politics

Japan, Indonesia sign arms transfer pact amid China concerns

27 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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Good for the region.

Great that Indonesia has signed on to the Alliance to defend the region against Communist China. Indonesia has some terrible problems, but if they can sort out domestic terror issues, and beef up their military a lot, perhaps within 10 years they may be invited to be part of the QUAD Military Force.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

@Fighto!

You are expecting too much.

This is a simple arms transfer agreement, where Japan transfers retiring weapons to Indonesia free of charge, similar to the deal Japan signed with the Philippines.

Japanese weapon are not competitive enough to sell new weapons to Indonesia.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Japanese weapon are not competitive enough to sell new weapons to Indonesia.

As someone who has operated with the JMSDF, that is simply not true. Japan lacks experience in the international arms trade, doesn't know who to shmooz in different governments, what palms to grease to close the deal, but their equipment is first rate.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

@Desert Tortoise

As someone who has operated with the JMSDF, that is simply not true. 

So which weapon has Japan actually sold for cold hard cash, not given away for free?

their equipment is first rate.

Australia and India say no. UAE also passed.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Cough, cough. Article 9, cough.

this is illegal.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@Goodlucktoyou

Cough, cough. Article 9, cough. this is illegal.

Weapons export doesn't violate Article 9.

The only problem is that Japanese weapons simply are not competitive in terms of performance and prices.

Australia had many horror stories to tell after they evaluated Soryu and dropped it without asking for a final price bid; not only Soryu interior was too tight for Aussie sailors because Japanese never envisioned exporting it, Soryu was a decade behind European rivals in automation, necessitating a larger crew size to operate. The only good thing about it was that it could dive twice as deep as European rivals, but that was good for ambush missions, not long-range high-speed snorkeled patrol mission envisioned by the Aussie navy.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Dumping used or unfunctional weapons to third world country for cash! Brilliant Japan!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@elephant200

Dumping used or unfunctional weapons to third world country for cash! Brilliant Japan!

No cash, given away for free.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Japan and Indonesia signed a pact on Tuesday allowing the transfer of Japanese defense equipment and technology to Jakarta as the two countries strengthen their military ties in the face of China's increasingly assertive activity in the region.

This is pretty much the same as the Vietnam deal. It's mostly a formality to save the faces of Japanese politicians at home, while there won't be many defense exports or transfers.

Japanese weapon are not competitive enough to sell new weapons to Indonesia.

This is also my reluctant nod as well. Indonesia has many more reliable sellers around, so they won't likely give Japan a pass to import expensive weapons without good functionalities.

I can see Vietnam giving a pass because I knew a finance Vietnamese-American guy in HCM City who engaged with the mid-tier Vietnamese military officials, and he told me that Vietnam expensively imports a lot of Japanese goods in recent years because Vietnamese Communists and LDP bureaucrats have deep cooperation all the ways back to Vietnam War - Vietnam helped these Japanese bureaucrats to offshore the wealth out of the country, and also created a mirage of "prosperous exporting Japan" to fool Japanese voters at home (a political favor for these bureaucrats).

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-vietnam-japan-defence-idUSKCN24T1J5

This patrol boat deal here is actually a corrupt deal that the Vietnamese military accepted to help another batch of high-ranking LDP elites to get their wealth out of Japan.

The defense industry is riled with corruption. Japan is new to this industry not of Article 9 but it is due to the fact that Japanese elites need a new way to siphon public funds and enrich themselves outside the country.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Given for free and then left to rot/rust or corruptly sold on to who knows who.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan forming pact against Chinese dictatorship with dictatorship country Indonesia, where they whip people for being LGBTQ or non muslims. Such hypocrisy.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

China is unifying Asia. Against itself.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I am not asked, but I wouldn’t have made this strategic error, to make the world’s most populated Islamic country militarily stronger than necessary. Cashing in some yen during the corona crisis and tying bonds with anybody just to withstand China, that might be nice on the first view, but it isn’t so smart in this case, regarding to be expected future developments in the nearer neighborhoods. In the longer run, it is opening a second front, bringing Japan in a military bracket of China from the northwest and from Islam in the South, some very uncomfortable problem catalogue, the sinking and aging population here won’t be capable to solve with a few JSDF forces. And the States are far away over the Pacific and have problems within themselves then, that means they can’t come to help stopping that squeeze in some years from now.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Samit BasuToday 09:29 am JST

@Desert Tortoise

So which weapon has Japan actually sold for cold hard cash, not given away for free?

