Police Marine Motherships Out For Tender

One of the two Austal HSSV operated by the Royal Navy of Oman. Austal

SHAH ALAM: Police Marine motherships out for tender. In July, last year, Malaysian Defence reported that the Marine police was expecting a tender for the two 60-meter motherships to be published soon. Some 14 months later, a tender for such motherships had indeed been published in the Eperolehan website. Specifications for the ships revealed that once in service, it will be the biggest operated by the Marine Police.

The tender is entitled:


or the Procurement of the multi-purpose for goods/boats/vehicle carrier; mother ship and training police transport vessel.

The request for bids/tender was published on October 20 and closes this December 20. Based on the specifications page, only local shipyards with the approved designation from the Finance Ministry are allowed to bid for the tender.

The Bidder must supply multipurpose Police Transport Vessel designed to
ensure transportation missions and all typical maritime police missions, such as: i) Transport of specific vehicles (Lorries, Land Rover, Rigid Hull Fender Boat (RHFB).
ii) Transport of equipment in containers and containerized missions -Support at sea
iii) General patrol within territorial and exclusive economic zone waters – Law enforcement at sea.
iv) Control of smuggling.
v) Control of illegal immigration.
vi) Control of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU).
vii) Functioning as mother ship training purpose.
viii) Search and rescue.

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

A summary (by Malaysian Defence) of the specifications are as follows: two aluminium catamarans with a length of at least 55 meters and not more 60 meters. Top speed of 35 knots and a cruising range of 1500NM and an endurance of 14 days. Armed with a single 20mm remote weapon station and two deck mounted machine guns. A complement of 30 personnel and space for 30 passengers (seated). Equipped with a vehicle and goods deck and a helicopter landing pad.
PSB 1, a barge turned into mothership for operations in ESSCOM. PSB 1 served as a floating base for marine police units operating in the ESSCOM AOR.

Based on the specifications, I am inclined to believe that the two motherships will be something like the Austal High Speed Support Vessel (HSSV) of which two are in service with the Royal Navy of Oman (main picture). The aluminium catamaran HSSV are much longer though at 72 meters and with a crew of 69 and passenger capacity of 260. Interestingly, Austal has design concepts for bigger catamarans although I am sure they could also downsize it to meet the marine police requirements.
Marine Police FAC PC 31 built by Gading Marine. Lomocean Marine supplied the design. NST picture via Polis Marin FB

Lomocean Marine from New Zealand, which had supplied several designs for local shipbuilders in the past, has a pleasure catamaran with a similar design to the one being sought for the motherships but I am not sure whether it will be suitable or not.
A 46m catamaran from Lomocean which could be developed for the mothership tender.

I guess we have to wait for the winning bidder to be announced next year which design has been selected.

— Malaysian Defence

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  1. Pretty sensible choice there to go for catamaran roro. a proven platforms that already been Utilize by USN & RNO, design by a country that MY has no problems pay money to. flexible platforms to be use to perform strategic lift, patrols the sea and has both peacetime & wartime utilities. The vessel itself has a commercial purposes that the production line can be continued to build ferry for public use after the polis vessel is completed like re-establishing the feri merdeka for example.

    Kinda cheap as well. The omani if not mistaken pays around rm300 mil for these.Personally the navy should just Cancelled the LPD and just go for LHD + a few of these RoRo.

  2. There is nothing offshore about these ships at all, at a max of 60m. They are tiny and puny annd only sufficient for inshore work within the 12 nm of territorial waters.

  3. @TomTom
    Bagan Datuks are 45mtrs while Tun Fatimahs are 80mtrs, both which are offshore boats. So the design spec of 60mtrs indicates a boat that can go father out, whatmore with a 14 day endurance. This is defo NOT an inshore boat.

  4. Joe, this a 60 m Mother Ship, not a normal patrol boat. A 60 m Mother Ship is nothing. It’s not just the length per but you must also look at the actual classification of the boat. A 100 m Aircraft Carrier might sound huge, but will only be a mini mini mini in that classification.

  5. @tomtom
    It’s a catamaran, so it should have as much as internal space as 2 60 meter ship combined. It’s also a RoRo ferry likely to be used to transport vehicle between east & west MY, It would be very weird if such ship can’t go offshore.


    It’s up to MMEA or even RMN to proof they are worthy of more funding by competing with one another rather than the gov create a mini monopoly for them and let them be complacent. The LMS, KM tun Fatimah & this ship cost within ballparks of one another. There’s no point in rewarding agencies who bought the worst bang for the bucks ship around.

  6. KM Tun Fatimah OPV at 1800 ton cost a few million less than the 700 ton LMS

    But India made a 2100 ton OPV at 1/2 of KM Tun Fatimah OPV price

    Korea made a 4000 ton OPV at 2/3 of KM Tun Fatimah OPV price

    So for the price of 1 Gowind, the koreans manage to build 10 4000 ton OPVs.

    If malaysia properly prioritize its budget, we can properly secure our seas even before 2030.

  7. Zaft – “It would be very weird if such ship can’t go offshore”

    Even a 800 tonne ship can operate in the North Atlantic. The question is how uncomfortable and challenging will it get. Whether these ships can go “offshore” depends on the sea conditions.

    Zaft – “It’s up to MMEA or even RMN to proof they are worthy of more funding by competing with one another rather than the gov create a mini monopoly for them and let them be complacent”

    Nonsense…. How do you come up with such things?

    The MMEA and RMN don’t have to “prove” anything; this is not what this is about. This is about turf guarding and securing the funding that comes with ones turf. Why do you think we also still have battalions of GOF? As you may be aware – or not – it was planned to do awAy with the Marine Police years ago.

