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Indonesia (Still) Mulling Purchase of Stealth Submarines from Russia

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Asia Defense

Indonesia (Still) Mulling Purchase of Stealth Submarines from Russia

Indonesia is also considering buying Russian amphibious aircraft, according to Indonesia’s ambassador to Moscow.

Indonesia is still considering purchasing two Russian-made Project 636.3 Kilo-class (aka Vashavyanka-class) diesel-electric submarines and Beriev-200ChS amphibious aircraft, Indonesia’s Ambassador to Russia, Mohamad Wahid Supriyadi, told TASS on May 30.

“We really plan to purchase amphibious planes developed by the Sukhoi design bureau and Kilo-class submarines from Russia,” Supriyadi said. “We’re working on these purchases,” he said. “Relevant Russian specialists will be invited to Indonesia.”

Indonesia has been expressing interest in the Kilo-class-purportedly one of the quietest diesel sub classes in the world—for some time. No contract, however, has been signed to date. Kilo-class subs are primarily designed for anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface-ship warfare.

Indonesia is also considering acquiring French-made Scorpene-class 1000 diesel-electric attack submarines. There have been ongoing Indonesian-French government-to-government talks over a possible sale.

France has also offered a new submarine combat management system in use aboard French nuclear submarines for one of the Indonesian Navy’s two German-made Type 209/1300 diesel-electric attack submarines (known as Cakra-class in Indonesia).

Indonesia will need at least six submarines to secure its key maritime straits (Malacca, Sunda and Lombok). As I wrote in October 2015 (See: “Will Indonesia Buy French Stealth Submarines?”):

The last time the Indonesian Navy received new submarines was in the 1980s with the delivery of two German Type 209/1300 diesel-electric attack submarines (known as Cakra-class in Indonesia), which subsequently underwent several major refits modernizing the subs’ propulsion systems, detection and navigation systems, and new fire control and combat systems by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) and South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), which is building Type 209 variants under license.

In December 2011, DSME was also awarded a $1.1 billion contract for the construction of three 1,400-ton Type 209/1400 Chang Bogo-class (a license-built variant of the German Type 209 sub) diesel-electric attack submarines.

Indonesia may also become the first international customer to purchase the multipurpose amphibious Beriev Be-200ChS aircraft, produced by Russia’s United Aircraft-Manufacturing Corporation (UAC), TASS reports.

“We hope that the contract with Indonesia will be one of the first contracts in the sphere of military and technical cooperation. We note great interest from foreign buyers. This interest is explained by the plane’s uniqueness and its capabilities. This is the sole amphibian jet with such functions,” UAC’s president, Yuri Slyusar, said in an interview.

The Beriev Be-200ChS is a multipurpose amphibious aircraft designed for various mission sets including firefighting (the plan can pick up 12.5 metric tons of water within a few seconds), search and rescue operations, maritime patrol missions, as well as cargo and passenger transportation.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi recently had to deny media reports that an agreement for the procurement of eight Su-35S multirole fighter jets had finally been signed with Russia. “I need to correct reports that Indonesia has bought the Sukhoi jets—no such deal has been signed yet,” Marsudi said, according to the Jakarta Globe.

A deal was expected to be signed at the Russia-ASEAN Summit, which took place in third week of May at the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi (See: “Indonesia and Russia to Ink Deal for 8 Su-35 Fighter Jets in May”).