SHAH ALAM: NGPC commissioning this March. MMEA’s newest boat, the first NGPC- hull number 4541 – is expected to be commissioned next month, days before it is scheduled to take part in LIMA 17.
The commissioning is scheduled to be held in a fortnight at Port Klang though I have yet to be told of the location. It could probably be held at the Destini Bhd shipyard or the nearby MMEA Klang headquarters. The first NGPC has been on sea trials since December.
With the second NGPC set to be launched in May, I think the focus should be on the OPV now. But one thing at a time, I guess.
By the way, the UAE’s Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Agency (CICPA) which combines military and coast guard functions to protect the emirate’s petroleum industry infrastructure, launched its latest OPV – Arialah (the cover pix) at the recent IDEX defence expo.
Defense News reports:
There is no question what the most unusual craft is here at the NAVDEX portion of the IDEX international Defense Exposition. It’s a ship designed by the Dutch firm Damen, built in Romania, systems integration handled by France’s Thales, and fitted out and completed in the UAE by Abu Dhabi Shipbuilding
The brand-new offshore patrol vessel Arialah, delivered Tuesday to the UAE’s Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Agency (CICPA), has an incredibly tall, knifelike prow that towers over the pier. The forward edifice is capped by a BAE Bofors 57mm gun that almost fills the deck space around it. Immediately behind is the pilot house, itself topped by a fire control director, other sensors and a tall mast, all crammed in to about the forward one-third of the 67-meter-long hull. Amidships is a Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launcher followed by a long helicopter deck flanked by two high-speed interceptor craft serviced by cranes.
The high, narrow-bow, superstructure-right-forward configuration is similar to some of Damen’s “sea axe” designs for commercial ships, including oil field anchor-handling ships, standby and emergency rescue ships and large tugs, but it is unusual in naval and coast guard ships.
To that end, Arialah is uniquely fitted with systems more common to naval units, such as the Raytheon Mark 49 Mod 2 RAM missile launcher, Thales STIR fire control and Thales Smart-S Mark 2 search radar, two OTO Melara MARLIN 30mm automatic guns and the Rheinmetall MASS Multi Ammunition Softkill System decoy system, all managed by the TACTICOS combat management system.
Other systems include a Mirador electro-optical system and Vigile electronic support measures.
With a crew of 42, the ship also has berthing for up to 35 troops along with a three-person helicopter detachment.
The Arialah OPV is interesting because the three OPV to be built by MMEA is also designed by Damen. Unlike the Arialah, our OPV will not feature the sea-axe hull, it’s also bigger at around 80 meters. However, the armaments for our boats paled in comparison to Arialah. In fact, the Arialah is fitted with more potent weapons than even the Kedah-class and the LMS. The UAE OPV weapons and sensor fit is more akin to our LCS!
Its understandable why UAE choose to up-gun its OPV, it has a different threat environment compared to us and more importantly, extra cash. Being an absolute monarchy, has its perks.
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that Arialah commisioned into what is basically a coast guard is an example of what should not be done!
Cramming a frigate worth of equipment and armament into a commercial-design ship just because they can is not the way to do it (for those with a limited budget, unlike UAE)
Equipment-wise it has nearly 70-80% similar equipments or equivalent to the LCS. Only missing is the AShM missiles and ASW equipments.
UAE has been buying almost everything new under the sun for its military, almost without any regards to commonality.
during the king of saudi visit, there is a mention of closer defence cooperation and a transfer of assets. i wonder what would be transferred to malaysia. anything major?
No idea, yet
It’s not a universal example of “what should not be done.”
They have their threat perceptions, we have ours. High and low technology threats abound over there, that ship is practically on high alert for all of its life. I wouldn’t say they’re wrong at all.
For another, we have previously talked about coast guards having a role as naval auxiliaries once conflicts erupt. Not that conflict must have erupted for a ship in the gulf to come under attack, intimidation or anything in between.
Can i know what CESM is? At the very top of the ship mast.
It’s likely the Counter Electronic Support Measure.
There is nothing wrong with using a commercially design design. A commercially designed ship doesn’t necessarily mean it’s inferior to a ship designed from the onset based on military specs. Some commercially design ships actually have higher build standards.
The UAE doesn’t have too worry too much about stuff like commonality because it – like other Gulf states – knows that should a serious threat arise from the ‘heretic” Iranians; Uncle Sam is never too far away. Their main concern is regime survival and ensuring they’re needed by the West.
Of course there is nothing wrong with using commercial designs. I have avocated using them from the LMS-B that I suggested used the same axebow design albeit the smaller 50-55m version, to getting some used EC-225P helicopters. Even the Makassar class is basically a ship built to commercial standards.
The issue is cramming top of the line very expensive electronics and weaponaries on a very cheap commercial based hull. If your coast guard needs that kind of equipment and can spend big money for it, might just as well go all out and use a proper naval hull that would add only a little bit more money to all those expensive fit out.
The decision to fit high end stuff on a commercial hull might have been driven by internal political factors. There is a reason they did what they did.
Indeed and traditionally; apart from Iran, what worried the Gulf states was not Israel but other Arab states. Since the 1990’s threat perceptions have changed however, bad boy Saddam is gone and so has Gaddaffi.
CESM = Communication Electronic Support Measures, not Counter ESM (That’s ECM and ECCM). Hence it intercepts and communication and the direction it’s coming from…