Surface Forces: July 31, 2002



Many of the Indonesian Navy's combat weapons systems have been cannibalized because of insufficient funding and the inability to buy spare parts since 1976. As a result of this cannibalization, almost 60% of the tanks at the Eastern Fleet's Marine Corps Cavalry Regiment in Surabaya, East Java are essentially scrap metal.
On 22 July, a People's Representative Council Commission delegation led by Effendy Choirie discovered 30 to 40 % of the Indonesian Marine's 132 PT-76 and AMX-10 light tanks are combat effective. 

The surface fleet is in a similar condition. Out of a total of 113 Indonesian naval vessels (including warships, patrol boats and support vessels) not a single one of them is combat ready. The vessels are only "serviceable" (meaning that they are capable of sailing).

The two German made U-209 class submarines made in 1981 had problems with their main engines, broken compressor systems and torpedo tubes. The six Dutch-made Van Speijk class frigates had time expired Harpoon guided missiles while the four corvettes (built in Holland and Yugoslavia in the 1980s) had limited serviceability or were being overhauled. Their 26 main weapons (Exocet MM-38 guided missiles) were also all time expired. The same was true of the 16 East German built Parchim class vessels built in the 1980s and the four Korean guided missile destroyers built in 1979. 

In fact, the majority of the 39 ex-East German warships purchased in 1994 were not operational, due mostly to unserviceable engines. Six of these ships were being used as mess accommodation for Navy personnel who did not have houses. 
Only two of the fast torpedo boats built by PT PAL [Indonesian National Shipbuilding Company] in 1988 were still serviceable. 

The navy had sent a team of weapons experts to Eastern Europe (and in particular, Poland) to assess the quality of the weapons that the government would be buying.
Their priority was to buy weapons of the very best quality that the strained budget could afford and make sure they came under a sales warranty. - Adam Geibel

For a background brief on the ALRI (the Navy of the Republic of Indonesia)


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