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.
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
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.
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
It is likely the PM’s wife will graced the event as part of the shipbuilding and naval tradition.
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.
Updated with more information on the construction debris on the slipway
— Malaysian Defence