Ready For Launch

The first MMEA OPV at her slipway at the THHE Fabricators yard in Pulau Indah in November 2020.

SHAH ALAM: It appears that the MMEA first OPV – pennant number 8305 – is ready for launch. Actually I was told that the ship – built by THHE-Destini JV – was supposed to be launch by the last week of November. But I guess that the PM had other things to do.

Anyhow, pictures of the ship being prepared for its launch have been published on Facebook, by a page named Destini shipbuilding Malaysia. It posted a number of pictures of the ship with the title “Preparation to launch OPV1 on Nov. 28. The pictures showed that ship had been fully painted together with crest of the MMEA and its name on both sides of the hull. She looks like she is ready to slip into water at any time.

MMEA first Damen 1800 OPV 8305 at her stand at THHE -Destini JV yard at Pulau Indah. Destini FB

When I saw her last July, she had not been fully painted yet. From the pictures Destini posted, we can ascertained that the ship is ready to be launch at anytime but I am guessing that they will wait for a VIP to fix the date for them to proceed with the ceremony

8305 at its launch stand. Destini.

It must be noted that the Home Minister during the launch of two NGPC last July stated that the first OPV will be launched in October. As I had posted on another post, the October date was very optimistic with the ongoing pandemic.

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 at the yard. Note the two barges behind with the ship in the water with the steel beams. It is between this area that the shipyard have found tonnes of construction materials

Upon checking, I was told that the target for the launch is now mid-December. The ship physically is ready but most of the items like the telecommunication and weapon systems could only be install when it is launched. I am told that the shipyard may have to move the ship from the present location as the current slipway has tonnes of construction waste just beyond the waterline. The debris were found as the shipyard was preparing the slipway for the ship. A survey prior to assembling the OPV at the present location did not revealed the debris. (see the picture above and below). Despite the shipyard may yet launched the ship from the present location, if it was found that the ship may not be damaged from the debris

The OPV at the yard. Note the two barges behind with the ship in the water with the steel beams. The construction debris is found just after the waterline and extend to where the barges are located.

It is likely the PM’s wife will graced the event as part of the shipbuilding and naval tradition.

The port side view of 8305 – note the MMEA name and crest.

As for the name of the OPV, I had also written that MMEA had decided against naming the three-class OPV with royal town names. I was told that the ships will be called after female warriors instead. I am guessing – I stand to be corrected – that the first of class will be named KM Tun Fatimah after the Sultanate of Malacca princess.

The first OPV, at the THHE Fabricators yard last July.

Updated with more information on the construction debris on the slipway
— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

16 Comments

  1. Great news!

    Now, home minister please fast track the approval for OPV1800 batch2 before the 3rd ship is completed. Continuity in build will reduce cost, and maintain the acquired knowhow and experience in building the OPV1800.

  2. Yeah, I posted about this yesterday under “Run for your Lives” section but somehow it didn’t come out.
    Any case I concur with …, please add more ships of this class, maybe another 10?

  3. Why on earth did they decide to build the ship at where there are obstacles right behind it?

    And it seems like they are building one unit at a time. Very slow progress to get all of them but at least will ensure Destini won’t eat more than they could swallow as what is now choking BNS.

    Reply
    They need the first ship out so they can start joining the blocks for number 2. Well you know s… happens

  4. The obstacle behind it is the construction for the slipway to be used to launch the vessel. The first vessel will be christened as KM Tun Fatimah. The blocks for 2nd is ready completed with all the heavy equipment already install and 3rd vessel is sub section is mostly assembled.

  5. I guess it may makes economical sense if the same class of ships or hulls to be used for both mmea and RMN albeit the RMN version may be more heavily armed, have better radar and electronic suites. Thus RMN version may cost twice of the mmea version depending on the intended equipments and armament but savings can be achieved via common maintenance cost

  6. Kamal,

    I don’t know about “economical sense” but assuming it met the RMN’s requirements; would make things much easier from a logistical/support perspective – the RMN and MMEA sharing a common design.

    I have no idea which mount is “better” (I dislike the word as gives a false sense and misleading of things) but instead of the Turk 30mm mount; the MMEA OPVs should have been fitted with the DS30 mount that is on the Lekius, Kasturi, Korean training ships and also selected for the LCS. Should also have gone of the LMS; doing away with the need to stock parts for a mere 4 Chinese guns.

  7. At least Tabung Haji (for APMM) is slightly better than Tabung Angkatan Tentera (for TLDM) in shipbuilding this time arround.

  8. @ joe,

    Why on earth did they decide to build the ship at where there are obstacles right behind it?

    And it seems like they are building one unit at a time. Very slow progress to get all of them but at least will ensure Destini won’t eat more than they could swallow as what is now choking BNS.””

    What I was informed is that the obstacles were buried under the seabed and was only detected during dredging in relation to the slipway construction. You cannot detect these obstacles by echosounding or side scan sonar.

    And the 3 ships are being built simultaneously on a staggered construction concept. The hull sections for ship 2 are all ready and waiting for the first OPV to be launched before it can undergo consolidation. The 3rd OPV hull sections are still being built.

    From pictures I have viewed on the OPVs, the pre-outfitting prior hull consolidation looks quite advanced. No such thing as having to cut the shipside or decks to load in large equipment later.

  9. This same ship should be the lms batch 2, it has what it need for patrol and can be upgraded on weapon later on if needed

  10. @Api69
    Thanks for info. They should look to move their slipway past the underwater obstacles and use that bay for section module works instead.

    Good to know Destini construction of these ships are progressing smoothly and they did not bite more than they can chew.

  11. @ Hafizushi

    If the DAMEN OPV1800 is good for malaysian maritime security, just buy more for MMEA lah. Why need to buy for TLDM?

    TLDM need a LMS that can first and foremost fight, with patrol the secondary requirement. If a ship has patrol as its first priority, that ship should be operated by MMEA, not TLDM.

    @ azlan

    ” but instead of the Turk 30mm mount; the MMEA OPVs should have been fitted with the DS30 mount ”

    From sources of the Philippines Jose Rizal frigate, they swapped the DS30 for the SMASH due to the SMASH is USD300k cheaper than the DS30. Both SMASH and DS30 uses the same bushmaster 30mm gun.

  12. @joe,

    From my teh tarik sessions, there is no way to relocate the slipway as too much has been spent on the present location. So, have to complete it once the first ship is launched, which from what I hear, is now on the 14th or 15th Dec if the alternative launch method is proven to be good.

  13. …- “ due to the SMASH is USD300k cheaper than the DS30.”

    Unsurprising : one’s from Turkey and the other from the U.K.

    Whatever short term costs savings is gained also has to be measured in the long term; the RMN and MMEA sharing a single mount greatly simplifies things from a logistical/support perspective. The actual gun is similar but parts for the mount, optics and other things are dissimilar – 2 separate channels have to be maintained.

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