US to sell Indonesia Apache attack helicopters in $639m deal
JAKARTA (AFP) - The United States announced on Monday that it would sell eight Apache attack helicopters to Jakarta as it seeks to bolster ties with South-east Asia despite concerns over the Indonesian military's rights record.
Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel disclosed the US$500 million (S$639.8 million) deal - which includes pilot training and radars - on a visit to the Indonesian capital, his second stop on a week-long tour of the region.
It is aimed at strengthening military ties as part of the US "pivot" towards the Asia-Pacific amid concern about Beijing's growing assertiveness, but Mr Hagel's attention has been diverted from the trip by a confrontation with Syria.
"Providing Indonesia these world-class helicopters is an example of our commitment to help build Indonesia's military capability," said Mr Hagel after talks with his Indonesian counterpart, Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro. "A strong Indonesia is good for the region."