After United States et Egypt, the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri achieves a new tour de force by signing an "Initial Contract" for the acquisition of 6 FREMM frigates new, as well as the transfer of two second-hand frigates of the Maestrale class which will soon be withdrawn from the service of the Italian Navy. This is a spectacular new announcement from Jakarta in a few days, while an equivalent contract has been signed with Dassault Aviation for the acquisition of 36 Rafale combat aircraft, simultaneously marking a remarkable effort by Jakarta to strengthen its naval air defensive capabilities, as well as a renewed interest in equipment from Europe for this non-aligned country.
Little information has been disclosed regarding this contract, other than the fact that Fincantieri has partnered with the PT-PAL shipyards for this program, which involves local construction, at least partially. The amount of the contract is not disclosed, nor is the timeframe, which is quite logical as there are still many points to be negotiated before it becomes a firm and final order. The 6 Indonesian FREMMs will reinforce the 6 Martadinata class frigates acquired from the Netherlands and derived from the SIGMA 10514 model, themselves replacing the 6 Ahmad Yani class frigates in the process of being retired, which have long represented the backbone of the Indonesian offshore capabilities. But where the Martadinata frigates are more like a corvette with a gauge of 2400 tonnes and armament based on 12 MICA VL surface-to-air missiles, 8 MM40 Exocet anti-ship missiles, a 76mm gun and 2 triple torpedo launchers, the Italian Bergamini-class FREMMs have 16 or 32 Sylver vertical silos for long-range Aster 15/30 surface-to-air missiles, 8 OTOMAT anti-ship missiles, as well as two 127mm and 76mm guns and 2 launchers. triple torpedoes, for a gauge of 6500 tons in load.
This is therefore a huge leap forward for the Indonesian navy, like that which the country's air forces will make with the arrival of 36 Rafale planes, and all the more so as it will also receive 3 new Nagapasa class submarines acquired from South Korea, reinforcing the first 3 units of the class already in service. The rapid rise of Chinese military power, as well as Beijing's increasingly obvious ambitions to establish itself as the dominant military power in the Pacific and Indian Ocean, are undoubtedly at the origin of these decisions, while the country has already initiated a rapid and significant increase in the resources devoted to its defense, with a 16% increase in the La Défense budget for 2020 alone, and the ambition to devote at least 1,5% of its GDP to this mission, the country's economy having recorded an average annual growth of 5% for several years.
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