D&S Banner DES2023With a total defense budget of $8.8 billion in 2023, Indonesia presently ranks as the second-highest military spender after Singapore in the Southeast Asia region. Driven by ongoing defense modernization initiatives, the country’s defense expenditure is forecast to reach $9.7 billion by 2028, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest report, “Indonesia Defense Market Size and Trends, Budget Allocation, Regulations, Key Acquisitions, Competitive Landscape and Forecast, 2023-28,”Australia Defense Market Size and Trends, Budget Allocation, Regulations, Key Acquisitions, Competitive Landscape and Forecast, 2022-27’ reveals that the country’s cumulative defense spending is anticipated to touch $46.6 billion from 2024-28, out of which the acquisition budget share is estimated to be approximately 28.4%, amounting to $13.3 billion. The defense acquisition expenditure is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.5% over 2024-28 and reach $2.7 billion by 2028.

Abhijit Apsingikar, Aerospace & Defense Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “  Indonesia’s defense budget is majorly driven by the need to mitigate natural disasters and undertake military modernization initiatives. The country is looking to expand its defense posture as well as augment its indigenous defense manufacturing industrial complex through military modernization initiatives. Furthermore, increasing fundamentalism has aggravated the threat of terrorism, which coupled with online radicalism, has compelled Indonesia to heavily invest in cybersecurity and counter-terrorism apparatus.”

Over the period 2018-23, Indonesia sanctioned several defense deals to modernize its air force fleet, including the acquisition of 42 Dassault Rafale as well as 24 F-15ID multirole strike fighters. The country also invested in modernizing its air lift capability and signed a contract to acquire two units of the A-400M Atlas transport aircraft.

Apsingikar continues: “Although the focus on expanding the domestic defense industry slightly curtails market opportunities for international manufacturers and exporting countries, Indonesia’s burgeoning economy, coupled with its expanding defense modernization needs, offers several opportunities for mutual cooperation.”

Indonesia’s current cooperation with South Korea over the KF-21 Boramae project offers a template for future engagement with the country. Owing to the need to secure a vast geographic area spread across more than 17,000 individual islands, Indonesia is anticipated to continue investing heavily in defense, especially through joint developments and production of defense equipment. This, in turn, offers an effective option for foreign defense OEMs to enter the Indonesian defense market.

Apsingikar concludes: “Although the Indonesian defense budget is relatively small, the country’s robust economy assures a stable outlook for defense expenditure over the next five years. The country has already signed a deal to acquire 24 units of Sikorsky S-70M Black Hawk helicopters over next few years. Indonesia is also anticipated to emulate Philippines and close a deal for the acquisition of the Brahmos missile system. These acquisitions indicate the country’s intentions to continue modernizing its military fleet, despite budgetary limitations.”

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