Indonesia will acquire a sophisticated naval stealth frigate from Japan in the first major defense deal between both nations under the administration of new Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga.
News of the proposed deal follows last month's visit to Indonesia by Suga, who met success in his attempt to build a trilateral security alliance among Japan, Vietnam, and Indonesia to counter China's expansionism in the Indo-Pacific region.
Suga held talks with Indonesian president Joko Widodo, and both leaders pledged to strengthen security cooperation. He also revealed he and Widodo agreed to step-up negotiations on a trilateral security pact with Vietnam, Japan, and Vietnam.
"Considering the situation in the region, we also agree to hold a two-plus-two meeting shortly and to speed up the discussion to export defense equipment and technology [to Indonesia] as well as to develop human resources, including law enforcement, in the sea," said Suga.
News Japan intends to sell Indonesia a 30DX multi-mission frigate currently in development for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) is the first concrete result of last month's talks.
The Indonesian Navy has embarked on an ambitious modernization program that will see its transformation into a "green water navy" by 2024. Attaining this goal will give the Indonesian Navy the capability to operate in Indonesia's littoral zones while allowing it to also roam in the open oceans surrounding the archipelago.
The navy aims to develop a force structure to protect the sea-lanes of communication and choke points. Its future force structure will consist of four components: a strike force, a patrol force, a Marine Corps component, and naval supporting elements.
Combined, these four components form the Integrated Fleet Weapon System (translated as Sistem Senjata Armada Terpadu or SSAT), which are interrelated and support each other.
The naval strike force will consist of guided-missile destroyers, quiet diesel-electric submarines, fast attack missile boats, torpedo boats, and minesweepers. The Marine Corps component will be deployed to western, central, and eastern Indonesia.
Japan's 30DX multi-mission stealth frigate is being developed for the JMSDF. This warship will be heavily armed with 16 Mark 41 VLS (vertical launch system) at the bow; a 5 inch, 54 caliber Mark 45 gun; two remote weapon stations between the bridge and main gun, torpedoes, decoy launchers, and a SeaRAM weapon system.
The anti-aircraft SeaRAM combines the radar and electro-optical system of the Phalanx CIWS Mk-15 Block 1B (CRDC) with an 11-cell RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) launcher in an autonomous system not needing any external information to engage threats.
The 30DX might later be armed with the Type 03 Chu-SAM Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile currently in service with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.