Indonesian navy receives first locally assembled submarine

The Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) received its third Nagapasa (Type 209/1400)-class diesel-electric submarine (SSK) at state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL’s facility in Surabaya on 17 March.

The boat, which will named KRI Alugoro when commissioned by the end of 2021, is the first submarine to be assembled in Indonesia with engineering aid and technology transfer from South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME). The achievement is also the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, according to the Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD).

In contrast, the first two boats – KRI Nagapasa and KRI Ardadedali – were both built by DSME at its Okpo shipyard and entered TNI-AL service in August 2017 and April 2018, respectively.

The three submarines were acquired under a US$1.1 billion contract in December 2011, with the MoD signing a contract in 2019 for three follow-on boats. However, Jakarta is reportedly reconsidering the latest deal and is understood to be exploring a range of options to further expand the TNI-AL’s submarine fleet.

The Nagapasa-class SSK is derived from the Republic of Korea Navy’s Chang Bogo-class SSK design and measures 61.2 m long with an overall beam of 6.25 m. Key features of the type include the Wärtsilä ELAC KaleidoScope sensor suite comprising a cylindrical array sonar, a flank array sonar, an acoustic intercept sonar, and a mine avoidance sonar.

Its main armament is eight 533 mm tubes. Indonesia has reportedly expressed interest in arming the Nagapasa-class with Leonardo’s Black Shark heavyweight torpedoes, although there is no evidence that these weapons have been delivered to the country thus far.

Besides the three Nagapasa-class SSKs, the TNI-AL possesses a fleet of two German-built Cakra (Type 209/1300)-class SSKs commissioned in the early 1980s.

Indonesian defence plans call for a submarine force of up to 12 conventional submarines. Reports have also linked Indonesia to French and Russian-made designs such as the Scorpène 1000- and Kilo- class SSKs.

by Jr Ng