Indonesian Navy to Upgrade Multi-Role Corvette

Indonesian Navy to Upgrade Multi-Role Corvette

Indonesia’s spread is vast: its 18,000 islands extend over 5,000km – further than the distance across Europe. Determined to protect the Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone, the country’s ministry of defence is taking decisive action to safeguard its waters. This includes a recent decision to modernise KRI Usman-Harun – one of three multi-role light corvette – through a thorough programme of re-equipping and enhancement. Dating from the 1990s, the corvette had reached a point where it no longer feasible to maintain the ageing electronics of its mission systems. As the project moved towards the competitive tendering stage, thoughts turned logically to Thales. Indonesian Navy had recent, highly positive experience with Thales systems on its new Raden Eddy Martadinata Class frigates.

Thales drew on strong relations with local Indonesian players – eventually partnering with state-owned enterprise PT Len Industri (Persero), to offer a solid local base and a channel to transfer hi-tech expertise into the country. Thales and PT Len assembled an array of specialists – ranging from experts in electronic warfare, to systems integration and platform engineering by Dutch naval architect Nevesbu. In March 2020, Indonesia’s defence ministry formally launched the modernisation, signing an agreement with lead contractor, PT Len, and Thales, to upgrade KRI Usman-Harun – with completion expected by 2023. The project will see Indonesia’s navy equipped with a highly capable and robust ship whose open-architecture systems will guarantee effectiveness for decades to come.

Indonesian Navy to Upgrade Multi-Role Corvette

TACTICOS is at the heart of the upgrade, bringing a step change in performance through its advanced data-processing and presentation abilities. D. An ambitious final specification was drawn up, including Thales’s latest-generation TACTICOS Combat Management System, SMART-S Mk2 3D and STIR 1.2 EO Mk2 radars, a Vigile Mk2 ESM, and two new tactical data links – Link Y Mk2 and a tactical data link that will be wholly delivered by PT Len, providing connectivity to Indonesia’s military communications network and enabling the corvette to play its full part in wider naval task forces. Existing weaponry will also be fully integrated, and a new VL MICA surface-to-air missile system added – a significant boost for vessel self-defence. Thales also worked hard to ensure that the TACTICOS Maritime Security module could be included within the project’s budget.

KDB Usman Harun is the second ship of the Nakhoda Ragam class and was originally built for the Royal Brunei Navy were ultimately bought by the Indonesia Navy and renamed KRI Usman Harun. Usman Harun is the third ship of the Bung Tomo class. The Bung Tomo class is a class of three Indonesian multi role patrol corvettes. They were originally built for the Royal Brunei Navy and named Nakhoda Ragam-class corvettes but were ultimately bought by Indonesia and renamed. The class is named after Bung Tomo, a noted leader of Indonesia’s independence movement. The ships were originally armed with MBDA Exocet Block II anti-ship missiles and MBDA Seawolf air defence missiles. The main gun is an Oto Melara 76 mm; the ship also carries two torpedo tubes, two 30 mm remote weapon stations and has a landing spot for a helicopter.

KRI Bung Tomo (357) and KRI Usman Harun (359) steams along the Mediterranean sea. KRI Usman Harun arrived to relieve KRI Bung Tomo position in UNIFIL’s Maritime Task Force mission. (Photo: TNI AL)