Asia Defense

Indonesia, South Korea Ink $1 Billion Contract for 3 Diesel-Electric Submarines

The Indonesian Navy is slated to receive three more Nagapasa-class diesel-electric subs by 2026.

Indonesia, South Korea Ink $1 Billion Contract for 3 Diesel-Electric Submarines
Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Indonesian Navy

The Indonesian Ministry of Defense (MOD) last week has signed a $1.02 billion contract with South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) for a second batch of three Type 209/1400 Nagapasa-class (Chang Bogo-class) diesel-electric attack submarines (SSK) for the Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut)

According to South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), the contract was signed in Bandung, West Java on April 12 and is a follow-on order to three Nagapasa-class SSKs, the last which, the KRI Alugoro (405), was launched on April 11. “The second submarine project with Indonesia is a key project of the New Southern Policy, and it was the result of cooperation among the government and related agencies,” DAPA said in a press release last week.

The Indonesian MoD and DSME signed a $1.1 billion contract for three Nagapasa-class SSKs in December 2011 as part of the MoD’s 2024 Defense Strategic Plan. That plan calls for the procurement of 10 new SSKs for the Navy. The delivery of the second batch of SSKs is expected to be completed by 2026. The last time the service inducted new subs was in the 1980s following the delivery of three German Type 209/1300 (Cakra–class) diesel-electric attack submarines. The Navy has an operational need for at least 12 SSKs, although this requirement has reportedly been cut down to eight.

Indonesian state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL will construct two of the six modules of the first SSK of the second batch in Indonesia. However, final assembly will take place at the Okpo DSME shipyard in South Korea. For the second boat, the fourth Nagapasa-class SSK overall, four modules will be will build by PT PAL with final assembly also set to occur in South Korea. The six modules for the third and last SSK will reportedly all be built in Indonesia. It is unclear whether the final boat will be assembled locally or in South Korea.

As I wrote in February:

The Type 209/1400 [Nagapasa-class] SSK is a license-built variant of the German Type 209 submarine produced by DSME. The 1,400-ton SSK class has an operational range of around 11,000 nautical miles and has an endurance of about 50 days. The sub is a multipurpose platform capable of conducting anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and special forces missions. The SSK can be armed with heavyweight torpedoes, anti-ship missiles, and mines.

The first-of-class SSK, KRI Nagapasa (403), was commissioned in August 2017 in South Korea and is now homeported at the Palu Naval Base in the Watusampu province of Central Sulawesi. The second SSK, KRI Ardadedali (404), was delivered to the Indonesian Navy in 2018 and is currently undergoing operational evaluation. It is expected to be operationally deployed by the end of 2019 or early 2020. The Navy’s entire submarine fleet currently consists of two Cakra-class SSKs and the KRI Nagapasa.