More MMEA Ships to Sarawak

A MMEA patrol boat moving away from the Kasawari gas development platform in South China Sea. Note the size of the OSV (green) and another crew supply vessel (red) compared to the 39 metre patrol boat likely to be KM Tabah or KM Cekal. APMM

SHAH ALAM: MMEA is scheduled to receive OPV1 on November 27, its deputy director-general (Operations) Vice Admiral (Maritime) Hamid Mohd Amin said on November 4 in Kuching. Once delivered – OPV1 – built by THHE Sdn Bhd at Pulau Indah – will be based in Kuching to boost the surveillance of the state’s waters.

MMEA will also base two 32- metre patrol boats – KM Marudu and KM Kimanis – to Sarawak by year-end, he added. MMEA has also moved two other boats to Sarawak earlier this year. The two ships are the 40-metre KM Marlin and KM Tegas.

KM Marlin – pennant number 4001. She was donated by Nippon Foundation in 2006. She is being transferred to Sarawak MMEA. MMEA

Hamid also said one of two ships to be donated by “a friendly nation” next year will also be based in Sarawak.
KM Tabah pennant number 3902 taking part in Exercise Maritim Perkasa Timur. Same class as KM Kimanis and KM Marudu, all ex-Marine police PZ class boats.

Story from The Borneo Post:

“This is to achieve our objective in determining our safety and preparedness, especially in the waters of Sarawak, because the waters of the state are rich in petroleum and marine resources,” he said in a press conference of the Perkasa Timur Maritime Exercise 2/2023 closing ceremony, at the Sarawak MMEA headquarters (Komtas), today.

According to him, currently, MMEA has moved two ships, KM Marlin and KM Tegas, to Sarawak for the same purpose, as well as part of the agency’s asset preparedness ahead of the Northeast Monsoon (MTL).

“We will receive two more patrol vessels from the friendly team, meaning from abroad, at the beginning of next year, and we plan to move one of them to Sarawak,” he said.

Commenting on the exercise conducted, Hamid said that it was carried out to prepare MMEA officers and members to face any maritime threat situation, focusing on the South China Sea on the west coast of Sabah and Sarawak.

A total of 652 officers and members of the MMEA, with the strength of 14 vessels, were involved in the exercise for a week, from Oct 28 until today, with locations ranging from Kota Kinabalu to Kuching.

Four NGPC leads the ships taking part in Exercise Maritim Perkasa Timur. Two Bagan Datuk class patrol boats are based in Sarawak, KM Sri Aman and KM Kota Belud while two more, KM Kota Kinabalu and KM Lahad Datu in Sabah. MMEA.

As for OPV1, Malaysian Defence has posted that the ship is expected to be delivered by year end. She was out at sea, a month back for sea trials, which according to industry sources had gone well.
Aselsan SMASH 30mm RWS on one of the NGPC. MMEA.

— Malaysian Defence

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29 Comments

  1. With the chinese coast guard ships measuring 130 meters or more, MMEA should be sending their biggest ship over there i.e. KM Pekan or Arau

  2. Seeing the NGPC reminds me, anyone know what happen to the Fulmar UAVs that were supposedly to go onto these boats but was reverted after that accident? Is the system being in use somewhere else now or just chuck into a warehouse to be forgotten?

  3. I hope the friendly nation that want to donates ships to us is Japan. Just like KM Pekan, KM Arau and KM Marlin.

  4. Hasnan – “With the chinese coast guard ships measuring 130 meters or more”

    Unless we’re going to ram them; size isn’t an issue.

  5. The OSV, from AIS tracking, is probably SK Marco Polo, owned by SK Offshore & Marine. It is a 78m long OSV with a gross tonnage (GT) of about 4900 tonnes. A good size of ship for TLDM as a multi-purpose mothership actually, for APMM it would be better to get AHTS-type of OSVs that can tow ships in distress.

    Additional OPV donations? Hopefully a few more of KM Pekan sisterships from Japan.

    Lets hear if defence experts here have any suggestions on how to quickly increase the APMM OPV fleet with the small development budget that APMM is given.

  6. “I think its stored in a warehouse.”
    Such a waste! We paid so much money for them, why not MMEA use them for some other land based function or else give it to other service branches, after all the spook division had to buy Chinese drones when they could have used these.

  7. @Azlan

    You have to be prepared for the inevitable. One day for sure the Chinese will implement area denial to all our ships in all the disputed zones.

  8. Hasnan – “You have to be prepared for the inevitable”

    Not all things are inevitable and we don’t need ships of a large size unless we intend on raming anything. Also, even if they did implement area denial it wouldn’t make a different even if we had a 8,000 tonne ship in the area.

    … – “Lets hear if defence experts here have any suggestions on how to quickly increase the APMM OPV fleet”

    Didn’t know there were any “experts here” but to me the pertinent question is if the MMEA were to “quickly” increase the APMM OPV fleet” does it have the manpower on hand or the funds to “quickly” sustain the assets? Another issue is that the “quickly” and the operational need aside; what the MMEA is also trying to do is decrease or lower its logistical/support footprint. Would be a major strain if it were to “quickly” be provided say 3 OPVs which have no commonality with what is already operated.

    “Chinese drones when they could have used these”

    The Fulmars are smaller, shorter range and endurance ones compared to what the Royal Intelligence Corps recently received. Would be nice to know however that some use for the Fulmars have been found by the MMEA.

  9. @hulubalang
    “Hopefully a few more of KM Pekan sisterships from Japan.”
    If you’d followed these boats histories, they are actually one off designs. Those that came after Pekan & Arau have multiple sisterships. We will need to see what we get.

  10. @ joe

    “If you’d followed these boats histories”

    Yes, i do follow their histories.

    KM Arau, formerly PL-01 Nojima, was a 1-off

    KM Pekan, formerly PL-02 Erimo (before that was named Ojika) is the 1st of 7 sisterships.

    Ojika-class
    1) PL-02 Erimo (was named Ojika, now KM Pekan)
    2) PL-03 Kudaka
    3) PL-04 Yahiko
    4) PL-05 Dejima
    5) PL-06 Kurikoma
    6) PL-07 Satsuma
    7) PL-08 Tosa

    https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%81%8A%E3%81%98%E3%81%8B%E5%9E%8B%E5%B7%A1%E8%A6%96%E8%88%B9_(2%E4%BB%A3)

  11. How to increase number of MMEA ships? Complete the 3 OPVs. That’s 3 ships. Same with RMN. Complete the 5 LCS and sign off on the 3 LMS2. That’s 8 ships by 2030 – which I belive will increase by at least 5x RMN’s total tonnage. The programs are there. The pipeline exists. No point introducing new programs (even conversions and refit) just for the rah-rah only for those programs to fail because of poor execution. More programs more risks. More risks more waste. More waste less money for exiting programs.

  12. @hulubalang
    “PL-02 Erimo is the 1st of 7 sisterships”
    As I remembered Erimo was still a one off and the class after was an evolved design. Anyhow the inportant thing is they should share the same machinery & systems if possible. The outlook shape is of secondary.

    @kel
    “just for the rah-rah only for those programs to fail”
    Funnily its these refit & OP programs that are facing less hiccups than the build programs and delivering ships back to TLDM hands! LOL! IMHO we should also complete the 6th LCS since we already bought the steel.

  13. @ joe

    “As I remembered”

    Your memory and the actual facts does not tally, i am afraid.

    Which is why i write down notes on histories (such as for the vospers that i wrote before), and don’t rely on just memories.

  14. on the regards of “commonality”

    OPVs does not have or need complex weapons, complex combat management systems, complex sensors. So there is not much a problem of using different hulls, unlike for naval use. Common items such as engines, pumps, valves, electrical items can be overhauled or replaced like for like newer items without much issues during refit.

    Italy for example, has converted quite a few naval hulls by just removing obsolete electronic systems and run them purely as patrol vessels.

  15. … – “OPVs does not have or need complex weapons, complex combat management systems, complex ”

    Thanks for the nugget but I was referring to radars, engines, gearboxes and a whole list of other things.

    … – “So there is not much a problem of using different hulls, unlike for naval use”

    Well if you’re referring to the Malaysian Maritime
    Enforcement Agency it has a large logistical and support footprint; is facing issues as a result and wants to reduce not enlarge and he footprint.

  16. “So there is not much a problem”
    On ageing ships we also have to consider their mission systems as well since these are old boats so the support is no longer as good as when they were new. Old/obsoleted electronics are much harder to get as compared to mechanical spareparts actually. So trying to ensure commonality on older ships, do we want 1 headache for 2-3 boats or 3 headaches for 3 ships each with separate systems?

  17. When you remove the heavy weapons, the ship become a patrol vessel – because its only good for patrols. If the ship is big enough, it becomes an offshore patrol vessel. The Perdana class once their missiles were removed, became patrol vessels. But they are too small to be offshore patrol vessels. RMN has been converting ships to patrol vessels for many years… The Laksamana class for example, is now a patrol vessel since without its missiles, its only good for patrols. The Kedah class is an offshore patrol vessel. In fact, the majority of RMN’s fleets are actually patrol vessels. Only 4 ships (I think) are missile equipped.

  18. @ joe

    OPV/patrol boat only have no mission systems. That is why they are cheap to refit.

