Indonesia receives new German-made minehunters

The Indonesian Navy has formally taken delivery of two new German-built mine-countermeasure vessels (MCMVs) from the Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) during a handover ceremony in Surabaya on 14 August, according to an announcement on the same day by local shipbuilder PT PAL.

The two new MCMVs, which will enter service as KRI Pulau Fani (731) and KRI Pulau Fanildo (732), were designed and built by German company Abeking & Rasmussen under a contract awarded in January 2019.

The vessels are also based on the Frankenthal-class minehunter operated by the German Navy, featuring an overall length of 61.4 metres and a and a beam of 11.1 metres. The type’s main hull has been derived from the company’s MHV60 design and constructed out of non-magnetic steel.

It has been designed to embark off-board MCM capabilities such as a small unmanned surface vehicle (USV) for detection as well as a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) for close inspection of suspicious underwater objects.

The new MCMVs are also capable of accommodating two rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs) for maritime inspection and interdiction operations, but are only lightly armed with a Rheinmetall 20 mm gun and two 7.62 mm light machine guns.

The Indonesian government earlier approved a budget of US$215 million in 2016 for the new MCMV programme, but the allocation was subsequently reduced to US$204 million as a result of evolved mission requirements from the navy.

Indonesia reportedly held discussions with Abeking & Rasmussen for a new ocean hydrographic ship in late 2021, with an approximate budget of US$150 million sourced from foreign loans.

The Indonesian Navy presently operates several types of hydrographic and oceanographic survey ships, including KRI Dewa Kembar, the ex-Royal Navy HMS Hydra survey ship, as well as two French-built Rigel-class hydrographic vessels which were commissioned in 2015.

by Jr Ng