Indonesia’s state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL unveiled a new vessel Monday which will be the first ever warship exported by the country’s domestic shipbuilding industry.
As I have written before, Indonesian president Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has been looking to boost the country’s domestic shipbuilding industry as part of a wider goal of revolutionizing the defense industry (See: “An Indonesian Defense Revolution Under Jokowi?”). The inaugural export of a locally-built warship to the Philippines, set to occur later this year, is a step in this direction.
According to the PT PAL’s director M. Firmansyah, the Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV)-1, a Lloyd Register-class warship built entirely by PT PAL, will be delivered to the Philippine defense ministry in May 2016. It will be part of a contract PT PAL had secured back in 2014 worth $92 million from the Philippine government for the construction of two SSVs after winning an international tender process. The other SSV is expected to be delivered by mid-2017.
The SSV-1, which was launched in Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya, East Java, is based on the Indonesian Navy’s Makassar-class landing platform dock (LPD) vessels. According to previous specifications released by PT PAL cited by IHS Jane’s Fighting Ships, the SSVs measure 123 meters long with a beam of 21.8 meters and a draught of 6 meters. The vessels, which have a full load displacement of about 11,583 tons, a maximum range of 9,360 nautical miles, an endurance of 30 days and a top speed of 16 knots, will help the Philippine military meet sea-based transport and logistics requirements.
The SSV-1 will undergo testing and sea trials upon completion before being sent to the Philippines. It will be named the BRP Tarlac (LD-601) after the birth province of the current Philippine president Benigno Aquino III whose term will expire later this year following elections in May.
The SSV-1 was launched together with the first SIGMA 10514 Perusak Kawal Rudal (PKR) guided-missile frigate, a vessel ordered by the Indonesian defense ministry and developed in cooperation with Netherlands-based Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding through a transfer-of-technology mechanism. Speaking at the ceremony launching the warships, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Rizal Ramli, said that the forthcoming export of the SSV-1 was a historic development for the country and that it should look to dominate the ship market in Asia.
“Today is historical for Indonesia. For the first time we export a warship. This is the biggest achievement of PT PAL Indonesia. We are proud of it,” he said according to ANTARA News.
“We have to be a winning nation. We must not always be a loser as we already have superiority in shipbuilding industry,” he added.