Research and Development of the Indonesian Ministry of Defense’s Research and Development and PT DAHANA (Persero) in collaboration with PT PINDAD and the Bandung Institute of Technology successfully carried out trials of spherical powder propellant products. The trial was held on December 22, 2021 at the PT Pindad Turen test location, Malang, East Java. The propellant prototype under testing is the result of a production trial which had been in progress since November 22, 2021, which was marked by a kick off meeting and continued until the third week of December 2021 at the BGP Miniplant Energetic Material Center (EMC) DAHANA, Subang, West Java.
Propellant is the raw material for making bullets, rockets, missiles, and small, medium and large caliber munitions. The propellant prototype will be developed for the Spherical powder type which can be used for various small caliber munitions including 5.56; 7.62.9mm. The propellant from the trial production of Dahana's BGP miniplant has been ballistically tested at 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm calibers that showed a stable performance consistency with a uniform velocity and a good level of target accuracy.
Director of Technology and Development of PT DAHANA (Persero) Suhendra Yusuf RPN said in his speech, the dream for the independence of the propellant industry is a priority program from the board of directors as mandated by Presidential Decree No. 8 of 2021 on the General Policy of State Defense for the Year 2020-2024, one of which is the development of propellants.
“We are also grateful to the Ministry of Defense, which has been committed since 2015 in building various facilities at DAHANA's EMC. We want DAHANA to take full advantage of what has been provided by the Ministry of Defense. This is a joint success in term of independence from imports which is shown by the realization of a good collaboration in a triple helix between Ministry of Defense’s Research and Development, Dahana, Pindad and academics, namely the Bandung Institute of Technology, "said Mr Yusuf.
Mr Yusuf also stated that the construction of the propellant factory was a form of collaboration between the State-Owned Enterprises of the Defense Industry, particularly PT DAHANA (Persero) and PT PINDAD (Persero). The collaboration between the two SOEs in producing propellant is a historic event where both are committed to developing formulas and propellant technology.
"The success of the production trial for the manufacture of single-base propellant, for Small Caliber Munitions (MKK) and Large Caliber Munitions (MKB) can immediately encourage the establishment of a propellant industry in the country, so that Indonesia will no longer need to import propellant from abroad which has been going on for decades. This also shows that the industry, especially SOEs in terms of technology, is capable of producing propellant,” said Mr Yusuf.
Meanwhile, the Head of the Research and Development Center of the Ministry of Defense, Brigadier General Dr. Ignatius Eko Djoko Purwanto, S.A.P.,S.E.,M.M. conveyed that this activity was a strategic implementation step.
"This is realized by signing a joint commitment in the form of a memorandum of understanding agreed by all parties, namely Ministry of Defense’s Research and Development, PT DAHANA (Persero), PT Pindad (Persero) and the Bandung Institute of Technology," said Brigadier General Purwanto.
The same thing was conveyed by the Director of Technology & Development of PT Pindad (Persero) Sigit P. Santosa, PhD. "The results of the propellant that we have produced is something extraordinary. We we are confident and able to produce propellant with better development," said Mr Santoso.
During the same occasion, Prof. Tatacipta Dirgantara, Dean of FTMD ITB, as a representative from ITB said that the presence of this university must be relevant to the interests of the nation which is realized through the participation of independence, sovereignty and involvement with several national projects.
"We have resources that hopefully can be fully contributed and realized to support this propellant independence," said Prof. Dirgantara.