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Indonesia Is Reconsidering Contract With South Korea for 3 Diesel-Electric Submarines

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Indonesia Is Reconsidering Contract With South Korea for 3 Diesel-Electric Submarines

The Indonesian government is considering cancelling a contract with South Korea for three Nagapasa-class diesel-electric attack subs.

Indonesia Is Reconsidering Contract With South Korea for 3 Diesel-Electric Submarines
Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Indonesian Navy

The Indonesian Ministry of Defense (MoD) is reportedly reconsidering an estimated $900 million 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), Jane’s reports on April 1.

The principal reason behind the MoD’s move to reevaluate the contract is to reportedly reduce defense expenditure amid expectations of shrinking defense budgets in coming years.

Two sources at the MoD and the Indonesian Navy confirmed to Jane’s “that among matters being discussed at the moment include legal and financial implications of walking away from the contract that was announced in April 2019.”  That contract was signed in Bandung, West Java on April 12 and is a follow-on order to three Nagapasa-class SSKs, the last of which, the KRI Alugoro (405), was launched in April 2019.

The Indonesian government and DSME signed a contract for three Nagapasa-class SSKs in December 2011 under the MoD’s 2024 Defense Strategic Plan. As I reported last year:

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.

The 1,400-ton Type 209/1400 SSK is a license-built variant of the German Type 209 submarine manufactured by DSME. It has an operational range of around 11,000 nautical miles and an endurance of about 50 days. As I also noted last year, the 2019 contract foresaw construction of different parts of the new SSKs in both Indonesia and South Korea:

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.

Indonesia is reportedly now reconsidering a Turkish-built version of the Reis Type 214 SSK. The Indonesian Navy initially received an offer from Golcük Shipyard to supply that variant in 2017, but ultimately opted for the Type 209/1400 SSK.