Military Review

Full speed ahead! Asian Rocket Boats

Full speed ahead! Asian Rocket Boats

Speedboat "KHI Todak" Indonesian fleet against the background of the landing ship "Green Bay" of the American Navy. Indonesia continues to build capabilities of its naval forces, including through the construction of high-speed combat boats

High-speed combat boats (BBK) or rocket boats (ships) are an economical solution, precisely meeting both the needs of coastal defense and the needs of marine patrols of lesser intensity. The article analyzes the status of the LBC fleets of countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The need for warships such as BBK is particularly high in the Asia-Pacific region, and this article provides an overview of the development, modernization, and procurement programs of such vessels in this part of the world. Let's start with Bangladesh. In recent years, the fleet of this country has significantly increased the combat capabilities of its fleet, replacing outdated SY-1 anti-ship missiles with four C-704A anti-ship missiles manufactured by the Chinese Chinese Aviation Industry Corporation (CAIC) with four Hegu class BBCs. Until the end of this year, eight local XB-meter-long 11,7 BBK structures will be commissioned by the Bangladeshi fleet, whose task will be to maintain sovereignty and strengthen the law of the sea. Under the X12 project, the State Dockyard and Engineering Works (DEW) Narayangani shipyard is building a fully composite ship under the technology transfer agreement with the Indonesian company PT Lundin. Boat X12 length 12 meters is a development of the famous combat boat Combat Boat 90 built by the Swedish shipyard Dockstavarvet. DEW did not respond to a request for the cost of this project, which also includes ten versions with a full-size deck superstructure for the Bangladeshi coast guard, but the Indonesian media report on the value of the contract in 6 million dollars. The armament of the boat will be three machine guns, and the speed of 35 units (65 km / h) will help develop two Volvo Penta diesel engines connected to two water cannons.

Bangladesh boat X12 is a development of the Swedish fighting boat CB 90

Myanmar (Burma)

Southeast of Bangladesh, the growth and modernization of the fleet of a country called Myanmar (formerly Burma) over the past decade has been impressive. Its responsibilities include protecting the fishing industry, combating piracy and drug smuggling. Also important is the presentation of claims, supported by its powerful fleet, to potentially hydrocarbon-rich areas in the Bay of Bengal. Myanmar had previously counted mainly on China in the purchase of ships, but it is currently intensively developing its own industry of warships. Since 2004, the fleet has been introduced around the 20 missile-gun BBK of local construction, while a new class of high-speed torpedo boats, reportedly optimized for anti-submarine warfare, is also being commissioned. Although Myanmar, trying to strengthen their fleet of LBC, they do not shy away from purchases abroad, in particular from Israel. At the end of 2015, the Ramta division of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) ordered six Super Dvora Mk.3 boats. The procurement of these ships is a convincing example of Myanmar’s determination to protect its coastal resources at a time when the number of applications for exploration of deposits in the exclusive economic zone is growing. IAI does not deny or confirm the existence of the Myanmar contract, but David Bogner, the head of the foreign economic department at IAI Ramta, provided some information on the vessel Super Dvora Mk.3. “This is an exceptionally mobile platform that can reach speeds above 48 nodes (89 km / h). The boat perfectly performs the pursuit and interception of violators when performing tasks on the protection of the sea and the coastline, it can stick to the unequipped shore and can even be pulled onto it if necessary. ” Bogner focused on a number of options available to the operators of this boat. “Typical weapons can be the Typhoon stabilized artillery mounted by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems plus smaller caliber weapons, but we can also fulfill the requirements of an individual customer. We respond to user preferences on surveillance radars and fire control radars. We offer a choice of MTU or Caterpillar engines. The propulsion option with partially submerged propellers reduces hydrodynamic resistance and thereby increases the efficiency of the boat when performing tasks in shallow water. "


