The Bung Tomo class is a class of three Indonesian multi role corvettes. They were originally built for the Royal Brunei Navy and named Nakhoda Ragam-class corvettes but were ultimately bought by Indonesia and renamed. The class is named after Bung Tomo, a noted leader of Indonesia's independence movement.
The three vessels were built by BAE Systems Marine (now BAE Systems Maritime - Naval Ships). The contract was awarded to GEC-Marconi in 1995 and the ships, a variant of the F2000 design, were launched in January 2001, June 2001 and June 2002 at the then BAE Systems Marine yard at Scotstoun, Glasgow. The customer refused to accept the vessels and the contract dispute became the subject of arbitration. When the dispute was settled in favour of BAE Systems, the vessels were handed over to Royal Brunei Technical Services in June 2007.
In 2007, Brunei contracted the German Lürssen shipyard to find a new customer for the three ships; in November 2012, it was announced that Indonesia had signed a memorandum of understanding with Britain to acquire the vessels for one-fifth of the original unit cost. The ships are now in service with the Indonesian Navy.
The ships were originally armed with MBDA Exocet Block II anti-ship missiles and MBDA Seawolf air defence missiles. The main gun is an Oto Melara 76 mm; the ship also carries two torpedo tubes, two 30 mm remote weapon stations and has a landing spot for a helicopter.
In late December 2014, KRI Bung Tomo was involved in search and recovery operations of the Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 which crashed off the Java Sea between the islands of Belitung and Borneo. Later in early January 2015, KRI Usman Harun was deployed to search for the black boxes as the ship is equipped with the Thales Underwater Systems TMS 4130C1 hull-mounted sonar.
KRI Bung Tomo is named after Sutomo, the leader of Indonesian guerrillas during the Battle of Surabaya. The naming of KRI John Lie memorializes a National Hero of Indonesia who was one of the first high ranking navy commanders during the Indonesian National Revolution. The naming of KRI Usman-Harun memorializes Harun Said and Osman Hj Mohd Ali, who were executed by Singapore after the MacDonald House bombing, creating a controversy between the two nations.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Singapore, K Shanmugam has expressed concern to Jakarta about an Indonesian naval vessel being named after two Indonesian marines who set off a bomb in Singapore in the 1960s.
In response to media queries on Indonesian press reports on the naming of the frigate, the KRI Usman Harun, after the two Indonesian marines, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said: “The two Indonesian marines were found guilty of the bombing which killed three people and injured 33 others. Singapore had considered this difficult chapter in the bilateral relationship closed in May 1973 when then-PM Lee Kuan Yew visited and scattered flowers on the graves of the two marines.
“Minister for Foreign Affairs K Shanmugam spoke to Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Marty Natalegawa to register Singapore’s concerns over the naming of the navy ship and the impact this would have on the feelings of Singaporeans, especially the families of the victims.”
The Indonesian marines, Usman Hj Mohd Ali and Harun Said, were convicted and executed in Singapore for the bombing of MacDonald House on March 10, 1965.
According to a report in Kompas, published in Bahasa Indonesia and dated Feb 4, three Nakhoda Ragam class light frigates, fitted with the latest British-made weapons, will be delivered to the Indonesian Navy this year.
Indonesian Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Marsetio was reported in the Kompas report as saying that the ships would be named KRI Usman Harun, KRI Bung Tomo and KRI John Lie in remembrance of the services these individuals named had rendered to the Indonesian nation.
Usman and Harun were members of the KKO (Operations Corps Command), which has since been renamed the TNI Navy Marines Corps. Usman and Harun were members of the special force that infiltrated Singapore during the Indonesian Confrontation against Malaysia between 1963 and 1966, the Kompas report said.
Mr Marsetio said Bung Tomo was known for leading the Indonesian people’s resistance against the British and Dutch Allied forces in the Battle of Surabaya, on Nov 10, 1945.
John Lie was a Peranakan Chinese independence fighter and commander of a ship called The Outlaw. Lie smuggled agricultural produce from Sumatra to Phuket, Malacca and other parts of Malaya in order to buy arms for the Indonesian independence struggle from 1945 to 1949, the report said.