 1923 and was handed over to the newly independent Indonesian government in 1950.

Apart from APCs, Pindad manufactures pistols, submachine guns, assault rifles, grenade launchers, mortars and water-canon vehicles.

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