As a supplier of vessels of various types, the People’s Republic of China has for many years been in service of a sufficiently large fleet of small-sized BBK of various types. Although the Chinese have thoroughly modernized the fleet of their BBK over the past decade and now mainly rely on the Houbei catamaran-type missile boat with a length of 43 meters and a tonnage of 224, which is designed to project the threat of a mass rocket attack on the carrier-based attack groups of the American fleet operating in the adjacent to China waters. This is a ship. developing speed 36 knots (67 km / h), driven by two diesel engines connected to four water cannons. The boat is armed with eight anti-ship missiles C-803 from CAIC, as well as a six-barrel automatic shipboard artillery installation AK-630. A boat of this class is a relatively stable rocket platform, which can operate far from the coast to 400 nautical miles (741 km). More than 80 of such vessels are in service, the estimated cost of which, according to the Chinese shipyard Hudong-Zhonghua, is up to 50 million dollars per ship. There were also a few unconfirmed reports in regional media that Pakistan plans to build ships of this type under license.

The “Tatmadaw Ya” boat of the Myanmar fleet is the newest version of the efficient, maneuverable and well-proven Super Dvora boat, which will quickly give impetus to the further development of the country's naval power.

The catamaran-type rocket boats of the Houbei class are in large quantities in service with the Chinese fleet. These ships pose a potential threat to the carrier-based strike forces of the US Navy operating in China’s waters.


China’s long-time rival, India, operates more than 20 BBK of various types, while the Car Nicobar class vessels with a displacement of 330 tons, developing 36 node speeds, are currently primarily responsible for security and search and rescue operations in the Indian exclusive economic zone. These ships in recent years participated in a number of operations against pirates. The main armament of the vessel is the 30-mm Medak CRN91 cannon, supported by a pair of machine guns and 9K38 missile launchers. The surface-to-air needle manufactured by the Russian company KBM. The ship also installs Furono navigation radar and LimitedLink-II tactical communication system from Bharat Electronics. Currently, the last ship from this class 14 ships is being built at the Garden Reach Shipbuilding and Engineering (GRSE) shipyard in Calcutta. GRSE does not provide information on cost and other aspects of the project.

Indian class BBB "Car Nicobar"


The construction of the Indonesian BBK fleet is in full swing, as Jakarta seeks to increase the capabilities of its naval forces when operating in coastal waters. According to the Deputy Minister of Defense, it is planned to gradually supplement the existing larger BBK, for example, the Todak class, with at least 40 with the KCR-40 and KCR-60 class ships of local construction. Ships of these new classes, built since 2012, are armed with anti-ship missiles C-705 of the Indonesian-Chinese consortium CAIC / PT Pindad; On board the KCR-40 class, two missiles are installed, while the longer boats of the KCR-60 project are armed with four missiles. The KCR-40 class artillery armament consists of 30-mm CMS NG-18 cannons and two Denel Vektor 20-mm cannons, while the BAN Systems Bofors 60-mm cannon is installed onboard the KCR-57-class ships. PT PAL, PT Palindo and PT Citia shipyards participate in the program; The estimated cost of a vessel with a length of 40 meters is 10,2 million dollars. According to the production director of the shipyard PT PAL, the prospects of these vessels abroad are also being studied. As for sensors, these boats are equipped with TR-47C and SR-47AG surveillance radars from China North Industries; Three twelve-cylinder MAN diesel engines enable speeds of around 30 knots (55,5 km / h). Despite the fact that last year the prototype of the boat was destroyed by fire, Jakarta announced the continuation of the program to build four rocket trimarans of the X3K Klewang class in Indonesia with water cannons of a length of 63 meters. However, in February, 2016, the company PT Lundin announced that it will be built only one copy.

Indonesian rocket trimaran class "X3K Klewang"


Pakistan operates several LBCs of different years of construction. China is currently the main supplier of ships for this country, which in the year 2012 supplied, for example, the new BBK Azmat with a displacement of 570 tons and a length of 63 meters. This ship was built by China Shipbuilding and Offshore Corporation (CSOC). Since then, in Pakistan, Karachi Shipyard and Engineering (KSEW), in collaboration with CSOC, built another instance. The ship was commissioned, and in April 2015, the first steel sheet for the third ship was cut at the KSEW shipyard. Planned construction and the fourth vessel. Basically this BBQ, capable of developing speeds of 30 nodes (56 km / h), is intended for operations in coastal waters. The armament complex includes eight anti-ship missiles C-802 CAIC, 23-mm cannon and six-barreled automatic ship-gun artillery installation AK-630. KSEW claims 50 million dollars for a ship.

