Indonesian shipyard PT Lundin and turret manufacturer CMI Defence are working on an innovative craft aimed at the riverine and amphibious assault market.
Dubbed the X18 Tank Boat, the design essentially wraps a boat around a CMI gyrostabilised 105mm turret, according to the head of PT Lundin, John Lundin.
‘We identified the need for better boats for riverine operations and amphibious assault operations for countries without good air support some years ago,’ Lundin told Shephard.
They began initial discussions with CMI three years ago, quickly identifying the company’s 105mm as having the necessary firepower and elevation for the mission. ‘That elevation also allows the gun to be used as artillery if needed,’ added CMI’s local representative Patrick Ledig.
PT Lundin has used its expertise in advanced composites to design the 18m craft to ‘wrap around the gun’.
‘We’ve used a lot of existing technologies and put them together in an innovative design,’ Lundin stated.
The companies believe that marrying existing technologies has allowed them to jump-start the engineering process and they have already conducted CAD and structural design feasibility studies.
The X18 only has a 0.8m draught making it ideally suited for the confines of riverine operation and is propelled by two MJP waterjets making it highly manoeuvrable.
According to PT Lundin, the boat should be capable of maximum speeds of 30kts and have a range of some 900nm. The size needed to accommodate the 105mm also means that alongside the crew of six the X18 can also carry up to 20 troops.
Although it is a composite design, Lundin said that the crew areas would have a level of ballistic protection. ‘We believe we will be able to give protection against 7.62mm, but the weight costs of moving up to 12.7mm were prohibitive,’ he added.
Further crew protection would be provided by integrating a number of close-in systems. The company has already had discussions with Bofors about potentially integrating its Lemur fire control system that would integrate a remote weapon station designed to carry missiles, weapons up to 30mm and 40mm AGL.