SHAH ALAM: Back in January this year, RMN informed us that they are getting a new boat – albeit a third hand one – courtesy of the MMEA. The boat is – Pengawal 43 – one of the 27 boats MMEA received from the Marine police back in 2011.
On September 9 2023, a tender to tow back – Pengawal 43 – to the RMN base in Tanjung Gelang, Kuantan from the MMEA base in Kuala Rompin was issued. The contract was awarded to Thirteen Technology Resources for RM77,000.
Checks showed six other contracts (awarded to separate companies) were awarded via Eperolehan to restore and overhaul Pengawal 43 which comes to some RM1.7 million. With the towing contract, the cost of putting Pengawal 43 into service with RMN, is some RM1.8 million. The tenders were published from September 9, 2023 to October 12 2023.
Fiddling around Eperolehan, it was also revealed that RMN had also taken delivery of another Pengawal class boat – Pengawal 41. The boat is likely based at the Lumut naval base as the tenders were issued under the Western Fleet Command Logistics headquarters. Pengawal 41 was previously based at the MMEA base in Kampung Acheh, Sitiawan, which is near to the RMN base so there was no need to get a company to tow her there.
The cost to restore Pengawal 41, based on seven tenders published in Eperolehan is some RM1.6 million. The tenders were published on September 9, 2023 and closes five days later. Another two tenders have not been awarded so the total cost may well exceed the ones already contracted for Pengawal 43.
Based on the above, the cost of putting back the two boats into RMN service, will be around RM4 million. This is higher than the cost of the RMN Eastern Fleet buying three new multi-purpose boats (MPB) as part of Ops Benteng. The contract for the three MPB is RM2.4 million while the contract for another MPB bought prior to the Op Benteng tender was RM800,000.
The MPB can carry twelve – four crew and eight passengers – compared to seven on the Pengawal. The MPB top speed is 35 knots and 30 knots for the Pengawal while their physical dimensions are similar.
The main difference is the MPB is fitted with three outboard motors while the Pengawal is fitted with two MTU engines which powered two water jets. The MPB is built from GRP while the Pengawal is built from steel and aluminium.
RMN has not stated the roles of the two Pengawal but it is likely that it will be like the ones for the MPB which is
Intercept the Contact of Interest(COI)”. Other duties include counter-piracy and anti-sea robbery operation, deter entry of illegal foreign fishing boats and immigrants, deter entry of illegal and goods smuggling activities, intelligence gathering activities as well as as search and rescue operation.
Perhaps it easier to fix boats instead of buying new, which is the reason for the two Pengawal boats. Overhaul and maintenance comes from the Operational Expenditure while new ones are paid by the Development Expenditure. That the said DE for 2024 listed RM25 million allocation for Obsolescence programme.
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