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Naval has new submarines built in Indonesia

Caption: A "Scorpene" class submarine at sea (© Naval Group)

The French Naval Group has secured another contract from Indonesia for the construction of two submarines abroad. They will be numbers 15 and 16 of the export “Sorpene” units.

Naval Group and PT PAL, Indonesia’s largest shipbuilder, have signed a contract with the Indonesian government to build two locally built Scorpène Evolved Full LiB submarines[ds_preview].

As with various other projects of this type, the contract includes a certain amount of technology transfer and construction at the customer’s shipyard. In 2021, the French and Indonesian governments signed a defence cooperation agreement. Naval and PT PAL were selected to implement the project and followed up with a partnership agreement in 2022.

In addition to these two Indonesian submarines, 14 other units designed and adapted by Naval Group for the export market are in service or under construction worldwide: two for the Chilean Navy, two for the Malaysian Navy, four for the Brazilian Navy and six for the Indian Navy.

The contract now signed includes the delivery of two Scorpène submarines, which will be built in Indonesia at the PT PAL shipyard, as well as other components: “In addition to the submarines, our strategic partnership with PT PAL will also support the Indonesian defence industry in actively preparing the future of naval warfare in the country,” said Pierre Éric Pommellet, Chairman and CEO of Naval Group.

Kaharuddin Djenod, President of PT PAL, emphasised: “This move shows the Indonesian government’s strong commitment and confidence in the capabilities of local engineers to advance defence technology, especially submarine technology.” The government’s commitment is also supported by the provision of state capital (PMN) to support the overall local production of submarines at PT PAL. “It is expected that Indonesia will be able to master submarine technology in the future,” the manager continued.

Through a comprehensive transfer of know-how and the development of specific Indonesian industrial competencies, the management, operation and maintenance of the armed forces in Indonesia will be carried out by Indonesian players, “which will ensure both the country’s autonomy and the creation of thousands of long-term, highly skilled jobs”. To date, Naval Group and PT PAL have reportedly already signed various cooperation agreements with Indonesian partners for the submarine program and beyond.

The submarine for Indonesia

According to the shipbuilders, the submarine is also suitable for use in shallow waters. It is “extremely unobtrusive and fast” and has a level of automation that allows for a limited number of crew members, which should significantly reduce operating costs.

The Indonesian Scorpène newbuilds will be equipped with an advanced energy system based on a lithium-ion configuration, which should enable a greater range of useful energy, a better indiscretion rate and a shorter charging time.

  • Displacement on the surface: 1,600 – 2,000 tons
  • Length, overall: 72 m
  • Speed under water: >20 knots
  • Diving depth: >300 m
  • Crew: 31
  • Operational readiness at sea: >240 days per year

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