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Fincantieri announces Indonesian contract for two PPAs amid funding uncertainties

Italian Navy Thaon di Revel-class PPA ITS Francesco Morosini seen at Langkawi during its 2023 Asia-Pacific tour. (Janes/Mansasvi Sharma Shanker)

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri announced on 28 March that it has signed a EUR1.18 billion (USD1.27) contract for two multirole offshore patrol ships (Pattugliatore Polivalente d'Altura: PPA) with the Indonesian Ministry of Defense (MoD).

However, Indonesia's ability to fund this commitment is presently unclear given the lack of an allocation for this programme in the country's defence budget.

The PPA is a class of 143 m warships that can be configured for a wide spectrum of missions ranging from ‘light' low-tempo maritime surveillance operations to ‘full combat' higher-end warfighting scenarios. Depending on the configuration, the vessels displace between 5,800 and 6,300 tonnes.

Italy has commissioned three of the vessels and the ships were inducted between March 2022 and September 2023. The Italian Navy is expected to receive its fourth and fifth PPAs in 2024.

For the contract it signed with Indonesia, the PPAs that will be supplied were originally destined for the Italian Navy, Fincantieri said in its statement. The vessels are currently under construction at its shipyard in Riva Trigoso-Muggiano, the company added.

When configured in the ‘light' variant, the Italian Navy's PPAs are armed with a Leonardo 127/64 lightweight gun as its primary weapon, a 76/62 mm gun, and two 25 mm remotely controlled cannons. The service's first- and second-of-class are configured as ‘light' variants.

The ‘light plus' variant of the PPA includes anti-air warfare (AAW) capabilities and this is provided by MBDA Italia's surface-to-air anti-missile system extended self-defence (SAAM ESD) guided-weapon system with Leonardo's Kronos Quad C-band AESA radar. The Italian Navy's third PPA is configured in this manner.

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