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ALRI - Navy of the Republic of Indonesia - Modernization

The Navy was initially stocked primarily with craft once operated by European or the Australian navies. Beginning in 1959, the navy began to acquire a large number of craft from the Soviet Union and East European nations. This sizeable fleet fell apart due to neglect within a few years of Sukarno's fall from power in 1966. Despite successive attempts to modernize the fleet, Indonesia greeted the new century with a navy that seemed inadequate to the various tasks at hand. Indonesia had 738,268 square miles (mi2) of land and 666,100 mi. of baseline coast, but had 1,577,300 square nautical miles (nm2) to patrol as its EEZ. To adequately patrol this entire area by traditional western standards would require naval forces quite in excess of what they currently possess. In 2008 the government articulated a Minimum Essential Force (MEF) for Indonesia's armed forces, including the Navy. This called for tripling the size of the fleet by 2024. While this plan seems overly ambitious, plans also call for a five-fold increase in the overall defense budget from 2009 to 2017, so possibly this plan will be realized.

2008 - Minimum Essential Force (MEF)

The Presidential Directive No.7 of 2008 established the Minimum Essential Force (MEF kekuatan pokok minimum - basic minimum force) concept, defined as, a force level that can guarantee the attainment of immediate strategic defense interests, where the procurement priority was given to the improvement of minimum defense strength and/or the replacement of outdated main weapon systems/equipment. It should be noted that what constitutes a Minimum Essential Force in terms of numbers and strength have not been clearly defined. The MEF requirement was for around 300 ships of various classes and at least 12 submarines, compared to Indonesias 2012 fleet standing around 115 ships of various types, including two submarines and an additional three submarines being built.

The 2005 "Green-Water Navy blueprint proposed a 274-ship force structure by 2024, consisting of a Striking Force of 110 ships, a Patrolling Force of 66 ships, and a Supporting Force of 98 ships. Since then Indonesia had been working towards the expansion and modernisation of its armed forces towards a goal of reaching the MEF in 2024, however it is not clear how this force level would be reached. Projected and foreseeable acquisitions suggest a fleet in 2024 of a Striking Force of about 90 ships, as opposed to the "Green-Water Navy blueprint of 110 ships, a Patrolling Force of 42 ships as opposed to a planned 66 ships, and a Supporting Force of 51 ships, compared to a required 98 ships.

In January 2009 the Indonesian Navy launched two new, locally made patrol vessels as part of ongoing attempts to bolster and upgrade its aging fleet. The vessels, KRI Krait-827 and KRI Tarihu-829, were operated by the Western Fleet Command, based in Jakarta. The ships, measuring 40 meters in length and 7.3 meters wide, were each equipped with a radar system, a twin-barreled cannon and two 12.7 mm machine guns. Each had a maximum speed of 25 knots per hour. The naval shipyard had previously assembled nine warships and was planning to produce another two warships. Including the latest two vessels, the Navy had a total of 146 warships. But Iskander said the Navy still required another 128 ships. According to our strategic plan for securing Indonesia waters, by 2024 we must have 274 warships with strike and patrol capabilities and supporting forces, he said.

Indonesia received the corvettes KRI Diponegoro-365 and KRI Hasanuddin in 2007. In 2008, Indonesia received their third new corvette, the KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda. The fourth, KRI Frans Kaisiepo, was received and added to the Indonesian fleet in March 2009.

In 2009 the fleet consisted of more than 90 ships and numerous smaller vessels. The newest warships were four Sigma-class corvettes from the Netherlands, three of which were delivered by 2008 and the fourth, by 2009. As newer warships and patrol craft entered the inventory, the navy decommissioned older vessels. Nevertheless, the navy was underequipped and under strength for its mission of protecting the nations huge maritime expanse against piracy, poaching, and smuggling. Specifically, it needed a large infusion of fast-patrol craft to cover its wide internal seas and coastlines, as well as increased sealift capacity to move marine corps and army units and equipment to trouble spots across the archipelago.

