Motherships For the Marine Police

Damen 71 meter accomodation barge. This barge was designed to serve the offshore wind industry though with modifications it could easily served as a mothership for the coast guard.

SHAH ALAM: Motherships for the Marine police. A tender for two 60 meter motherships for the Marine police are expected to be announced soon, its commander Deputy Commissioner Mohd Yusoff Mamat said on July 7.

The motherships will be tasked to support patrol boats in Malaysian waters, he added. The motherships, he added were among the patrol vessels being purchased for the marine police with funds from RMK11 and RMK12. It must be noted that the MMEA is also looking to procure at least two motherships during the same time period though they have seeking to buy them since 2017.

A 2016 picture of KA Bunga Mas Lima from its own Twitter account.

According to Mohd Yusoff, the marine police has 190 vessels of various types currently to cover the 2,000km of maritime areas. Ninety of these vessels are based in Sabah, 20 in Sarawak and 80 in the peninsula.

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

One of the vessels being bought under the RMK12 Rolling Plan 1 is 10 Rigid hull assault boat (RHAB) which RFB was issued on June 16 and closes on July 21. From the specifications I believed that they are looking for an enlarged version of the US Coast Guard Defender patrol boats.

A US Coast Guard Defender class patrol boat. US Coast Guard.

According to the specifications the RHAB must be fitted with a full cabin for two crew and six passengers and a top speed of 45 knots with three outboard engines. The boat must be about 12.5 meters to 13.5 meters with a beam of three meters to 3.5 meters. It must have a minimum range 220 nautical mile at a speed of 30 knots.

An 11.5 metre full cabin FC-38 boat offered by Safe Boats International which used to build the Defender class patrol boat for the US Coast Guard. Safe Boats

The windows must be a(r)mour toughened safety glass and direct glazing. The RHAB shall be protected with robust and rugged fenders system around the boat. Like other similar rigid hull boats, the fenders are bullet proof for up to 7.62mm rounds.

A LomoOcean Full Cabin RHIB. LomoOcean.

What interesting part of the specifications is the armaments section:

The boat shall be equipped with One (1) gun mountings with pivot for swivel multi-direction to mount One (1) FN Herstal General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) 7.62MM Light Pintle Head External Pintle Mounted on Forward Deck. The 7.62mm machine Gun to be supplied by the Shipyard. The gun mounting shall be fitted with bullet proof armor shield no less than NIJ level III fitted.

A Full Cabin RHIB design from Damen. Damen

I believed many shipyards will not be able to supply the GPMG for the testing though as not many will have the license to buy machineguns.

— Malaysian Defence

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  1. This is unrelated to the article but I eould like to know the latest regarding the F18 upgrade

  2. Not an expert or anything but don’t you think having Marine Police and MMEA is redundancy? Having coast guard patrolling the coast while police on the land makes more sense and probably save more money by concentrate each department their own jurisdiction. What does this two do differently to one another?

  3. Mothership…..instead of every agencies having their own mothership…marin polis have…TLDM have…MMEA have..why not this mothership ” thing ” is contracted out to one entity…partially men by TLDM ….afterall these mothership functions are all the same.. replenish supplies……water…fuel…and act as medivac if needed..
    Anyway not every agencies will want to call upon the mothership all at one time.
    I think with this method every agencies can save millions to buy other necessary equipments that tje men is lacking………war is not fought in one directions n one method only…

  4. Its the fault of the government really. Even when Tun M was the PM, he was the one who set up the MMEA, he cannot turn both agencies into one. Why do you think the present one can do it?

  5. It is being done locally incrementally, I am told, not sure of the extent but it is likely mostly to ensure that the fleet is serviceable. Due to Covid they cannot be sent to Australia, as planned.

  6. It was posted in one facebook post that the RMAF has contracted with RUAG to perform the work in Malaysia instead

    Yes I have been told that as well but the scope of it remained unclear whether include the upgrade that was planned earlier or simply a depot level maintenance one without any upgrade

  7. The mention of “armoured” glass on the bridgehouse is good. At least it provides some level of protection against small arms fire.

    Nothing can be done but this duplication of effort is a waste. All those assets operated by the Marine Police would be better off in the MMEA. 190 assets; even if some are old and ready for retirement; is a lot of assets.

    I also can’t help thinking that sone of those assets; especially the shallow drafts ones suited for littoral ops; would be better off in the RMN but that’s me going off tangent here.

  8. @RedSot
    If all the marine branches were to share the same sea base, there could be a security risk, as while MMEA is a civvie outfit reporting to Govt, the TLDM is full on military so security levels between both entities are not the same, lowering security to service MMEA or PDRM vessels & crews might pose a risk to TLDM. Vice versa if such ships are deemed a military target due to TLDM involvement, MMEA & PDRM crews inside would be at a greater risk of collateral.

    One way might be subcontract such support role to a civvie outfit that will only refuel, replenish foodstuff, and R&R, similar operation to US Omega tanker teams refuels USAF, USN, USMC, etc, planes.

