Indonesia capability, yet of its 12 frigates, the six Ahmad Yani class are former Royal Netherlands Navy Van Speijk class frigates. Turning to corvettes, the TNIAL has 16 Kapitan Patimura class in service that were delivered between 1993 and 1996, these are former East German Navy Parchim class corvettes and they should really be replaced. The TNI-AL is well aware of the limitations of its surface combatants and in 2002 had developed a ‘National Corvette Programme’ that called for the acquisition of between 30 and 40 new corvettes by 2017. There has been some real progress on the corvette front, with the decision to purchase four Sigma class corvettes from Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in the Netherlands. KRI Diponegoro (365) and KRI Hasanudin (366) are in service, with the third unit KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda having recently been commissioned and the last unit KRI Frans Kaisiepo to be commissioned next year.
command systems and the Thales Netherlands MW08 3D radar. Weapons include a 76 mm Oto Melara gun,
MBDA Exocet anti-ship missiles and the MBDA Tetral air defence system. The TNI-AL has also added other capabilities; in 2003 it received an LPD from Korea, KRO Dr. Suharso, which was then converted into a hospital ship and disaster relief unit. Subsequently it has acquired two more units of the same class, known as the Makassar class by the TNI-AL, for the pure LPD mission and two further units are in build at the PT PAL shipyard in Surabaya. It is also receiving patrol craft and OPVs from local yards such as Fasharkan.
|KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda|
The same logic goes for the TNI-AD and the TNI-AL as well. The $1 billion defence package with Russia covering 22 helicopters, 20 BMP-3F armoured vehicles (now 18 vehicles) and two Project 636 Kilo class
submarines is another positive development. Yet much will depend on the ability of the Indonesian economy to grow to allow the Indonesian government to increase the resources it can devote to defence expenditure.
|KRI Frans Kaisiepo|