SHAH ALAM: The keel laying ceremony for the first out of three MMEA OPV is expected to be held this December. It will be held at the THHE-Destini shipyard in Pulau Indah, in Port Klang.
Industry sources told Malaysian Defence steel cutting for the first OPV is already underway in Singapore and it was a matter of time before the prepared materials are shipped to Port Klang for the building process to start.
For those unawares, we also sourced and cut steel for both the LCS and NGPV projects – overseas as Malaysian steel producers do not make steel for ship-building. In the case of the LCS and NGPV, the steel were sourced and cut at two different manufacturing plants in Holland.
By getting the steel from a plant in the region, THHE-Destini would have reduce the cost for the OPV somewhat.
As reported previously, the ship will be built to the Damen 1800 OPV design. However, unlike 1800 design, the MMEA OPV will not come with a hangar for an embarked helicopter. It can land and refuel helicopters up to an AW139, however, as well as UAVs. No decision has been made on the UAV. It will be fitted with four Caterpillar diesel engines with two screws for a design speed of 20 knots. And It will be 83 meters long and crewed by 70 personnel. It will be fitted with the Aselsan SMASH 30mm RWS on the A deck,two GPMGs on both sides just behind the bridge and a 50 caliber gun facing aft above the helo deck
If indeed the keel laying ceremony is held this December, this will mean the project will start ahead of schedule as at LIMA 17, THHE-Destini officials said that it will start early next year.
This will be a boon for the workers at the shipyard at Pulau Indah which seemed rather deserted during a recent visit.
* this is an updated version of the post. The original post stated that the keel laying will be held in November but it has been pointed out that this will be done in December, as per the contract.
— Malaysian Defence
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