SHAH ALAM: NGPC commissioning this March. MMEA’s newest boat, the first NGPC- hull number 4541 – is expected to be commissioned next month, days before it is scheduled to take part in LIMA 17.
The commissioning is scheduled to be held in a fortnight at Port Klang though I have yet to be told of the location. It could probably be held at the Destini Bhd shipyard or the nearby MMEA Klang headquarters. The first NGPC has been on sea trials since December.
With the second NGPC set to be launched in May, I think the focus should be on the OPV now. But one thing at a time, I guess.
By the way, the UAE’s Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Agency (CICPA) which combines military and coast guard functions to protect the emirate’s petroleum industry infrastructure, launched its latest OPV – Arialah (the cover pix) at the recent IDEX defence expo.
Defense News reports:
There is no question what the most unusual craft is here at the NAVDEX portion of the IDEX international Defense Exposition. It’s a ship designed by the Dutch firm Damen, built in Romania, systems integration handled by France’s Thales, and fitted out and completed in the UAE by Abu Dhabi Shipbuilding
The brand-new offshore patrol vessel Arialah, delivered Tuesday to the UAE’s Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Agency (CICPA), has an incredibly tall, knifelike prow that towers over the pier. The forward edifice is capped by a BAE Bofors 57mm gun that almost fills the deck space around it. Immediately behind is the pilot house, itself topped by a fire control director, other sensors and a tall mast, all crammed in to about the forward one-third of the 67-meter-long hull. Amidships is a Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launcher followed by a long helicopter deck flanked by two high-speed interceptor craft serviced by cranes.
The high, narrow-bow, superstructure-right-forward configuration is similar to some of Damen’s “sea axe” designs for commercial ships, including oil field anchor-handling ships, standby and emergency rescue ships and large tugs, but it is unusual in naval and coast guard ships.
To that end, Arialah is uniquely fitted with systems more common to naval units, such as the Raytheon Mark 49 Mod 2 RAM missile launcher, Thales STIR fire control and Thales Smart-S Mark 2 search radar, two OTO Melara MARLIN 30mm automatic guns and the Rheinmetall MASS Multi Ammunition Softkill System decoy system, all managed by the TACTICOS combat management system.
Other systems include a Mirador electro-optical system and Vigile electronic support measures.
With a crew of 42, the ship also has berthing for up to 35 troops along with a three-person helicopter detachment.
The Arialah OPV is interesting because the three OPV to be built by MMEA is also designed by Damen. Unlike the Arialah, our OPV will not feature the sea-axe hull, it’s also bigger at around 80 meters. However, the armaments for our boats paled in comparison to Arialah. In fact, the Arialah is fitted with more potent weapons than even the Kedah-class and the LMS. The UAE OPV weapons and sensor fit is more akin to our LCS!
Its understandable why UAE choose to up-gun its OPV, it has a different threat environment compared to us and more importantly, extra cash. Being an absolute monarchy, has its perks.
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