Expected weapons aboard Dutch corvettes for Indonesia from Italy, France/UK and Netherlands
Amsterdam April 6, 2004 – The Dutch government is finalising in silence one of the biggest arms sales ever by a Dutch company. The ship wharf Royal Schelde, located in Flushing, is preparing the sale of two covervettes to Indonesia. A deal worth euro 560 million. Part of the deal is the possibility two more ships are build at PT Pal, the Surabaya (East Java) ship wharf.
The deal is in violation of the European Union Code of conduct on arms trade. The code prohibits sales of weapons to coutries committing gross human rights violations with the weapons sold. More over the code also wants to prevent the sale of arms used in internal and external conflict. It is proven that the Indonesian navy was not only involved in the transport of troops and materiel, but also used for giving gun support during an amphibious landing in May 2003 in Aceh. As was confirmed by the Dutch government and Indonesian navy. In Aceh a war is ongoing, taking at least a thousand lives of rebels and civilians. Martin Broek, researcher at the Campagne tegen Wapenhandel, based in Amsterdam, states: “The sale is clearly in violation – of at least the spirit – of the Code of Conduct on arms exports and should be stopped if this code is taken seriously.”
The International Defense Review, a monthly published by the Jane’s Information Group, in April published a list of weapon systems they expect to be installed aboard the ships. Most of the sensor and operating systems are sold by Thales Netherlands, the missiles (surface aswell as air) by the French/British/Italian company MBDA, the major cannon by the Italian company Oto Melara and 20 mm guns by the French company GIAT. Broek: “If the Dutch not stop it, hopefully the countries now listed as selling the weapon systems, will stop those sales. To make it difficult for the Indonesian armed forces to operate the ships during a dirty war.”
For an overview on arms systems see:
Weapon systems Dutch built Sigma corvettes for Indonesia