New Pakistani missile boat "Azmat"

The Philippine fleet has six MPAC-type ships that can perform combat and amphibious missions. Three more ships to be built by Lung Teh and Propmech

Philippine fleet

The Philippine fleet has a very mixed fleet of armed BBC, there are both local-built vessels and used ships purchased from other countries. The newest acquisitions of the fleet include six ships of the type MPAC (Multi-Purpose Assault Craft - a multipurpose landing craft). These boats, which develop 40 speed knots (74 km / h), are mainly designed to work off the coast and on rivers; they can perform the tasks of a speedboat and landing craft; On board can accommodate 16 paratroopers, paratroopers through the nasal ramp. MPAC type boats are armed with three machine guns. Three boats built by the Taiwanese shipyard Lung Teh have a length of 15 meters, the other three, built by the Philippine shipyard Propmech, have a length of 17 meters.

Currently, Manila is launching a program to build three more ships, for which 5,7 millions of dollars have been allocated. At the end of February 2016, the Department of National Defense announced that work on new ships would be divided between companies Lung Teh and Propmech. The future boat, optimized for the BBC mission, will have a surface-to-surface missile launcher on board; it might be Rafael’s Spike missiles. They will reportedly also be armed with a remote-controlled 12,7-mm M2HB Browning machine gun from General Dynamics / US Ordnance and two 7,62-mm machine guns M60 from US Ordnance.


The newest addition to the fighting ships of the coastal defense of the Singapore fleet is the "Independence" class of boats. The first boat was launched by the local shipyard ST Marine in June 2015. The warship of the joint development of the companies Kockums (now Saab) and ST Marine develops the speed of 27 nodes (50 km / h). Compared with the Fearless class patrol boats, which it will eventually replace, this ship is larger and has more powerful weapons. The armament complex includes a 76-mm OTO Melara / Finmeccanica gun mounted in the nose and a twelve-tube unit for vertical launch of ground-to-air MBDA Mica missiles. Remote guns Hitrole from OTO Melara / Finmeccanica are mounted on the sides, and Rafael Typhoon automatic cannon is on the stern of the 25-mm. The stern also has a helipad for support helicopters, and from the aft dock camera you can launch and load a rigid inflatable boat. The features of this warship include an integrated combat control center and sensor set, including the Thales NS-100 maritime surveillance radar. The company ST Marine did not disclose the cost of ships of the class "Independence".

The frigate ticket "Formidable" and the corvette class "Valour" of the Singapore fleet on guard of open sea spaces. New “Independence” class ships with a helipad will significantly increase the level of coastal defense of Singapore

The South Korean Yun Youngha class BBK has more powerful weapons than its predecessors. Planned construction of a smaller version

Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka Navy has several types of BBKs, including Israeli boats of the type Dvora 1, Dvora 2 and Dvora 3, ships of the Shaldag class and boats of local construction of the Series III class. The Series III combat boat develops a 53 node speed (98,1 km / h), has an Rafael Typhoon gun mount with an Orbital ATK Bushmaster 20 gun and Furuno FR 8250 surveillance radar used for navigation. The power plant consists of two diesel engines Deutz V16 and two rotary partially immersed screws Arneson ASD16.


