Indonesia to patrol vast maritime domain with new tanker
It’s a reservoir! It’s a boat! It’s “Tank Boat!”
The Indonesian Ministry of Defense has ordered a prototype of a new type of maritime weapons system, the X18 “Tank Boat”, from a consortium made up of Indonesian companies and a European partner.
Patrolling and protecting the Indonesian maritime domain is a challenge. Indonesia is a large and populous country, but spans 17,000 islands – many of which are sparsely populated or uninhabited – stretching over 3,100 miles from West Papua in the east and Aceh in the ‘Where is. Many critical shipping lanes cross Indonesian waters.
The X-18 prototype was ordered for the Indonesian military as part of what is known as the Antanesa program, but more commonly known as the Tank Boat. The consortium that built it includes Indonesian defense and industrial equipment supplier PT Pindad, PT Lundin’s North Sea Boats, PT Len Industri and engineering and electronics company PT Hariff, as well as European arms manufacturer John Cockerill, which manufactures turrets for light and medium-weight armored vehicles.
The X18 tanker is a catamaran designed for coastal, riverine and coastal operations. Officials believe the X-18 is well armed and can respond to a number of maritime patrol, search and rescue, expeditions and special operations missions thanks to its ability to operate in shallow water and to land on a beach to unload or pick up troops. Tank Boat has a range of around 600 nautical miles, which allows it to move between Indonesia’s many coastal military bases.
The design is not new, North Sea Boats has been working on it for 10 years. The initial Tank Boat concept includes a 105mm gun, but the current prototype will feature a Cockerill Protected Weapon Station (CPWS) remote-controlled turret with a 30mm automatic cannon.
North Sea Boats has experience in manufacturing composite vessels such as catamarans and landing craft including a fully composite fast attack trimaran built for the Indonesian Navy which was destroyed by fire in 2012 before its commissioning. The company then embarked on the construction of a second trimaran which was then stopped.
An APC 60 variant will carry up to 60 soldiers and will be armed with a CPWS equipped with a 25 or 30 mm. gun and an EO / IR sensor.
The X-18 is diesel powered and uses water jets. It has a crew of four or five and will embark a RHIB for embarkation or SEAL insertion, and has a multi-mission deck for unmanned aircraft, containerized cargo or modular weapons. Designed with a shallow draft, the X-18 can operate in swamps, coastal and riverine environments as well as blue waters, and can land on a beach to unload personnel and supplies on land.
The composite catamaran was launched last month at the North Sea Boats facility in Banyuwangi, at the eastern tip of Java. Launched on April 28, the first X-18 will undergo builder testing and acceptance testing, as well as weapon fire evaluations.