Regular readers may remember that back in 2012, I put up a post about a new Indonesian trimaran patrol craft. The first in class was launched, then burned to the waterline only a few weeks later. There's video of the fire in my earlier article.
It seems the manufacturers haven't been mourning during the intervening years - they've been hard at work. Today Ares published a very interesting article about where the design has been going. Here's an excerpt.
In the competition for the most futuristic looking vessel at the Euronaval show being held this week in Paris I would put the clear front runner as the Fast Attack Craft (FAC) on the Saab stand.
Designed for naval patrol, anti-piracy and surveillance missions in peace time the ship would be a missile ship to launch Saab's RBS15 Mk3 anti-ship missiles in war time. And for added interest the vessel has a fascinating design history.
The FAC is not entirely new. Based on a design by New Zealand's LOMOcean, the KRI Klewang for the Indonesian Navy was launched on Aug. 31, 2012. And was then completely destroyed by fire four weeks later on Sept. 29.
. . .
Some time after the fire, Lundin was having lunch with Saab and talk turned to combat systems. He apparently learnt more about them in an hour than he had from the Chinese in over a year. This convinced him that the next version of the vessel should be equipped with a Swedish combat system.
So Saab, LOMOcean and North Sea Boats worked together to redesign the top part of the vessel (everything above the trimaran hulls) around Saab's 9-LV combat system.
. . .
The FAC is equipped not only with anti-ship missiles but also the BAe Systems Bofors 40Mk4 naval gun.
There's more at the link.
Military and naval buffs will find this thought-provoking. The new version of this patrol craft weighs only 245 tons, made entirely of composites. It has a maximum speed of 28 knots. It's far more powerfully armed and equipped, with a much more capable threat detection and assessment and weapons control system, than the US Littoral Combat Ships (of more than 10 times the displacement) that may operate alongside it (or, God forbid, oppose it) in the operating environment for which it's designed. (Its missiles could sink the LCS from far beyond the horizon before the latter knew it was there - and the US vessel couldn't respond even if it detected it, because it has no long-range anti-ship missiles of its own.) It's a stealthy design, making it hard to detect on radar; look at the radar mast's non-reflective features, and the careful shaping of the superstructure (including a retractable cover over the gun turret). It's probably much better optimized than the LCS to protect littoral waters - and it probably costs only a small fraction of the US ships' price as well.
Makes you think, doesn't it? Some good skull sweat went into this design. I'd like to see it in the water soon. It'd be nice to know that the Klewang didn't burn in vain.