Coming Soon OPV

A side view of the latest CGI of the MMEA OPV

SHAH ALAM: Coming Soon OPV. It appears that MMEA first of class OPV – PCU Tun Fatimah – will not be launch this year. It is likely the OPV -pennant number 8305 – will be launch within the first quarter of 2021 instead. Malaysian Defence has reported that the Home Minister as saying that the ship will be launched in October.

The OPV was supposed to hit water this month but the launch had been deferred as the builder – THHE Destini Sdn Bhd – has found that area where the slipway for the launch, is located are littered with construction debris. Work to clear them will not be completed in time to ensure a safe launch even though the company toyed with several options to hasten the launch.

The OPV will be launched into the Port Klang channel. Destini

It is for this reason, the launch is now targetted next year though I have been told that the company had not fixed a date for it. As it is the deadline for handing the ship is in 2021 as what the Home Ministry told Parliament. In a written response to a question from Senator Imran Abdul Hamid, the ministry said the first OPV is expected to be delivered in 2021 and the project is expected to be completed in 2022.
The port side view of 8305 – note the MMEA name and crest.

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From the Hansard.

Untuk makluman Ahli Yang Berhormat, pembinaan tiga (3) buah kapal Offshore Patrol Vessel(OPV)bagi kegunaan Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia (APMM) dilaksanakan oleh syarikat usahasama (Destini Shipbuilding & Engineering Sdn Bhd dan TH Heavy Engineering Berhad) iaitu THHE-Destini Sdn.Bhd. Berakhir November 2020, kemajuan pembinaan ketiga-tiga kapal secara keseluruhannya telah mencapai tujuh puluh satu perpuluhan satu peratus (71.7%). Penyerahan ketiga-tiga kapal akan dilaksanakan secara berperingkat bermula tahun 2021 dan akan selesai sepenuhnya pada pertengahan tahun 2022.

The OPV at the yard. Note the two barges behind with the ship in the water with the steel beams. The construction debris is found just after the waterline and extend to where the barges are located.

It is interesting to note that the ministry stated that the overall construction of the ships had reached 71.7 per cent as off November, 2020. It must be noted that the RM738.9 million contract for the three OPVs was announced in January, 2017. The contract period is for 42 months which meant that the ships were expected to be completed by July 2020. So technically it is already behind schedule but the statement from the ministry did not indicate this. I cannot confirmed whether the PH government had renegotiated the contract when it was in power but it is likely as Destini did say that the progress payments for the project and those of the NGPC were reduced by the government (PH) in its 2019 annual report. It is likely the reduction in payment also meant the contract period has been extended to 2022.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

17 Comments

  1. 72.7% overall is quite a lot.

    That should mean that the other 2 OPVs are basically completed as much as possible as modules and is just waiting for the modules to be welded up as a ship.

    It would be very good if a decision to proceed with batch 2 of the OPV1800 to be decided by 2021. That would enable the whole team start building the 4th even when the 3rd ship is still in build.

    If the frigates are stuck in a limbo, to offset that issue we should really make sure MMEA gets all the OPVs it needs on time. We really need hulls in the water to be out there 365 days a year. Our ships must be out in our EEZ at all times, much more than the chinese coast guard does in our EEZ.

  2. “..Destini did say that the progress payments for the project and those of the NGPC were reduced by the government (PH) in its 2019 annual report.”

    Perhaps the same happened to the LCS project.

    Reply
    Again the AG report did not say this but instead pointed out that BNS got some RM100 million plus payment that’s wasn’t supposed to be made

  3. … – “r. Our ships must be out in our EEZ at all times@

    And they are. It’s public knowledge that at least a couple of RMN ships are on station at all times. – a huge challenge given the numbers we have and the fact that ships also have to be in others places.

    As the MMEA OPVs enter service they’ll be able to take some strain of the RMN. Hopefully the government won’t drag its foot in moving with a 2nd batch of MMEA OPVs.

  4. “Again the AG report did not say this but instead pointed out that BNS got some RM100 million plus payment that’s wasn’t supposed to be made”

    Not to mention that rm1 billion that goes missing without a trace..

    Reply
    The AG report did not mentioned there was any missing money. I know this was what LCT told Parliament in late 2019 based on the investigation by the committee set up by the then government. The AG report would have mentioned this if this was its finding.

  5. It usually takes 1 year from launch to commissioning of naval ships, I doubt it would be handed over to MMEA in Q1 2021.

    Reply
    Six months the quickest after launch

  6. … – “During the latest standoff involving the KD Keris, they are not”

    There was another ship at sea but it was nowhere in the vicinity. The problem is the limited number of hulls we have in relation to the area which has to be convered. It’s a huge area; from the Luconia Shoals area off the Sarawak coast to further eastwards where are our reefs are located. At minimum there is always a ship at sea with another ready to sail at short notice.

    Hopefully the MMEA OPVs will be deployed to the area and be able to take some strain off the RMN. Hopefully also it won’t take a decade or so for follow on ones to be ordered.

  7. I believed deputy menhan, dato’ seri ikmal hisham mentioned that 1 billion missing money on sept 10 this year during a dewan negara seating..During that time he also said that mindef not confident bns can finish the project and later categorized the project as “Projek Sakit” which mean well..

    Reply
    No lah, it was LCT telling the parliament about the missing money, when the deputy minister was doing briefing on the budget. Again I am not saying that there is no money missing but I am saying the AG report didn’t said it was. LCT had the powers to get the ministry to lodge a report to the police and SPRM on the missing money as the matter was made known to him when he was the deputy minister. And only now he is asking it to be done.

  8. ” Hopefully also it won’t take a decade or so for follow on ones to be ordered ”

    Ideally a batch 2 should be signed by end of 2021 so that the 4th OPV 1800 could start before the 3rd one is finished. also ideally MMEA would have its 20 large OPV by 2030.

    Recently USA launched an integrated maritime strategy comprising US Navy, US Marine Corps and US Coast Guard titled titled “Advantage at Sea: Prevailing with Integrated All-Domain Naval Power”

    http://media.defense.gov/2020/Dec/17/2002553481/-1/-1/0/TRISERVICESTRATEGY.PDF/TRISERVICESTRATEGY.PDF

    We should have something similar, an integrated maritime defence and security plan comprising TLDM, MMEA and Polis Marin.

  9. Hmmm…shouldn’t the Polis Marin be combined with MMEA? Seems redundant having 2 agencies doing the same thing……

    We should follow the USCG during the Cold War days, arm the MMEA with anti ship missiles (The USCG cutters were armed with Harpoons)! Or re-float HMS Repulse from its grave, clean it good and re-engine it. 😀

    Anyway, I echo Azlan’s sentiments, here’s hoping for more OPVs for our MMEA

    Reply
    They were supposed to do that but the government chickened out of it.

  10. Curious why Destini did not have “slipway issues” with their NGPC builds. Anyhow, these ships are still being built right?

    Reply
    NGPC is small enough that it could be moved from land to water or vice versa using a moveable crane. The OPV is too big for that. Nope the sixth and final one is to be delivered any time soon. MMEA has not signed any new contract for extra NGPC

  11. What batch 2?..This MMEA OPV project although progressing better than LCS but still a year late..This whole project or all ships are supposed to complete last July or this year..With pandemic and prev govt intervention on TH

  12. @joe

    “It usually takes 1 year from launch to commissioning of naval ships, I doubt it would be handed over to MMEA in Q1 2021.”

    The MMEA OPV do not have complicated systems on board. Just a stand-alone 30mm RWS with its own director. Just interface info from the navigation system to make the system more accurate. The combat trials will be short and sweet IMHO. Even the Integrated Bridge is based on ethernet, which significantly reduces the complexity of the cable termination, system-to-system interfacing and commissioning works.

    The yard can take advantage of the delay in launch as it would have more time to further outfit the ship prior to the test and trials. Once the ship hits the water, which I presume will be in the first Q of 2021, I believe (similar to Marhalim) it will take approx. 6 months to deliver the ship. Thus, anytime in the 3rd Q is my bet. I agree with you that a naval ship will take at least a year post launch to complete the works but this ain’t a navy ship…hehehe.

    From info I got from a little bird, the progress of OPV1 is at 87.8%. This is significantly more than the progress that a ship normally is at launch, which is between 70 to 80%. So, I guess THHE Destini is already capitalising on the slipway delay to complete as much installation and pre-testing works as possible.

    Another advantage of the delay is the relaxation (hopefully) of the entry of foreigners into Malaysia once the ship is launched. With the COVID situation, it would be extremely cost and time prohibitive to bring in foreign engineers from DAMEN and OEMs to conduct system commissioning, what with the mandatory quarantine and all that . And I am sure the Government will not want to pay for these extra costs.

  13. “sixth and final one is to be delivered any time soon”
    So Destini managed to complete both all the 6 NGPCs and 1st of OPV units with minimal hiccups and no drama. Pity there is little applause for them or perhaps Malaysian mentality meant we only have brickbats in reserve to throw when problems arises.

    With next year budget dried up to pay for the remainder ships. It doesn’t seem likely MMEA will be getting more new major assets. In that case, I would like them to push for more donation ships from others, maybe more Japan Coast Guard vessels, and build more interceptor crafts. With the country might soon reopen borders (late Q1 or early Q2), we can anticipate border issues like intrusion, smuggling, illegals, drugs, etc will also make a comeback. MMEA must be ready for this when RMN stands down with the end of Ops Benteng.

  14. off topic

    just for my own references

    MMEA returned 2x PZ Class ship back to the marine police (PPM Pasukan Polis Marin) in july 2020

    They are

    KM Budiman renamed back to PZ 14

    and

    KM Berani renamed back to PZ 7

    They are based out of Sandakan for ESSCOM patrols.

    So now MMEA has 13x PZ class, and PPM got back 2x PZ class.

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