Fadli, Batam – The Maritime and Security Agency (Bakamla) launched on Monday the fourth domestically built high-speed patrol vessel, claiming it to be the fastest patrol boat in the country, in Tanjung Uncang waters in Batam, Riau Islands.
"I can guarantee that this HSC [high-speed craft] is the fastest patrol boat in Indonesia," Bakamla chief Vice Adm. Aan Kurnia said at the launch ceremony, adding that the boat would be used to intercept smugglers.
The vessel, built by shipbuilding company PT Palindo Marine Batam, can achieve speeds of around 65 knots (120 kilometers per hour) and cost Rp 10 billion (US$666,267), Aan said.
Bakamla will deploy the boat in waters around Ambon in Maluku, which is within the agency's Eastern Zone area. Previously, the agency had deployed two HSC in Batam in the Western Zone and one in the Central Zone.
"Smuggling boats can go up to 40 knots, which is why it's important for us to have faster vessels," Aan said.
The Bakamla chief said that ideally each zone should operate 10 HSC.
Last year, Government Regulation (PP) No. 13/2022 mandated the agency to improve inter-institutional coordination among various government stakeholders on maritime security and safety.
The regulation mandates Bakamla to lead maritime law enforcement operations and to act as official government representative in international forums on maritime security.
The regulation, signed by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in March 2022, also empowers Bakamla to coordinate with other stakeholders in investigating violations of the law at sea.
Bakamla was established in 2014 to boost the effectiveness of law enforcement at sea and is designed to become the country's coast guard with its own armed vessels.
However, other institutions, including the Navy, already have authority over national waters and the vessels to enforce it.
Besides the Navy, the Transportation Ministry runs the Coast and Sea Guard (KPLP) and the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry also has its own division, as does the Customs and Excise Agency and the National Police has its water and air branches. Many provincial administrations also run their own coast guard patrols. (dre)