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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Indonesia Buys 2 Submarines from France

Wed 03 Apr 2024 | 09:24 AM
Israa Farhan

Indonesia has ordered two attack submarines of the "Scorpene" class from the French Naval Group, as part of a defense cooperation agreement signed with Paris in 2021, the company announced today.

According to Agence France-Presse, the announcement follows shortly after the Dutch government's selection of Naval Group for a submarine deal, providing the company with added momentum after Australia unexpectedly canceled a major contract three years ago.

Amid heightened tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, Indonesia has inked several agreements with French defense companies in recent years.

Under a 2021 agreement with France, Indonesia also submitted a request for 42 "Rafale" fighter jets valued at a total of $8.1 billion.

The "Scorpene" submarines, which operate on diesel-electric propulsion and can carry 18 torpedoes and missiles, will be built by the Indonesian shipyard PT PAL.

As per the agreement, Naval Group will transfer its technological know-how, while Indonesians will handle administration, operation, and maintenance.

The group stated that the agreement would create thousands of long-term jobs for skilled workers.

Pierre-Eric Pommellet, CEO of the French company, expressed great honor at being part of the new chapter in the strategic alliance between Indonesia and France.

He emphasized that the submarines would enhance the country's maritime sovereignty and support the Indonesian Navy in achieving regional maritime superiority.

Pommellet added that, in addition to the submarines, their strategic partnership with PT PAL would actively prepare Indonesia's defense sector for future naval warfare.

The "Scorpene" submarines, measuring 72 meters in length, can dive to a depth of 300 meters and remain submerged for over 12 days, with a crew of 31 sailors.

Naval Group has previously sold 6 "Scorpene" submarines to India, 4 to Brazil, 2 to Chile, and 2 to Malaysia.

Khairul Hidayat Jenuh, Managing Director and CEO of PT PAL, stated in a Naval Group statement that the deal reflects "the Indonesian government's strong commitment and confidence in the capabilities of local engineers to develop defense technology."

France has sought to strengthen alliances with other partners in the Asia-Pacific region following the submarine agreement crisis with Australia. Canberra drew Paris's ire in 2021 when it scrapped a deal to purchase 12 nuclear-powered "Barracuda" class submarines from Naval Group in favor of US and UK nuclear technology.