Surabaya, East Java (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Navy (TNI AL) launched a hospital assistance ship christened KRI Dr. Radjiman Wedyodiningrat-992 here on Monday.

"Starting next September, KRI Dr. Radjiman Wedyodiningrat-992 will be stationed at I Fleet Command Headquarters in Jakarta to replace hospital assistance ship KRI Semarang that will be restored as a landing platform dock (LPD)," Indonesian Navy Chief of Staff, Admiral Yudo Margono, informed after launching the ship here.

The chief of staff said that KRI Dr. Radjiman Wedyodiningrat’s name was proposed by former president Megawati Soekarnoputri.

Wedyodiningrat is a national hero who played a significant role in Indonesia's independence movement by serving as the chairman of the Investigating Committee for Preparatory Work for Independence (BPUPKI) in 1945, he added.

The new ship will complement the two existing hospital assistance ships, namely KRI Dr. Soeharso-990 stationed at II Fleet Command Headquarters in Surabaya, East Java, and KRI Dr. Wahidin Sudirohusodo stationed at III Fleet Command Headquarters in Sorong, West Papua, Margono informed.

The newly launched KRI Dr. Radjiman Wedyodiningrat was built by national shipyard PAL Indonesia, which also developed her sister ship, KRI Dr. Wahidin Sudirohusodo, he noted.

The two hospital ships are capable of facilitating medical surgeries, he added.

"The (new) hospital assistance ship has complete hospital equipment similar to KRI Dr. Wahidin Sudirohusodo. Because of its older age, KRI Dr. Soeharso has fewer facilities than the two newer ships," Margono explained.

As an island country with greater maritime territory than land, the presence of hospital ships will bolster medical services for residents scattered across Indonesia's thousands of islands, he said.

"When natural disaster strikes, hospital assistance ships can be promptly deployed to the disaster zone to assist injured victims," the chief of staff added.

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Translator: A Malik I/Hanif N, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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