Navy spokesman First Admiral Tri Prasojo said on Monday that the country had been looking to add to its aging submarine fleet in 2005, but budget problems and a desire to ensure the best-quality vessels were procured had caused the plan to be delayed.
“The government has been planning to purchase submarines since 2005 because, as a large country, the Navy has been lacking facilities,” he said. “Currently, we only have two submarines.”
He said the two German-made submarines — KRI Cakra and KRI Nanggala, which are based in Surabaya — were purchased in the 1980s but were still in a good condition.
“However, since Indonesia has a long coastline, we need a minimum of 10 submarines: Three for western, central and eastern Indonesia, another three for training and four for standby,” he said.
But the $1 billion budget will likely only be enough to buy one or two submarines. In 2005, the government earmarked $700 million for the purchase of two submarines, with each being costed at about $350 million.
According to Prasojo, the 2005 price had not risen.
“We do not know yet how many submarines we are going to buy with the budget because it will depend on the results of the negotiation process,” he said.
Prasojo said the Navy had already formed an evaluation team to negotiate the price. However, he declined to name which countries the Navy was looking to purchase the submarines from.
“We are prioritizing the technical and operational requirements that our Navy needs,” he said. “Of course, the most important thing is the quality, and it takes some time to work out the technical details.”
Prasojo said the purchase price was expected to include complete weapons systems and mechanical and operational training for Navy personnel.
“We just want the procurement process be completed as soon as possible,” he said.
“The latest should be by the end of this year.”
The government has in the past said it is looking to purchase submarines from Russia, among other countries.