Another Boat For RMN, Sort Off

Pengawal 48 - one of the boat from the class which was operated by MMEA since 2011. The boat was put up for auction in February 22. It is unclear whether it was there was a winning bidder. APMM

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.

Pengawal class. Screenshot from MMEA list of ships.

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.

The Multi-Purpose Boat undergoing testing around the Teluk Sepanggar in Kota Kinabalu in November 2020. Note the air condition compressor on top of the cabin roof. RMN

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 cockpit of the Multi-Purpose Boat undergoing testing in November, 2020. RMN Eastern Fleet.

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.
A close up of the GPS unit on board the Multi- Purpose Boat undergoing testing in November 2020. RMN Eastern Fleet.

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.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

16 Comments

  1. Those ships are probably retired by APMM because they are BER (beyond economic repair)

    APMM recently bought 30 new RHFB boats for RM46.5 million (that is about RM1.55 million per boat). These are made out of aluminium and has a 48 knot top speed.
    https://www.kosmo.com.my/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/WhatsApp-Image-2022-09-16-at-22.00.29.jpeg

    The advantage (or disadvantage) of the Pengawal 41 & 43 is that it has an inboard diesel engine, rather than a petrol outboard.

    Anyway Marhalim, do you know the costs of OP programme for KD Sri Sabah and KD Sri Sarawak?

  2. Just as with their OP program it is easier to fix existing boats using OE than buy new ones using DE. But a question arise, will this act be depriving MMEA of their much needed boats as well? How are they gonna do their jobs effectively if their assets are getting less and less or are they going to buy new PC types as replacements?

  3. Looks like all of the “pengawal” boats has been retired. In all nearly 50 boats.

    The new RHFB is named “perkasa”, as of now 30 units. It has a special hull form for a very flat running on choppy seas, but also stable when stopping in the water. Hopefully they can make this a common design for all future boats of this size.

  4. Akmal -”Poor TLDM. So inadequate.”

    ”Inadequate” in what way? You do realise that these are support/auxiliary boats for a specific purpose and that like many other navies; the RMN has a need for them.

    SUPPORT/AUXILIARY VESSELS

  5. If the patrol boat is handed back to the marine police, it will be well maintained and operate as before. Look now, the 45-year-old PA class patrol boat is still operating well in the ocean…. used to want a PC class patrol boat, now it wants to be disposed of, sold and handed over to other parties.. MMEA should have its own engineering team to repair boats and ships instead of expecting external contractors to repair them.. now more and more are lying on MMEA jetties while waiting for new boats or ships like the picture above.

  6. nizam – ”If the patrol boat is handed back to the marine police,”

    The pertinent question is does the Marine Police actually want it back?

    nizam – ‘Look now, the 45-year-old PA class patrol boat is still operating well in the ocean….”

    Ok but so? The PN still has ships which were laid down in the 1940’s… Also, don’t assume that just because something’s operating; that it’s in good condition.

    nizam – ”MMEA should have its own engineering team to repair boats and ships instead of expecting external contractors to repair them..”

    They do. Not everything is reliant on external help.

    nizam – ”now more and more are lying on MMEA jetties while waiting for new boats or ships like the picture above.”

    For various reasons. Some are way past their age. Ultimately the MMEA has a huge logistical/support footprint and as I never tire of pointing out when people assume certain things; the MMEA is extremely short of resources; whether manpower or shore infrastructure.

  7. The pertinent question is does the Marine Police actually want it back?

    azlan…it’s certain that the marine police don’t want the bots to come back because the cost of repairing them is increasing and there is a new addition of faster PC classes. Handing back 2 class PZs is very painful, lots of damage without a crew and even then they are forced to borrow crews from other experienced bots.

    Ok but so? The PN still has ships which were laid down in the 1940’s… Also, don’t assume that just because something’s operating; that it’s in good condition.

    Yes, that’s right, but regular maintenance and maintenance of the ship will help operations even though knot problems are not as severe as before.

    They do. Not everything is reliable on external help.

    They do? they still depend on contractors appointed by MTU Services to repair the engines. Likewise, in relation to the nautical sector, they do not take courses at ALAM or marine centers that are recognized by the Marine Department, they only rely on AMSAS.

    For various reasons. Some are way past their age. Ultimately the MMEA has a huge logistical/support footprint and as I never tire of pointing out when people assume certain things; the MMEA is extremely short of resources; whether manpower or shore infrastructure.

    bro Azlan – I agree with this

  8. Nizam – “They do? they still depend on contractors appointed by MTU Services to repair the engines”

    Certain things are done themselves; others by contractors. Same with the RMAF, certain things are done at squadron level [i.e. changing rotors and preventive maintenance for the Cougars] but depot level maintenance and overhauls are done elsewhere.

    Nizam – “right, but regular maintenance and maintenance of the ship will help operations”

    As things age they tend to become more maintenance intensive. Just because a ship is still operational means nothing. A ship can be at sea but it’s nav radar might not be operable or one of its engines might have long ceased to function because of a long delayed refit. A ship may have various other things which have long been operable but she’ll still put to sea for routine patrols.

    At times we [like others] resort to cannibalisation.

  9. I remembered the time when I visited KM Kukup some time ago, the captain greeted us and talk for a short time before retreating to the bridge which was off limit to us. To be given a cold shoulder like that for a media visit, which the MMEA PR were at loss to say why.

    But when I went down inside the hull, the ship was rusted all over. The A gun barrel was rusted and was tied down with ropes. The boat was out on patrol though. Thankfully, the sea was fine.

  10. Within the RMN – years ago – there was scorn towards the MMEA which was seen as unprepared and clueless. Things have changed however; the MMEA has matured so to speak.

    In the early days the former RMN people in the MMEA introduced a RMN culture but there was resentment and friction. Others felt that the MMEA had to do things its way.

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