The Indonesian Navy will proceed with its plan to purchase four Dutch corvettes (two Sigma Class I and two Sigma Class II) worth 1.9 billion US dollars, Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Slamet Soebijanto said Thursday.
"The purchase program will be carried out in accordance with the Navy's 2003 to 2013 strategic plan," he was quoted by the Antara news agency as saying.
Based on the strategic plan, the navy will purchase four corvettes from the Netherlands in two phases. Two ships will be built in the Netherlands in the first phase and the other two will be built in Indonesia by local shipbuilding company PT PAL in the second phase.
PT PAL will send its technicians to study corvettes technology before building the ships.
The plan to sell corvette ships to Indonesia has been criticized in the Netherlands and it is feared it would eventually be embargoed.
"Our experience has taught us a lesson so that we have to look for other countries which would provide us with weaponry we need for our operations," he added.
For that purpose, the Navy chief has visited Russia to explore possible purchase of a ship from a Russian weaponry manufacturer.