Indonesia signs $1.02 bln deal to buy three more 1,400-ton S. Korean subs

13, Apr. 2019

SEOUL, AJU - Indonesia agreed to buy three more 1,400-ton submarines from South Korea in a $1.02 billion deal. It was the second submarine contract between the two countries which have maintained close military ties with Indonesian engineers involved in defense projects in South Korea.

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), the main builder of South Korean submarines, signed a contract Friday in a ceremony attended by Indonesian and South Korean officials, according to the South's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), a state body controlled by the defense ministry.

The ceremony in Bandung in West coincided with the launch of DSME's third 1,400-ton submarine, which has been assembled in Indonesia following the delivery of two in 2017 and last year, respectively, under a $1.07 billion contract in 2011. South Korea has agreed to supply improved Chang Bogo-class submarines equipped with torpedoes and guided missiles.

In a three-stage military program, South Korea has built 1,200-ton submarines with technical help from Germany. In the second phase, six 1,800-ton hybrid diesel-electric/fuel cell vessels have been built and the third phase calls for the construction of 3,000-ton or 3,600-ton submarines. The first 3,000-ton submarine capable of firing ballistic missiles was unveiled in September last year.

Indonesia has been a key partner in South Korea's defense program. In December last year, South Korea's sole aircraft maker, Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), agreed with PT Dirgantara Indonesia, an Indonesian aerospace company, to increase the number of Indonesian engineers involved in the design and production of fighters in South Korea.

KAI produces South Korea's first supersonic trainer, T-50, which has been developed into aerobatic and combat variants. A variant of T-50 has been ordered by Indonesia and the Philippines.

In January 2016, South Korea launched the KF-X project to manufacture home-made fighter jets with technical support from Lockheed Martin. In return for investing some 20 percent of total expenses, Indonesia agreed to receive a prototype plane, gain access to some technical data and information, and produce planes on its home soil.