Indonesia is embarking on a program to modernize its navy and build an effective deterrent to counter acts of encroachment on its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) along its northern maritime boundary.
Increased purchase of aircraft and warships
Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Panjaitan has emphasized the need to build a “cross-ocean” surface combat force to protect the country’s fishery resources in the North Natuna Sea.
After the incident that a Chinese survey ship escorted by two armed coast guard ships allegedly entered Indonesian waters and harassed gas exploration activities in 2021, Jakarta is more concerned about the potential threats to the country what might happen next.
Indonesia has 2 locally produced Sigma-class frigates and 5 Van Speijk-class frigates – built in the 60s but their range is quite limited, from 6,000 to 9,000km. The navy‘s core fleet of 24 corvettes, including 14 that were acquired from the German Navy in 1993 and are about to be retired.
To strengthen the navy’s capacity, Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto signed a contract to buy two British Type 31 frigates, expected to be built at the Surabaya factory belonging to the state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL (Indonesia) signed a contract to buy 6 new multi-purpose FREMM frigates and 2 upgraded Maestrale-class light frigates from Italy.