JANE'S-(IDB) : State-owned shipbuilder PT PAL will complete an indigenously-built Chang Bogo-class diesel-electric submarine (SSK) by 2018, Indonesia's Defence Industrial Policy Committee (KKIP) said on 19 February.
The KKIP, established in October 2010 to formalise national policies on defence procurement and indigenous manufacturing, was responding to discussion of the Indonesian government's decision to invest a further USD250 million in the local shipbuilder. PT PAL was allocated the funding to enable it to modernise its facilities in order to construct and support submarines.
Indonesia's first and second Chang Bogo-class SSKs, scheduled to be delivered by 2017, are currently being constructed by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) with gradually increased input from PT PAL engineers and technicians. The third SSK will be license-built in a PT PAL shipyard in Indonesia.
To date, the KKIP has sent 206 personnel to South Korea to work with DSME.
Admiral Purnawirawan Sumardjono, head of the KKIP, said that the bigger picture behind these arrangements is for Indonesia to develop the capacity to operate 12 submarines. "We have 5 million km 2 of water to patrol. At this point in time, we only have two [boats]", said Adm Sumardjono. The Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) currently operates two German-built Cakra Type 209/1300 submarines, built in the 1970s.
The admiral added that Indonesia ultimately plans to move away from imports as a means of fulfilling its defence requirements, including in the underwater domain. "If we are embargoed, we are finished", he said. "A country that takes charge of its own needs via an indigenous defence industry can have its say in world politics".
Given Indonesia's current level of local experience in building submarines, the build timeline set out by the KKIP seems optimistic.
No concerted work appears to be underway as yet on the infrastructure upgrade, and reports suggest only a small proportion of the industrial workforce has been sent for training in South Korea.
Moreover, building a boat of this size can take 4-5 years when supported by an established knowledge base and production line. Taking these steps into account, it may be more likely that a boat assembled locally (following material build elsewhere) could be ready by 2020, with a locally built boat ready in 2022.
Source : Jane's