Australia and India say no. UAE also passed.

It"s the new Mogami class FFMs.

As for UAE they have not decided on the middle class cargo carrier yet and Japan's C-2 is still under consideration.

Much better than SK's reputation where Indonesia has stated that they will cease further acquisition of the Stolen copied type 212 class subs and the already outdated KFX development program.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Australia had many horror stories to tell after they evaluated Soryu and dropped it without asking for a final price bid; not only Soryu interior was too tight for Aussie sailors because Japanese never envisioned exporting it, Soryu was a decade behind European rivals in automation, necessitating a larger crew size to operate. The only good thing about it was that it could dive twice as deep as European rivals, but that was good for ambush missions, not long-range high-speed snorkeled patrol mission envisioned by the Aussie navy

What you write is a distortion. The Japanese were offering the Australians an enlarged version of the Soryu to increase the size of the crew accommodations. However if you have ever been on a modern US Navy nuclear sub you would probably be surprised at just how little room the US gives its crew members. Nobody but the officers have their own rack and often crew members on US subs will bed down in sleeping bags in their workspaces rather than deal with "hot racking". For two crew to pass each other in a passageway they have to turn sideways and practically rub bellies. Because the mess deck is so small the crew has to eat in shifts and is restricted to ten minutes to eat their meal. That is life on a modern US Navy sub. I can say from first hand experience the US Navy's WWII vintage subs were roomier inside than modern US Navy nuclear subs. I have been on both, spent many summers working to restore and old Gato class boat for public display (ultimately failed for lack of a sponsor). The crew space matter is complete bs in my opinion, unless the Aussies are soft. I also know from experience that Japanese combat ships are almost identical inside to their US Navy counterparts, to the point where you could put a US crew on a Japanese ship and they'd have it figured out in a very short time. Even the markings inside were Japanese and English, which surprised me, and were identical to what one finds in US ships. Like the US Navy, their ships are built to fight, not to be comfortable. European ships have nicer accommodations for their lowest ranking enlisted crew members than all but Department Heads (usually a Lt CDR) have on US Navy ships. Two and four person private compartments for enlisted crew on European ships where a US Navy ship puts 12 junior officers in a "JO junk room". The Aussies even put wooden paneling and other fancy wood trim on US made warships, drop ceilings, even carpets, flammable materials not permitted in US Navy ships. Paneling burns. False overheads like a drop ceiling has to be chopped away to get at burning wires and pipes spraying water. Carpets clog eductors on dewatering pumps.

The combat management system would be American on the French or Japanese boats, and as you mentioned the Japanese boat is deeper diving. From experience the Japanese subs are about the hardest subs short of a nuclear boat to find. The European boats are optimized for European conditions. The Japanese boats are optimized for the Pacific and are longer ranged, faster (because they have the most powerful electric motors in use on DE boats). The real reason the French won that contract was they wined and dined a bunch of Australian DoD personnel, cabinet members and specific Aussie politicians. The Japanese subs are better in every way just as their combat ships are better than anything coming out of Europe (Naval Group had to ad some 350 tons of steel to the hull of their Fremm class, use US Navy certified watertight doors and hatches and US Navy certified explosion proof lighting in their design to meet NAVSEA specs for US combat ships) but the Japanese don't yet know how to play the sales game.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Triring

It"s the new Mogami class FFMs.

Nope, Japan offered Mogami class, but Indonesia didn't take the offer. My guess is price was too high.

Much better than SK's reputation where Indonesia has stated that they will cease further acquisition of the Stolen copied type 212 class subs

1) It's Type 209, not Type 212.

2) When Germany sold Korea Type 209, they gave away resale right so Korea can sell derivative subs to sweeten the deal.

3) So it was either Enhanced Type 209 or KSS-III, which at $1 billion a copy was too expensive for Indonesia.

