Nani Afrida, The Jakarta Post
16 December 2015
The Navy is yet to make a decision on what type of submarines it will purchase to complete its weapons system procurement in the next five-year strategic plan.
Navy Chief of Staff, Admiral Ade Supandi said it would be some time before a decision could be made.
“The Navy and the military headquarters are still conducting a strategic review of the matter. The procurement takes time because it must go through several phases,” Ade said in Jakarta on Tuesday.
According to Ade, the first phase would be drawing up the submarines’ specifications, the second phase would be planning the budget and the last phase would be building the vessels.
The Navy is currently reviewing three types of submarine from three countries; the Russian Kilo class, the South Korean Chang Bogo and a German design.
“We are still conducting reviews, but we expect to buy a diesel-electric type, [from one of those vendors]” he said.
Previously, Navy spokesperson Comr. Muhammad Zainuddin told The Jakarta Post that the force had opted to procure Kilo-class submarines from Russia as part of the 2015-2019 strategic plan. “There are many types of Kilo-class submarines, we have yet to decide which type we will purchase,” Zainuddin said.
The Russian Kilo-class 636 submarines are mainly intended for anti-ship and anti-submarine operations in shallow waters. The type is also resilient in a variety of weather conditions. Countries that operate the Kilo class include Algeria, China, India, Romania and Vietnam.
Indonesia has a long history of procuring submarines from Russia and the former Soviet Union. In 1967, it acquired 12 Whiskey-class submarines.
Indonesia also procured three Chang Bogo-class submarines from South Korea in 2011. Two of the boats would be built in South Korea, while the last would be built in Indonesia.
Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said the first two boats were now more than 50 percent completed.
Submarines, with their stealth capacity, are regarded as effective deterrents and Zainuddin said that Indonesia needed at least 12 such vessels to protect its territory.
The Navy currently operates two German-made submarines, the KRI Cakra (401) and KRI Nenggala (402), which were built in the 1980s. The boats are due to be decommissioned in 2020.According to Ade, the Navy will make its decision regarding which submarines to purchase based on the current state budget situation.
The Navy is currently busy preparing a joint exercise, code-named “Komodo” with foreign navies from 32 countries to be staged in April 2016. Ade said the exercise would take place off Padang, West Sumatra, and would focus on disaster mitigation.
“We’ve selected Padang, because the area is a disaster-prone area. We also want to introduce them to the area and our rich country,” Ade said.
He expected that the joint exercise would serve as a conduit for a transfer of knowledge and boost relations between neighboring countries.