Military Review

Armored boat X18 Tank Boat went to test


Boat X18 after launching

The Indonesian industry has completed the construction of the head artillery armored boat X18 Tank Boat. The product was launched and is now engaged in sea trials. The real prospects of this long-term construction project have not yet been determined, but its developers believe that the boat has a great future.

Protracted work

Armored boat projecttank X18 was created by the Indonesian company RT Lundin Industry Invest. The main area of ​​its activity is the development and construction of various boats and boats for civil and dual-use, but attempts are being made to create more sophisticated equipment for fleet.

For the first time they talked about the X18 boat in 2012. Then they revealed the very existence of the project, and also talked about the possibility of obtaining high technical and combat characteristics, for which it was planned to introduce a number of bold technical solutions. In 2015, at a regular event, they showed a mock-up of the X18 Fire Support Vessel with a reinforced armament complex; also revealed the main tactical and technical characteristics.

Project appearance of a boat with a 105-mm cannon

The development company claimed that the Indonesian naval forces were interested in the proposed project. This information was true, and in the same 2015, a contract was issued for the construction of the first "boat-tank" for testing and subsequent evaluation. According to the terms of the contract, the state-owned company PT Pindad (Persero) is the main contractor and integrator for the project. The construction was commissioned by RT Lundin Industry Invest, and a number of other companies were attracted as suppliers of the units.

The construction of an experimental X18 started at the beginning of 2016 at the RT plant Lundin Industry Invest in Banyuwangi. In August, the development company published photos of the construction. By this time, the hull contours of the catamaran circuit were formed, but the work continued. At the end of the year, a full-size mock-up of the boat was shown at the exhibition.

For a number of reasons, probably of a technological and economic nature, the construction and equipment of the lead boat was completed only now. On April 28, the X18 was launched and the very next day it started sea trials. The timing of their implementation has not been specified. The views of the potential customer on the new project are also unknown.

Technical features

The X18 project proposes the construction of a catamaran boat with a length of 18 m and a width of 6,6 m with a normal draft of 1 m. The boat has ballistic protection, can carry artillery and machine-gun weapons of various types, and also carries troops. It is designed to perform a wide range of tasks on rivers and in the coastal zone of the seas.

The boat is built according to the catamaran scheme with two side hulls, in which some of the units are located, and a wide bridge that forms a deck and forecastle of sufficient volume. In the central part of the boat there is a superstructure, on the roof of which there is a seat for a combat module. A mast with electronic equipment is installed behind the module or directly on it.

The main structures of the boat are proposed to be made of composite material, the name and composition of which are not specified. According to the developers, such a body is 10 times lighter than steel and 10 times stronger. In addition, according to the sad experience of previous projects, the composite was made non-combustible. At the same time, the exact level of protection of the case is not named. Probably, anti-bullet and anti-fragmentation protection is provided.

Building under construction, August 2016

The boat is equipped with two MAN 1200 hp diesel engines, each of which runs on its own water cannon. The declared maximum speed is 40 knots. The fuel system includes tanks for 5 thousand liters, which at an economic speed of 10 knots gives a cruising range of 450 miles.

According to early materials on the project, the armored boat was supposed to carry the Cockerill XC-8 105HP combat module manufactured by CMI Defense with a 105 mm rifled cannon and a normal caliber machine gun. An additional Lemur RWS 12.7mm module with a heavy machine gun is placed on the roof of such a tower.

During the completion of the project, the lead boat of the project received less powerful weapons. On the roof of its superstructure, a CMI Cockerill 3030 DBM was installed with a Bushmaster Mk 44 automatic cannon and a normal caliber machine gun. The boat also receives two M2 machine guns on open manually controlled turrets.

The project provides for the installation of a set of radio electronic means for navigation, communication, etc. Combat modules of all types are equipped with their own optoelectronic units and are controlled from remote controls inside the protected volume.

The composition of the crew depends on the selected weapons. Cockerill 3030 is operated by one operator, reducing the crew to four. A more complex turret with a 105mm cannon increases the crew to six. You can also place a landing party on board - 20 fighters with weapons and equipment. A folding ladder is provided on the bow.

Boat prospects

In the near future, the X18 Tank Boat will have to go through the entire complex of tests under the supervision of fleet specialists, and after that conclusions will be drawn. If the prototype shows its best side and suits the Navy, a contract for mass production will appear. However, the required number of such combat units remains unknown.

The proposed armored boat has a number of positive features that may interest the customer. The catamaran hull design provides high running characteristics and allows you to work in shallow water, incl. to land troops directly on the shore. Bulletproof composite armor will protect against most of the expected threats, and artillery and machine-gun weapons will ensure the defeat of various targets and effective support for the landing.

Full-size mock-up of a large-caliber boat

The project has no obvious drawbacks, although its main feature still raises questions. The hull and superstructure are made of a new composite, for which high strength and ballistic resistance characteristics are declared. To what extent this information corresponds to reality is unknown. Probably, these features of the project will become clear in the very near future, during the tests.

Thus, the X18 is a multipurpose armored boat capable of participating in various events and operations. Such units can carry out patrols in search of offenders, as well as intercept them or provide for the conduct of army or police operations. In this regard, the comparison of a boat with a tank makes some sense - although it would be more correct to call it a floating armored personnel carrier or a marine combat vehicle.

It should be noted that the Navy and other structures of Indonesia are interested in receiving X18 boats or other equipment with similar capabilities. Due to the country's geography, the military and security forces need a variety of tools to patrol large waters and long coastlines and monitor activity on thousands of islands. In addition, these boats must quickly transfer entire units and support them with fire.

