The role of FREMM-IT in the Indonesian Navy

(To Stefano Peverati)

Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono announced on 10 June the signing of a contract with the Indonesian Ministry of Defense including the supply of six new FREMM class frigates, the sale, following the modernization, of two class Mistral ex Navy and logistic support.

At the moment it is not clear what the modernization of the Mistral, most likely sensors and electronics and which units will be selected. While as regards the FREMMs, the first two units will be built in the integrated Fincantieri shipyard in Riva Trigoso-Muggiano.

The ships have a full load displacement of around 6.500 tons, an overall length of around 144 meters and a speed of over 27 knots. The autonomy of the ships reaches 45 continuous days and 6.000 miles at a speed of 15 knots; the units are capable of performing the function of Commander Task Group (CTG) command ships. The propulsion system has a CODLAG configuration, consisting of a gas turbine, two reversible electric motors, CP propellers and four diesel generators. Both versions (GP and ASW) have a hull sonar placed in a special forward bulb. The ASW version is also equipped with towed sonar sensors and carries two 76/62 mm guns Strales. The GP version is equipped with two high performance RHIBs and a 127/64 mm gun, with the Vulcano system, replacing the 76/62 bow. Both versions have double hangars for two SH90 or 1 SH90 + 1 EH101 helicopters.

These units will flank the two modern class frigates Martadinata (kind Sigma 10514 - photo) and most likely to replace the old class frigates Ahmad Yani purchased at the end of the 80s by the Dutch Koninklijke Marine (last photo). Born as a class Van-Speijk in the early 60s they were nothing more than a version of the class Leander British but with sensors and electronic suite provided by Hollandse Signaalapparaten. Particularly their long-range aerial surveillance radar LW-02, the medium range air / surface search radar DA 02 and the combined radar M45 and the optical fire control system for 4,5-inch (110 mm) guns. The radar HSA M44 Dutch for anti-aircraft missiles Seacat it could automatically aim in elevation and bearing and allowed to increase from the single launcher Seacat present on British ships with two launchers on Dutch ships, each with their own firing system.

Starting in December 1976 each ship underwent a half-life modernization which took about two years to complete. The 4,5-inch dual turret has been replaced by a single 76mm OTO Melara cannon and two quad mounts for anti-ship missiles Harpoon were mounted aft of the funnel. The mortar Mk 10 Limbo ASW has been replaced by a pair of three torpedo launchers Mk 32, a support on each side of the hangar and its support strengthened so that the flight deck could be increased to allow the ship to carry the largest Westland helicopter Lynx instead of Wasp. In addition, the removal of the variable depth sonar from the formwork inside the stern also allowed more space for the flight deck.

The electronic component has also been updated, the radar LW-02 has been replaced with a LW-03 and DA 02 it has been replaced by a radar DA 05. More importantly, an automated combat management system was installed, SEWACO V, to help the ship's captain in the decision making process as well as the electrical apparatus has been largely automated. These changes have allowed a strong reduction of the crew that from the initial 254 units passed to 175, considerably increasing the standard of habitability.

A great success for the Italian industry on the day of the Navy Festival which constitutes a fundamental step in the growth and modernization process of the Jakarta Navy strongly desired by the administration of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and continued by the current one of Joko Widodo . This modernization had previously seen South Korea protagonists with the supply of class submarines Nagapasa (Type 209) and class amphibious ships Makassar and the Netherlands with the class frigates Martadinata (Sigma 10514) and the class corvettes Diponegoro (Sigma 9113). In addition, a purchase order for 2014 Airbus AS11MBe was signed in 565 to ensure support in the anti-submarine fight for these units. Panther, allowing the gradual replacement of the old Bolkow Bo 105.

Photo: US Navy / Koninklijke Marine