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Indonesia-UK defense ties going strong amid PAL's frigate deals: Envoy

Jakarta Globe - June 7, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – A British diplomat said Thursday that bilateral ties between the UK and Indonesia had been going strong in the defense sector, among others, as seen in the business deals involving the state-owned shipbuilder PAL.

According to British Ambassador to Indonesia Dominic Jermey, maritime defense cooperation has been key in Indonesia-UK ties which are marking its 75th anniversary this year. And PAL is integral to this defense cooperation.

"Our defense and investment ties are really strong. As two maritime nations, we have a particular focus on defense collaboration in the maritime area. I'm delighted that there are UK businesses working with PAL and others here in Indonesia," Jermey told reporters in Jakarta on the sidelines of King Charles's III birthday dinner on Thursday evening.

PAL is working on the Merah Putih Frigate –whose name takes inspiration from the colors of the Indonesian flag– for the Navy in partnership with British defense company Babcock. In 2021, PAL signed a license deal to manufacture the frigates using Babcock's Arrowhead 140 designs. The Indonesian shipbuilder had just begun building the second Merah Putih frigate earlier this week.

Jermey also talked of how the UK tried to respect Jakarta's stance of having a "free and active" foreign policy. This stance sees Indonesia not siding with any world powers.

"For the UK, it is critically important for us to respect Indonesia's [free and active] foreign policy stance, but also to work with Indonesia as a partner in defense and also in defense equipment. I'm delighted that there are so many UK defense companies supporting the Indonesian armed forces, coast guard, and police with their equipment requirements," Jermey said.

State-run news agency Antara reported last September that Indonesia had purchased a submarine rescue vehicle system (SRVS) from British defense equipment supplier Submarine Manufacturing & Products (SMP) for the country's naval fleet. The deal – which was worth approximately $100 million – also involved local defense company BTI Indo Tekno. The purchase includes one rescue submarine SRV-F Mk.3, one mothership unit, and other equipment including a decompression chamber, to name a few.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/indonesiauk-defense-ties-going-strong-amid-pals-frigate-deals-envo