France eyes Indonesian submarine expansion

Indonesia has its sights set on the acquisition of additional attack submarines beyond the three Nagapasa-class boats that are currently being delivered.

One company looking to fulfil this requirement is France's Naval Group, which will be present at Indo Defence 2018 to promote its Scorpene submarine.

In 2011, the Indonesian Navy selected the Chang Bogo class, known as the Nagapasa class in Indonesia, which is based on the German Type 209 hull design and built under licence in South Korea by DSME.

While no formal decision has been made, it is understood that a targeted fleet of 10-12 submarines is desired by the Indonesian Navy. Currently, it has four submarines in its fleet, with one Nagapasa-class boats still to be delivered.

‘Naval Group, as a recognised naval platform designer and manufacturer, together with its unique experience of transfer of technology in its export programme, is ready to offer the Scorpene-class submarine together with adapted transfer of technology in accordance with the New Defence Bill issued by the Indonesian government,’ said a Naval Group spokesperson.

The company is also looking at the potential of building in-country, and said that its main industrial partner will be the state-owned shipyard PT Pal.

Members of PINHANTANAS (Private Defence Industry Association) could be a suitable industrial partner, the spokesperson said.

‘The operational requirements of the Indonesian Navy tend to be oceanic with shallow-waters capabilities. Our Scorpene-class submarine offers unmatched capabilities in both oceanic and shallow water,’ he added.

While the company has not built the latest batch of submarines for the Southeast Asian nation, the company is well represented in the region with the active P-75 programme in India. This will provide six Scorpene diesel-electric submarines to the Indian Navy. 

Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), the design owner of the Type 209 that it acquired after the merger of TKMS and Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, is also set to be at Indo Defence, and will likely be vying for the same opportunities as Naval Group.