Rosoboronexport signed on Friday an agreement with Indonesia’s naval forces on building new Russian project-20382 corvettes. The future contract will be implemented according to a new scheme: Spain is to build in its dockyard the ships’ hulls according to the design of St. Petersburg’s enterprise Almaz. The ships will be finished and equipped with armaments in Russia’s Severnaya Verf. Rosoboronexport agreed to this variant for the sake of entering Indonesia’s naval market.
At the 3rd International Naval Exhibition in St. Petersburg, Rosoboronexport’s First Deputy Director General Vladimir Pakhomov and Indonesian Naval Forces Commander Admiral Slamet Subijanto signed on Friday a contract agreement on building project-20382 “Tiger” corvettes for Indonesia’s naval forces. Rosoboronexport explained: “The special feature of this project is that Spain’s ship-building companies will take part in it together with Russia’s enterprise Almaz. It is necessary to sign the contract for designing and building the ships of that type for Indonesia’s naval forces very soon.”
Project-20382 “Tiger” corvette is a ship for acting in the near sea zone against ships and submarines, for supporting landing troops, and against air targets. The corvette is equipped with Uran anti-ship missiles. Kashtan antiaircraft missile system, and Ka-27 helicopter. The “Tiger” corvette’s baseline is project-20380 “Guarding” corvette, which is now undergoing factory and state tests, and which is to enter Russian naval forces’ combat strength in late 2007. Experts estimate one export “Tiger” corvette at about $120-150 million.
Project 2032 Tiger/Steregushchy class (photo : Militaryphotos)
“The ships for Indonesia will be built according to our design. Yet, Spain will be the prime contractor. Spanish companies will only build the hulls, while Russia will fill them with communication equipment, radio-electric equipment, and armaments. I hope that a firm contract will be signed soon, fixating the terms for the project’s implementation and the number of ships to be built,” said Innokenty Naletov, Rosoboronexport director general’s advisor. He added that Spain has not yet chosen the dockyard for building the corvettes, and that St. Petersburg’s Severnaya Verf may become Russia’s main contractor, although it might be other companies as well. Naletov also said that “primarily South-East Asian countries, as well as Venezuela and Qatar” are interested in the corvette. Meanwhile, Severnaya Verf director general Andrei Fomichev refrained from comments on the contract agreement, saying: “It is Rosoboronexport’s commercial secret.”
First large defense contracts between Moscow and Jakarta were signed in 2003, when Indonesia bought two Su-27SK fighter jets, two Su-30MK2, two Mi-35P attack helicopters, six Mi-172 transport-combat helicopters, 32 BTR-80A armored personnel vehicles, large quantities of Kalashnikov AK-101 and AK-102 machine guns. In December 2006, Russia gave a $500 million loan to Indonesia for buying a new party of Su fighter jets. The contract is to be signed later in 2007. Indonesia also negotiated with Russia on buying Amur submarines. Yet, it is far from the contract’s signing.
A source in Russia’s ship-building industry said that it was Indonesia who required that the corvette’s hull be built in Spain: “Spain has been successfully working at Indonesia’s defense market since long ago. So, Spain knows its peculiarities, with whom and how to agree for signing a contract. Thus, it is easier for Rosoboronexport to promote Russian ships to Indonesia thru Spain.” The source added it is most likely that the corvette hulls will be built in Spain according to Russia’s design. Then, they will be equipped with engine and the necessary navigation equipment. Then, the corvettes will be coming themselves to Severnaya Verf, where armaments will be installed on them.
However, Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Energy believes such international cooperation might delay the contract’s signing and implementation. “It is necessary to obtain numerous licenses for giving the corvettes’ designs to Spain; to solve the issues of intellectual property rights, commercial and state secret protection,” explained a high-placed source in the Ministry. The official added that Russia has already had a positive experience of installing European and Israeli electronic systems onto Russian fighter jets Su-30MKI, and Russian valley fire systems “Smerch”, onto Czech tow-cars Tatra (both are supplied to India). “However, these projects were very hard to implement due to a great quantity of coordinating work,” admitted the source.