4) But the whole Indonesian fiasco had nothing to do with quality of Korean submarines and everything to do with internal political struggle between President Jokowi and Defense Minister Prabowo, who is looking to sabotage Jokowi's diplomacy to improve his chances on third presidential election.

the already outdated KFX development program.

LOL, what are you talking about? You can kick tires on KF-X and the jet is rolling out of factory in a week, while Japan's jet doesn't exist except on computer screen. Korea is a decade ahead of Japan in fighter jet technology.

@Desert Tortoise

The Japanese were offering the Australians an enlarged version of the Soryu to increase the size of the crew accommodations. 

1) Most of extension was for increased fuel capacity to double the range, because Australia's current fleet of subs have twice the range of Soryu.

2) The crew accommodation problem I was talking about was hall height. Aussie sailors are much taller than Japanese sailors, so they had trouble walking around Soryu's hall without banging their heads. Hull height increase was a major structural redesign that couldn't have been achieved easily. Australia's current Collins class subs were designed by Swedish Saab, and Aussie sailors didn't have head banging problems because Swedes are pretty tall.

The combat management system would be American on the French or Japanese boats

"Lack of Automation" that Aussies complained was about stuff like valve management, gauge reading, ship control, etc. Soryu is an "analog" boat compared to more modern European and Korean boats. And manpower is what Australia is short of, Australia pays submarine cooks $200K a year due to labor shortage. Hence Soryu's requirement of a larger operating crew is a big no no to Aussie Navy.

https://jobbiecrew.com/aussie-sub-cook-job/

Want to earn $200,000/year? Become a Cook on an Australian Submarine!

.

The real reason the French won that contract was they wined and dined a bunch of Australian DoD personnel, cabinet members and specific Aussie politicians

And you think Japanese politicians, government officials, and businessmen don't wine and dine?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"The Australian Financial Review recently reported that the Australian government is considering scrapping the current contract with French shipbuilder Naval Group. That conglomerate, then known as DCNS, won the Collins class replacement program, also known as SEA1000, in 2016 with its Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A design. "

"Prime Minister Scott Morrison is reportedly increasingly unhappy with the way the Attack class program has been run so far, with “cost blowouts and missed deadlines” leading to apparent tensions between the Australian Department of Defense and the Naval Group, according to the Australian Financial Review. The project is now valued at around $69 billion. Back in 2016, when the Naval Group was selected, the program cost was expected to be in the region of $40 billion. These concerns seem to have escalated as far as talks on the subject between Morrison and French President Emmanuel Macron. "

"https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/38790/australia-reportedly-looking-at-an-alternative-to-its-costly-new-french-designed-submarines"

Serves Australia right.

Lovely jubbly.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

LOL, what are you talking about? You can kick tires on KF-X and the jet is rolling out of factory in a week, while Japan's jet doesn't exist except on computer screen. Korea is a decade ahead of Japan in fighter jet technology.

Laughing right back at you, KFX's engines are US, so are the avionics, the radar system is Israeli design, the weaponry are from various European nations and the whole welding knowhow is from the US as well.

Which part is exactly Korean technology? ROFL

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Triring

KFX's engines are US, so are the avionics, the radar system is Israeli design, the weaponry are from various European nations and the whole welding knowhow is from the US as well.

Which is why Korea was able to develope jets and other military equipment so quickly and sell them overseas with competitive offerings. Eventually they will use this knowhow they gained from foreign firms to develope their own domestic suppliers of jet engines, avionics, electronic warfare systems, radars etc. I believe this is the same strategy Korea used to develope their own submarines and tanks. Last I heard Korea became the worlds tenth largest arms exporter by revenue. What military equipment has Japan sold overseas since export restrictions were lifted in 2014 by Abe?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Which is why Korea was able to develope jets and other military equipment so quickly and sell them overseas with competitive offerings. Eventually they will use this knowhow they gained from foreign firms to develope their own domestic suppliers of jet engines, avionics, electronic warfare systems, radars etc. I believe this is the same strategy Korea used to develope their own submarines and tanks. Last I heard Korea became the worlds tenth largest arms exporter by revenue. What military equipment has Japan sold overseas since export restrictions were lifted in 2014 by Abe?

