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FAS Project on Intelligence Reform


Indonesia is pursuing a limited space program. In 1988, it launched three experimental solid-fuel rockets. (1) Indonesia launched its first rockets into outer space in September 1984, using polyurethane as fuel. The rockets were said to be 7 meters long and 0.3 meters in diameter, with a payload of 12 kg and designed to reach an altitude of 150 to 300 km. (2) There have been reports that Indonesia is developing a missile, the RX-250, with a range of 250 km. This rocket could eventually form the basis for a ballistic missile program, but Australian intelligence analysts say that development of an operational missile program would take at least 8-10 years. (3) By September 1992, the Indonesian air force chief of staff was reported to be considering buying ballistic missiles from Russia and that Scuds were still another alternative. (4) Transfers of Scuds or other ballistic missiles to Indonesia have not been reported, nor is there evidence of an indigenous ballistic missile development program.

1. "Indonesia advances toward space race," TheWashington Times, 31 March 88, p. 2.

2. "Rockets Into Outer Space," Hong Kong AFP, 26 April 84, p. N2.

3. Andrew Mack, "Missile Proliferation in the Asia-Pacific Region," Canberra: Peace Research Center, Australian National University, March 90, p. 9.

4. Jane's Defence Weekly, 5 Sept 92, p. 10.

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