As a major supplier of BBK, in recent years, Taiwan has strengthened its coastal defense fleet with twelve Ching Chiang class ships and thirty Kuang Hua class BBBs, all of which have anti-ship missiles on board. But Taiwan does not stop and continues to strengthen its naval power. At the end of 2014, the testing of the first of the new catamaran-type combat ships “Tuo Jiang” began. The vessel with a length of 60,4 meters and a displacement of 560 tons is being built by the shipbuilding company Lung Teh. The president of the company announced that 11 of such vessels would be built. “The coastal defense missile-gun platform, thanks to two diesel engines connected to two water cannons, can develop a maximum speed of 45 knots (83 km / h) and go at a cruising speed of 25 knots (46 km / h)”. He confirmed that the company intends to export ships of this type. "We are going to sell them all over the world." The official cost of the program is 843,4 million dollars. These new BBK for their size have very good weapons. The missile system includes eight Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles and eight Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missiles. Also on board is the 76-mm OTO Melara / Finmeccanica artillery mount, the Raytheon Phalanx short-range air defense complex, as well as the 12,7-mm machine guns and two Mk.32 torpedo tubes. The advanced hull form of Ching Chiang class vessels will reduce fuel consumption, improve seaworthiness and maneuverability, while the deck superstructures have a special coating that reduces visibility and risk of hitting a rocket. These ships are mainly designed for combat operations in the coastal zone. However, they can also perform tasks during sea state excitement Sea State 7 (wave heights up to 9 meters). The navigation range is 2000 nautical miles (3706 km), which allows them to engage in battle with Chinese ships far from the coasts of Taiwan. Consequently, the weapons and characteristics of these newest Taiwanese ships can create problems for Chinese military strategists.

Taiwanese Ching Chiang class missile boats

South Korea

The South Korean fleet is seriously modernizing its coastal defense capabilities (since the northern neighbor does not allow to sleep peacefully), gradually putting into operation the Yoon Youngha class BBB. The launchers of SSM-700K Haesseong anti-ship missiles from LIG Nex1, plus the 76-mm Hyundai Wia cannon are installed on board. Hanjin Heavy Industries and STX shipyards are planning to build a total of 18 Yoon Youngha-class vessels with a displacement of 570 tons and a length of 46 meters, although most of them are already in the fleet. Onboard these vessels, STX Radar SYS-100K and and LIG Nex1 SPS-530K are installed. Their propulsion system, consisting of a MTU 12V 595 TE90 diesel engine, General Electric LM500 gas turbine engines and water cannons, allows speeding up over 40 units (74 km / h). The company Hanjin announced the cost of one vessel in 38 million dollars.


Like South Korea, Vietnam is also preoccupied with Chinese intrigues regarding the ownership of various islands and sea shelves. Currently, the Vietnamese fleet is based on the Russian 1241 "Lightning" missile boats. The power plant, a twin-shaft diesel-gas turbine, allows a vessel with a length of 56 meters and a displacement of 480 tons to reach the speed of an 42 node (78 km / h). The main armament includes X-NUMX anti-ship missiles Rainbow P-16 Termite or X-15U produced by Tactical Missile Weapons Corporation, 35-mm artillery mounts and two six-barreled automatic ship-mounted artillery mounts AK-76. The Vietnamese fleet operates with four boats of the "Lightning" class. According to local media, two more such boats are under construction in Vietnam, and in the future, four more boats will be built at the Vietnamese shipyard under license.

Vietnamese rocket boat project 1241 "Lightning"


Regional territorial disputes and criminal activities in the sea are forcing the countries of the Asia-Pacific region to contain fleets capable of effectively conducting high and low intensity fighting, as well as protecting coastal waters. Therefore, it would be surprising if the new types of LBC, equipped to perform various tasks, did not continue to enter into service with the regional naval forces in significant quantities.

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  1. Dimon19661
    Dimon19661 19 July 2016 06: 19
    Why include CB-90 and MPAC boats in this article? The article seems to be about missile boats.
  2. Rurikovich
    Rurikovich 19 July 2016 06: 42
    Um ... Boats ... what
    Here it is better in most cases "small rocket ships" yes
    1. Dimon19661
      Dimon19661 19 July 2016 06: 44
      And now the classification is so slippery, blurry ..
      1. Rurikovich
        Rurikovich 19 July 2016 06: 56
        I agree. This applies to almost all classes of modern ships repeat
        1. Andrey77
          Andrey77 19 July 2016 20: 04
          Well yes. The Japanese have a helicopter carrier with a displacement of 19 thousand tons. passes as DDG. In our opinion - BOD.
    2. Andrey77
      Andrey77 19 July 2016 20: 00
      RTOs carry more serious equipment, such as radar. That the boat is not able to afford.