Rabu, 20 Mei 2009

VP: military Hercules plane crash due to lack of funds

05/20/09 16:09

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Vice President Jusuf Kalla said the military Hercules plane crash in Magetan, East Java, on Wednesday was due to insufficient funds for the purchase of military armament system (alutsista) equipment.

"It is because of the insufficient portion of funds for the purchase of the country`s military hardware," the vice president said here on Wednesday in comment on the military Hercules plane crash in Magetan.

According to the vice president, most of the Air Force`s armament system equipment was old because they were bought during the era of former military chief, the late General M Jusuf.

Therefore, Jusuf Kalla said more funds for "alutsista" would be made available in the near future.

"The funds for military hardware will be made available soon, and I guarantee it," the vice president said, while expressing his deepest condolences to the families of the crash victims.

He said sufficient funds for the provision of Hercules planes was necessary because such a type of the aircraft was not only used in war but also in humanitarian missions in times of peace.

However, Jusuf Kalla`s remark differed from a statement made by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who said the government had never restricted funds to cover the military`s operational expenditures and the maintenance of the military hardware.

President Yudhoyono said what the government had done was only to postpone the purchase of military hardware that was not urgently needed.

The president said the military Hercules transport plane which crashed in Magetan on Wednesday morning was still airworthy.

With 112 people on board, the ill-fated plane was on a flight from Jakarta to Madiun, East Java, when it crashed into a rice field and burst into flames, killing at least 78 people and injuring 19 others. (*)

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