Marine Police Mothership Tender, UpDate

Al Quwaisat UAE Navy landing ship. Picture used for illustration only. Military Edge

SHAH ALAM: Last October, Malaysian Defence posted on the Marine police mothership tender. The two 60-meter mothership cum transport and training vessel will be the biggest to be operated by the Marine police once they are in service.

Malaysian Defence summary of the specification of the two vessels:

Two aluminium catamarans with a length of at least 55 meters and not more 60 meters. Top speed of 35 knots and a cruising range of 1500NM and an endurance of 14 days. Armed with a single 20mm remote weapon station and two deck mounted machine guns. A complement of thirty personnel and space for thirty passengers (seated). Equipped with a vehicle and goods deck and a helicopter landing pad.

One of the four PLC class, landing craft operated by the Marine police.

The request for bids/tender was published on October 20 and closed on December 20. From the Eperolehan website, we now know that six bidders qualified for the next phase of the tender, the evaluation and selection phase. The six bids ranged from RM194.7 million – the lowest – to the highest at RM299.7 million.
PSB 1, a barge turned into mothership for operations in ESSCOM. PSB 1 served as a floating base for marine police units operating in the ESSCOM AOR.

Interestingly there are three bids which are in the similar range – one at RM230 million; the other at RM234 million and highest at RM237 million. They are not the cheapest bid of course but they seemed to be working on a similar solution. Of course, I am not saying that the bids are cheap of course, even the lowest bid meant that each vessel would cost some RM97 million each.
One of the PA 25m patrol boat built for PDRM by PME.

Anyhow, I am guessing we would have a few months time before the shipyard and vessel are selected. Hopefully, there will be an indication at least during LIMA23 this May.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2205 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. I just cannot fathom what is the need for Polis Marin to be having a 20mm RWS. Even a 50cal RWS would have been overkill. And that ship size already into MMEA territory straddling between the NGPC and OPV.

  2. Marhalim,
    Just like the TDM helicopter lease requirements “with retractable landing gears”, perhaps for PDRM too the “aluminium catamarans” they have a local supplier in mind?

  3. Spending 200++ million ringgit on ships that will not do anything about those large China Coast Guard Ships always parked outside Bintulu.

    That kind of money could get at least half a dozen large used oil and gas OSVs that could be used to monitor the Chinese coast guard ships.

  4. Re: the 20mm guns.
    I wonder if these boats are so armed to support PDRM PGK units in the waters off ESSCOM. Maybe?

  5. Yes they have to go to Sabah and Sarawak to justify the investment on them. As it is police marine boats are used to transport munitions to Sabah and Sarawak if they cannot hitched a RMN logistics run to both territories.

  6. As you are aware police marine authority lies only in our territorial waters which is twelve nautical mile, beyond that is the job of MMEA and RMN.

  7. Wong … – ”Spending 200++ million ringgit on ships that will not do anything about those large China Coast Guard ships”

    The issue is that these ships are not intended ”do anything about those large China Coast”. They are for a different purpose and the police dos not operate in areas where ‘large China Coast Guard ships” operate.

  8. ”I just cannot fathom what is the need for Polis Marin to be having a 20mm RWS.”

    Go back to the days before there was a MMEA and even before that and you’ll have your answer. Marine Police boats operated in certain areas where they came into contact with ships similarly armed and which could become assertive/aggressive. If you want to ask the question : why the/does the PFF have Saxon and V-100/50s armed with auto cannons [but no ammo]? Why did it have 81mm mortars [which never received ammo] and why battalions organised along the lines of a light infantry battalion?

    ”Even a 50cal RWS would have been overkill.”

    You might think so but no. If a ship was escaping and had to be stopped obviously a 7.62mm round would not have the range or velocity. Similarly if trawler made out of timber was attempting to ram or something else; a 7.62mm round would not produce a big or deep enough ”bang”.

  9. Al Quwaisat UAE landing ship was probably the one built by Shin Yang Shipyard of Kuala Baram, Miri, Sarawak. Shows that there are other local shipbuilders that CAN built and promptly deliver navy ships longer than 25m. And that Navy is even not ours.

  10. “Go back to the days before there was a MMEA”
    But the situation is different now rite? MMEA does exist and Polis Marin should be able to call upon them if they needed heavier firepower. Going after smugglers & illegal immigrants doesn’t need a 20mm weapon.

    “If a ship was escaping and had to be stopped”
    Which is not the role of a mothership. Polis Marin will be using other assets or calling upon MMEA to do the chasing if necessary.

  11. ”But the situation is different now rite?”

    Is it really?

    ”MMEA does exist and Polis Marin should be able to call upon them if they needed heavier firepower.”

    What if there is no time to ”call upon them if they needed heavier firepower.”’

    ”Which is not the role of a mothership.”

    What if a mothership is say 4NM off Kudat alone and is attacked by non state elements? What if its on patrol [yes assets we have sometimes are used for other purposes] and is attacked? We are talking about a 20mm mount not a 16 inch mount. Unless the attackers were using a kumpit a 7.62mm has neither the range nor the stopping power. A 20mm mount intended for self defence is certain operational circumstances hardly qualifies as an overkill.

  12. Why on earth does anyone need a mothership 4nm off kudat when you can just return to kudat just 10-15min away?

  13. darren,

    For the simple reason that a mothership enables replenishment at sea rather than having the ships return. A mothership also performs as an observation platform of sorts. That’s why… An example of motherships being deployed to support assets close to shore would be the barges/ships the Americans had in the Mekong to support riverine units.

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