SHAH ALAM: Still in Limbo. As the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) celebrated the commissioning of its biggest ship, HMAS Canberra today (Nov 28, 2014), its counterpart, the Royal Malaysian Navy could only watch in envy.
There is no way we can or should even try to match Oz militarily, anyways. As Australia is an integral part of Malaysia’s strategic outlook, such upgrade in capabilities is welcomed, albeit quietly lest it is misunderstood.
In the meantime, RMN’s two training ships, PCU’s Gagah Samudera and Teguh Samudera, remained in limbo as the shipyard, NGV Tech Sdn Bhd, has been foreclosed by Maybank. The delay in commissioning the DSME-designed 75-metre ships, probably caused RMN to continue operating the veteran frigate, KD Hang Tuah as a training ship.
Yesterday, by coincidence or not as the media were waiting at the Port Klang Cruise Centre (PKCC) for the arrival of two Korean Navy ships, the Gagah Samudera was towed out by tugs from its berth at the nearby RMN’s Hydrography Centre.
No explaination was given for the Gagah Samudera sojourn onto the busy Port Klang channel, under the control of three tugs. Perhaps it is the regular monthly shakedown of the training vessel or simply it was being prepared for a journey up north to a shipyard where the programme will be revived.
From the picture, we can see that the main radar mast is not installed as with the navigation radar. The two RHIBs aft remained on their respective stations however. As I had mentioned before a shipyard had been selected to complete and commission both ships, Gagah (Gallant and Teguh (Steadfast).
Hopefully, despite their travails, both vessels will lived up to their names. And more importantly, lets hope the ship’s equipment plug points and similar fittings had been carefully insulated so as to prevent any lasting damage to the delicate wiring.
Unlike Gagah, the last time I checked (early this year), Teguh Samudera remained berthed at the former NGV Tech shipyard in Sinjangkang, Banting. The ship will also be towed to the shipyard up north once the contract to complete and commission them is signed. Some of the equipment meant for both ships are still stored at the Sinjangkang yard under the guard of the RMN’s Provost police.
What does this got to do with HMAS Canberra’s commissioning? Nothing actually. It is just my way of saying that I do keep tabs on the international defence scene but since this Malaysian Defence, most of the time I do not highlight them.
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