Indonesia’s navy (TNI-AL) inducted three anti-ship missile craft into its Western fleet, local military sources reported August 3.
According to a statement by the navy’s Western Fleet (KOARMABAR), Indonesia inducted three KCR-40-class anti-ship missile craft into the fleet. The three vessels – KRI Surik (645), KRI Siwar (646) and KRI Parang (647) – were commissioned in September 2014 by former Indonesian defense minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro. They were built by local shipbuilder PT Palindo in Batam.
The 44m KCR-40 can reach a top speed of 30 knots and can accommodate 35 crew members. According to IHS Jane’s Fighting Ships, a KCR-40 is armed with a 20 mm Denel Vector G12 main gun, two 12.7 mm machine guns, and launchers that can fire C-705 surface-to-surface missiles.
The vessels will be used by the Western Fleet to tackle maritime security threats, which range from piracy along the Strait of Malacca to preserving Indonesian sovereignty and territorial integrity amid lingering disputes with its neighbors (See: “A New Indonesia Military Base Near the South China Sea?”).
The KOARMABAR statement also described the KR-40 as an ideal platform for the western region given its relatively shallow waters and multiple clusters of small islands that allow for ‘hit-and-run’ operations against other targets.
The TNI-AL currently has two fleets – the Western Fleet based in Jakarta and the Eastern Fleet in Surabaya – and is reportedly working on the establishment of a third fleet as well.