The world’s first tank boat


  • Indonesia is developing a unique boat for so-called “brown water” warfare.
  • The tank ship under test in Indonesia is sailing at high speed
  • The “tank boat” is designed to carry more than 50 troops—and the firepower of a tank.
  • The tank boat will be used to defend the Indonesian archipelago from external threats and pirates

Indonesia, located in Southeast Asia, is the country with the most islands and is known as the “country of ten thousand islands.” In order to maintain public order and national defense between the islands, Indonesia has designed a hybrid “tank boat”. It Can carry 1 platoon of troops, and has a 105mm main gun, and can sail about 960 kilometers after refueling.

According to media reports, the Indonesian defense blog disclosed that the tank ship was developed by Indonesia’s defense contractor PT Lundin, and was approved by the Ministry of Defense to conduct a small amount of production and testing. If the results will good, more orders will be obtained. On April 28th, the tank ship prototype started sea trials on the coast of Banyuwangi (opposite Bali), East Java.

The tank boat uses a high-speed catamaran as a platform
The tank boat uses a high-speed catamaran as a platform

Indonesia is a Southeast Asian country. The country consists of about 17,508 islands, distributed between 95° and 142° east longitude. It is the largest archipelago country in the world. Because of this, Indonesia, which can only be regarded as a medium-sized country, roughly controls more than 6,000 inhabited islands. The rest are not marked as uninhabited islands or islands that cannot be controlled even if they are inhabited.

Under such circumstances, some terrorist organizations or drug cartels have quietly hidden themselves, leaving Indonesia in their throats. Therefore, Indonesia’s military responsibility is to eliminate illegal forces on these difficult-to-control islands and eventually bring them into the country’s effective control.

On these islands, except for small piers, there are generally no roads that can be driven, but most of them are within the range of large-caliber artillery. Therefore, Indonesian military weapon designers had a whim to design this “tank boat” that combines the characteristics of high-speed boats and tanks. The ship is 18 meters long and 6.4 meters wide. It adopts a catamaran design and has a draft of only 1 meter.

But greater buoyancy can have a larger load capacity. Even if a large number of people and goods are transported, it can transport 20 marines, which is almost a simplified arrangement. In terms of performance, the tank boat is equipped with two 1200-horsepower diesel engines, combined with a water-jet propulsion system, so it can reach a high speed of 40 knots and a maximum range of 965 kilometers.

Turret weapons on tank ships can be replaced as needed
Turret weapons on tank ships can be replaced as needed

It must be mentioned that the displacement of this tank ship may be less than 100 tons, but it is equipped with a powerful artillery system. This is a 105mm artillery and a 12.7mm fully automatic remote weapon station. This 105mm artillery is equipped with a structure similar to a tank turret, and can fire armor-piercing and high-explosive shells to deal with armored vehicles guarded on islands or targets on islands protected by fortresses.

At the same time, this gun can also perform long-range artillery missions at an elevation angle of 42° like a howitzer. The 12.7mm fully automatic remote weapon station can not only quickly launch ammunition against aerial targets, but also quickly destroy small hostile land targets, and its control is fully automatic.

Indonesia tank boat
CGI concept art shows the serious firepower Tank Boat packs: 80 Marines wading ashore covered by four 105-millimeter guns and four .50-caliber machine guns.

The tank ship can be said to be Indonesia’s first new weapon platform, which combines the advantages of high-speed catamarans and tanks (or armored transport vehicles), so it is very suitable for the needs of the Indonesian army’s domestic island operations. In practical applications, the Indonesian army equipped with tank ships can attack targets on the island by maneuvering on the water and destroy almost any target when attacking the island;

After achieving a certain attack effect, you can also dock on guard, allowing the 20 soldiers on board to land on the island to clean up the remains, and then continue to mobile firepower to support the soldiers ashore. If multiple tank ships are sent to attack at the same time in a single operation, then, no matter if it is a terrorist organization or a drug cartel, it may be impossible to escape the fate of destruction.

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