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China Proposes S26T Submarine to Indonesia

Yulian Ardiansyah - : Jul 4, 2024 - : 8:02 pm

The China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) has reportedly proposed its S26T submarine to the Indonesian Navy (TNI AL). This submarine is the same vessel that CSSC has constructed for the Royal Thai Navy (RTN).

CSSC has offered to modify the submarine to better meet the Indonesian Navy’s requirements while retaining the features provided to Thailand. The offer includes submarine-launched Ying Ji 18 (YJ-18) anti-ship cruise missiles, aimed at increasing TNI AL’s interest.

According to a report by Jane’s, CSSC officials have stated that the submarine offered to Indonesia will not face the same export restrictions that affected the RTN’s order. Thailand’s S26T submarine project has been delayed due to the RTN’s reluctance to accept the Chinese-made CHD620 engine as a replacement for the German-made MTU 396 engine, originally specified in the contract.

Germany has refused to supply the MTU 396 engine for Chinese-made military hardware due to the European Union’s arms embargo imposed on China following the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989, which was extended in 2020.

Although the RTN recently indicated it would continue with the S26T submarine programme, CSSC’s offer to Indonesia suggests significant opposition to the project in Thailand.

The Indonesian Navy has outlined a force development roadmap in its Strategic Plan 2025–2029 and Force Development Posture 2025–2044. Among all other plans, these documents also indicate the Navy’s intention to expand its submarine fleet from the current four to twelve vessels.


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