The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) plans to upgrade the Exocet MM40 Block 2 anti-ship missiles on its KRI Usman-Harun (pennant number 359) multirole corvette/light frigate once the vessel’s mission systems are modernised.
Speaking to Jane’s on 18 March on condition of anonymity, two industry sources said the MBDA missiles will be upgraded to the longer-range Block 3 variant, adding that the vessel will also be equipped with MBDA’s VL (vertical launch) MICA short-range surface-to-air missiles. According to Jane’s Fighting Ships, Usman-Harun is already capable of firing the VL MICA but has yet to be armed with the weapon.
The revelation comes after Thales and PT Len Industri signed a contract on 10 March to modernise the mission systems on the warship, which entered service in August 2014 after being purchased from Brunei.
In a statement issued that same day Thales said that the upgrade work on the 95 m-long Bung Tomo-class frigate, which was formerly known as Bendahara Sakam, will include the installation of the TACTICOS combat management system, the SMART-S Mk2 air-and-surface surveillance radar, the STIR EO Mk2 radar and electro-optical fire-control system, and the Vigile Mk2 tactical multi-purpose R-ESM (radar - electronic support measures) system.
The upgrade work on Usman-Harun's mission systems is expected to be completed by the end of 2023 and will considerably extend the service life of the frigate, the company said at the time, pointing out that these new systems have already been installed on the TNI-AL’s Raden Eddy Martadinata (SIGMA 10514)-class frigates, thus “enabling consistency in operations for the navy”.
Modernisation of the two other corvettes of the class – KRI Bung Tomo (357) and KRI John Lie (358) – are expected to be funded once the USD60 million modernisation work on Usman Harun is completed, said the industry sources.
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