Indonesia’s PT Pindad has signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that will place the company in the driving seat of a public-private consortium that has formed to develop a heavily armed catamaran for the Indonesian armed forces (TNI).
Tank Boat programme
PT Pindad will be lead integrator of the nascent Tank Boat programme and ensure that design specifications will meet end-user requirements and integration work on the vessel’s weapons systems, as well as domestic and international marketing.
The Tank Boat will be based on local firm PT Lundin Industry Invest’s X18 Tank Boat platform, while PT Len Industri and PT Hariff Daya Tunggal Engineering will supply the communications equipment and battle management system (BMS), respectively.
It is expected that production Tank Boats will eventually meet the TNI’s brown water patrol and coastal security requirements. The vessels will also transport and provide close- and long-range fire support to troops.
First Design and Specifications
The design was first unveiled as the Fire Support Vessel (FSV) concept at the 2014 Indodefence exhibition in Jakarta and is centred on a 18m and 6.6m wide foil-assisted catamaran hull that is primarily constructed from carbon composite material and designed to operate in shallow waters with a draft of just one metre.
The Tank Boat will be equipped with a pair of 1,200hp MAN V8 engines and MJP450 waterjets that will bring it up to a top speed of 40 knots, while a 6,000-litre fuel tank supports extended operations. The vessel will be operated by a four-person crew and can accommodate up to 20 troops, as well as launch and recover a rigid-hull inflatable boat at the stern.
The company earlier partnered with Belgium’s CMI Defence to include its 105mm rifled gun as the X18 concept’s proposed main armament, although the resultant prototype design was equipped with the Cockerill Protected Weapon Station Gen 2 turret armed with a 30mm automatic cannon instead.
A single prototype had reportedly been ordered by the MoD around March 2019 for trials with the aim of eventually equipping the Indonesian Army with such vessels.
by Jr Ng