Indonesian shipbuilder PT Daya Radar Utama (PT DRU) will launch a 120 m indigenously produced logistics support ship for the Indonesian Navy (Tentera Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) on 5 September, a company official has confirmed to IHS Jane’s .
Dubbed a ‘leopard carrier’ landing ship tank (LST) by the TNI-AL, the vessel had previously been in danger of missing its planned October 2014 commissioning deadline, after a shipyard visit by Indonesia’s Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro on 28 June revealed that the LST was still in build with its hull surrounded by scaffolding.
“Against the odds, we have been giving our best towards the construction of the ship to ensure that it will be paraded in time for the Indonesian National Armed Forces Day celebration in Surabaya on 5 October,” said Edy Wiyanto, PT DRU’s general manager for production, in an interview with IHS Jane’s on 1 September.
Wiyanto also clarified that the vessel, which has been named KRI Teluk Bintuni (pennant number 520), was originally scheduled for launch on 28 August; however, the date was moved following a delay in the arrival of the ship’s onboard cranes. Wiyanto told IHS Jane’s that the cranes, which will be used to launch and recover the vessel’s rigid hull inflatable boats, were built by state-owned manufacturer PT Pindad.
“It will be harder to fix the equipment once the vessel is on the water. However, regardless of whether the equipment arrives on time this time, we will be launching [the ship] this coming 5 September to ensure that it will be ready for delivery to the TNI-AL in Surabaya by October,” said Wiyanto, who also clarified that (as of 1 September) the cranes had not arrived at PT DRU’s shipyard.
Teluk Bintuni is one of three LSTs ordered by the Indonesian government in 2012 to transport the Indonesian Army’s new Leopard main battle tanks (MBTs). The vessels can also be used for troop transportation and for logistics support. The two other ships, under construction at state-owned shipbuilder PT Dok Kodja Bahari, are on track for delivery by October.
According to PT DRU, Teluk Bintuni is able to carry up to 10 Leopard MBTs as well as two medium helicopters on its flight deck. The ship incorporates a roll-on/roll-off design that offers rapid deployment of the Leopard tanks ashore. The ship is equipped with twin diesel engines that provide 7,940 hp (5.84 MW) of propulsion and can generate a top speed of 16 kt.