The Indonesian Navy (TNI AL) commissioned its fifth and sixth KCR-60M (Kapal Cepat Rudal-60 Metre) Fast Attack Craft (FAC) in a ceremony held Tuesday, May 17, in Surabaya City, East Java. The contract for both ships was signed in 2019 and, despite the pandemic, the construction began in the same year.
The vessels, named KRI Kapak (625) and KRI Panah (626), were built by the state-owned shipyard, PT PAL Indonesia, which has previously delivered four KCR-60M in two batches (2014 and 2019). According to PT PAL, this third batch of KCR-60M comes with several improvements, including in terms of the overall design, hull stability, and a better space/compartment arrangement.
Kaharuddin Djenod, CEO of PT PAL, said that the contract of this latest batch of KCR-60M differs from the previous ones because since the beginning it includes the installation and integration of both ships’ weapons systems. Several months before the commissioning ceremony, KRI Kapak and KRI Panah underwent successful harbour acceptance, sea acceptance, and live-fire tests, as well as commodore inspections.
Both ships are armed with BAE Systems’ Bofors 57mm Mk3 Gun, 2x 20mm gun, radars, ESM, and Terma C-Guard Decoy Launching System. During the ceremony, KRI Kapak was equipped with a 4x surface-to-surface Missile (SSM) launcher (which likely will be loaded with Exocet MM40). Their combat management systems (CMS) were also supplied by Terma. With these weapons and sensors, it is claimed that the ships could perform anti-surface warfare, anti-air warfare, electronic warfare, and naval gunfire support.
Additionally, a small boat can be deployed or recovered using one of the two telescopic cranes installed on their sterns. The KCR-60M is powered by two 3,900 KW (5,230 bhp) diesel engines. Although originally it was only targeted to have a maximum speed of 28 knots, both ships could achieve speeds of 30 knots during the sea acceptance tests carried out in December 2022 and January 2023.
Attending the ceremony, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Ali, stated that the construction of both warships is part of an effort to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign arms imports and supplies. To note, in 2021, PT PAL announced that the KCR’s domestic component rate (TKDN) has reached 68% in terms of quantity and 35.27% in terms of value. Moreover, TNI AL stated that KRI Kapak and KRI Panah will be assigned to the 3rd Fleet Command to strengthen Indonesia’s eastern regions.
Even though PT PAL has yet to receive new KCR orders from the Ministry of Defence, the shipyard stated that it has prepared the KCR Next Generation design that offers a more flexible hull shape, more advanced radar protection, and a maximum speed of 40 knots to better support naval hit and run tactics.
PT PAL actively promoted the KCR-60M series to the international market. For instance, earlier this month, one of the KCR-60M Batch I, KRI Halasan (630), visited Changi Naval Base to take part in the IMDEX Asia 2023. KRI Halasan and KRI Kerambit (627), the latter of which is the only Batch II KCR-60M ship, will also attend the 2023 Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) in Malaysia from May 23 to 27.
KCR-60M Batch III specifications:
– Length Overall (LOA): 60 meters
– Width: 8:10 meters
– Height: 4.85 meters
– Displacement: 500 tons
– Maximum speed (full load): 30 knots
– Cruising Speed 20 knots
– Operational range: 2,400 NM at cruising speed
– Endurance: Five days
– Accommodation: 55 people
Source: Naval News