Indonesia plans to more than double its submarine fleet by 2020, the Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday as the nation began preparations for the construction on three new vessels.
Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Hartind Asrin said the submarines will be a vital component in the defense of Indonesia’s maritime borders.
“[Our] enemies will fear us when we have them; because they are beneath the ocean, invisible,” Hartind said.
The underwater vessels will be constructed with South Korean technology in a joint partnership between domestic shipbuilder PAL and South Korean submarine makers. They will be similar to Malaysia’s “Skorpene” submarine, Hartind said.
“The construction of each submarine is expected to take three years,” Hartind told the Indonesian news portal tempo.co.
Indonesia currently has two diesel-powered German submarines in operation, he said.
The first of these new submarines will be constructed in South Korea, with Indonesian technicians on location.
The remaining submarines will be constructed by state-owned shipbuilder PAL, Hartind said.
The ministry spokesman did not know how much the submarines cost.