The Indonesia Programme at RSIS organised a panel webinar titled “TNI Beyond 2024: Between Reform, Modernisation, and Regional Security Challenges” on 1 October 2020. The key speakers were Major General Dr Rodon Pedrason, Director-General of Defence Strategy of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Indonesia, and Dr Shiskha Prabawaningtyas, Director of the Graduate School of Diplomacy of Paramadina University. The panel discussion was moderated by Assoc Prof Leonard Sebastian, Coordinator of the Indonesia Programme.
In 2010, Indonesia embarked on an exercise to modernise the Indonesian Armed Forces (or Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI)) under the Minimum Essential Force (MEF) programme. Indonesia’s military reform in the late 1990s had laid the foundation for this modernisation effort, which is expected to equip the TNI as a full-fledged professional military capable of effectively counteracting both traditional and non-traditional security challenges by 2024.
The aspiration to modernise is coupled with the need to establish an adequate strategic industrial base and enhance Indonesia’s defence diplomacy efforts. In enabling the TNI to function effectively, Indonesia has adopted a two-pronged approach: by procuring defence platforms/weapon systems to develop essential capabilities, as well as fulfilling the welfare of its military personnel.
The Ministry of Defence will continue with the TNI’s modernisation a its future roadmap post-MEF, tentatively dubbed “Essential Force”. The plan comprises three clusters: for capability development of the main military components (TNI), technology development, and the development of defence assets. These clusters consist of dozens of derivative priorities, including developing a robust battlefield aviation capability, amphibious operation capabilities, an integrated air defence system, and joint special operation capabilities, among others.
One of the monumental challenges facing Indonesia’s defence modernisation is financial support. Indonesia would have to significantly increase its defence spending for the long run and establish a fundamentally different way of distributing its limited financial resources to sustain both current and future defence modernisation programmes.
Catch it here on the RSISVideoCast YouTube channel: