SHAH ALAM: REMEMBER PCU Gagah Samudera? After almost a delay of three years, work has restarted to complete the first of two RMN new training ships. The fitting out of the 75-metre ship is being carried out at the Grade One Marine Shipyard Sdn Bhd in Lumut, Perak.
Industry sources told Malaysian Defence that work on Gagah Samudera = pennant number 271 – is expected to be completed by year end and commissioning by early 2016. If indeed Gagah is commissioned in 2016, it will mean that her entry into service is delayed for almost three years. It was supposed to enter service in RMN by mid-2013.
Gagah Samudera was launched on Dec 14, 2012 while her sister ship, Teguh Samudera – pennant number 272 – on Feb 27, 2013. Both were supposed to be commissioned within six months after their launch at the NGV Tech Sdn Bhd yard in Sinjangkang, Selangor.
However, both ships remained incomplete and uncommissioned as NGV Tech was foreclosed by Maybank sometime in 2013. NGV Tech signed the RM294 million contract with RMN for the construction of the training vessels at LIMA 2011.
Malaysian Defence had reported late last year that efforts were underway for the Defence Ministry to take possession of both ships so work on them could be completed. However, it was delayed for some months due to legal issues.
Once those were resolved both Gagah and Teguh were towed to Lumut from their berths, the RMN Hydrography Center in Port Klang and the former NGV Tech yard in Sinjankang, respectively. Gagah had been towed to Port Klang before NGV Tech was foreclosed while Teguh remained at Sinjangkang until recently.
Unfortunately, Teguh will not be completed for the time being as industry sources said only Gagah had been funded for completion and commissioning. It is believed work on Teguh will only start when funds become available, hopefully once Gagah is commissioned.
Gagah Samudera/Teguh Samudera numbers:
Length 76.5 metres
Displacement 1270 ton
Endurance 21 days
Speed 20 knots
Twin diesel engines
X-band navigation radar
S-band navigation radar
1 30mm RWS
Note. I referred this ships as PCU – Pre Commissioning Units as per the US Navy practice – as they have not been commissioned.
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