SHAH ALAM: Retender for NCO Phase 1B (1). The Defence Ministry has reissue a tender for the the Phase 1B (1) of the NCO project. An advertisement for the same tender was issued on Dec. 21, 2018 and closed on Feb. 19 this year.
The reissuance of the same tender – advertised on Sept 17, 2019 with the closing date of Oct. 15, 2019 – meant that the previous exercise had failed to find the right bidder.
I was told at LIMA 19 that the ministry was still going over the bidders documents and a decision on the tender was several months away. Two months after LIMA 19 I was told that two companies had been shortlisted for the project. Late last month, I was told that ministry was about to reissue the NCO Phase 1B (1) tender again as it did not find a suitable bidder for the project. Hence I was not suprised when it did reissued the tender, yesterday.
As reported previously -the Phase 1A – developed by the Armed Forces with Sapura Secured Technologies as the lead vendor – costing some RM2 billion is already operational.
Phase 1A is the proof of concept stage while Phase 1B which was to start from 2017 to 2023 is the implementation part of the project. Among others under Phase 1B will be the introduction of tactical data link to the RMAF’s F/A-18D Hornet fleet and later the Su-30MKM.
Anyhow, there was also a tender for two medium assault craft for the Army. I previously wrote that based on the specifications, that this was likely be part of the Army’s experimentation on the proposed amphibious brigade. I assumed wrongly as I have been told that the these landing craft were meant for the Regiment Gerak Khas (RGK).
The RGK is also getting new watercraft – eight RHIBs and 30 two man foldable canoe – based on the tenders issued out almost at the same time as the medium assault craft. Only the two man foldable canoe tender advertisement stated that it was meant for the regiment. As you are probably aware the regiment has its own Special Boat Service squadron, the likely user of these watercraft.
Any how, I was told the amphibious capability remained in the ministry’s wishlist. The amphibious capability was previously suggested by the Defence Ministry as part of the lessons learnt from the Lahad Datu incident but was shelved as the military wanted other capabilities. I was told that the idea was shelved as no new funding was to be allocated for the proposal even though the previous defence minister was quite keen on it.
According to the specifications released, the two landing craft should not be less than 15 metres long with a beam of four meters. It should have a top speed of 45 knots and operational speed of 30 knots and fitted with three 300hp outboard motors.
The landing craft should be able to carry a vehicle of up to 2000kg, carrying capacity of 5000 kg and eletrically powered bow door.
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