Indonesia's AI-Enabled Unmanned Submarine to Perform Surveillance, Attack Missions

The company unveiled autonomous, AI-enabled KSOT submarine at Indo Defence-2022
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  • 06:00 AM, May 16, 2024
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Indonesia's AI-Enabled Unmanned Submarine to Perform Surveillance, Attack Missions
Kapal Selam Autonomous (KSOT) submarine unveiling at Indo Defence-2022 @PT PAL

PT PAL Indonesia, a state-owned maritime manufacturing company, is developing an unmanned submarine featuring advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for surveillance and attack roles.

During the Future Submarine International Seminar & Showcase event held on May 14-15, 2024, at the Borobudur Hotel in Jakarta, Dr. Kaharuddin Djenod M.Eng, CEO of PT PAL, outlined the advancements and potential of the AI-enabled submarine. The seminar, attended by officials from the Indonesian Ministry of Defense, TNI AL, government research institutions, industry representatives, and academics, provided a platform to showcase the latest innovations in submarine technology.

Dr. Kaharuddin emphasized that integrating AI into unmanned submarines enhances various operational aspects, including autonomy, navigation, and decision-making analysis. This technological advancement aims to facilitate more independent, efficient, measurable, and safer underwater operations, thereby reducing risks to human life by minimizing direct human intervention.

The AI-enabled unmanned submarine being developed by PT PAL is designed to perform multiple missions, such as survey and surveillance, escort, proxy, and attacker roles. "It is crucial that we adopt alternative technologies that mitigate risks to our navy while maintaining the capability to secure our maritime areas," said Dr. Kaharuddin.

PT PAL unveiled a locally designed autonomous submarine concept at the Indo Defence 2022 exhibition. Named the Kapal Selam Autonomous (KSOT), it is approximately 25 m long, 4 m in diameter, and has a submerged displacement of about 262 tonnes. The KSOT can be assembled in Surabaya within 12 months. It is designed for light combat operations with AI-assisted decision-making and equipped with lethal effectors, sensors, and monitoring equipment. The KSOT uses an electric motor, making it harder to detect. It has a surface top speed of 6 kt, cruising at 5 kt, and a submerged top speed of 12 kt. The submarine features two torpedo tubes, a flank sonar array, and a mine and obstacle avoidance sonar.

Additionally, PT PAL showcased the future Scorpene Evolved type submarine, equipped with Lithium-Ion batteries, developed in collaboration with the Naval Group from France. This project includes a technology transfer agreement, signed on March 28, 2024, allowing the submarine to be built at PT PAL's shipyard.

The seminar aimed to foster strategic considerations for future defense equipment needs, enhancing Indonesia's maritime defense capabilities, particularly in submarine development.

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