Indonesia will, for the first time, start producing combat submarines in a move to strengthen its naval force and maintain sovereignty, Defence Minister Dr Purnomo Yusgiantoro has said.

The building of modern warships will not only reinforce the navy’s capabilities, but also intensify the local defence industry, Purnomo said.

The manufacture of the submarines is scheduled to complete by 2010, according to Tempo Interactive.

The local defence industry was successful in manufacturing armoured cars and SS1 and SS2 weapons, he said.