The Indonesian Navy has awarded a contract to Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) to build three submarines in a move to modernise its capabilities in line with other countries across the Asia-Pacific region.

Under the $1.07bn order, DSME will build and deliver three 1,400t customised versions of the Type 209-class vessel for the Indonesian Navy.

The agreement to acquire additional submarines is part of the Indonesian Government’s 2024 Defence Strategic Plan, according to which the navy will be equipped with ten submarines representing the minimum required essential force.

DSME will construct two submarines in South Korea in partnership with shipbuilder PT PAL and the third submarine will be constructed at PT PAL’s facilities in Surabaya, Indonesia.

The new vessels will be added to the existing Indonesian fleet of submarines, the KRI Cakra and KRI Nenggala.

The 61.3m-long Chang Bogo-class Type 209 is a diesel-electric attack submarine equipped with eight weapon tubes for torpedoes and other weapons, and can accommodate a crew of 40.

The Type 209 submarine was first developed by Germany in the early 1970s and Korea bought the technology licence to produce it in the beginning stage.

The submarine incorporates four 120-cell batteries, two main ballast tanks, aft trim tanks, and is powered by four MTU diesels and four AEG generators, attached directly to a five or seven-bladed propeller.

Construction on the submarines is expected to begin in January 2012 and be complete by the first half of 2018.

DSME competed against manufacturers from France, Russia and Germany for the Indonesian Navy contract.