What captivated many visitors to Indo Defense 2018 this year from Pindad was the defense companies Harimau Modern Medium Weight tank that was a product of a joint venture with a Turkish defense company. However when it comes to small arms, Pindad had some new offerings as well, some that we should be seeing within Indonesian military service soon enough.
Starting with Heavy Machine Guns, we have the Pindad license-produced version of the Singaporean Chartered Industries .50 BMG STK-50MG, designated “SM5” by Pindad (formerly known as the Pindad SMB-QCB-Senapan Mesin Berat-Quick Change Barrel). The STK-50MG was designed in response to the Singaporean Armed Forces needing a replacement for the .50 BMG M2 in the 1980s. Some of the more unique features of it include the ability to dual feed two belts of ammunition simultaneously in addition to not requiring a complex headspace and timing procedure before operating the weapon system.
Pindad upgraded a number of their service rifles for the exhibition, many of which are 5.56x45mm FNC-based designs. Functionally the rifles remained the same but externally they featured a new bright tan finish, different telescoping M4-patterned stocks that were mounted to folding adaptors, in addition to a host of other minor changes.
The 7.62x51mm NATO SS3 rifle was developed for the operating requirements of the counter-terror forces that needed a 7.62x51mm rifle. We wrote about the initial prototypes of the rifle in February of 2017.
New for the show this year was the PM-3 9x19mm blowback-operated submachine gun that takes MP5 magazines through the standard rifle magazine well used in other Pindad designs. The submachine gun was developed for use by the counter-terror forces of the Indonesian military and appears to be the result of wishing to maintain existing stocks of MP5 magazines but use them in a platform that is much more user-friendly and optics/laser/light ready. We are seeing this trend all over the world in that many LE/Military agencies have always liked the MP5 platform but are looking for ways to upgrade their submachine guns and modernize them.
Also on display was a Tazer-like device called the PG TZ1 that Pindad appears to be now offering and making for Indonesian security forces.