This week the Indonesian Navy commissioned its first attack submarine in 34 years, as the country seeks to expand its abilities in underwater warfare. The commissioning ceremony was held at the southeast Okpo shipyard on Geoje Island, and was attended by Indonesian Minister of Defense Ryamizard Ryacudu.
On Wednesday, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), a South Korean defense contractor, handed over the first of three Type 209/1400 Chang Bogo-class diesel-electric attack submarines ordered by Jakarta.
Indonesia has not received new submarines since three German Type 209/1300 Cakra–class, diesel-electric attack submarines were delivered in the 1980s.
The Diplomat reports that South Korea will also build the second sub in this class, though the third will be constructed by PT PAL, an Indonesian state-owned shipbuilder based in the port city of Surabaya and with the assistance of DSME.
The vessels were commissioned under a 2011 deal between South Korea and Indonesia worth $1.1 billion for the three Nagapasa-class diesel-electric submarines.
IHS Jane’s Navy International reports that the new submarine will be homeported at Watusampu in Central Sulawesi province and that it was given the name KRI Nagapasa with the pennant number 403.
The Nagapasa was inducted into the Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut (Indonesian Navy) the same day it was handed over.
There are also plans for Indonesia to build a new submarine base on the largest island in the South China Sea’s Natuna Islands archipelago, Natuna Island. The vessel underwent extensive sea and builder trials off the Korean coast, and was originally to be delivered in March but was held up four months for reasons that are not clear.
With an operational range of approximately 10,000 nautical miles, the 1,400-ton multi-purpose vessels are capable of anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, along with Special Forces missions. They will be operated by 40 crew members, feature 533mm tubes for guided missiles and torpedoes, and are expected to be in service for at least 30 years.
South Korea is now the fifth country in the world to have exported a submarine, joining the ranks of France, Germany, the UK and Russia.