An unit of Indonesian Navy (Source:AFP/VNA)
Jakarta (VNA) - Indonesia will sharply strengthen security around the Natuna Islands on the East Sea, said the country’s Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu on July 13.

In an interview with French news agency AFP, Ryamizard Ryacudu said bolstering defences around the Natuna Islands will involve deploying warships, F-16 fighter jets, surface-to-air missiles, radars and drones, as well as constructing new ports and improving an airstrip.

The military build-up, which started in recent months, will be completed in “less than a year,” he said.

Indonesia will also send special air force and marine task forces as well as an army battalion to the Natuna islands, once barracks and housing have been built, Ryacudu added.

The military plan is to strengthen the country’s defence abilities and territorial protection, he said, adding that it is not an arms race.

Last month, Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited the Natuna Islands to affirm the country’s sovereignty over the area and tighten control over special economic zones.-VNA