SHAH ALAM: New Names for MMEA OPV. The three MMEA OPVs will not be named after the Royal Towns afterall. Malaysian Defence has previously reported that the three OPV being built by THHE- Destini JV will be named after three Royal towns namely – Kota Bharu, Kuala Kangsar and Seri Menanti. This followed the naming convention for the two OPVs donated by Japan – KM Pekan and KM Arau.
Malaysian Defence was told that MMEA is mulling over the naming and it is likely the ships -derived from the Damen 1800 OPV – will not be named after the Royal Towns after all.
It must be noted that some quarters had criticised the naming of Pekan and Arau – claiming both were named for the parliamentary constituencies – though they were actually named after the Royal towns of Pahang and Perlis, respectively.
Anyhow, Malaysian Defence can confirmed that the first OPV – in the final stages of completion – with the pennant number 8035 is expected to be launched by September or October. Apart from being delayed due to the lockdown imposed by the government over the coronavirus pandemic, the project was also hampered by the government decision to slow down the progress payments.
The delay for the first OPV is between three to four months, and although the JV is trying to complete the launch by October, it will also depend on the timely delivery of principal materials. As you are all aware the pandemic are causing various issues and the OPV project may well be affected by the late deliveries of materials.
The OPV itself had received three coats of painting and the shaft alignment is nearing completion. The next two months will see the installation of the shafts, propellers and rudder installation. Most of the OPV machineries and equipment have also been installed with only the Aselsan 30mm RWS gun and communications equipment to be installed at a later date, likely after launch as these are sourced by the government.
Delivery is expected by February, 2021 – barring the delays of delivery of major equipment and the results of the sea trials. The other two OPVs are expected to be delivered -one after the other – within nine months of the delivery of the first OPV.
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