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Indonesia, India Ponder Joint Arms Industry
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Indonesia and India are planning to jointly produce military equipment and maintain their common Russian-made hardware with a bill on the cooperation set to be deliberated soon, a report said Thursday.

The joint arms industry plan has won support of the House of Representatives, which is preparing a bill on the defense cooperation with India, reported English daily The Jakarta Post.

Military analyst Andi Widjojanto from the University of Indonesia said the agreement would strategically develop the local defense industry and create many opportunities for technology transfer.

"India has a license from Russia to produce its equipment, so we can be sure that we're working with a very reliable source," he was quoted as saying.

Indonesia has agreed to buy Russian weapons worth US$1 billion during the next five years, covering among other things Sukhoi jetfighters and submarines.

House defense commission member Afifuddin Thaib said the cooperation with India is of huge importance as Indonesia is in the need to strengthen its defense system amid the growing global security threats.

(Xinhua News Agency November 30, 2006)

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