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Indo Defence 2022: Indonesia prepares to cut steel on first ‘Red White' frigate

A computer-generated rendering of the Arrowhead 140 design, which is the basis for Indonesia's 'Red White' frigate programme. (Babcock)

Indonesian state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL is preparing to start work on the country's first Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate and will hold a steel-cutting ceremony for the ship in November 2022, the company has confirmed.

Speaking to Janes at the Indo Defence 2022 exhibition in Jakarta, CEO of PT PAL Kaharuddin Djenod said that the project has been branded as the ‘Red White' frigate programme after the colours of the Indonesian flag to reflect the vessels' status as locally built warships.

The Indonesian Ministry of Defense (MoD) signed a preamble contract for a variant of the Iver Huitfeldt frigate with PT PAL in April 2020.

However, the two-ship contract only became effective from 24 May 2021. Following this, UK defence group Babcock announced in September 2021 that it has signed a licence agreement to provide PT PAL with the Arrowhead 140 design for the two ships.

In turn, Babcock's Arrowhead 140 design is based on the Royal Danish Navy's three-ship Iver Huitfeldt class, which were commissioned between January and November 2011.

In an interview with Janes at Indo Defence 2022, Kaharuddin denied that there have been major delays to the programme. “Between the time that the contract became effective and the present day, PT PAL engineers worked with representatives from the MoD and the navy to fine-tune the Arrowhead 140 design according to the user's requirements,” Kaharuddin said.

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