Yonif Raiders 753 in West Papua
Yonif Raiders, or Batalyon Infanteri, are permanently stationed in West Papua to patrol conflict zones and the border. Yonif Raiders are 'elite' commando troops, organised and equipped for 'counter-insurgency' operations, 'anti-terror' and 'non-conventional' threats. This Indonesian commando battalion was founded in 1953 and took an active role in the killing of an estimated 1 million people during the Suharto coup and massacre of 'communists' in 1965/6. The original commander of Yonif was Johny Lumintang, who held military command positions in occupied East Timor and also West Papua. Yonif Raider corps have conducted 'sweeping' operations in West Papua since 1970 in Biak, Wamena, Timika, Fak-Fak, Tembaga Pura, Jayapura, Paniai and Puncak Jaya among other places. There are eight battalions permanently based in West Papua, with other Yonif battalions regularly rotating in. Yonif Raiders carry sniper rifles and heavy duty machine guns from Korea, Germany, Russia, Belgium and the US.
Yonif Raider battalions 400 and 515 arriving in Timika, West Papua, 2021
A Yonif Raider 753, based in Nabire, with a Daewoo K3 machine gun made in Korea.
Ares-Elbit Mekatroic Mortar
The Cardom Mekatronic Mortar features ‘forward observer (FO) target acquisition sensors’ that can fire 16 mortars per minute with a range of up to 7km.Elbit's Brazilian subsidiary, Ares, makes and sells this weapon to TNI's Mechanics Battalions.
The G28 is a semi automatic sniper rifle. Despite the Heckler and Koch ban on sales to conflict zones, including Indonesia, an article published in 2020 hails the G28 as the 'newest rifle' of Indonesia's special forces.
'Elite' soldier with an HK G28 in 2020
TNI training with HK G28
The L44 120mm tank guns are designed to go with Rheinmetall's Leopard tanks. Most countries operating Rheinmetall tanks also buy Rheinmetall tank guns and munitions. Indonesia is no exception to this rule. Indonesian government owned manufacturer PT Pindad has produced munitions for Rheinmetall combat vehicles under license since 2014.
Leopard tanks with L44 guns sold by Rheinmetall
A member of 'Raider/753' Infantry Battalion, specialised combat troops, stationed in West Papua, holding an SNT-Motiv K3 Machine Gun
Korean weapons giant Hanwha brokered two deals to export SNT-Motiv machine guns to TNI, The first deal, in 2006, saw 110 K3s sold to TNI. Hanwha then arranged the export of a further 803 K3 machine guns in 2011. The 'light machine guns' are easy to hold and to fire, according to the company's promotions. K3 weapons are used by the Komando Pasukan Katak (Kopaska) tactical diver group and Komando Pasukan Khusus (Kopassus) special forces groups. Two divisions of Yonif Raiders, permanently stationed in West Papua, carry these weapons 'in the field'.
SNT Motiv has sold almost 2000 of these K7 machine guns to Indonesia, as of 2023. Marketed as 'good for covert operations' due to the small size and low noise relative to the killing power, the K7 is used by Yonif Raider troops stationed in West Papua. Kopassus and Kopaska are also known to use this weapon.
Yonif Raider troops in West Papua pose with a K7 machine gun.
Yonif Raiders (left) and Kopaska soldier (right) with the SNT Motiv K7
The K2 was developed by the South Korean Agency for Defense Development and is manufactured by S&T Motiv and Dasan Machineries (since 2016). Between 2006 and 2018 Indonesia purchased 806 K2 rifles. The K2 weapons are used by special forces, including paratroopers and 'Raiders' in West Papua.
Yonif Raider 142 unit en route to West Papua, March 2022
The FN FNC is a rifle, designed in the 1970s as a cheaper alternative to the M16 rifle. Indonesia purchased 10,000 FNC’s in 1982. Indonesia purchased the license in 1984 and began production in 1991. It is now produced under license by Pindad PT as the Pindad SS1 and SS2, and used as the standard assault rifle by the Indonesian armed forces and police.
The FN MINIMI is a light machine gun used by over 35 countries ,and is the standard issue light machine gun used by the Indonesian armed forces. It is produced under license by Pindad PT as the Pindad SM-2.
Kopassus with FN Minimi on patrol in West Papua