Indonesia and the Osprey: Impacts and Considerations

By Robbin Laird

In this report, we look at the projected acquisition of the V-22 by Indonesia and what impacts it would have upon Indonesian capabilities and policy options in a crisis.

A number of considerations can be addressed.

How would the Osprey enhance the capabilities of the Indonesian authorities to deal with humanitarian crises in its unique geography?

Indonesia is a nation consisting of 17,000 individual islands spanning thousands of miles and it would seem clear that the speed and range of the aircraft would provide a unique capability to assist in humanitarian crises much more rapidly than would current capabilities be able to deliver.

How would the Osprey impact of the overall capabilities of the Indonesians to deal with counter-insurgency threats and challenges?

Here it would be useful to examine the experience of the Marines, and the USAF in dealing with how the Osprey has altered the concepts of operations of the joint force dealing with counter-insurgency.

How would the Indonesians be able to leverage the new approaches to training which the Marines have put in place to train the Japanese?

In other words, the Indonesians would not be the first partners to learn Osprey from Marines and there is a clear advantage to this slot in the learning curve.

How would the Indonesians be able to leverage the operational experience of the Osprey nation from operating from a variety of ships in crisis management and combat situations?

With the Australians, and their allies clearly engaged in the region, it will be propitious to be able to operate off of allied ships as well as one’ own.

In other words, rather than just looking at the Osprey buy as a platform acquisition, the focus should be upon how the acquisition is leaven for change for the Indonesians in dealing with core threats and challenges.

And with an assertive China in the region, this clearly is of concern for Indonesia and finding ways to better defend their interests interactively with allies and partners is a clear challenge.

How can the Osprey buy contribute to this challenge?

Clearly, Osprey acquisition would take the Indonesian military into the high-speed force insertion world, one which will see new capabilities enter the US and allied forces in the next decade.

Getting experience on how your capabilities and concepts of operations can be adjusted to a high-speed combat asset is a down payment on learning how to fight in the rapidly evolving world of new combat capabilities.

For a PDF version of the report, see below:

Indonesia and the Osprey

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