- A variant of Denmark's Iver Huitfeldt class has emerged as a front-runner in Indonesia's USD720 million two-frigate acquisition programme
- Development follows a defence industry co-operation agreement signed between Denmark's Odense Maritime Technology, and the Indonesian Navy's Naval Design Centre
Defence planners from the Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) are increasingly leaning towards a variant of the Iver Huitfeldt class in their quest to acquire two more frigates for the country's navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL).
The frigates are being acquired as part of the second phase of the Minimum Essential Force (MEF) modernisation blueprint, which runs from 2015 to 2019. Indonesia acquired two SIGMA 10514 vessels from Damen that now serve as the Martadinata class as part of this programme, but the country has a requirement for at least four more hulls in the longer term as part of wider MEF requirements.
A piece of unclassified correspondence between the country's defence minister, Ryamizard Ryacudu, and the cabinet secretary of President Joko Widodo that was provided to Jane's on 13 March made the case for the Iver Huitfeldt class as one that features "reliable combat capabilities, and can operate in the extremities of Indonesia's exclusive economic zone".
"In reference to the TNI-AL's frigate acquisition programme, and how we are now approaching the final year of the 2015-19 strategic plan without a decision, we hereby would like to request for a closed meeting [with the cabinet] to further discuss an acquisition plan for these ships," the correspondence reads.
The meeting, which was originally requested for 5 March 2019, would have also been used by MoD officials to further present their case for selecting the variant of the Iver Huitfeldt class offered by Danish company Odense Maritime Technology (OMT), including its technical specifications.
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