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|Date: 15 December 2010 - Author: Antara|
|The National Defense Forces (TNI) has asked the Dutch government to consistently support the development of a light frigate by Indonesian ship-building company PT PAL.|
|"Yes, we have asked the Dutch to be more consistent in supervising the development of the ship as there are things that PT PAL cannot yet do," TNI spokesman Commodore Iskandar Sitompul said here on Tuesday. PT PAL is developing a light frigate-type missile destroyer under supervision of Dutch ship-building company Schelde. Asked about the program after he had attended a closed-door meeting between TNI Commander Admiral Agus Suhartono and Dutch ambassador Tjeerd F De Zwaan, Sitompul said Dutch consistency in helping carry out the program was needed. "This is done in the framework of revitalizing national defense industry especially PT PAL to meet the needs of TNI weaponry including a light frigate," he said.|
The Indonesian navy is striving to improve its combat power in the framework of meeting its minimum strength requirements by modernizing its weaponry. Right now it has 154 warships of various types and the number is to be increased to 274. With regard to that the defense ministry has launched a light fregat destroyer development program in cooperation with the Netherlands. The ministry expects to build 20 units.
The program is estimated to cost US$220 million and take four years to finish. Besides discussing the frigate development program they had also disucssed various matters relating to the two countries` bilateral relations including the relations between the two countries` armies, he said.