In recent years Poland has become a significant supplier of defence equipment to Indonesia, with the most important contract being the acquisition of the Kobra Very Short-Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) system. It should be remembered that Poland was also a supplier to Indonesia in the Sukarno era from the late 1950s onwards. At that time Poland was a satellite of the Soviet Union and when the Soviet Union decided to back Sukarno, Poland was expected to do its part.
This saw the supply of two Project 613 Whiskey class conventional submarines (SSKs) to the Indonesian
Navy (TNI-AL) and a range of aircraft and helicopters to the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU). The aircraft supplied included the Polish LIM-5P version of the MiG-17PF and the SM-1 version of the Mil Mi-1 helicopter. When the LIM-5P fighters were supplied many were even flown by Polish pilots, while
their Indonesian pilots were trained. After 1965 links between Poland and Indonesia ended, with much of
the equipment supplied eventually being scrapped. The first part of the story between Indonesia and Poland
was over and it was only after Poland had achieved freedom with the collapse of the Soviet Union, that links
between the two countries could be resumed.
In 2003 talks started between the Indonesian Army (TNI-AD) and Radwar, part of the Bumar Group, on the
acquisition of a new air defence system that would supplement the existing Rapier SHORAD systems in use
with Indonesia. Eventually in 2005 a contract was signed between Indonesia and Poland, one of the reasons for the extended negotiation period was arranging a financing package for the deal. In the end Indonesia would fund 15% of the purchase price, worth some $5.25 million, with the Polish government providing a loan of $29.75 million to cover the remainder of the $35 million contract value.
The Kobra VSHORAD system that the TNI-AD would be receiving would equip two air defence batteries. The central element of the Kobra system is the Mobile Multibeam Search Radar (MMSR), a 3D S-band system. The radar is linked to the WD-95 command post vehicle, one per battery, with radar data being transferred through Radmor RRC-9500 VHF radios.