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PT PAL lays keel for Indonesia's first ‘Red White' frigate

A computer-generated image of the Arrowhead 140 design, which is the basis for Indonesia's 'Red White' frigate programme. Keel for the first vessel was laid down in August 2023. (Babcock)

Indonesian state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL has laid down the country's first ‘Red White' frigate.

A ceremony to mark the vessel's keel laying was held on 25 August at PT PAL's facilities in Surabaya, the company disclosed in a media release on the same day.

The frigate, which is one of two Iver Huitfeldt class-derived warships that are on order for the Indonesian Navy, is being built according to Lloyd's Register classification standards for warships, PT PAL said in the media release.

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

However, the contract only became effective in May 2021 after initial payments for the programme were made. Upon the contract becoming effectual, UK defence group Babcock disclosed in September 2021 that it has signed a licence agreement to provide PT PAL with the Arrowhead 140 design for the two ships.

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.

The ‘Red White' frigates will each displace about 5,996 tonnes at full load and have an overall length of 140 m. Turkish defence electronics company Havelsan has been selected to supply its Advent combat management system (CMS) for both warships.

The suite of weapons that has been proposed for Indonesian requirements include 12-cell vertical launching system (VLS) for medium-range surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), a separate 12-cell VLS for long-range SAMs, a 16-cell VLS for surface-to-surface missiles, two 76 mm naval guns, and a 35 mm close-in weapon system (CIWS).

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