More On The FIC

SHAH ALAM: More on the FIC. Last week, French shipbuilder, CMN, delivered two out of 39 high speed interceptors build for the Royal Saudi Navy. CMN signed a 2017 contract with Saudi firm, Zamil Offshore Services, worth Euros 480 million (RM2.2 billion) for the supply of the HS132 interceptors for the RSN. CMN will build 21 of the boats in France while another 19 will be built in Saudi by Zamil.

What is this got to do with the FIC then ? Nothing apart from the fact that I like the design of the Saudi FIC which is supposed to do the same jobs as the ones we are looking for. It’s way too expensive for the RMN FIC anyway as the budget allocated for the 18 boats is only RM200 million or RM10 million per boat basically. The RSN boat is RM37 million each, its a much bigger boat anyhow.

CMN HS132 Interceptor of the Royal Saudi Navy. CMN

Actually, CMN’s smaller HS125 interceptor is better suited to the requirements of the FIC tender though I am not sure how much it will cost (depending on numbers, probably half of its bigger sibling, but still short of the money allocated for the FIC).

CMN HS125 Interceptor. CMN

Anyway based on inputs from my sources it appears that the RMN FIC has very similar specifications to the current in service CB90 or even the Mark V SOC (which itself was derived from the CB90).

RMN CB90 Combat boat

I think the industry felt the same way as a number of shipyards that participated in LIMA 19 had models that looked very similar to the CB90 though none of them were claiming that they were partners with the CB90’s builder, Dockstavarvet. The Swedish company also has a modernized version of the CB90 though I am not sure whether its local partner intends to bid for the FIC tender.

Dockstavarvet 16 meter interceptor operated by Mexico.

The RMN FIC is to be armed with a 12.7mm caliber machine gun, to be operated remotely, and two light machine guns. Although the tender call for a RWS for the machine gun I am not sure whether this could be done. A RWS mount for a 12.7 mm machine gun would likely cost more than RM1 million (the gun will be supplied by RMN), I am not sure any shipbuilders could supply even one RWS on a boat costing RM10 million or lower. Of course these may be the trump card for the winning bidder.

The interior of 16 meter interceptor of Dockstavarvet.

The minimum crew requirement is five, the number usually carried by RMN CB90s; with the capability to carry eight passengers. It is to be equipped with the standard navigational aids and endurance of three days at sea.

One of the Watercat assault/landing boat of marine police built by the Geliga Shipyard in Terengganu. The vessel or the latest version could be offered for the RMN FIC tender.

The winning FIC, equipped with at least two engines and a top speed of 40 knots, should be build locally, I was told.

— Malaysian Defence

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