ndonesia is pushing ahead with its plan to build its own Scorpène-class diesel electric attack submarines in partnership with French defense firm, DCNS.
DCNS and state-owned shipyard PT PAL have extended a partnership agreement that expired in December 2016 for the local assembly of submarines. It said the memorandum of understanding (MoU) covers the extension of the existing agreement between PT PAL and DCNS on industrial cooperation "with a view to an Indonesian acquisition of submarines."
The Indonesian Navy, the largest in Southeast Asia in numbers of ships and men, wants a fleet of 10 to 12 submarines. That planned increase is part of Indonesia's Minimum Essential Force program that also details the defense needs of the Indonesian Navy.
As part of this program, Indonesia in 2012 placed a $1 billion order for three South Korean attack submarines. The first will be built in South Korea with Indonesian engineers taking an active part in the process.
Segments of the second submarine will be built in Indonesia while the third built by PT PAL in the Indonesian port city of Surabaya. These three submarines have been designated the Nagapasa-class by the Indonesian Navy. The Republic of Korean Navy version is designated Improved Chang Bogo-class.
The navy also operates two other submarines belonging to the Cakra-class, a derivative of the Type 209 subs developed by Germany.
The MoU was among those signed during a visit to Jakarta by French President François Hollande. DCNS Chairman Hervé Guillou and PT PAL director Firmansyah Arifin signed the MoU.
The MoU also covered Indonesia's interest in acquiring surface warships for the Indonesian Navy under the Indonesian-French defense dialogue, DCNS said.
DCNS noted Indonesia wants to reinforce its naval capacity and is discussing with France to explore projects of submarine and surface ships to be built in Indonesia with a high level of local industrial content, through Indonesian-French long-term cooperation.
Over the past few years, the partners have been studying an industrial plan based on locally producing a multipurpose, latest-generation version of the Scorpène-class submarine capable of shallow and blue water missions. The local manufacture of corvettes and frigates will be assessed in the near future, said DCNS.
"DCNS is committed to establishing long-term partnerships with the Indonesian industry to enhance Indonesia's local high-tech industrial content," according to Guillou