JAKARTA, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Indonesia's marine corps officially took delivery of 37 Russian-made BMP-3F amphibious infantry fighting vehicles during a ceremony that included a beach landing and simulated firing.
The vehicles landed at Asembagus Beach in Situbondo regency, East Java, and aimed at a target about two miles away, the Jakarta Post reported.
The 17 vehicles are the last of 55 BMP-3Fs, including one BREM-L recovery vehicle, ordered in 2010 from Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport, the Post reported.
"The vehicles fit into the development of our defense forces to turn the Indonesian navy into a world class navy," Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said during the hand-over Jan. 27.
The amphibious IFVs, made by Kurganmashzavod, a manufacturing company based in Kurgan, Russia, are deployed with the 1st Marines in Surabaya, the capital of East Java province, and the 2nd Marines in Jakarta.
Indonesian military chief Gen. Moeldoko, who attended the ceremony, said the IFVs were part of a modernization program for the military and its aging equipment, including Soviet-era PT-76 amphibious light tanks and French AMX-13 light tanks, manufactured by Atelier de Construction Roanne.
Indonesia's marine corps still has about 50 PT-76s, made in 1954, while the army has hundreds of AMX-13s, made between the 1950s and the 1960s, the Post reported.
"We can't upgrade them anymore because they are already too old," Moeldoko said.
The tanks will be phased out in favor of newer models until the end of Renstra II, Indonesia's five-year strategic defense plan 2015-2019, he said.
Vehicles being considered include the 8X8 wheeled BTR-4 armored personnel carrier made by the Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau in the Ukraine.
Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Mikhail Galuzin, who attended the ceremony, said Indonesia was a strategic partner in Asia, the Post reported.
"Because we are strategic partners ... we have deep trust in the future," he said.
Rosoboronexport is making a push for more Asian contracts, especially in India, a company statement said this week ahead of India's Land, Naval and Internal Homeland Security Systems Exhibition.
First Deputy General Director of Rosoboronexport, Ivan Goncharenko, said he will be exploring options for partnership deals with Indian companies at the exhibition, which started Thursday and runs to Sunday, Feb. 9.
"In almost all cases, the upcoming talks are directly related to setting up joint ventures, establishing licensed production and transfer of technology," he said. "Precisely such cooperation is the mainstream of our bilateral relations."
Goncharenko said he wants to discuss the upgrading of previously delivered equipment, including BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles and T-72 and T-90S tanks.
Rosoboronexport, a subsidiary of the Rostec Corp. and the sole state-owned arms trading company in the Russian Federation, is in talks also to supply India with self-propelled artillery systems, the statement said.