* minsera.blogspot.com * • The Indonesian government has ordered a prototype of the X18 fire support vessel
• Vessel will be used to evaluate platform's suitability ahead of a proper acquisition programme
Swedish defence company Saab will be providing a remote-controlled weapon system and a battle management system for a prototype of the X18 fire support vessel (FSV) being acquired by the Indonesian Ministry of Defence, the company told IHS Jane's on 18 February at the Singapore Airshow 2016.
The X18 FSV, more commonly referred to as the 'tank boat', is an 18 m platform concept that has been developed by Indonesian shipbuilder PT Lundin. A model of the platform was unveiled at the IndoDefence 2014 exhibition in Jakarta.
"The prototype will be collaboration among Indonesian defence industries and some foreign suppliers", said Peter Carlqvist, Saab's vice-president and head of the company's Indonesia office. "Saab will be supplying the Trackfire remote weapon station and a variant of our company's battle system", he said, adding that the product will be similar to the company's 9LV combat management system.
The platform has an overall beam of 6.1 m, a draught of 0.9 m and a top speed of 30 kt. With a fuel capacity of 6,000 litres, the X18 has a standard range of 350 n miles at 25 kt and 900 n miles at 9 kt. The FSV's primary weapon will be a Cockerill 105 mm high-pressure gun provided by Belgian company CMI Defence.
Although a contract for the prototype has not been formalised, the Ministry of Defence has given approval for the vessel's construction to commence. "We should expect a formal contract very soon", said Carlqvist who added that the completed prototype is scheduled to be tested in about 24 months' time.