Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Indonesian shipbuilder lays keel of first “Red and White” Arrowhead 140 frigate


The first section forming part of the keel of the first Merah Lutih Arrowhead 140 frigate being built for the Indonesian Navy. Photo c/o PT PAL Indonesia 

The “Merah Putih” (Red and White) frigate program of the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) has reached a new milestone as Indonesian state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL Indonesia held the Keel Laying Ceremony for the first of two frigates.

The ceremony was held last 25 August 2023 at PT PAL Indonesia’s shipyard in Surabaya, with senior officials from the Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Indonesian Navy and PT PAL Indonesia present to witness the event.

Indonesian MoD Secretary of the Defence Facilities Agency Brigadier General Heru Sudarminto was honoured to place a coin on the ship’s block holder, which marks the start of the keel laying, which was followed by the lowering of the first ship block and welding the connections.

The “Mearah Putih” Frigate Project uses the Arrowhead 140 general purpose frigate design from British defense consultant Babcock International, which itself is a derivative of the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate of the Royal Danish Navy.

The frigate is around 140 meters long and displaces at around 6,000 tons, which makes this the largest and most advanced surface combatant ever constructed in Indonesia and the entire Southeast Asia region. 

In constructing the Merah Putih frigates, PT PAL Indonesia is leveraging its previous experience in building under license the SIGMA 10514 frigate from Dutch shipbuilder Damen, as it improved its naval construction capabilities over the last decade.

The Merah Putih frigates are expected to be equipped with up to  16 anti-ship missiles, a 24-cell vertical launching system (VLS) for medium-range surface-to-air missiles and a 32-cell VLS for long range SAMs. It would also have two 76mm Oto Melara naval guns.

The new frigates are expected to replace some of the Indonesian Navy’s ageing Ahmad Yani-class frigates, previously known as Van Speijk-class frigates acquired second hand from the Royal Netherlands Navy in the 1980s. Five ships are still in service and in need of replacements soon.

[1] PT PAL Indonesia

[2] Naval News

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