    @ kel

    A reason why i propose those Kedah class to be passed to APMM. Just remove the CMS, FCR, TRS-3D and make it OPV only, and the subsequent refits will be cheap. A majority patrol vessel only Navy will not be a capable asset against enemy naval forces. A reason TLDM needs all of its planned 6 GOWINDs (not just 5) and more submarines.

  19. kel – ”If the ship is big enough, it becomes an offshore patrol vessel. ”

    Where did you get this quaint notion? A ”OPV”’ can be 500, 1,200 or 7,000 tonnes; depends on how the end user wants to classify it.

    kel – ”In fact, the majority of RMN’s fleets are actually patrol vessels.”

    Too be a devil’s advocate; all ships in any navy have a peacetime function which includes ”patrols”.

    kel – ”The Laksamana class for example, is now a patrol vessel since without its missiles, its only good for patrols.”

    To put it more accurately ”it’s only good for” scenarios which don’t call for anything more than a Super Rapid …

  20. … – ”A reason why i propose those Kedah class to be passed to APMM. ”

    Yes but your ”proposal” ignores the fact that the RMN won’t be in a position to handover anytime soon and assumes the MMEA wants the Kedahs…

    … – ”A majority patrol vessel only Navy will not be a capable asset against enemy naval forces. ”

    Just like saying a man with a hole in his head won’t be able to apply for Sandhurst or
    Stuart won’t be able to take out a JS1. Also; the definition of ”capable” is subjective and dependent; seen in relation to other fastors.

    … – ”A reason TLDM needs all of its planned 6 GOWINDs (not just 5) and more submarines.”

    Not as simplistic as you perennially make out. A mixture of various things are needed; all supplementing each other; all working in a networked environment and jointly.

  21. @hulubalang
    “OPV/patrol boat only have no mission systems.”
    Incorrect. No matter how basic, an OPV ship still has radar, FCR & engine management systems that are digital. These still needs to be maintained & serviced. A Japanese ship typically uses Japanese electronics and their internally used electronics components & industry is notoriously known to be Japan exclusive (meaning only they produce such exotic parts, no where else in the world).

  22. “mixture of various things are needed; all supplementing each other; all working in a networked environment and jointly”

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/pac-report-on-lcs-october-9-2023/#comment-879277

    If you care to look at my tldm plan to 2040, multiple ships doing everything that is needed from a navy, working jointly (Gowind – LMS-X loyal wingman concept) and networked (OSV MCM Mothership teaming etc). All done within existing level of development budget.

  23. Call it multi purpose advanced patrol vessel, devil’s advocate patrol vessel, peacetime suitable patrol vessel, or special purpose gun only patrol vessel, or the like new refitted patrol vessel. It has no missiles, it has no torpedos. It is a ship meant only for patrol work. Would rather call out a ship as not sutiable for RMN, call out a ship the RMN is not looking for, then to be a cheerleader and advance narratives the Navy can make do with patrol vessels. Otherwise someone somewhere might FFBNW the LMS2, thinking RMN can make do with gun only ship because the devil say its good enough for the mission. Which makes LMS2 another patrol vessel.

  24. ”If you care to look at my tldm plan ”

    Pat on the back for you and I’ll even blow your trumpet if you’d like but a Ro Ro never was a substitute for a MPSS and it’s fantastical delusion [contrary to well known and studied precedents] to clam a sub will always be more survivable or will always be able to perform.

    kel – ”It is a ship meant only for patrol work.”

    ”It is a ship meant only” for roles which are suitable for how the ship is equipped.

    kel – ” advance narratives the Navy can make do with patrol vessels.”

    Your narrative?

    kel – ”Which makes LMS2 another patrol vessel.”

    In case you’ve missed the plot; the LMS BAtch 2 will be fully fitted out; the question is to what extent … Your line of logic/reasoning is like daft individual saying 105mm Rooikat is only good for guerilla warfare.

    kel – ”Otherwise someone somewhere might FFBNW the LMS2”

    Unless Humpty Dumpty has the influence or Casper your ‘friendly ghost” is at play; the government has agreed to fit out the LMS Batch 2nd and the RM has pressed its case.

  25. @kel
    If its for MMEA then there is no need for missiles nor torps. One could argue they can be made FFBNW if they going to have an active wartime role but that will escalate the ship price and will not serve MMEA’s interest.

    Otoh, if its for TLDM LMS2 then whether it will be fully armed or FFBNW is depending on the budget, how many units they can get with that limit, and what kind of compromises TLDM can stomach. It has less to do with its peacetime role as all TLDM ships are expected to have a frontline wartime duties and a FFBNW config is meant they can be rearmed when so needed.

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