The plan was announced after Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto had reportedly bought frigates for the Indonesian Navy from Denmark.
Maritime Affairs and Investment Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said that the Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla), which soon becomes the country’s coast guard, will need ships with the size of those Danish vessels.
The Ministry of Defence has bought ocean-going vessels for the Navy from Denmark, Luhut said, adding that they are between 138 and 150 meters in length and those frigates can sail across the ocean.
The appointment of Bakamla as coast guard is mentioned in a bill being deliberated by the Indonesian House of Representatives. The bill seeks to settle overlapping roles in domestic maritime securities.
There are multiple institutions in charge of maritime security including the Bakamla, the Water Police, the Indonesian Navy and the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry’s sea patrols.
The Natuna Sea has come under Jakarta’s attention due to reported illegal fishing by foreign ships at its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone.
According to Bakamla, at least 63 Chinese fishing and coast guard vessels entered Natuna waters without authorisation between December 19 – 24.