Fast Combat Boats or FICs?

SHAH ALAM: In his new year message to the service, RMN chief Admiral Reza Sany said that in 2020 the navy took delivery of 11 rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIB), one multi-purpose boat (MPB) and six Fast Combat Boats (FCB) for Op Benteng operations.

We know the RHIBs were delivered for RMN Special Forces command, Paskal and the MPB is for Eastern Fleet Command. But there was no delivery ceremony for FCB last year and the nearest thing to come to mind was the contract for six Fast Interceptor Craft (FIC) with Gading Marine.

One of FIC of Polis Marine procured from Gading Marine. Gading Marine

It appears that the RMN has stopped using the FIC term – which also used by the MMEA and police and now called them FCB. In fact it want more FCB and also probably a slight modified version for the Paskal as mentioned by the Admiral in his new year message. That is a clear indication of the change of designation, though no numbers were announced. It must be noted that the RMN had previously tendered for a dozen FIC some two years ago and it went no where really as the local industry argued against the competition as it preferred suppliers instead of shipbuilders.

A CGI of the Gading Marine FIC for the RMN. Gading Marine

Anyhow Gading Marine has published CGI of the boats it has delivered to the RMN as stated by the Chief (above). From the CGI we can ascertained the FCB is an evolved design of the FIC delivered to the marine police. The main cabin look more aerodynamic and unlike the marine police it is equipped with a RWS likely for a 12.7mm gun.

Another angle of the CGI of the Gading Marine FIC. Gading Marine

I am guessing that although the RMN had taken delivery of the FCB, the official handover has not taken place as they are being outfitted with government furnished equipment. A social media post from Western Fleet command today confirmed that the boats are already with RMN though it appears that the RWS have not been fitted (below). The post referred the boats as FIC though.

Deputy RMN Chief Vice Admiral Abdul Rahman Ayob (last right) being shown the top side of the boat. The RWS should be just below the mast.RMN

RMN Deputy Chief Vice Admiral Abdul Rahman Ayob signing a document with a model of the FCB/FIC on the table. Note the RWS on top of the cabin on the model just like the CGI. RMN

Like the police’s two FICs, the FCB are also equipped with two gun mounts for machine guns in the rear deck. I believed the machine guns are redundant for the FCB as the RWS could take care of all shooting scenarios while underway. It is better to have M4 armed sailors to provide fire support when needed as they will be able to take more precise shots than machine guns at close distances. Dimension wise the FCB is just slightly longer at 18 m compared to the FIC at 17.6 m. And it appears that the RMN has yet to install the canvas roof at the rear deck.

Inside the main cabin of the RMN FSB. It is different from the police one. RMN

The CGI does not show a ramp like the ones on the Combat Boat 90H and the marine police Watercat M14 landing boats though as the FCB are propelled by waterjets it is likely that it could beach itself as specified by the FIC Op Benteng tender. (picture below)

The beaching capability as stated as in the Senarai Semak Untuk Pematuhan Teknikal.

Based on the social media post it is likely that the RWS will be installed soon and with that the official handover ceremony. Hopefully we will have a side profile pictures of the FCBs by then.

— Malaysian Defence

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