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Indonesia commissions third Nagapasa-class submarine in ‘symbolic' South China Sea ceremony

The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) has commissioned its third and final Nagapasa (Type 209/1400)-class diesel-electric submarine (SSK) in a ‘symbolic’ ceremony that was held on an island in the South China Sea.

The vessel, KRI Alugoro (405), was inducted into service on 6 April by Indonesian armed forces chief, Air Vice Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, at the naval base on Great Natuna Island. A day before the vessel’s commissioning, the TNI-AL also held a ceremony to mark the start of construction for a new naval base at the same location.

“The location of the submarine’s commissioning today is symbolic of the Indonesian Armed Forces’ resolve and commitment in upholding the sovereignty of our seas,” said AVM Tjahjanto at the induction ceremony. “The presence of this new submarine, and its base on Natuna, will increase our operational reach and better protect our exclusive economic zone,” he added.

The Natuna Islands cluster lies close to China’s unilaterally declared nine-dash line demarcation in the South China Sea. Waters around the islands have seen a number of stand-offs involving Chinese and Indonesian vessels, especially in recent years.

Alugoro was handed over to the TNI-AL by state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL in March 2021. It is the first submarine ever to be assembled in Indonesia, in a process that was carried out in collaboration with engineers from South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME).

Indonesia signed a contract for three SSKs with DSME in 2011. The programme’s first- and second-of-class, which were commissioned in August 2017 and April 2018 respectively, were both built and assembled in Okpo, South Korea.

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