SHAH ALAM: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director general Admiral (Maritime) Zubil Mat Som said today that the first OPV built by THHE Bhd is expected to be delivered this July. He said the ship was supposed to be delivered this month, but it has now been postponed by three months.
Zubil, who is retiring on March 19 after 42 years of service in both the RMN and MMEA, was speaking at his retirement parade in Putrajaya today.
MMEA’s Logistics Chief Rear Admiral Saiful Lizan Ibrahim has been named as the acting DG. Saiful was the first commander of KM Arau, the OPV donated by the Japan goverment.
Malaysian Defence had previously reported that there was a possibility that OPV1 will be delivered by this May, just in time for LIMA 2023. However, the statement by the MMEA DG had shown this might not happened.
Apart from this, Zubil also stated that delivery date of OPV2 – scheduled by year end – might also not be met and it might be delivered next year with the third vessel. He said the OPVs was supposed to be anb important addition to the MMEA fleet as they will be capable of patrolling the Malaysian Exclusive Economic Zone due to their size and length. The Damen 1800 tonne vessel is 83 meters long is capable of patrolling for 28 days without the need for refueling.
Perhaps, MMEA or the Home Ministry could ask the Singapore government to donate the five Fearless-class patrol vessel which it had decommissioned since 2017. Singapore has gifted two of the PV to the Royal Brunei Navy and using is four as maritime security vessels leaving five in its stock. These ex-RSN could be used for patrol in Eastern Sabah. The ships in service with the RSN from 1998 to 2020 are much younger than some of the ships in the MMEA fleet.
— Malaysian Defence