Monday, 18 July 2016


The Indonesian for Maritime Studies (IMS) urged President Joko Widodo not stop the production process of submarine. To consider that procurement of Main Instrument of Arms (Alutista) must be synchronous with economic aspect of strategy. PT PAL Indonesia (Persero) one of the BUMN had built 6 ships and offered sales of ships of the Philippines and Saudi Arabia.

“Let’s not be naïf. The Indonesian navy (TNI-AL) don’t understand economic strategy and the tactics of war. I feel it necessary to give input because the official statement of TNI-AL was related to submarine,” Admiral (Ret) Bernard Kent Sondakh told Business News (28/9).

The economic strategy was applied when Ken Sondakh was Commander of TNI-AL in April 2002 – February 2005. The program of Submarine building started with strategic aspect. The process of transfer of technology was then open when TNI-AL and PT PAL collaborated with South Korea. PT PAL gradually took over the technology of making submarine from Korea. “Evidently as a start TNI-AL with PT PAL built two ships in 2007. Now the Philippine had bought 2 ships. The Government of Saudi Arabia had signed purchase order for six ships. They buy from us because while the prices is low, or steel is of top quality; but components of ship was not all from Korea and PT PAL. Torpedo from Sweden, Sonar from Germany.”

What was meant by strategic was all buyings was not solely financed by overseas fund. The Government must consider the Trade Balance strategy in bilateral deal with the counterpart country. IMS was disturbed by the statement of TNI-AL commander, in partial decision on arms procurement. The official statement by the TNI-AL was simply garbage. “Before deciding to buy submarine from Russia, let’s see how Indonesia’s bilateral trading with Russia is, surplus or deficit? Russia buys nothing from us. They don’t even buy coffee from us. But look at Korea’s investment in Indonesia, truly enormous. Just slightly below America. There is Korindo, Samsung etc. Al the nations of the world do not overlook the economic aspect in arms buying. We must be smart, especially with Rupiah with Rupiah being depreciated badly by USD”.

The tactical apet must also not be overlooked, in buying arm. For example TNI-AL having a ship of 10,000 tons, nuclear powered with far reaching intercontinental ballistic missile. In a battle the ship could sink the enemy’s ship.

But never say that ICBM was tactically interior to torpedo. An admiral must know about tactics, then only talk about missiles and torpedo”.

Moreover to consider that the Admiral was a graduate of TNI-AL Staff School. That torpedo could sink a ship because the ship was broken in two. A missile could only burn a ship was broken sinking it. What arm was more destructive must be understood by a Seskoal graduate. Just look at the Malvinas war of 1982. A British ship sank after it was burned because Argentine used their missiles. Ships with body made of aluminium and steel, in a modern war would burn first before sinking. We also see the type of arms in terms of destructive power.” (SS)  

Business News - October 2, 2015

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