President Jokowi decides not to buy AW101 helicopter

President Jokowi decides not to buy AW101 helicopter

Pramono Anung. (ANTARA/Yudhi Mahatma)

Secondly, under the current financial conditions the price is too high."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has decided to reject the plan to procure a Marlin Agusta Westland (AW) 101 helicopter for very very important persons (VVIPs) due to its price, but also because the existing aircraft is still working effectively.

"After considering various inputs, the President has decided to disapprove a plan to buy the helicopter," Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said after a limited cabinet meeting on defense system equipment here on Thursday.

He said one of the considerations that the President had was that the existing helicopter can still be used.

"Secondly, under the current financial conditions the price is too high," he added.

Pramono said the President would continue to use the existing helicopter although he agreed with the need to think of a back-up helicopter as at present there is no backup helicopter available.

"The President has given a directive to procure one that has been assembled in the country or whose body is built by the countrys workers," he said.

At present, the helicopter used by the President is a Super Puma assembled by PT Dirgantara Indonesia.

President Jokowi as he is also called led three limited cabinet meetings on Thursday, including about the countrys efforts to own a satellite to safeguard its national air and sea territory.

"In the morning, he also led a meeting on electricity and oil refinery. The President has ordered the development of new refineries in Central Java, East Java and East Kalimantan to make our oil supply more efficient," he stated.

Regarding electricity the President has ordered the acceleration of the implementation of the Presidential Decree regarding a 35,000 megawatt (MW) program.

"According to PLN (state electricity company), this year 10,000 MW have been provided. The President hopes that in 2019, no rotating outages will take place again," Pramono said.

(Reporting by Agus Salim/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR)