PCU Gagah Samudera

A full profile picture of Gagah Samudera from the port side.

SHAH ALAM: RMN’s first 75 metre training ship, pre-commissioning unit Gagah Samudera (loosely translated Sea Power?) was launched and named at the NGV Tech shipyard in Sinjangkang, Selangor, today (Dec 14, 2012).

The first of two ship class, pennant number 271, is definitely way much bigger than most of the FACs currently in service with the RMN today.

PCU Gagah Samudera, prior to her launch.
PCU Gagah Samudera, prior to her launch.

I am no naval architect but I assumed if money was available and if the RMN want to recapitalise its FAC fleet, it will not be difficult to up-armed a new variant with a 76/57mm gun, four SSM, a six pack ESSM launcher and torpedoes, from the basic design which was procured from Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering.

A close of PCU Gagah Samudera
A close of PCU Gagah Samudera

The two training ship is only fitted with a 30mm MSI Seahawk turret on the B mounting just below the bridge. Pintle mounted machine guns could also be fitted to outside the bridge and along the deck aft.

Both ships are also fitted with a helo deck aft which could accomodate a Fennec or Super Lynx for landings but there is no hangar. According to the profile provided by RMN, the ship is fitted with an X-band/S-band navigation radars and an Eletro Optical director, which were unnamed. The ship is to be fitted with a Samsung Thales FCS.

As a training ship, Gagah Samudera has a top speed of 20 knots from two propellers driven by two MAN diesel engines. A combat variant probably need four diesel engines and water jets to have a more respectable burst speed, however.

A full profile picture of Gagah Samudera from the port side.
A full profile picture of Gagah Samudera from the port side.

Gagah Samudera numbers
Length 76.5 metre
Displacement 1270 ton
Crew 45
Trainees 80
endurance 21 days
Speed 20 knots
Twin diesel engines
X-band navigation radar
S-band navigation radar

After the launching, Gagah Samudera will undergo a fitting and commissioning period up to six months (if the RMN is lucky!). It is not expected to be ready for LIMA 2013 however (March 26-30). As I wanted to go back early I did not find out the type of radars and EO director to be fitted nor whether the Samsung Thales FCS is just a fire control system or a scaled down Combat Management System. But tomorrow is just another day isnt it?

Note: I used the term pre-commissioning unit (PCU) to describe Gagah Samudera as the ship had not been designated as a Kapal DiRaja yet. The PCU term is normally used by the USN for ships not yet commissioned.

–Malaysian Defence

If you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment

About Marhalim Abas 2223 Articles
Shah Alam

1 Comment

  1. By Azlan on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    Nice pictures Marhalim, thank you. I can’t help feeling that the RMN should have decided on a 57mm or a 76mm rather than a 30mm, even taking into consideration the extra costs involved. it
    In the 2nd picture there appear to be roller blinds? But to enclose what, the RHIB perhaps?
    I would think that this design would be perfect for the MMEA.

    I think its too big for MMEA, it should be shorter by 10 metres. Yes, the roller blinds are located behind and under where the RHIB is located.

    By nanonano on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    Mentioned somewhere before that this ship could be armed like any other ffbnw ship whenever required.

    Yes but most probably pintle or tripod mounted guns or SHORADs, all locally fired until they fit a FCR on board

    By … on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    Congratulations TLDM on the launch of its newest ship. Wish it all the best in training future naval personnels while defending the country’s waters.

    As for the hull is too big for MMEA, I beg to differ. The MMEA’s ex Marikh OPV’s is 75m in length, so it is about the same size. With the low cost of the training ship programme, it is an ideal ship (with some mods such as a hangar) for MMEA’s large OPV requirement.

    With the launch of this ship, is it possible that the end is near for the grand old lady, the KD Hang Tuah??


    Perhaps for MMEA’s dream of OPVs its suitable, but not until they boost its budget!
    As for Hang Tuah, she might return to patrol duty first before they will retire her

    By nanonano on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    Somehow, I tend to believe that they are building 10 training ships instead of 2, looking at the investment done at the NGV Tech site. For both the navy and mmea perhaps? And I tend to believe also that, they are building the 3 MRSS quietly there and in korea, at least until they clear the dust of the political uncertainty.

    Just another conspiracy theory of mine, take it with a pinch of salt will ya..

    The MRSS project has been shelved for lack of funds, as for the other eight training ships, as far as I am concerned – notwithstanding the Utusan story – they are only building two training ships, the second one to be launch next year. I believed the Utusan story is wrong as RMN dont need so many training ships. They need more hulls alright but not training boats, but FACs, corvettes, frigates, minesweepers, submarines and LHDs.

    By kamal on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    Well, immideately the ships can act as a patrol boat or pirate hunting if it is called for. For around RM200 mil each, damn cheap. Add a few sea skua missile, some shoulder mounted SAM, few .5 caliber or 20mm, wallah, pirate beware

    The cost is really around RM140 million
    For patrols in Selat Melaka, Selat Johor and off Tawau, a CB90 is a cheaper option. For Somalian waters, its too slow to keep with the UN task force.
    A 30 mm gun is already good enough for pirate work, no need for SSM.
    A pimped up Gagah Samudera should be armed with the same gun and SSM/SAM system as the LCS to reduce cost

    By nanonano on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    Guess what? The chief of navy said they wanna another 2 of the “training ships”, to replace the 8 FACs…you see the logic of our armed forces? 2 training ships to replace 17 patrol crafts and opv. And another 2 to replace 8 fac. Must be superb these ships compared to
    the old ones.

    Two to be built immediately without waiting for RMK11. Let’s hope the second training ship is built to a slightly different design ie the bridge pushed back so it will have a longer fore castle to accommodate a 76/57mm gun on A position, six pack ESSM/RAM launcher on B position, 4 SSMs amidships and torpedoes/towed sonar aft

    By SgWay on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    It is better to build more of these hulls than getting the antique Perrys. Seems NGV has proven that malaysian naval shipyards can be reliable. I really hope we get two more of these hulls as full fledged OPV/corvettes.

    By kamal on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    One Sea Skua to kill a pancung boat a bit overkill huh…hahahhahahahahha

    Well at least they should armed it with a dozen SAM and some RPG hehehhehehehe

    Even one round from the MSI gun will cut a boat pancung to pieces….

    By nanonano on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    No guys, the “training ships” are not meant to hunt down the pancungs nor will use their SSMs (if any to be installed in the future in the event of a conflict) to shoot them pancungs, but rather as double edge swords for a bigger role. You guys should know the way our armed forces think and plan their strategies, as a forever ciput budgeted forces in this region.

    The role of anti piracy and smuggling or human trafficking had been taken over by the MMEA with hundreds of boats and ships inclusive the 17 long lost patrol vessels and opvs of the navy, well the boats are still around actually, only under different banner. Lets hope if they wanna use SSM to kill the pancungs, let the FACs be transfered to them MMEA. Hehehe

    By koxinga on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    I am impressed. They look good. What are the chances of ordering them as replacements for the Handalan/Perdana /Jerong FACs? RMN is in need of new hulls as those FACs have been worked hard. They don’t have to be fully armed up front, just a basic OTO Melara 76mm/Bofors 57mm would do. The existing FACs already have or would have their SSMs removed anyway. It could be split into a multi-year, batch-type buy to spread out the funding and keep the yards at work over the decade.

    By Azlan on Dec 16, 2012 | Reply


    The MMEA was given the Marikh class, it had no say in the matter. We don’t even know if the MMEA wanted the ships in the first place or is even happy with them at the moment. What we can say for certain is that manpower issues and running/operating costs will be the main concern of the MMEA with regards to any future ships it gets.

    The scandal is that when the MMEA was officially raised, there was only cash to allocate it with new RHIBs/speed boats as everything else was ‘handmedowns’, from the Marikh class which rolls badly to Vosper built PCs built almost 50 years ago. Marhalim, the MMEA operates a few ex-PDRM boats that have a bow mounted 20mm gun in a turret. Do you know where these were built [I’ve been told Brooke Marine in Singapore]? They are shown in this link as the Gagah class.


    My old databook said this boats were built by the old Penang Shipyard to a Brooke Marine design. They were originally designated PX class.

    By Student on Dec 16, 2012 | Reply

    First time I heard of news about the training ships. When was the contract for them signed?

    It was in Lima 2011 I believe, for RM294 million. Kinda of a gift to NGV Tech as they were supposed to be the preferred bidder for the MRSS project, shelved due to a lack of funds. It seems everything that has the Markas Angkatan Bersama stamp of approval got shelved, even their hq project got shelved! It has also been moved to Kuantan, making it more irrelevant than ever apart from having several flag position!
    My guess is the MRSS project will need to become a RMN project again for funds to be re-allocated! Multi-Role Vessel programme? Yes!

    By … on Dec 16, 2012 | Reply

    If TLDM really wants a replacement for their FAC’s (so now there is some proof that smaller boats still have a place in TLDM doctrines) I suggest they localise the Korean Gumdoksuri PKX ships. Its price is the similar to 1 of the training ships (the PKX costs USD40 million each) and it is fully armed with 76mm gun, 40mm twin gun and SSM’s unlike the training ship.


    There is no need to localise the PKX as they need to pay for the design of the hull. The hull of the training ship, which had been paid for already, could be fitted with the same sensor and weapon fit

    By Mirsy on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Congrats to TLDM on the launching of the new training veseel. Somehow I can see why the chief seems to be keen on having this to replace the FAC.

    The focus now is no more pure FAC rather a patrol corvette something like the PLAN 056 which provide a punch of an FAC but an endurance of an OPV operating in littoral areas so shipborne heli is not required.

    The same weapon mix found in the PLAN Type 056 can be easily replicated in this PCU platform – 57mm gun, 4 SSM, RAM/Mistrals and maybe ASW torpedoes or even shipborne UAVs.

    You do not need complex combat system as that of lekiu or the LCS. Making more cost effective.

    By Faisal on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    I’m sure this ship can be integrated with telescopic hanger should there be a need to do so. As for the hardware, i think the guns should be replace to a bigger one be it 76mm / 56mm and the aft gun should be at least a single 30mm. Igla or other SAMs can be integrated as well as it doesn’t require it to be integrated to the FCS.

    By lee yoke meng on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Well if we talk of fac n corvette in the same breath, we need to look at their different characteristics n role. The fast strike crafts are used in a shoot n scoot war. While the corvette is more capable to stay n slug it out with the opponent. Thus the fac must pack a punch , speed and small size. Size is not too important in a corvette. Thus , there is still a need for the fac and the small corvette which the korean ship represents. I have seen the patrol boats of the ROK while I was in Ulsan korea. They are armed with a main gun of 30mm and a twin mid mount in a cupola either a twin 25mm cannon. They don’t have missiles and the sea keeping i believe may not be so good but in the straits it would be sufficient

    I don’t care what they are called FACs or corvettes honestly, they could be even called bot pancung as long they are build in numbers for their intended roles.

    By Azlan on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    I think we are getting way ahead of ourselves here in discussing whether it should or can be fitted with a bigger gun, missiles, hangars, etc. The RMN decided on a 30mm gun and nothing more serious due to costs and the fact that it intended these ships to perform peacetime constabulary type duties [which should be performed by the MMEA if the government would make the cash available!!].

    The fact remains that the RMN is deperately short of hulls for even routine day to day peacetime patrolling and the entry into service of these ships will take some of the burden off the presently overworked and over extended fleet. Using these ships for routine patrolling will make more sense and will be cheaper than using a Lekiu or even a Kedah class.

    By lee yoke meng on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Anyway these are supposed to be training ships. To be used to train cadet officers/midshipman n other ranks. Their main purpose is to be used as a source of experience for these trainees . The armaments n patrolling duties are merely secondary . The main purpose is to train a cadre of officers n men who can in future man the ships of the fleet in a proper manner. Now training is done in just one ship or even on a work as you gain experience while distributed to the various ships of yhe fleet

    By anon on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    why can’t they lease commercial vessels/yacht for the peacetime constabulary duties?

    They did already, for the Somalia pirate patrols, although it is being paid by MISC. MMEA originally was supposed to lease aircraft for its air wing but end up buying it themselves. There are various issues concerning the use of commercial aircraft and boats for constabulary duties, especially when it come to arming them. Furthermore, commercial arrangements in the past usually favour the operator instead of the government….

    By selamat on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    if not mistaken this new ship is single hull and this is one of the factor contribute to the cheap price tags (not sure were i heard this, would be happy if someone could confirm it)..

    so… if this is really a single hull, i don’t see it could fit with more challenging duty then training and some light patrol purpose..

    pimp up this vessel could increase its abilities to attack and counter threats but then again to small (even by adding some 10-15m more length) to put some active defense measure, and again on passive defense measure the score would be horrible. it would be a waste of some expensive equipment if put on this hull..

    i don’t see any fast attack missile doctrine are applicable to TLDM situation.. and surely this vessel is too slow for it..
    ~just my humble opinion~

    What do you mean by single hull?

    By Azlan on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply


    How can these vessels be to ”small” to put ”active defence measures” when the Laksamanas are smaller, have a heavier punch and have ”active defence measures”?? And the hull is not to small for what you described. The main factor that contributed to its price is the very modest sensors and weapons fit. If a CMS, air search radar, ESM, missiles and torps had been added, we would be looking at several hundred million ringgit more.

    The aim is for these 2 ships to be used for routine patrolling and 2 train cadets, and this is something many have overlooked.

    By Mustaffa on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply


    except fot the russian typhoon class submarine, i dont knw if there was another sea vessel with a double hull.unless wat u mean by a single hull is a ship not constructed with a modular design.

    All of modern ships are modular by design, especially those from Korea. The ship are built on prefabricated blocks which is then welded together to complete the ship. The pre-fab blocks of the second ship were laying around the yard waiting for the Gagah Samudera to be taken to sea so it can use the berth it vacated so the second ship can be joined together. I still dont understand the single hull meaning!

    By SgWay on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    The best way to uparm these ships in case of crisis is to place a superlynx with sea skua(or perhaps a future naval version of the NSM).The heli platform are its best asset. These training ships are damn too slow for combat situation, even giant cruise liners can outrun her not to mention Chinese frigate size fishing vessels.Hope they can upgrade the engines in the future with four engines and water jet propulsion. I guess her Kedah and Lekiu like structure is makng defense enthusiasts expect too much of these training ships.

    By ahmad on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    I suppose selamat means the ship is single hulled as opposed to double hulled. A double hulled ship has two layers of watertight hull surface so more resistant to damage. See:

    It is mentioned here that Gagah Samudera is single hulled:

    If you noticed the Wiki entry only noted tankers and submarines. I believe the best way to describe the Gagah Samudera is a monohull design

    By Azlan on Dec 19, 2012 | Reply


    Many Soviet era SSBNs, SSGNs and SSNs [Delta, Oscar and Akula] were built of a double hull to enable the boats to dive deeper and to store extra stuff [between the hulls]. Even the Kilo – which unlike the Type 209/214, Vastergoltland and Scorpene was designed for extended deep water operations – has a double hull. The Typhoon if I’m not mistaken had a third hull.

    Yes the Typhoon could be be could call a third hull design as it has two monohulls enscased inside the outer hull

    By FareedLHS on Dec 19, 2012 | Reply


    do you mean to say that the ships are constructed with only one layer of hull surface, as opposed to a double hull design that has an additional inner hull surface that acts as an additional barrier to seawater in the event ythat the outer hull is damaged?

    I believed the best way to describe its a monohull design

    By ahmad on Dec 19, 2012 | Reply

    The way I understand it, the term single and double hull refers to hull layers. The term monohull is used opposite multihull designs like catamaran and trimaran. See:

    Double hull usually ie two layers of hull, usually meant for oil tanker and submarines like your WIKI reference in the first post. I have never heard of double layering of the hull to make it stronger and more resistant to damage, most of the time they simply add armour. Any reference for me on this type of hull? Upon checking Shah’s post I believed he meant monohull! S

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.