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© 2013
Third locally made missile ship delivered
THE DEFENSE Ministry accepted its third locally made fast missile boat last week, adding to the push to strengthen both the Indonesian Navy and local defense industries. Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro officiated the ceremony for the KRI Beladau-643 at Batu Ampar Port in Batam.
The vessel was manufactured by PT Palindo Marine Shipyard in Batam.
SOLDIERS attend the launch of the warship KRI Beladau at Batu Ampar quay, Batam.  (Antara)
The Beladau was the third KCR-40 to enter the Navy’s service after the KRI Clurit-641 and KRI Kujang-642. The three vessels were part of a series of acquisitions of 16 KCR-40s until 2014.
A fourth vessel will be deliv-ered in November, while the remain-ing 12 KCR-40s will be delivered by 2014.Earlier this month, the ministry, which has a budget of Rp 81 trillion (US$8.42 billion) this year, revised down its target to reach the required level of weapons systems from three strategic plans (Renstra) to two five-year plans.
By procuring the KCR-40s at home, the ministry is maximizing local defense industries through requiring a transfer-of-technology with every purchase of a foreign weapons system.The KCR-40 will be equipped with Chinese-made C-705 anti-ship missiles that have a range of some 150-kilometers. State aircraft maker PT Dirgantara Indonesia is expected to locally produce the C-705 missiles by 2017 or 2018.
Meanwhile, Agus expected the new vessel would increase the Navy’s capabilities in safeguarding Indo-nesia’s vast territorial waters. The three KCR-40s will be operated by the Western Fleet in the shallow waters around Sumatra, parts of Java and Kalimantan.
Agus also touched on the plan to create a central fleet in addition to eastern and western fleets.
Commenting on the plan to establish the third fleet and Kohanla, Iis Gindarsyah from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said that it was a sign of Indonesia’s aspiration for a green water navy.
“The projection is likely about the security of Indonesia’s maritime borders and strategic sea-lanes,” he said. He added that the current situation in the South China Sea had placed greater external pressures on Indonesia.
A green navy is often described as a navy with greater coverage than a traditional littoral brown water navy, but stops short of the expansive power of a blue water navy, which contains aircraft carriers.
In addition to having another fleet, the Navy is also preparing the Third Marines, who will be based in Sorong, West Papua.
Reprinted courtesy of The Jakarta Post
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THE BATAM city administration is aiming to boost the development of its small islands for fear that they might be claimed by neighboring countries. The step is being taken after recent confusion and debate was sparked among Batam residents following the rumor that Singapore had claimed Batam’s Semakau Island.
The rumor turned out to be false, as Singapore has its very own Semakau Island, located some 8-kilometers south of Singapore, which has been built into a sanitary landfill. Sing-apore’s Semakau landfill is far from a dirty and smelly place and is instead clean, with green spaces and even offering recreational spots.
On the contrary, Batam’s Semakau is more like a deserted island and remains untouched by development and modernity. It takes around 20 minutes to get to the island from Sekupang International Port.
“We hope that such confusion does not happen again in the future,” said Nada Faza Soraya, head of the Indonesian Maritime Education Foundation, who is a former exec-utive of the Batam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Therefore, we urge the administration to boost the development of the islands located along the border area because, so far, the administration has not paid much attention to the small islands.”
Indonesia has been repeatedly involved in territorial problems with neighboring countries, particularly Malaysia. One of the territories being disputed with Malaysia is Ambalat Island, which has a high potential for oil and gas exploitation, located in East Kalimantan.
Batam Deputy Mayor Rudi said that the city administration had visited Semakau and had met 10 families living on the 2-hectare island.
Batam city spokesman Ardiwinata said that there were four other islands in Batam waters bearing the name Semakau, namely Semakau Pun, Semakau Panjang, Semakau Besar and Semakau Kecil.
Batam, Ardiwinata continued, has around 300 islands and they all have been registered to the United Nations. The similarity in names, he added, was common and the authority did not need to change the name because each name had its own history and meaning.
Col. Nurhidayat, the Batam Naval base chief, said he had ordered the Nipah Island Naval Post to intensify sea patrols along borders.
“We have visited Semakau Island and placed the Indonesian flag there. We have also increased patrols to deter illegal activities carried out by foreigners,” said Nurhidayat.
Batam Free Trade Zone Authority spokesman Dwi Djoko Wiwoho said that many local and foreign investors had showed an interest in developing some islands in Batam, but their intentions were mostly hampered by unclear regulations on the manage-ment status.
“The investors are keen to turn the islands into tourism spots, for instance, but you can see that the islands are currently left largely untouched and undeveloped due to this [unclear regulation] issue,” said Djoko. – Reprinted courtesy of the The Jakarta Post
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January 31, 2013
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Batam set to develop islands