  9. To put things in perspective; “jointness” is still a major issue in the MAF. Each service has a different way of doing things and each is competing for funding …
    Even in Tier 1 militaries which got into the game much earlier; inter service rivalry, safeguarding ones turf and parochialism is still a major issue….

    As for a non MAF organisation; if the very services (all MAF) are still having “jointness” issues amongst themselves; what can we realistically expect with a non MAF outfit like the police or MMEA? To really achieve “jointness” the will must flow from top to bottom; there must be a genuine and concentrated will and desire.

    A lot of the “jointness” we do is fit necessity and windrow dressing.

  10. If i remember correctly there were a bunch of posts about this many years ago. Had to do with absorption of police personnel into the MMEA and issues such as possible loss of seniority.

    I don’t think the PDRM would ever willngly let go of their marine police, they like being the big boys when it comes to security. I

  11. The Police does not have any power to enforce malaysian law outside of 12 nautical mile / 22km territorial waters.

    That is where MMEA comes in. Where it can enforce malaysian economic exclusivity in our EEZ ensuring only approved fishing, mineral exploitation, and also control the safety and security aspects of the EEZ.

  12. Faizal – “hat a waste of tax payers money.”

    Why? The fact that there’s a requirement for it means there is operational utility.


    Yes, Which organisation would willingly let go of anything? As you pointed out the topic was discussed some time ago. Indeed, lots of bureaucratic issues at play.

  13. For the RMP; losing the Marine Police means it also loses the funding that comes along with it and will have to totally rely on other agencies for anything taking place at sea.

    For the MMEA if didn’t have a need for all that manpower; some of which were awaiting retirement; some placed in cold storage, many just surplus to requirements, etc. Something we have to consider. When the MMEA was first formed there were a lot of issues between ex RMN people who did things the RMN way and non ex RMN people who wanted a MMEA way of doing things.

  14. I would like some clarification; MMEA’s main operating areas are mainly at the seas forming our maritime border. What about the riverine areas, are they under Marine Police or MMEA as well?

    And personally I think the motherships should be under MMEA instead of the police. Or are they meant to be operating close to shore instead of the open seas like MMEA does?

    Rivers and lakes comes under the police. Under the separation of duties, if I remember correctly in 2011, the police powers ends at the waterline of the beach. This was of course revoked after 2013

  15. My opinion is these mother ships are only small at 60m and not frivolous on the part of the Marine Police. They still have to patrol 22km out to sea, and that is a long long way out in the ocean. 22km on land vs 22km of water are completely different.

  16. Tom Tom,

    If one wanted to objectively debate things; one could put a very convincing argument that the RMP can do without such assets and the cash can be out to better use elsewhere.

  17. Yes small was the first reaction I had when I heard what the Marine Police CO said about the motherships. I am guessing that was their requirements, and probably due to the fact anything bigger would not be funded. It must be noted that MMEA is also calling for the government to get them motherships of their own. MMEA has not revealed their requirements for the motherships but I am guessing that it will be around 80 to 100 meters long.

  18. On the topic of motherships, can’t the marine police and MMEA share one platform? Or is the MMEA operations area is very far away from the marine police?

    They can’t really due jurisdictional and other host of issues

  19. ASM – “is the MMEA operations area is very far away from the marine police?

    The MMEA operates much further ashore and “joint” issues will be problematic. The MMEA might want a “mothership” deployed a few NM of Lucania Shoals; an area well beyond the police operates.

  20. What I heard is that these are actually transport ships between East and West Malaysia and not ‘motherships’. Aluminium catamarans is what I was informed.

  21. The Police does not have any power to enforce Malaysian law outside of 12 nautical miles / 22km territorial waters.

    That is where MMEA comes in. Where it can enforce malaysian economic exclusivity in our EEZ ensuring only approved fishing, mineral exploitation, and also control the safety and security aspects of the EEZ.

    QUERTY….have you read the police powers contained in the Police Act 1967?….the assignment of the police is not only within 12 nm but covers the entire waters of the far the Police Act 1967 has not been enacted nor amended for the assignment of 12 nm ..the directive is only an administrative directive because the marine police does not have large size patrol boats of the PZ and PX class after being handed over to the MMEA but PA class patrol boats ..the existing PA class is already 45 years old but still capable operating..this happens with the Department of Fisheries and Marine Customs as well as the absence of large-sized vessels.

  22. “the existing PA class is already 45 years old but still capable operating”

    That’s not very comforting and also applies to a whole list of things operated by various agencies. “Operable” barely. A ship which often has to return to shore because of issues and which often is tied up undergoing maintenance is still “operable”.

  23. “covers the entire waters of the country”

    entire waters of the country = 12nm = territorial seas

    More than 12nm is international waters, where malaysian law is not applicable

    200nm EEZ = only entitles the coastal state exclusive use of the water column and seabed for economic use. Economic use tu apa? korek minyak, tangkap ikan. Economic use sahaja yang kita boleh kawal dalam EEZ, jadi halau bot nelayan asing nak tangkap ikan boleh, tangkap org isap dadah, jual arak kat situ tak boleh. Other than that, that area is still international waters. Which is why cruise ships can open casino there, and police cannot enforce Malaysian law when the cruise ship is over 12nm from shore.

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