Two battalions of Yonif Raider commandos depart for West Papua, 2020
TNI-AL is the Indonesian navy, equipped with submarines, frigates, attack vessels, missiles and an aerial fleet. TNI-AL (Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Laut) contains special forces Kopaska, the 'frogmen' and Marinir or Marines. Both special forces units have been deployed to West Papua. Kopaska, modeled on the US Navy 'SEALS', was established with a view to annexing West Papua in 1962. TNI has a major naval base on Biak island and has smaller bases in Jayapura, Sorong, Manokwari, Merauke and Kaimana.
TNI-AL conducts much of the transportation of troops and weapons from Indonesia into West Papua, while the airforce and infantry (TNI-AU and TNI-AD) provide air transport for soldiers and guns within the territory.
Loading weapons bound for West Papua
Indonesian navy has purchased several types of missiles from China, including CASIC's C705. The missiles infamously failed to launch when tested during the 'Armada Jaya' naval exercises in September 2016.
One of Indonesia's KCR-40 attack craft, the KRI Clurit, was unable to fire the C705 missile.
The Uzi submachine gun has been exported to over 90 countries. Over its service lifetime, it has been manufactured by Israel Military Industries, FN Herstal, and other manufacturers. From the 1960s through to the 1980s, more Uzi submachine guns were sold to military, law enforcement and security markets than any other submachine gun ever made.
Uzi's presence in Indonesia began with intelligence activities. Indonesia's nascent spy agency BAKIN was supported by Mossad (the Israeli Secret Service) which sent its instructors to Indonesia in 1968. This relationship has continued, not only with Mossad, but with the United States Intelligence Agency (CIA). In 1980, the CIA conducted five sessions of counter-terrorism training and VIP protection in Indonesia. To support Indonesia, the CIA connected the Indonesian Army and BAKIN with a US weapons factory located in Philadelphia. Uzis for Indonesia are sourced here, from factories licensed by IMI to sell Uzis in the United States.
Mossad and CIA instructors continue to support Indonesian intelligence agencies along with 'anti-terror' police unit D88, running training exercises at Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation.
The soldier second from right holds an Uzi
Indonesia has bought a total of 28 of H225M Multirole Helicopters from Airbus at a cost of $30 million per piece. The most recent order was in 2019. This is a ‘long range, tactical, heavy lift’ helicopter that can carry 28 passengers and crew. These helicopters carry troops from major military bases into areas where West Papuan resistance is active, for instance into the highlands or, pictured here, to the island of Biak. The H225M is used by TNI AD and TNI AL special forces.
A helicopter that appears visually similar was photographed being used as part of an evacuation of civilians following conflict between militia groups and the Indonesian military in Kiwirok in September 2021.
The ScanEagle UAV is a small, long-endurance, low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) built by a subsidiary of Boeing called Insitu, and is used for reconnaissance. Indonesia ordered 8 ScanEagles in 2019 using 'Maritime Security Initiative' aid from the USA; the Boeing surveillance drones were effectively donated. 6 others were ordered for TNI-AL, and the Indonesian navy started receiving the drones from June 2021. The drones were unveiled during an inauguration ceremony for Skuadron Udara 100 (Aviation Squadron 100 - dedicated to anti-submarine helicopters) and Skuadron Udara 700 (Aviation Squadron 700 - maintenance of the Indonesian Navies fleet of both land-based and shipborne drones).
Bell 412 Helicopter
The Bell 412 is a utility helicopter used for law enforcement, military and civilian purposes around the world. Nine were ordered by Indonesia in 2018. One was delivered in January 2021 and two more in July 2021. The helicopters are being built in the USA before being handed to Indonesian state-owned company PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) for customisations “including a Gatling-type gun from US-based company Dillon Aero”.
Indonesia purchased 12 BTR-80A vehicles in 2001 at a cost of $6.5 million for the Marines, aka KORMAR or Marinir.
The Yakhont is a ‘supersonic land attack cruise missile’, that can be fired from the air, land or at sea. This ‘fire and forget’ weapon was purchased for TNI-AL in 2011. It has a range of 300 kilometres.
Yakhont Missile from Tactical Missiles Corporation
The BMP-3F IFV is equipped with a 100mm cannon-missile launcher, 30mm automatic cannon and 7.62mm machine gun integrated in a weapon station, as well as two 7.62mm hull machine guns.
Russian BT-3F APC
In 2020, Defense World Net reported that “Indonesia is eyeing a second batch of up to 79 Russian BT-3F tracked amphibious infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) worth up to $289 million for the Indonesian Navy’s (TNI-AL’s) Korps Marinir (KORMAR, or Marine Corps).
KORMAR is already operating 21 BT-3F APCs, which are derived from the BMP-3 IFV, acquired at a cost of $67.2 million from state-owned defence exporter JSC Rosoboronexport in April 2019. Indonesia is also the first international customer of the BT-3F.