As of late 2009 by another count the Navy had about 150 ships of a variety of classes and types, including two high-mast sailing ships. This number of warships did not included patrol boats of less than 36 meters in length, which were called KAL or naval vessels, amounting to over 300 units. At that time the Navy confirmed plans to retire seven old LSTs (Landing Ship Tank), former US Navy vessels built in 1942-1945, some of which were used in amphibious operations on the beaches of Normandy during World War II. These were KRI Teluk Langsa 501, KRI Teluk Bayur 502, KRI Teluk Kau 504, KRI Teluk Tomini 508, KRI Teluk Ratai 509, KRI Teluk Saleh 510 and KRI Teluk Bone 511.

By early 2012 the Indonesian Military (TNI) reportedly wanted to buy the three BAE Systems-built Corvettes built at great cost for the Sultan of Brunei by now classified as light frigates - for $395 million. But Tubagus Hasanuddin, of the House Commission I, asked why the TNI wanted to buy outdated ships. Why do we have to buy ships that fail to meet specification standard, Tubagus Hasanuddin, deputy chairman of House Commission I that oversees defense, said on Wednesday. We might not even be able to use them. The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle politician said he was suspicious of the frigate's low price tag.

Indonesia sent a team to London to negotiate the purchase of warships from Britain in January 2013. Indonesia was interested in buying three frigates from Britain, with the agreement on the purchase conducted on a transfer-of-technology basis, as Indonesia was aiming to produce its own similar ships in the future. Indonesia agreed to buy three BAE Systems Nakhoda Ragam F2000 design frigates from Brunei following a November MoU signed by the two countries and a subsequent meeting between defense ministers. The purchase was reported still to be in the planning stage in January 2013.

By the end of 2012 the ships were still at Barrow in Furness, amid further reports that the three OPVs would be acquired by TNI-AL and inducted into service in 2013. The OPV had been redesignated as Multi Role Light Frigate. Should the Indonesian deal become fruitful, the induction of the OPVs will further cement the relationship between Indonesia and Brunei which had been established decades before.

For vessels larger than 100 meters, the Ministry of Defense ordered from PT PAL Surabaya. "We also have a national corvette program [program korvet nasional]," said Maj. Gen. Hartind Asrin, who was also an expert staff that Defense Minister Field Security. Navy Chief Admiral Soeparno previously said the 2012 program for weapons systems (defense equipment) was the procurement of Navy submarines and surface ships. "There are three submarines, two ship types destroyer escort frigate surface missile (PKR) and 20 fast patrol boats and fast torpedo boats," he said.

PT PAL had worked with Demen Schelde Netherlands Shipyard (DSNS) in building a destroyer escort warship ordered by the Defense Ministry in August 2010. The $220 million Sigma multimission frigate was 104 meters in length and runs on four engines. It was equipped with sensor devices and armed with missiles. PT PAL expected to deliver the ship in August 2014.

The Navy planned to buy 4 missile destroyer escorts from PT PAL, and 16 Trimaran type fast missile boats from local shipyards. In addition there were plans to buy two survey vessels, one training ship KRI Dewaruci replacement, 2 hydro-oceanographic survey ships and 12 landing craft tank (landing ship tank). Indonesia had a requirement for around 20 frigates largely based on Damen's SIGMA 10514 design and built by PT Pal. MoD had said that there were plans to field 10-12 submarines in 2024. The new submarine base opened in Palu, central Sulawesi in April 2013. The Indonesian government had stipulated the need for at least six to twelve submarines to attain the minimum essential forces by 2029.

Indonesia plans to purchase amphibious planes and submarines from Russia, Indonesian Ambassador to Moscow Mohamad Wahid Supriyadi told TASS on 30 May 2016. "We really plan to purchase amphibious planes developed by the Sukhoi design bureau and Kilo-class submarines from Russia," the diplomat said. "Were working on these purchases," he said. "Relevant Russian specialists will be invited to Indonesia," he added. In reply to TASS specifying question later, the ambassador said Indonesia wanted to buy two Russian submarines. The Russian submarines referred to the Kilo-class by NATOs classification are Project 636 Varshavyanka diesel-electric submarines.

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