“Indonesia has become a land of conquest for the French arms industry”

Lhe defense sector is paradoxical in that it is an industry of sovereignty where, to win contracts, exporting countries must agree to technology transfers and local manufacturing. “Offset” that France has long limited. If the French Naval Group was able to announce, Tuesday April 2, the sale to Indonesia of two Scorpène submarines, it is because 30% of the value of the contract will go to the Indonesian shipyard PT PAL, with a “transfer of know-how and technology from Naval Group”.

The archipelago country of 17,000 islands has become a land of conquest for the French arms industry. In 2022, Dassault Aviation signed the sale of 42 Rafale and their armament for more than 7 billion euros, and Airbus the delivery of two A400M aircraft. A year later, in 2023, Thales sold 13 cutting-edge GM 400 aerial surveillance radars with, again, transfers and some local manufacturing. After the termination of the contract for twelve submarines by Australia in 2021, France has little choice to assert itself in the Indo-Pacific. With the Philippines in the crosshairs for the sale of submersibles, another country worried about the rise of China.

“In addition to submarines, our strategic partnership with PT PAL will enable the Indonesian defense industry to prepare for the future of naval combat”, welcomes Pierre Eric Pommellet, CEO of Naval Group. Everywhere, at least some local manufacturing is the rule. As in India, where six Scorpènes were built by the Bombay shipyards, while waiting for the last three, or in the Netherlands, where the four Barracuda class attack submarines ordered by the royal navy, certainly built in Cherbourg (Channel), will benefit local manufacturers who will pocket part of this contract worth more than 5 billion euros.

Read the decryption | Article reserved for our subscribers Naval Group wins a major submarine contract in the Netherlands and partly erases the Australian misadventure

For the moment, France does not export its nuclear-powered submarines, in service only in the national navy. Visiting Brazil at the end of March, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, nevertheless confirmed the Prosub program, launched in 2008. It provides for the local construction of four Scorpènes and technical support for the development of a nuclear submarine. Brazilian. “The most comprehensive technology transfer program ever carried out”we summarize at Naval Group, without specifying how far France is ready to go in delivering its know-how.

source site-30