Which can't be exported without authorization by the nation who provides the technology or out right banned which was why Indonesia backed out from the KFX joint development project since there was almost no technological transfer from Korea which was why they agreed to join in the first place.

As for Japan export of military technology, the SM-3 blk2A was a joint development with the US and Japan has signed agreements to sell them to NATO since the US is prohibitted due to a treaty with Russia, Land based radar system was exported to the Philippines, patrol boats have been exported to various SE Asian nations, the AESA radars to be installed on the advanced Metor AA missiles, most all Carbon Composite material utilized on various planes including military plans are from Japan, the F-22 stealth material known as Tyranno fiber are also from Japan which is heavily regulated by the Japanese government.

The US is also seriously mulling on buying the Assault Amphibious Vehicle Japan is presently developing.

On the other hand, Korea's new MTB's power pack is German and cannot be exported without Germany's permission.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lack of Automation" that Aussies complained was about stuff like valve management, gauge reading, ship control, etc. Soryu is an "analog" boat compared to more modern European and Korean boats. And manpower is what Australia is short of, Australia pays submarine cooks $200K a year due to labor shortage. Hence Soryu's requirement of a larger operating crew is a big no no to Aussie Navy.

Like the US Navy, the Japanese do not fully trust automation in a combat environment and know you need manpower to fight fires and control flooding. Reliance on automation and reduced manpower is asking for unnecessary combat losses. There are understandable reasons based on differences in design and manning philosophies of the US and most European navies why, for example, a single Exocet that failed to explode but who's rocket motor deflagrated and started fires in HMS Sheffield (which was all steel btw, no aluminum used in the Type 42 class, something I have satisfied myself to be true by sticking a magnet to the superstructures of two of her sister ships and observing rust on the superstructure) while the USS Stark, a frigate of similar displacement that was very much aluminum from the main deck upwards survived being hit by two identical Exocets, one of which the warhead exploded and the other was a dud but the rocket motor deflagrated just like the one that hit Sheffield. The crew put out the fires and the ship was able to sail back to the US under its own power. It would take several paragraphs to detail why the Sheffield sank and Stark did not but those difference show up in Japanese combat ships who's designs are very much like US Navy ships, and very unlike their less combat worthy European ships.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As for Japan export of military technology, the SM-3 blk2A was a joint development with the US and Japan has signed agreements to sell them to NATO since the US is prohibitted due to a treaty with Russia

There is no treaty prohibiting the US from selling SM-3 Blk2 to anybody. The US had a treaty with Russia governing ground based intermediate range ballistic and cruise missiles, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces or INF treaty. That was the treaty that forced the US to withdraw Pershing II and the Army's conventional and nuclear armed ground launched Tomahawks from service. That treaty has no prohibitions against the US selling air defense missiles of any kind to any body and SM-3 has no land attack capability that would have put it under the terms of the INF treaty (SM-2 and SM-6 have some anti-ship capability but their warheads are small). What was getting Russia all dialed up was the use of Mk-41 VLS systems on the two land based Aegis Ashore sites. Tomahawks can be fired out of the same Mk-41 VLS system used by SM-3 and the Russians were worried the US would sneak some Tomahawks in those tubes in violation of the INF treaty. Externally there is no way for their satellites to tell what is in a VLS tube. The US has abandoned the INF treaty in part because Russia had been in violation of it for years and since China was never a signatory, it has an arsenal full of the exact kinds of weapons the INF prohibited the US from deploying. What will deter a lot of NATO and other US allies from buying Block 2 is the price.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The US is also seriously mulling on buying the Assault Amphibious Vehicle Japan is presently developing.

Where did that come from? The competitors were a Lockheed-Martin Patria team and a BAE Iveco team. Then L-M dumped Patria and came up with a fully in house design. When the competition was over the BAE Iveco design won the contract to build the Amphibious Combat Vehicle for the US Marines and they are in production now. The first units hit the fleet in October 2020 with Full Rate Production commencing December 2020. There was no Japanese design considered.

And I have to say you cannot possibly know anything about the coatings on the F-22 as they are highly classified.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

1) Most of extension was for increased fuel capacity to double the range, because Australia's current fleet of subs have twice the range of Soryu.

