Indonesian Navy welcomes new sophisticated research vessel

Indonesian Navy welcomes new sophisticated research vessel
Maiden voyage: The Indonesian Navy's multipurpose research vessel KRI Rigel 933 arrives at the Jakarta International Container Terminal 2, Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, on Friday. The French-made vessel , which will be manned by 30 naval personnel led by Lt. Col. M. Wirda Prayogo, set off from Les Sables D'Olonne in France on March 26.

The Indonesian Navy took delivery of a French-made KRI Rigel 933 multipurpose research vessel at Jakarta International Container Terminal 2, Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, on Friday.

"I hope it will be sufficient to meet the need for ships to update our navigation data and to research sea depth, topography and salinity. […] I expect the data to be used in national development efforts," Navy chief of staff Adm. Ade Supandi said.

Ade added that the vessel was expected to be used for the government's annual programme to update its sea map, especially with coastal reclamation going on in various areas.

It is also aligned to President Joko Widodo's objective to make Indonesia a global maritime axis.

The vessel is the first of two new vessels ordered under contract by the Defence Ministry from French shipbuilder OCEA SA in October 2013. The second vessel is slated to be finished in July or August, Ade said.

The Regel 933, which the Navy claims is the most technologically advanced vessel in Asia, is part of the Navy's modernization attempt for its hydro-oceanographic survey vessel lineup in the next five years.

The KRI Regel 933, which will be manned by 30 naval personnel led by Lt. Col. M. Wirda Prayogo, set off from the Les Sables D'Olonne Dock in France, where it was built, on March 26.

It arrived in Indonesian territorial waters on May 6.

The new multipurpose research vessel is equipped with maritime surveillance and oceanographic equipment, which will collect topographical data for defence-related tasks as well as search and rescue operations.

Its equipment includes an autonomous underwater vehicle to produce underwater imagery at up to 1,000 meters in depth, a side scan sonar and an automatic weather station.

It weighs 560 tons and measures 60.1 meter in length, 11.5 meter in width and is armed with 20 mm and 12.7 mm guns.

The vessel has a top speed of 16 knots and can accommodate 30 crew and six embarked personnel.

It will be moored at a dock in Jakarta owned by the Navy's Hydro-Oceanographic Office, as an addition to vessels KRI Dewa Kembar 932, KRI Louser 924 and KRI Pulau Romang 723.

The Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu led the ship-naming ceremony and commissioning event at the dock in France on March 11.

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