Defense minister unveils Indonesian tombak-629 craft

Surabaya, E. Java (ANTARA News) - The minister of Defense, Purnomo Yusgiantoro, unveiled the 60 meter long Kapal Cepat Rudal (KCR), a fast attack missile boat, named Tombak-629, manufactured by PT PAL Indonesia (Persero) to support security and defense operations in Indonesia.

"The craft is important for Indonesia because of the vast areas of water. We believe the existence of the craft will at once enable us to increase the pride and independence of the nation," Purnomo said here Wednesday.

Further, according to Purnomo, the construction of the KCR Tombak-629 is also expected to elevate the Indonesian Navy as it becomes a world class navy.

Moreover, the craft was manufactured by PT PAL Indonesia, a state-owned shipyard and engineering company based in Surabaya, East Java.

"Meanwhile, the selection of Tombak, or spear, refers to traditional Indonesian weapons. Also, the spear is found in many civilizations throughout the world and is used for hunting and fighting," Purnomo said.

The funds for building the ship, he explained, comes from the public budget.

In the future, the company will seek to manufacture sixteen 60 meter and 40 meter fast attack missile craft, and 16 fast patrol boats.

"We are optimistic this fleet will meet the military force's needs for protecting and defending Indonesia's territories," Purnomo said.

Meanwhile, President Director of PT PAL Indonesia (Persero), M Firmansyah, explained that the manufacturing process of the 60 meter fast attack missile craft was initially begun with the development of PAL Indonesia's 57 meter fast patrol boat.

"In fact, until now the fleet is still being used by the Indonesian Navy," he said.

The second ship will be designed in accordance with the needs of the future of the war fleet. The manufacturing of the ships in the shipyard is supported by advanced technology.

"The first 60 meter ship was completed and officially handed over on 28 May 2014," Firmansyah said.

Meanwhile, the third ship is to be completed in September.

Overall, the three 60 m ships, which are worth Rp375 billion, or around US$32.1 million, have been ordered by the Indonesian Navy, and manufacturing began in 2012. It is expected that construction will be finished in the second half of 2014.

"These crafts are made to meet the Minimum Essential Force (MEF) in compliance with the Act 16/2012 for the Defense Industry," Firmansyah said.