Indonesian Navy Chief Considers Interim Submarine Purchase Amidst Operational Needs

Jakarta is seeking interim submarines for immediate naval capability while awaiting completion of newly ordered vessels.
  • bureau
  • 07:02 AM, May 16, 2024
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Indonesian Navy Chief Considers Interim Submarine Purchase Amidst Operational Needs
KRI Cakra-401 submarine @Indonesian media

Admiral Muhammad Ali, Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Navy (KSAL), disclosed plans for potentially acquiring interim submarines to address operational demands while awaiting the completion of Indonesia's newly ordered submarines.

Ideally, Indonesia aims to strengthen its navy with a fleet of 12 submarines to safeguard its extensive maritime territory covering 6.4 million square kilometers.

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"We may acquire interim submarines from various sources to supplement our fleet, given the urgency expressed by the Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto for a substantial submarine force. Constructing a Scorpene-class submarine takes 7 to 12 years. Therefore, an interim solution is imperative," Admiral Ali was quoted as saying by VOI on Tuesday.

Over the past year, Admiral Ali and Indonesian Navy officials have visited multiple nations and shipyards, exploring conventional submarine technologies, including unmanned systems. Countries such as Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, and China have been among those considered.

"We are evaluating leading submarine shipyards, particularly those producing conventional non-nuclear submarines with advanced propulsion technologies like Lithium-ion batteries," Ali noted.

Currently, Indonesia's submarine fleet consists of four vessels: KRI Cakra-401, KRI Ardadedali-404, KRI Nagapasa-403, and KRI Alugoro-405.

Plans for the future include the acquisition of two Scorpene Evolved submarines from the French Naval Group, to be constructed at PT PAL Indonesia shipyard in Surabaya, East Java, pending an effective purchase contract.

Admiral Ali noted that the Indonesian Navy was once fortified with 12 Whiskey-class submarines during the Old Order era. However, these vessels were retired or ceased operations from the early 1980s to the early 1990s after serving for approximately 30 years. Therefore, he emphasizes the current necessity to strengthen the Indonesian Navy with 12 combat-ready submarines to safeguard Indonesian waters.

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