In August 2012, reports emerged that Indonesia had made a deal with Germany to buy heavy tanks and infantry carriers, after the Dutch had demurred. The Indonesian Army has a long record of human rights abuses, which sparked considerable opposition in the Netherlands. In contrast, Germany has been pushing hard for defense exports as a way to keep its defense industrial base busy, and of preserving jobs amidst Europe’s economic slowdown.
In May 2013, those reports were finally confirmed. What is the exact shape of the deal? How will the new vehicles fit with, and compare to, Indonesia’s existing equipment? And how did we get to this point?