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Steel Cutting of Second Merah Putih Frigate for Indonesian Navy at PT PAL Shipyard, Surabaya

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Steel Cutting of Second Merah Putih Frigate for Indonesian Navy at PT PAL Shipyard, Surabaya

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Indonesian Navy Lays Keel of Secaond Merah Putih (Arrowhead 140) Frigate
Indonesian Navy Lays Keel of Secaond Merah Putih (Arrowhead 140) Frigate

The first steel cutting ceremony for the second Merah Putih (Red White) Frigate, designated W000305, was held today at Indonesian state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL shipyard in Surabaya City, East Java. The ceremony took place in the Fabrication Workshop of PT PAL’s Commercial Ship Division. The event was attended by Rear Admiral Isswarto., representing the Commander of Fleet Command II, Vice Admiral Ariantyo Condrowibowo. The commencement of construction was led by Rear Admiral M. Taufiq Hidayat., Head of the Ministry of Defense’s Shipbuilding Center. Rear Admiral Hidayat, in his opening remarks, highlighted the importance of the first steel cutting ceremony as it marks the beginning of the ship’s structural construction phase. He emphasized that this frigate is the largest combat vessel ever built domestically by PT PAL Indonesia, a testament to the nation’s growing self-reliance in defense manufacturing.

The frigate class is, for now, called by Indonesian officials as the “Merah Putih” (Red White) Frigate based on the colors of the Indonesian flag. The frigate will be the largest and most advanced surface combatant ever constructed in Indonesia. Based on Babcock’s Arrowhead 140 also known as the Royal Navy’s The Type 31 frigate, the second Merah Putih is said that with a 140-metre length and a displacement of 5,996 tons. Designed by Babcock International, the Merah Putih Frigate is based on the Odense Maritime Technology (OMT) Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate hull. The design also has been sold to Poland for the three ship Miecznik-class frigates in March 2022. Arrowhead 140 is a multi-mission surface combatant capable of conducting AAW, ASuW, ASW and EW operations and is operationally proficient in both blue water and littoral areas. The frigates are compatible with modular mission payload system.

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‘Steel Cutting’ ceremony of second of  Merah Putih Frigate for Indonesian Navy was held at PT PAL shipyard in Surabaya City, East Java.
“Steel Cutting” ceremony of second of Merah Putih Frigate for Indonesian Navy was held at PT PAL shipyard in Surabaya City, East Java.

PT PAL, announced in 2021 that the “Merah Putih” Frigate would feature a Combined Diesel and Diesel (CODAD) propulsion system. This design allows the vessel to achieve a maximum speed of 28 knots when fully loaded and maintain an endurance of 9,000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 18 knots. These specifications ensure the frigate can perform extended missions without the need for frequent refueling, a crucial advantage for patrol and defense operations in Indonesia’s extensive maritime territory. One of the frigate’s standout features is its formidable armament configuration. It will boast a 24-cell Vertical Launching System (VLS) for medium-range surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), a 32-cell VLS for long-range SAMs, and a 16-cell VLS for surface-to-surface missiles (SSMs). This diverse missile loadout will provide the “Merah Putih” with robust capabilities to counter aerial and surface threats, enhancing its versatility in various combat scenarios.

The frigate’s keel-laying ceremony revealed a unique aspect of its design: the installation of two 76 mm naval gun systems by Leonardo, positioned forward. This rare configuration suggests a focus on maximizing firepower and defensive capabilities. Furthermore, reports indicate that the ship’s Combat Management System (CMS) will be supplied by the Turkish company Havelsan, known for its advanced ADVENT CMS, already in use with the Indonesian Navy’s KCR-60 class vessels. Speculation around the missile systems has also drawn considerable interest. Local sources suggest the potential integration of MBDA ASTER surface-to-air missiles and Indian BrahMos anti-ship missiles, though official confirmation is pending. If realized, this combination would significantly boost the frigate’s defensive and offensive capabilities, making it a formidable asset in the region.

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