Says who? The Japanese do not publish the range of the Soryu class. There is a public estimate of how far it can travel just on AIP, but that is not the sub's range on diesels, which will be much greater. Just from personal first hand experience the figures you see in open sources regarding speeds, ranges and other aspect of major military systems are more often than not completely wrong. The people who know those true numbers are not going to blog them either.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is no treaty prohibiting the US from selling SM-3 Blk2 to anybody. The US had a treaty with Russia governing ground based intermediate range ballistic and cruise missiles, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces or INF treaty.

Here read these;

https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/abmtreaty

Where did that come from? The competitors were a Lockheed-Martin Patria team and a BAE Iveco team. Then L-M dumped Patria and came up with a fully in house design. When the competition was over the BAE Iveco design won the contract to build the Amphibious Combat Vehicle for the US Marines and they are in production now. The first units hit the fleet in October 2020 with Full Rate Production commencing December 2020. There was no Japanese design considered.

https://www.businessinsider.com/r-mitsubishi-eyes-technological-leap-and-exports-with-armored-vehicle-2015-6

And I have to say you cannot possibly know anything about the coatings on the F-22 as they are highly classified.

http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions/DAMICH.ZOLTEK012309.pdf

1 ( +1 / -0 )

https://www.businessinsider.com/r-mitsubishi-eyes-technological-leap-and-exports-with-armored-vehicle-2015-6

The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program cited in the article was cancelled by the Secretary of Defense due to high cost. The EFV was to be tracked and very fast, but the technical requirements were proving too hard to meet and costs were going to the moon, hence its cancellation. It was replace with the current Amphibious Combat Vehicle program which BAE and Iveco won and in which no Japanese firm competed. This is a much simpler and a bit slower in the water 8 wheeled vehicle along the lines of the LAV or Stryker.

The US formally withdrew from the ABM Treaty in 2002 after the 9-11 attacks, effectively ending the treaty. The concerns were driven by North Korea and Iran and the possibility one or both of these nations could supply ballistic missiles to terrorist organizations. Hence the production and sale of SM-3 in all its variants is legal and it may be sold to any nation that the US and Japan for Blk 2 care to sell it to.

Nicalon and Tyranno mentioned in the lawsuit are not stealth coatings. They are reinforcing fibers used structural composites subject to high temperatures where other fibers would fail. They are not a classified stealth coating.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program cited in the article was cancelled by the Secretary of Defense due to high cost. The EFV was to be tracked and very fast, but the technical requirements were proving too hard to meet and costs were going to the moon, hence its cancellation. It was replace with the current Amphibious Combat Vehicle program which BAE and Iveco won and in which no Japanese firm competed. This is a much simpler and a bit slower in the water 8 wheeled vehicle along the lines of the LAV or Stryker.

No since it is still is in research by Mitsubishi and NOT an US initiative.

The US formally withdrew from the ABM Treaty in 2002 after the 9-11 attacks, effectively ending the treaty. The concerns were driven by North Korea and Iran and the possibility one or both of these nations could supply ballistic missiles to terrorist organizations. Hence the production and sale of SM-3 in all its variants is legal and it may be sold to any nation that the US and Japan for Blk 2 care to sell it to.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2009/10/25/national/u-s-urges-japan-to-export-sm-3s/

Nicalon and Tyranno mentioned in the lawsuit are not stealth coatings. They are reinforcing fibers used structural composites subject to high temperatures where other fibers would fail. They are not a classified stealth coating.

Both Nicalon nor Tyranno are used in the engine if that is what you are trying to imply since they do not meet the tougher requirements mandated by Boeing. It's a super improved version called Hi-Nicalon that is used for CMC.

Both Silicon carbide materials have high microwave absorbent properties that is ideal for stealth capabilities though.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316019330_Mechanical_and_Microwave_Absorbing_Properties_of_Tyranno_R_ZMI_Fiber_Annealed_at_Elevated_Temperatures

https://clintonwhitehouse3.archives.gov/WH/EOP/OSTP/CTIformatted/chap7/7matrls.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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