SHAH ALAM: IN the first installment of the MMEA’s NGPC project, I suggested that the boat was probably too small for its intended duties. Some readers concurred with me.
I now admit that I was wrong to doubt the MMEA’s specifications. As mentioned previously the NGPC is supposed to be between 43 to 45 metres in length, a displacement of not more than 250 tons and with embarkation for 30 crew and 10 extra personnel (when the need arises). An endurance of 7 days at 12 knots and a maximum speed of more than 25 knots are also specified.
It must also has enough deck space to launch and recover a catapult launch UAV and be able to embark a 10 feet x 10 feet container at one time (two be supplied) for SAR and pollution control operations. MMEA also stipulated that the NGPC be built in a local shipyard.
Actually we do not have to look far for a similar spec-ed vessel, in-fact just across the Malacca Straits with the Indonesian Navy. The TNI-AL is operating eight Clurit class FACs which were built by two Indonesian shipyards, PT Palindo Marine and PT Citra, both located on Batam Island.
The first four of the class were originally fitted with a manually operated 20mm gun and several GPMGs but KRI Clurit and KRI Kujang had since been fitted with a AK-630 CWS and the two launchers for the Chinese made C-705 anti-ship missiles.
From the Wikipedia entry of the Clurit class (I know its not the most authoritative source), the boats are 44 metres long with a beam of 8 metres and a displacement of 250 tons. Janes meanwhile reported that the class has a top speed of 30kt and a crew of 35. It has a large after deck, apparently big enough to fit four SSM launchers, a crane and a RHIB.
According to a report by Jakarta Post datelined Dec 23, 2013, there were plans to export the vessel to neighbouring nations though it did not mention any particular country. The same report also stated that the Clurit class boats cost US$5.97 million (RM19.5 million) each, excluding the weapons.
I am pretty sure MMEA officials were aware of the Clurit class though its unlikely that they wanted that particular boat for the NGPC project. However as the NGPC project had been re-tendered who knows maybe the Clurit class will be in the mix.
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