Indonesia is fortifying its Naval capabilities through an agreement with Naval Group and PT PAL, solidifying its commitment to maritime sovereignty. The contract, signed on March 28, 2024, signals the initiation of a new wave of naval warfare technology transfer and indigenous production.

Amidst escalating regional security concerns, Indonesia’s decision to opt for the Scorpène evolved full lithium-Ion battery (LiB) submarines shows its foresight and urgency to modernise its defence infrastructure. The partnership between Naval Group, a global player in naval defence, and PT PAL, Indonesia’s state-owned shipbuilding enterprise, signifies an important alliance to strengthen the Indonesian Navy’s operational capabilities.

In other recent naval developments for Indonesia, Fincantieri will construct two multi-purpose patrol ships (PPAs) for Indonesia’s Ministry of Defence in a €1.18bn ($1.26bn) deal, repurposing vessels originally intended for the Italian Navy. 

The Scorpène is expected to join other Indonesian diesel-electric submarines, such as the Tupi class, acquired from the Brazilian Navy. Indonesia has also ordered three Nagapasa-class submarines from South Korea. According to GlobalData’s intelligence on the Indonesian defence market, two are being built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in Korea, and PT PAL is building the third.

Beyond acquiring submarines, the collaboration between the Naval Group and PT PAL represents a broader commitment to fostering indigenous defence industry expertise. By leveraging technological transfer and local production capabilities, Indonesia aims to cultivate a self-reliant defence ecosystem capable of sustaining long-term strategic objectives.

The Scorpène Evolved submarines are versatile and have stealth capabilities. Equipped with energy systems and combat management technology, these submarines offer operational flexibility in diverse maritime environments.

Dr Kaharuddin Djenod, president and director of PT PAL, emphasised the agreement’s significance in advancing Indonesia’s defence technology, “This step is a high commitment and trust of the Indonesian government in the capability of local engineers to advancing defence technology, especially submarine technology. 

The government’s commitment in realising the independence of the defence industry is also supported by the provision of Government Capital (PMN) to fully support the whole local production of submarine at PT PAL. In the future, Indonesia is expected to be able to master submarine technology.”