YOGYAKARTA – Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) and the Ministry of Research and Technology established the Payload Rocket Community (RUM) in order to support human resources in the development of rocket technology industry in this country. Based on the plan, the community will make Pandansimo Coast in Bantul the rocket launch training area.
UGM Rector, Prof. Dr. Pratikno, told reporters that the rocket technology should be developed to enhance the nation’s independence in providing national defense weaponry. In addition, the development is necessary for community welfare although the technology does not directly relate with the people’s interests. "When there are no doctors and teachers, people will protest. But if there is no rocket, people will not protest because it does not have direct contact with their daily life. Our obligation is to put something important to be important and discuss it to make it into a political commitment," said Pratikno in Focus Group Discussion entitled ‘The Use of Research, Development and Engineering Technology for Payload Rockets’ in the Plaza of Central Academic Office of Faculty of Engineering, Thursday (7/6).
According to Pratikno, rocket development becomes long-term strategic policy that should be the attention of the nation. "Rocket development requires a huge investment with risky results and long-term abstract benefits. UGM is ready to work together on this strategic and important matter," he added.
Defense and Security Expert Staff of the Ministry, Ir. Hari Purwanto, M.Sc., DIC, said the Ministry is planning for the production of rocket development by the National Space Agency (LAPAN). The rocket is planned to be utilized for national defense, serving as substitute of imported rockets.
The rocket is one of strategic technology, but has a very expensive production costs. There are two kinds of rocket functions in military and non-military.
"We are going to produce 1000 rockets named R-Han 122. This rocket is a defense rocket in 122 caliber that has warheads. This rocket will be used to replace the rockets purchased from abroad," Hari said at the Faculty of Engineering, Thursday (7/6).
Hari explained that the rocket that will be produced has a range of 15-20 kilometers. "This is a great investment of the country to improve security defense and to carry out military duties," he said.
Hari Purwanto mentioned that rocket becomes one of the crucial technologies to be developed independently by Indonesia. So far, Indonesia relies on rockets which are purchased from other countries. "The rocket is developed for welfare to add the primary means of defense systems. Rocket is urgent to be developed while other countries already have independent rocket technology," he said.
The Ministry is also developing the technology of fighter aircraft with South Korea called Fighter Indonesian Experiment. "We have also made our own armor and have been exported to several countries, such as Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines. This is a positive step and is expected to be developed," he added.
LAPAN’s Head, Drs. Bambang Setiawan Tejakusuma, Dipl.Ing., said that rocket production program is an ambitious project of LAPAN. Because there are a few states that already have rocket development program, including Russia, America, France, China, India, Japan, North Korea, Iran, and Pakistan. "We are developing rockets. In the end, we can produce rockets capable of delivering objects into space," he said.