Jakarta. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo recently launched Defend ID, a state-owned defense holding company that has already set its sights on several ambitious goals, including being on the list of the top 50 defense companies in the world by 2024.
“I have taken a note of [Defend ID’s] promises. The first is for Defend ID to enter the world’s top 50 defense companies. The second is to boost our domestic component use and lower defense equipment imports,” Jokowi said when launching Defend ID in Surabaya on Wednesday.
Jokowi expressed his hope that Defend ID could increase domestic component use in flagship defense products from the current 41 percent to 100 percent. The president also called for Defend ID to become part of the global defense supply chain. But the state-owned holding should prioritize meeting the domestic demand first before trying to capture the global market.
"We should build a self-reliant defense industry at once. And drive the domestic defense industry to become fully prepared to enter a new era of competition, and able to meet the main defense needs to protect our sovereignty," Jokowi said.
Electronics maker Len Industri becomes the holding company to Defend ID, which encompasses four other state-owned enterprises, namely arms producer Pindad, aircraft maker Dirgantara Indonesia, naval shipbuilder PAL Indonesia, and explosives manufacturer Dahana.
At the sidelines of the event, Defend ID president director Bobby Rasyidin reiterated the holding's goal to be among the world's top 50 defense companies by 2024. Indonesia's defense industry, however, has even yet to crack the Top 100.
"In 2024, the domestic component used for our key technologies will exceed 50 percent. Hopefully, by that year, we will have a self-reliant defense industry," Bobby said.
Bobby said Defend ID's launch could attract both domestic and foreign investment into the country's defense sector, which investors did not take much notice of.
"But if we take a look at the conflicts abroad, the defense budget has skyrocketed by 200-300 percent. So this industry makes an attractive investment," he added.