Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto has expressed belief that the domestic defense industry will be able to build destroyer warships.

During a visit to state-run shipmaker PT PAL Indonesia in Surabaya, East Java, on Wednesday, he said that plans to build destroyers must begin to be explored after the modernization project for 41 warships is completed.

"We must be able to make more modern light attack ships with high speed, low radar, and powerful weapons to be undetected, or stealth if needed," Subianto said in a statement from his office on the same day.

He said he is confident that the domestic defense industry will be able to make warships, considering that currently, PT PAL is working on building a frigate warship.

The warship, which will be christened Merah Putih Frigate, has been ordered by the government.

"I am very proud that the construction of the frigate, the largest warship we have ever built, was 100 percent made by our local engineers without technical assistance from foreign countries," he said.

The ministry has ordered two frigates from PT PAL. On August 25, 2023, the company successfully passed the keel-laying stage for one of the ships.

The frigate spanned 140 meters in length and had a displacement of 5,996 tons.

Subianto said that Indonesia has a strong naval force considering that the country's total sea area reaches at least 6.4 million square kilometers.

"We are building the strength of our armed forces and the strength of our naval artillery weapons because we are a very big country with a very wide sea. We must control our sea as a very strategic strait for many countries," he emphasized.

Therefore, he said, the modernization of the naval fleet is important.

PT PAL, which is leading the modernization project for 41 warships, informed the minister that construction progress has reached 40 percent. A total of 25 warships have had their hulls repaired.

The minister also urged the Navy to study other ships that also need to be modernized.

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Translator: Genta Tenri M, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Anton Santoso
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