Indonesia Considers Buying Up to 12 Submarines
Agence France Presse reports that Indonesia is considering buying submarines from Russia, South Korea or China, and plans to buy 12 of them before 2024. Navy spokesman First Admiral Malik Yusuf was quoted as saying that: “We have received offers from several countries, including Russia. If we can buy them at cheaper prices, why not? We don’t want to depend on one country.” The navy currently operates two German-made Cakra Class (Type 209/1300) submarines delivered in 1981; Adm. Yusuf said Indonesia’s capability to defend its waters remained weak due to a lack of submarines, frigates and corvettes. See Hazegrey’s listing of the ships in Indonesia’s current navy.
DID recently covered the US State Department’s decision to waive the US embargo on supplying Indonesia’s military, just as that nation seeks to modernize is forces despite serious procurement corruption issues. They had initially given priority to buying C-130 Hercules aircraft, which aroused little controversy as they have a key secondary role in areas devastated by the December 2004 tsunami. Recent moves toward Sukhoi SU-30 fighters and now submarines, however, risk unease among neighbors. Plans for a fleet of 12 submarines are likely to be especially controversial in the region, as their value for standard coastal patrol and important anti-piracy activities is low and a 12-submarine fleet would be twice the size of Australia’s.