Rabu 15 May 2024 19:01 WIB

Chief of Indonesia Navy Opens Opportunity to Buy Another Submarine

12 submarines become resources of Indonesia navy.

Rep: Antara/ Red: Erdy Nasrul
Chief of Indonesia Navy Admiral Muhammad Ali in Jakarta, Tuesday (14/5/2024).
Foto: Antara/Risyal Hidayat
Chief of Indonesia Navy Admiral Muhammad Ali in Jakarta, Tuesday (14/5/2024).

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Chief of Indonesia Navy (KSAL) Admiral Muhammad Ali said that Indonesia Navy may propose the purchase of submarines for temporary (interim) use. This was done while waiting for a new submarine ordered by Indonesia from France, the Scorpene, to be completed and operational.

Admiral Ali explained that to build one new submarine takes five to seven years. At the moment, Indonesia Navy submarines that are in combat ready condition number four units.

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Ideally, he said, the Indonesia Navy is reinforced by 12 submarines to guard Indonesia's waters, which cover 6.4 million square kilometers. Ali did not rule out the possibility of buying ships from several countries.

“Because as Mr Menhan (Prabowo Subianto) said, we need a lot of submarines. To build Scorpene takes seven years, five to seven years. For that, we need to have an interim submarine. It does not exclude the possibility of choosing from various countries that I have visited,” Ali said in response to a reporter's question in Jakarta on Tuesday (14/5/2024).

In the past year, Ali, along with several officials of the Navy's military headquarters, has visited several countries and met with foreign shipyards to see conventional submarine technology and unmanned systems. Some of those countries are, among them Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, and China.

“So we reviewed all the leading submarine construction industries, especially for conventional and non-nuclear submarines, but they are already using modern propulsion such as lithium-ion batteries, or other thrusters that are now being picked up by the submarine industry,” Ali said.

In this case, Indonesia strengthened four submarines, namely KRI Cakra-401, KRI Ardadedali-404, KRI Nagapasa-403, and KRI Alugoro-405. In the future, Indonesia will strengthen two Scorpene Evolved submarines produced by Naval Group, France.

The two units of the Indonesian order ship are planned to be built from scratch at PT PAL Indonesia shipyard in Surabaya, East Java. So far, the two Indonesian ordered ships have not been built at PT PAL shipyards because they are still waiting for the purchase contract to be effective.

“It will start after the effective date of the contract. The hope is that it can be worked directly at PT PAL and the hope is that the first ship will be built at PT PAL, and from the side of the Naval Group is ready to build submarines from scratch at PT PAL,” Ali said.

On the same occasion, Ali said, the Indonesia Navy of the Old Order was reinforced by 12 Whiskey class submarines. However, the submarine was retired or ceased operations in the time span of the early 1980s to the early 1990s, after reinforcing the AL Army for approximately 30 years.

Therefore, Ali believes that for now the AL military needs to reinforce 12 combat-ready submarines to guard Indonesian waters. He also wants that power to be fulfilled again in the future.

“Ideally it should be a lot, but the optimum might be 12. We used to have 12 submarines in the Old Order era, during the reign of President Soekarno we had 12 submarines, and in the future we may have 12 large submarines, and other small submarines or unmanned systems yes,” Ali said.

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