Indonesia approved for AH-64E buy

Aug. 27, 2013 at 2:45 PM

JAKARTA, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Indonesia has received U.S. approval to purchase eight Apache AH-64E helicopters and Longbow radars through the Foreign Military Sales program.

Announcement of the sale, which had been opposed by human rights groups in the region, was announced in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on Monday by visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

"Providing Indonesia these world-class helicopters is an example of our commitment to help build Indonesia's military capability," Hagel said.

Indonesian newspapers reported earlier this month that an Indonesian military delegation had visited the Boeing factory that produces the attack helicopters, which Indonesia had been hoping to obtain for at least a year.

The two human rights groups had objected to the sale, citing Indonesia's alleged disregard for civilian casualties during an insurrection in East Timor, an Indonesian province which is now an independent state.

As part of the Foreign Military Sales package, which needed Congressional approval, the U.S. military will train Indonesian pilots and help in developing tactics, techniques and procedures for operating in the Southeast Asian security environment.

A delivery timeline for the aircraft and radars have yet to be decided.

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