After years of intensive research, development and secretive production that combined some of the world’s best technologies, PT Lundin Industry Invest has launched a high speed gigantic trimaran claimed to be the most advanced stealth warship ever built in Southeast Asia.
In the straits between East Java and Bali, at Banyuwangi, in Indonesia, Swedish PT Lundin Industry Invest (North Sea Boats Ltd.) has launched its 63m Stealth Fast Missile Patrol Vessel for the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL).
“It’s like a dream has come true for us. This is new, cutting edge technology, and I’m very happy that we can do something like this for Indonesia and I’m proud that it has been done here in Banyuwangi,” says Swedish entrepreneur John Lundin, owner of PT Lundin Industry Invest.
The formal launching ceremony took place on 31 August 2012 at PT Lundin’s shipyard facility in Banyuwangi, East Java. Mr. John Lundin welcomed guests to the event and expressed his delight with the outcome of the project which started its intensive Research and Development in 2007.
After the contract with the navy was signed in 2009, construction started discretely in early 2010. Now the company is happy to showcase to the public its new 63m Carbon Fibre Trimaran, named “KRI KLEWANG” (a traditional Indonesian single edged sword).
Among those attending were the Chief of the Indonesian Navy, high ranked navy officers, the Regent of Banyuwangi, local government authorities, prominent Indonesian business people and local and international reporters including ScandAsia.
Mr. Lundin gave special thanks to the local government for its support, as well as his team and suppliers for making it all happen. Other speakers included Mr. Abdullah AzwarAnas, Regent of Banyuwangi, and Logistic Deputy to Indonesian Navy’s Chief of Staff Admiral Sayid Anwar.
Guests and media inspected the gigantic stealth vessel before it was officially launched in the waters off Banyuwangi. The ship will be tested by the navy in two months. If the test is successful, it’s likely that the navy will purchase three more vessels from PT Lundin. The full operation of KRI KLEWANG is expected to start in 2013.
According to Mr. Lundin, the value of the contract is 140 million Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) or almost USD 15 million. This value is just for the platform and does not include weapons which cost more.
“Five years ago the chief of Indonesian navy asked me to come up with something innovative for the navy and I thought that he probably said that to a few people so I aimed to find the best technologies from around the world,” says Mr. Lundin, who went to Sweden and New Zealand to look at new technologies.
He found that the construction material used by the Swedish military was the best as it builds warships from carbon fibre, the material used also in the aircraft production industry.
Though the cost of carbon fibre is quite high, Mr. Lundin said that the material is lighter and stronger, leading to energy-efficiency and less maintenance costs in the long run. Unfortunately, the material is not available in Indonesia yet. Carbon Fibre can be imported from Europe, Japan and America.
However, only the best material is not good enough for Mr. Lundin. “We needed a cutting edge design for it, too,” he says.
PT Lundin collaborated with New Zealand naval architects, LOMOcean Design Ltd., a company which designed the 24m Earthrace (later called Ady Gil) – the wave-piercing trimaran that broke the world record for circumnavigating the globe in a powerboat.
Mr. Lundin says that the trimaran design offers stability and seakeeping. Instead of going over the wave, it goes through the waves. Its ability to keep a ‘low signature’ gives it its stealth status. The hull shape is intended to permit high speeds to be maintained and thus maximize crew operational capability in the short steep seas characteristic of the coastline around the Indonesian Archipelago. While the vessel’s cruise speed is 22 knots, the sprint speed is +30 knots.
“We mixed the trimaran design and the best material technology together. And the navy was brave enough to go ahead with the new technology,” says Mr. Lundin.
PT Lundin’s business philosophy and plans
Mr. Lundin’s philosophy is to always build a boat at the highest possible quality.
“Instead of having lots of low quality boats, it’s actually better to have a few good ones that can do something. I also believe that the cost of energy will be higher in the future,” says Mr. Lundin.
The company aims to be a niche in the industry, offering specialized ships with high technology.
Designed for patrolling the littorals, the KRI KLEWANG will be useful by the navy to prevent smuggling, illegal fishing and illegal trades.
Over the past 6 years in the business, the company has supplied its technology to military forces in Brunei, Timor-Leste, Malaysia and Indonesia. It has also supplied private boats to customers in over 10 countries. The main markets for the company’s private boat are Singapore, Australia and Thailand.
The company has been approached by a few countries in The Middle East and Asia after signing the contract to build KRI KLEWANG.
Now that PT Lundin has the experience of building the first carbon fibre trimaran, Mr. Lundin believes that the production time for the next ships will be much faster.
The company also plans to export more as well as providing the maintenance contract for its clients in the future.
“We want to be competitive in the international market,” says Mr. Lundin.