Military Capabilities

Indonesia reduces submarine requirements from 12 to 8 in revised modernisation plan

19 December 2017

Key Points

  • Indonesia has revised its ambitions to operate a class of 12 submarines by 2024
  • Emphasis now shifts towards acquisition of more large surface platforms that can perform ‘on-station’ tasks in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zones

The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut, or TNI-AL) has reduced the number of submarines it will require under the Minimum Essential Force (MEF) armed forces modernisation blueprint.

Indonesia's second Cakra (Type 209/1300)-class submarine, KRI Nanggala. (TNI-AL)Indonesia's second Cakra (Type 209/1300)-class submarine, KRI Nanggala. (TNI-AL)

Multiple sources from within the service’s headquarters in Cilangkap, East Jakarta, who are privy to details of these discussions that took place at the flag officers level, have confirmed with Jane’s that the original requirement for 12 submarines by 2024 as stipulated under the MEF blueprint has now been reduced to eight.

Given the revised requirements, Indonesia now needs to acquire just three more boats by the deadline set under the MEF.

The TNI-AL currently operates a fleet of two German-built Cakra (Type 209/1300)-class diesel-electric submarines (SSKs) that were commissioned in 1981, and one Nagapasa (Type 209/1400)-class boat, which was built by South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), and inducted in August 2017.

The service is currently anticipating the delivery of two more Nagapasa SSKs from DSME, the last of which is scheduled for commissioning in 2021, and is now in the process of establishing final requirements that will subsequently lead to an acquisition programme for further boats.

As reported by Jane’s since April 2017, the TNI-AL has also received a pitch from Turkey’s Gölcük Shipyard to supply a variant of the Reis (Type 214)-class SSK with air-independent propulsion (AIP) technology.

Other options considered by the country include the ‘Kilo’ class from Russia, and a variant of the Scorpene 1000 from France’s Naval Group.

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