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Indonesia Tests Its Homemade MLRS

March 14, 2014
Stock image of Brazilian-made Astros MLRS

Stock image of Brazilian-made Astros MLRS.

Last week, a popular defense news site reported that an indigenous multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) was tested in West Java. This has been confirmed by an Indonesian government agency, the Institute of Aviation and Space or Lapan, who posted details about the successful March 5 test on its website’s news feed.

Apparently the test involved the R-HAN 122, an Indonesian-made rocket in development for the past several years. The R-HAN is a collaboration between the aerospace research agency Lapan with local arms manufacturer PT Pindad and other government entities.

A press release from Pindad for a defense exhibition last year names those involved with developing the R-HAN.

PT Pindad participated on this event by displayed some of new products which just introduced to the public such as SPR 2 [anti-material rifle] with 12.7 mm caliber which already equipped by a deduction of vibration and silencer, Cloud Seeding Agent CoSAT 1000, Tactical Vehicle 4×4 Komodo, and also the RHAN 1210 Rocket which is a joint project along with Ministry of Research and Technology, Indonesian Navy, The Agency of The Assessment and Application of Technology, National Institute of Aeronautics and Space, some of universities and institutes (ITB, ITS, UGM, and UNDIP), and also some State Owned Enterprise companies such as PT Indonesian Aerospace, PT LEN, Krakatau Steel, and PT Dahana. The president director of PT Pindad also gave a mock up of PT Pindad Multiple Launch Rocket System vehicle to Ministry of Research and Technology and Ministry of Defence.

The R-HAN and its wheeled launch vehicle, a truck, is different from the Brazilian Astros II made by Brazilian arms manufacturer Avibras and sold to Indonesia in 2012. In 2013, PT Pindad unveiled a specially made 6×6 carrier, the PLM-861, for mounting a 122mm MLRS.

Uncredited photo of R-han launcher.

Indonesia is currently modernizing its armed forces the TNI. With its annual defense budget reaching the $8 billion dollar range–the highest in Southeast Asia after Singapore–the government is simultaneously in the process of building a manufacturing base for weapons production.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s high profile arms purchases during the last three years include German Leopard tanks, French CAESAR 155mm self-propelled artillery, Russian Su-30’s, South Korean submarines, and the venerable AH-64 Apache from the US.

Although companies like PT Pindad and other firms haven’t rolled out vehicles and arms on a large scale, Indonesia’s government is taking baby steps to achieve its own idea of self-sufficiency for the TNI.