In a significant development for the Indonesian Navy, the addition of a Special Mission Combat Boat (SMCB) has bolstered its maritime capabilities. Radio Republik Indonesia reported that the newly commissioned SMCB, named “Patkamla Yapero,” will join the Lantamal XI fleet stationed in Merauke, Papua. The name “Yapero” is derived from an island located in the Eastern Mimika District, Mimika Regency. A formal handover ceremony, presided over by Vice Admiral TNI Ahmadi Heri Purwono, took place at Pluit, Jakarta on October 26. Vice Admiral Ahmadi Heri Purwono underscored the SMCB’s capabilities in overcoming these challenges and highlighted its versatility, particularly in the context of transporting troops for amphibious operations. This year, the Indonesian Navy acquired two SMCB vessels, both domestically manufactured. One of these vessels was constructed at the PT Tesco Indomaritim shipyard, while the other was built at the PT Palindo Marine shipyard.
The SMCB is a purpose-built vessel designed to navigate areas that larger warships find inaccessible, such as river channels and narrow straits. This addition addresses a crucial navigational challenge posed by Indonesia’s unique geographical terrain, characterized by numerous small islands and narrow waterways, often exploited for illicit activities like smuggling. The SMCB boasts dimensions of 18.30 meters in length and 4.2 meters in width, making it highly maneuverable in tight spaces. It can achieve a maximum speed of 35 knots, ensuring swift response in critical situations. The vessel is equipped with a 12.7 mm caliber machine gun and two 7.62 mm caliber machine guns, enhancing its defensive capabilities. The SMCB will be manned by a seven-person crew, ensuring efficient operation. Furthermore, the vessel has the capacity to carry up to 30 troops, making it a valuable asset for amphibious landing operations, as well as humanitarian missions.