PT PAL Indonesia and Babcock laid keel for the first of two new frigates for the Indonesian Navy, which are based on the Arrowhead 140 design.
The ceremony took place at PT PAL in Surabaya, Indonesia where the ships are being built by a local workforce.
Babcock secured the first export contract for the Arrowhead 140 frigate through a design license agreement with PT PAL Indonesia, a state-owned enterprise that builds and maintains ships for military and commercial use, in 2021.
The Arrowhead 140 design was preferred for the Type 31 frigate program in September 2019. The first Type 31 frigate is scheduled to be launched in 2023.
The general-purpose frigate can be used for maritime surveillance and interdiction, counter-piracy, military presence and deterrence, humanitarian aid and disaster relief, task group support, consort protection, as well as anti-submarine warfare missions.
The frigate will have a maximum overall length of 138.7m, a maximum beam of 19.8m and a design draft of 4.8m. The displacement of the vessel will be 5,700t. Designed to carry more than 160 people, the ship can operate with a minimal crew of 100.
The large aft flight deck can accommodate an AW-101 Merlin or MH-60 Seahawk helicopter or a smaller rotorcraft such as AW159 Wildcat plus unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Equipped with helicopter in-flight refueling (HIFR) capability, the deck can support the operation of aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of up to 15t. The hangar on-board the frigate will have the capacity to hold naval helicopters, unmanned systems and light aircraft.
The frigate can be armed with 40mm small caliber guns to 5in (127mm) medium caliber guns and eight canister-launched surface-to-surface guided weapons (SSGW). It can also accommodate the Mk41 vertical launching system (VLS) with up to 32 variable length tubes.
The vessel will carry surface-to-air missiles (SAM), land strike missiles, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missiles and close-in weapon systems.