Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL has begun sea acceptance tests the country’s second purpose-built hospital ship on order for the Indonesian Navy. The construction of the ship began with the first steel cutting ceremony on 9 July 2019, with the ship assigned with yard number W000302. Its keel was laid on 14 October 2019. KRI dr. Wahidin Sudirohusodo was launched on 7 January 2021 at Semarang drydock in PT PAL shipyard, Surabaya. It is named after an Indonesian national hero Wahidin Soedirohoesodo. Wahidin Soedirohoesodo (1852-1917) was a doctor and education reformer in the Dutch East Indies who co-founded the Javanese self-improvement society Budi Utomo. Therefore, he is sometimes considered an early figure in the Indonesian National Awakening.
The hospital ship will have an overall length of 124 m, a 22 m beam, and a hull draught of 5 m. It will displace 7,200 tonnes at full load and can accommodate a crew complement of up to 120, including 16 bunks for aviation-specific personnel. In addition to this, the vessel can also be configured to embark up to 89 medical staff, 163 bedridden patients, and 280 seated evacuees in times of emergencies. The ship will have a maximum speed of 18 kt and a cruising speed of 14 kt. The ship has also been designed with ‘plug-and-play’ electrical infrastructure for containerized mission modules, such as mobile power generators and desalination equipment.
Besides operating theatres, the ship will have a high-dependency ward, an accident and emergency triage facility, and a polyclinic with radiology, dentistry, and maternity facilities. A hospital ship is a ship designated for primary function as a floating medical treatment facility or hospital. Most are operated by the military forces (mostly navies) of various countries, as they are intended to be used in or near war zones. The Second Geneva Convention prohibits military attacks on hospital ships, though enemy forces do have rights of inspection and may take injured enemy patients as prisoners of war.
PT PAL is an Indonesian state-owned enterprise that manufactures ships for military and civilian use and conducts repairs and maintenance on ships and engineering. PT PAL Indonesia (Persero) was established in 1939 as Marine Establishment (ME) by the Dutch East Indies government. During the Japanese occupation, I was renamed Kaigun SE 2124. After Indonesia gained independence, the company was nationalized with the company name changed to Penataran Angkatan Laut (PAL, Naval Shipyard). On April 15, 1980, the company’s status was changed from a Public Company (Perusahaan Umum) to a Limited Company (Perseroan Terbatas). The deed also states that PAL is no longer bears “Penataran Angkatan Laut”, thus the name PAL is standalone. The change of status is officially marked as the founding date of PT PAL Indonesia (Persero).