Defence Relations Bilateral Relations

Defence Relations


  1. The cooperation in the area of Defence and Security between India and Indonesia commenced soon after independence of both countries. The Defence Wing in the Embassy of India, Jakarta was established in 1951. In the initial stages, the defence cooperation was robust under which several Indonesian Air Force personnel received training in India. The first Agreement on Cooperative Activities in the Field of Defence between the two countries was signed in 2001 and ratified by the Indonesian parliament in Dec 2006. This agreement was valid till Dec 2016. The new Defence Cooperation Agreement with emphasis on exchange of strategic information sharing and cooperation in science and technology security was signed on 30 May 2018 during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Jakarta, Indonesia.
  2. As a follow-up to the meeting of President Joko Widodo with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to India in Dec 2016, the emphasis given by both leaders in the Joint Statement for enhancing the level of cooperation in Defence and Security. This has given significant impetus towards increasing the depth and scope of cooperation between the two countries. Since the meeting, considerable progress has been made with the conduct of the inaugural India Indonesian Security Dialogue at New Delhi in Jan 2018, followed by the Biennial Defence Ministers Dialogue on 19 Jan 2018 (held after a gap of nearly 5 years); the commencement of Air Force to Air Force Staff Talks; increasing the frequency of Navy to Navy Staff Talks; participation of Special Forces in the annual bilateral Army Exercise ‘Garuda Shakti; and the conduct of specialised training for Indonesian Navy and Indonesian Air Force. During the meeting, Indian side also showcased and offered high end weapon systems from the Indian Defence Industry.
  3. The visit of Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi in May 2018 gave further impetus to the cooperation between the two countries in the area of Defence and Security. During the veranda talks, President Joko Widodo expressed willingness to support India’s proposal to partner in the Malacca Straits Patrol. Thereafter during the 6th JDCC held in Aug 2018, both sides agreed to commence Naval and Air Force bilateral exercises. The first bilateral naval exercise between India and Indonesia ‘Samudra Shakti’ was held in November 2018 at Surabaya, Indonesia, the second edition at Visapkhapatnma and in the Bay of Bengal in Nov 2019 and the third edition in Sep 2021 at Jakarta, Indonesia and the Sunda Straits.
  4. In a further emphasis on engagement in the maritime domain, an MoU on Maritime Safety & Security between the Indian Coast Guard & the Indonesian Bakamla was signed in July 2020. Presently discussions are ongoing for arriving at exchange of White Shipping Information for comprehensive domain awareness and augmenting linkages between the Indian Navy’s IFC-IOR with the Maritime Information Centre (Pusinfomar) under the Indonesian Armed Forces HQ as also the Indonesian Maritime Information Centre (IMIC) under Bakamla. The Indonesian Navy has also been invited to position an International Liaison Officer (ILO) at the IFC-IOR.

Defence Industry

  1. Since 2016, there is a clear upward trend in attempts to augment cooperation in the area of defence industry also. In Nov 2016, Tata Motors signed an MoU with PT Pindad (a Defence PSU) for exploring areas for cooperation in joint design, production and marketing of military vehicles. Trials of Tata trucks for the Indonesian Navy Marine Corp were undertaken and the Indonesian police placed an initial order for 05 trucks for riot control. Business-to-business meetings were held adjunct to the 5th JDCC in Jan 2017 at Jakarta, followed by a visit of Indian defence industry representatives to Indonesian defence industries at Bandung. On 28 May 2018 M/s Bhukhanvala signed an MoU with Pt Pindad for use of its armour protection ceramics on the APC produced by Pt Pindad. During the 6th JDCC held at New Delhi, additional defence industry interactions were held and scope of cooperation between M/s Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Pt LEN, in the area of defence electronics systems was discussed.
  2. Ministerial level discussions were also held across 2018 and 2019 on augmenting defence industry cooperation although no contractual matters could be concluded. This agenda received a new fillip in 2020 with the Deputy Defence Minister’s visit to Def Expo at Lucknow in Feb 2020 followed by the Defence Minister’s visit to New Delhi in July 2020. Some key areas of cooperation have been identified and are currently being worked upon by concerned parties.


Defence Relations