Desire and offer

The proposed appearance of the "tank-boat" X18 basically meets the desires and requirements of a potential customer in the person of the Indonesian Navy. Several years ago, this fact led to the construction of a prototype, which is now being tested and demonstrating its capabilities.

There are no obvious reasons for pessimism yet. RT Lundin Industry Invest and its subcontractors can count on the approval of the fleet and receiving an order for a number of production boats. And there are new risks here. The construction of the lead boat took about five years, and the timing of the production of a fairly large series is in question.

Thus, a broad future opens up in front of the X18 armored boat with several options for the development of events. The pessimistic scenario provides for the failure of the tests and refusal of further work. Otherwise, the boat will receive the approval of the Navy and go into production. And further events will depend on the financial capabilities of the customer and the production potential of the contractor. They will make it possible to fulfill a large order in the shortest possible time - or stretch the construction of a few boats for many years.
Photos used:
PT Pindad / PT Lundin Industry Invest,

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  1. andrewkor
    andrewkor 12 May 2021 05: 36
    Nice boat. I hope that the tests will be successful and we will see a sufficient series of them in service. As for the difficulties of mass production, I see no problems with a sufficiently large contract.
    1. Mavrikiy
      Mavrikiy 12 May 2021 08: 22
      I agree.
      Quote: andrewkor
      Hope the tests will be successful
      We are not sorry, but on condition that there are no contacts and contracts with the dillies. angry
  2. Xlor
    Xlor 12 May 2021 06: 21
    There are many islands in Indonesia, and it itself is a large island.
    Such boats are just a vital necessity for them ...
  3. nonsense
    nonsense 12 May 2021 10: 59
    what it seems to me that the armament in the form of a tank gun suboptimal... If you shoot at boats, then it is redundant (a small-caliber automatic cannon or / and an ATGM would be better suited). If a mortar would be better suited along the coast ... Unless the lost frigates with enemy destroyers should be drowned in the local Indonesian skerries - that's what a tank gun is just for this! IMHO, the weapon module from the BMP-3 (Bakhcha) or the fighting compartment from Nona / Vienna with a 120mm gun and KPVT on the roof would look optimal ...
    1. Sergey Aleksandrovich
      Sergey Aleksandrovich 12 May 2021 14: 43
      The D-30 would be put on it, in a rack with fasteners, for a test, but I'm afraid this high-tech trough will disperse at the seams after a few shots.
  4. Oleg133
    Oleg133 12 May 2021 11: 20
    These are the boats that were needed in the 44th in the Baltic. Landing troops on the islands. And at 45 in the Kuril Islands
  5. Conjurer
    Conjurer 12 May 2021 11: 58
    It looks nice, a tank gun ... like our armored boats of the Second World War. But a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since the Second World War. For patrolling on rivers against poachers - excessive, for military operations against modern infantry - armoring is frail, weapons are not optimal (where will a cannon shoot from a river on a more or less elevated coast? small wave - that's still a joke). That is, this is not necessary for us, and let the Indonesians figure it out themselves.
    1. Graz
      Graz 12 May 2021 15: 11
      something like the Finns had an interesting boat project with a mortar installation or the Swedes
  6. bk0010
    bk0010 12 May 2021 14: 08
    A cannon is always good: to hammer fortifications on the shore, for example. Or fight with the same boat. Another thing is that in addition it would be good to put another 120-mm mortar, 30-mm machine gun (to drive off the helicopters) and a launcher for ATGM. The boat is not a tank - all this will fit in there.
    There are a couple of questions on it:
    1) Why a catamaran? For some reason, sailors do not like catamarans, and then suddenly - please.
    2) Composites are not repairable. How are the holes from the enemy going to be repaired?
    1. Sergey Aleksandrovich
      Sergey Aleksandrovich 12 May 2021 14: 40
      Catamarans are not loved by sailors at all, customers and manufacturers do not like them. Customers are surprised at the double cost, and manufacturers refuse to make 2,5 cases for the price of one.
    2. nonsense
      nonsense 12 May 2021 14: 57
      lol if everything you proposed to stick on this boat, then it will no longer give 40 knots ... and 20 paratroopers will not take on board ..
      PS: this is a catamaran in Russia - a bad idea. - In winter, you will have to break off twice as much ice from it (and this is an extra people in the carriage)! And in Indonesia, they never heard of such an attack ...
      And the holes are apparently sealed ...
  7. Graz
    Graz 12 May 2021 15: 08
    development of the project, documentation. workshop equipment should have been given at least to the same Germans, it would have been faster and better
  8. Basarev
    Basarev 12 May 2021 16: 19
    Wow. A whole autocannon with the main caliber. Who are these trying to scare? Even serious smugglers are not scandalous.
  9. Sergey Kulikov_3
    Sergey Kulikov_3 12 May 2021 17: 55
    "The boat is equipped with two MAN 1200 hp diesel engines, each of which runs on its own water cannon." , "The project has no obvious drawbacks" - how to operate a catamaran with one engine !? Rely on the fact that the engines are not killed?
    A catamaran is a good thing, but not in such an implementation; for a catamaran, a circuit with electric drives and generators is better.
    Will not take off ...
  10. Freedim
    Freedim 17 June 2021 12: 17
    The main thing is that the Somalis are not sold, otherwise they will stifle the entire east coast of Africa to such people.