To stay within the “Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology” that was adopted in 2014, Japan has proposed joint production of its stealthy multi-mission FFM30 frigates with Indonesia.
If the offer from the Japanese government materializes, it will be the first of its kind involving the two countries and their respective defence industries. It would also lay the framework for possible future deals with other nations.
While Japan’s “Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology” replaced its original policy that banned all kinds of arms export from Japan, it still puts limitations on the kind of defence equipment that the country is allowed to export. Fully built warships equipped with lethal weapons are not on the list of weapons approved for export.
On the other hand, the principles still allow joint development or joint production of defence equipment with other nations as it also carries additional benefits of deepening bilateral relationship through technology and knowledge transfer as well as other related activities.
An earlier proposal from Japan to Indonesia in November last year offered eight of Japan’s newest FFM30 frigates (also known as Mogami-class frigates) in which four are to be fully built in Japan and the others in Indonesia. If this new offer turns into a contract, it will mean that Indonesian shipbuilding experts will be involved in building the first four frigates in Japan from the beginning.
The first two of the planned twenty-two Mogami-class frigates for Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) were launched respectively in November 2020 and March 2021. They are scheduled to be commissioned in 2022.
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