Indonesian Navy adds 5 ships to secure Natuna Sea
The Indonesian navy has reportedly sent five additional ships to boost security in the northern Natuna Sea after sighting Chinese and US ships in the area.
While there have been no reported vessel disruptions, the Indonesian Navy’s Western Fleet Commander Arsyad Abdallah told reporters in a report by Reuters that the navy deployed the ships, assisted by an air patrol, to secure the area.
âThe navy’s position on the North Sea Natuna is very firm in protecting national interests within Indonesian jurisdiction in accordance with national and international law which have been ratified,â Abdullah said.
He clarified that while the ships were close to the Natuna Islands, they remained in international waters.
Indonesian maritime territories
In response to increasingly aggressive Chinese land claims in the South China Sea, in 2017 Indonesia renamed the northernmost area of ââits Exclusive Economic Zone, the North Natuna Sea.
The country has recently started to build floating tanks capable of patrolling the country’s maritime territories and carrying more than one platoon of marines to enhance its maritime security.
In June, the Indonesian Ministry of Defense also signed a contract with the Italian company Fincantieri to purchase six FREMM multipurpose frigates and two second-hand Maestrale-class frigates to strengthen maritime patrol capabilities.