Updated 12:53 08 Nov 2016
During the fourth Ministerial 2+2 dialogue with Indonesia on October 27, senior Australian defence industry officials signed a collaboration agreement to further develop a mine-resistant armoured vehicle which was launched at IndoDefence 2016 exhibition in Jakarta last week.
According to the official joint communique, issued by Australian Foreign and Defence Ministers Julie Bishop and Marise Payne and their Indonesian counterparts Retno Marsudi and Ryamizad Ryacudu, the design is based upon the Australian Bushmaster design developed by Thales Australia.
Thales and Indonesian armoured vehicle manufactruer PT Pindad will cooperate on the design, which would be customised for Indonesian Army (TNI) needs.
IHS Janes reported the vehicle, known as Sanca, would be produced in an initial batch of 50 once a contract which PT Pindad was negotiating with the Indonesian Ministry of Defence was finalised. A prototype of the vehicle was displayed at the exhibition.
The Sanca is based on the Thales Australia Bushmaster, and has been modified for Indonesian requirements. (IHS/Patrick Allen)
A Thales spokesperson said: “Thales collaborates closely with our partners in Indonesia in many areas and we are aware that Indonesia is in the process of developing mine-resistant armoured vehicles locally, based on the Bushmaster design. Thales is pleased to work closely with our local partners on vehicle specifications based on local needs".
Minister Bishop said that the two countries would also work on increasing the number of joint maritime exercises and would consider the possibility of joint patrols in the South China Sea.
"We have agreed to explore options to increase maritime cooperation and of course that would include coordinated activities in the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea," she told the ABC.
The Ministers have also committed to elevating security cooperation in cyber security.
"In this regard, we welcome the convening of the Inaugural Indonesia-Australia Cyber Policy Dialogue in Australia at the earliest opportunity," they said in the joint communique.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo was forced to cancel his first official state visit to Australia this week after violent riots took place in Jakarta over the weekend.