    Zaft – “the gov create a mini monopoly for them”.

    More nonsense. What “mini monopoly”?
    Role duplication is unnecessary and is a waste of resources – the RMN and MMEA should be the sole entities responsible for safeguarding the coast.

    Both entities are responsible for certain things and the fact that both are under equipped is the fault of the government. Are you even aware of certain happenings in ESSCOM [and before it was formed] and why at times intruders still get through? Are you aware why there has been so much resistance in doing away with the Marine Police?

    Zaft – ” The LMS, KM tun Fatimah & this ship cost within ballparks of one another”

    That is a political issue. Don’t conflate things.

  8. KC Wong – ”So for the price of 1 Gowind, the koreans manage to build 10 4000 ton OPVs.”

    – Did they have to import anything and pay for it in foreign currency?
    – Did the yards have old debts incurred from the time the yard was under a different management?
    – Did the yard have to pay for a production set up; ToT and other things?
    – Do OPVs have fire directors; DC standards and other things?

    KC Wong – ”If malaysia properly prioritize its budget, we can properly secure our seas even before 2030.”

    IF Malaysia revamps its defence policy; IF we place priority on the MAF and not the local industry; IF we have continuity instead of shifting priorities and IF the average citizen starts placing more importance on defence – a lot of ”ifs” unfortunately. BTW we can’t ”prioritise” because we have many areas in need of funding [thanks to long delayed programmes] and not enough cash allocated.

  9. I strongly agree with the addition of assets for the marine police force to replace assets that have aged and agree very much with brother Azlan’s views..

  10. By right we wouldn’t have a Marine Police which many years ago was to have been absorbed by the MMEA. Politics and turf guarding [along with the funding that comes with it] are major impediment and motivator however.

    Same reason why the army will never allow the RMN to have a it’s own ‘marine” or “ littoral’ unit and why it never allowed the Police Field Force to get ammo for it’s 81mm mortars and the 20mm cannons mounted on V-100/50s. Also why the RMAF would fight tooth and nail to prevent the RMN from taking over the MPA role in the future and why it wouldn’t be happy if in the future all MALE UASs we’re operated by a joint “UAS Command”.

  11. PMX (and future ones) could do it with a single stroke of the pen, ordering the marine police be absorbed by the MMEA. Unlikely, though.

  12. there are many things that can be done to reduce cost and bureaucracy

    APMM to absorb marine police + kastam marine section

    jabatan laut disbanded and tasks taken by APMM and TLDM Hydro (still nobody in Jabatan Laut is charged for the clear wrongdoings with the looting of HMS Repulse & Prince of Wales wreck)

    BOMBA to absorb civil defence.

    JPJ to have zero road enforcement duties, and enforcement tasks all done by traffic police.

  13. Well even the PM has to keep the police happy. The police naturally would be very unhappy [as it was when Badawi came close to doing it] and would throw every obstacle in the way.

    I have a feeling that the MMEA wouldn’t be entirely happy too as it would have to find positions for the Marine Police people [ranks and other issues at play] and get them to do things the MMEA way as opposed to the Marine Police way [a situation ironically the MMEA itself faced years ago when ex RMN people in the MMEA were doing things the RMN way – quite a bit of friction there was.

  14. One of the reasons new dept or functions are created is so there will be additional money made available. MMEA created, parked under Home Ministry, absorbs some police functions and budget but gets a new allocation (more than taken from police). Navy budget under Mindef stays untouched. So what we have is more money for maritime security. When marin polis moves back to polis, yes it took some of MMEA money, but gets a new budget created which leads to a larger maritime security budget than before. But before RMN and MMEA already underfunded. Now have 3 functions all also underfunded. Equals waste. This is just how it is in Malaysia. Poor management or the need to create some useless jobs to keep people employed.

  15. So when they say lets ask dept A to absorb B. It usually means A will only take some of B’s budget but all of B’s expenses. Budget for martime security will be reduced but the cost remains the same. Thats the Malaysia style. Poor logic planning, do things without a plan, if there is a plan its one without a proper goal, intent and end-state as evident by inability to define goal, intent and end-states, if there are proper goals, poor design and execution which leads to delays, cost overruns, corruption, and waste. When someone tries to do the right thing (e.g. anti corruption, open tender, choose the best person for the job, etc), some parts of society make noise.

  16. If you consider the cost of the budget, it’s really hard to ask for, especially if it’s controlled by politicians..Try looking at the return of 2 PZ class patrol boats to the marine police by MMEA due to damage, but before they were handed over, it was still good and even improved with the big budget and the patrol boats.. .it hasn’t been operating in the ocean for 6 years but with the expertise of the marine police engineering department it took a month to repair it at its own cost…now both patrol boats are operating again as usual despite many budget constraints. well done marine engineering team ..very surprised MMEA so that’s what makes me still hope to eliminate the marine police as they did during PM6..

  17. The Marine police do not have jurisdiction beyond 12 nm off our waters which is our territory which makes APMM/MMEA necessary.

  18. it is true that the marine police only patrol 12 nm but that is only an administrative order from the government only due to the lack of large-sized patrol boats as far as PA class boats only.. according to the Police Act 1967 the marine police still remain assigned in the national waters without limits.. so far there has been no change in the Act Police 1967..if you want to change it, you have to bring it to Parliament to enact the Act. It is true that MMEA is assigned to international waters because it has large-sized ships such as KM Pekan and other ships at the same time.

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