Indonesia is exerting considerable effort to enhance its military equipment manufacturing capacity for the purpose of ensuring strong national defence.

The Indonesian Army (TNI AD) and the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) on January 21 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop missiles, rockets and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Under the document, the army will spend about 3.5 billion Rp to finance LAPAN research in rockets, remote-sensing satellites and atmospheric science and technology for unmanned aerial vehicles intended for surveillance and monitoring activities to support national security.

LAPAN Chief Bambang S.Tehasukma said the cooperation with the army will lay focus on developing methods and producing prototypes for defence industries.

Army Chief of Staff General Budiman said LAPAN remote-sensing technology can help the army conduct surveys and maps and gather geospacial intelligence as part of its efforts to defend national territory.

LAPAN technology will also be effectively utilised in activities such as search and rescue operations, natural disaster mitigation missions and anti-terror operations.

The institute has also cooperated with the navy and will work in unison with the air force to develop aviation technology in the future.-VNA