Asia Defense

Indonesia to Export First Ever Warship in Boost for Shipbuilding Industry

The first locally-built strategic sealift vessel will be delivered to the Philippines in May.

Prashanth Parameswaran
Indonesia to Export First Ever Warship in Boost for Shipbuilding Industry

Philippine officials with the recently launched BRP Tarlac (LD-601) on January 18, 2016.

Credit: Philippine Navy Public Information Office

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.

Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.

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.