Indonesia signs for new submarine rescue ship

The Indonesian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced on 10 September that has signed an agreement to buy a submarine rescue vessel worth US$100 million as well as ancillary systems from British company Submarine Manufacturing & Products (SMP) Limited.

The deal will be headed by Indonesian company PT BTI Indo Tekno, which will deliver a complete submarine rescue ship to the Indonesian Navy via an undisclosed local shipyard.

According to the statement, SMP Limited will supply its free-swimming SRV system, which will be equipped with a decompression chamber as part of the mothership’s suite of medical evacuation and hyperbaric equipment that will stabilise casualties from distressed submarines.

The MoD added that the air-transportable rescue submarine is designed for swift operation and can accommodate up to 50 personnel.

“With the signing of the contract, Indonesia will operate the most advanced submarine rescue system in the region and this will support the Indonesian Navy’s readiness and combat capabilities while assuring the safety of its submariners,” the MoD stated.

The Indonesian Navy currently does not possess an organic submarine rescue capability and has to depend on agreements with foreign countries to deliver aid during an emergency. For example, it maintains a bilateral agreement with the Singapore Navy to access the latter’s SRV assets – an approach which was used during the search and rescue of the ill-fated Cakra-class diesel-electric submarine KRI Nanggala, which was reported missing on 21 April 2021 while on a training mission.

The loss of the submarine with all hands prompted a review of the Indonesian Navy’s submarine operations, with the service identifying several of its surface combatants to be converted to rescue vessels using commercially leased rescue systems.

“This is the part of Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto’s mission to increase the capability of Indonesian navy,” the MoD added.

by Jr Ng