Sunday, March 18, 2007

Air Force to add radars to Papua and Papua Barat

The Indonesian Air Force plans to install air defense radars in Timika, the capital of Mimika district in Papua province and in Kaimana town in Papua Barat (West Papua) province in 2008. "The radar will be installed to monitor and anticipate air violations of foreign airplanes as well as sea crimes," Timika Air Force Base Command chief Lt Col Bambang Triono told Antara newsagency. "The radars will be set up next year and fully operational in 2010. The gadgets are capable of monitoring air zone within a radius of 250 nautical miles," he said.

As the Air Force currently operates only one radar in western New Guinea, in Papua province's Biak island, it must rely on Boeing 737-200 air patrols to observe vast areas of the region prone to illegal logging and poaching.

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