SHAH ALAM: Milestone reached. It appears that the THHE-Destini JV has reached another milestone in its production of the MMEA OPV. The first of class OPV has been joined together. As most of you are aware, modern ships are build in modular blocks and once these are ready, they are joined together to make a complete ship. This allow for faster shipbuilding compared to the keel up style of older generation ships.
Anyhow work to join the modules of the first of class MMEA OPV was completed at the THHE facility at Pulau Indah today, based on a Facebook post by the company hired to photograph the process. As the company is not supposed to share the pictures publicly, I will not do so here. Following the publication of this post, Malaysian Defence was provided pictures of the ship prior and during the joining process.
THHE-Destini is building three MMEA OPV based on the Damen 1800 design. Malaysian Defence previously reported that the three ships will be named after state royal towns.
The first of class MMEA 1800 OPV will be named KM Kota Bharu, the second KM Kuala Kangsar and the third KM Seri Menanti.KM Kota Bharu is of course named after the royal town of Kelantan while Kuala Kangsar is Perak and Seri Menanti, Negri Sembilan, respectively. There are nine state royal towns in Malaysian with two ships already in seservice with MMEA,namely, KM Pekan and KM Arau
Anyhow I was told that the first MMEA OPV will be launced in February or March, next year. The original plan, as previously reported by Malaysian Defence, was to launch the ship late this year, basically, next month, actually. With the ship already joined several days ahead of December, this could be done of course.
The shipyard, I was told, however, has decided to move forward the launching date in the first quarter of 2020. This I was told was to facilitate the fitting of more equipment on the ship. I was told it would be much easier to fit the equipment when the ship is still on the dry dock instead of on the water.
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