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US To Sell Apache Longbow Attack Helicopters To Indonesia

The Obama administration has informed Congress of the potential sale of eight AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters to Indonesia.

Announcing this at a joint press conference with her Indonesian counterpart Rade Natalegawa in Washington on Thursday after the third meeting of the U.S.-Indonesia Joint Commission, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said an agreement to this effect between the two sides would strengthen their comprehensive partnership and help enhance security across the Asia-Pacific region.

The Boeing AH-64 Apache is a four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter fitted with rockets and missiles suitable for target acquisition and night vision systems. Developed for the U.S. Army's Advanced Attack Helicopter program, it has also become the primary attack helicopter of several countries, including Greece, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands and Singapore. U.S. AH-64s have served in conflicts in Panama, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

"We are increasing our trade relationship that topped $26 billion last year. Investments in transportation, energy, and infrastructure are creating jobs and supporting economic growth in both countries. For example, the deal between Lion Air and Boeing alone represents $21 billion in trade over the next decade. Indonesia's Government has announced half a trillion dollars in infrastructure improvements, and we recently signed a memorandum of understanding to make it easier for American companies to bid on these projects," Clinton told reporters.

The $21-billion deal between Lion Air and Boeing is the largest in Boeing's history. America's natural gas sector has drawn investments from U.S.-based Indonesian energy companies. A new Memorandum of Understanding between the Indonesian government and Celanese, an American company, may lead to a new billion-dollar facility that will convert coal to ethanol.

Clinton said as part of the U.S.-Indonesia Joint Commission meeting, the two sides signed an agreement for implementing the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact. Over the next five years, the United States will invest $600 million in clean energy development, child health and nutrition programs, and efforts to help make Indonesia's government more transparent and open.

Clinton said the United States was "also looking forward to Indonesia hosting APEC in 2013, and we are confident that Indonesia will come to this role with a commitment to promote greater economic integration across the Asia-Pacific."

by RTT Staff Writer

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