04 Desember 2009

Malaysia to Splurge on Patrol Ships

4 Desember 2009

Second batch of the New Generation Patrol Vessels is a priority for the defence sector, says Najib (photo : MMail)

LANGKAWI: The main focus of Malaysia's defence spending for the next five years is expected to be on the second batch of the New Generation Patrol Vessels (NGPV) project.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday said the NGPV was one of the priorities for the defence sector as shipbuilder, Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS), was about to complete the six vessels in the first batch.

"They need a new order because they have 2,000 companies depending on additional work. This is part of the vendor development programme," he said after visiting the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre, the venue of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace 2009 (LIMA '09).

Two other defence priorities are the procurement of the Eurocopter EC725 helicopters and the replacement of the army’s 8X8 armoured personnel carrier programme.

Defence funding for the next five years is expected to be announced in the 10th Malaysian Plan, scheduled to be tabled in Parliament in July.

Two exhibitors will make presentations on their proposed vessels for the second batch of the NGPV.

BNS is displaying its model, the Second Generation Patrol Vessel (SGPV), at its booth while over at the German-based ThyssenKrupp booth is a model of its version for the Batch II project.

ThyssenKrupp has taken over Blohm + Voss, the original designer of the NGPV. Blohm + Voss was the principal contractor to BNS for the NGPV project.

BNS project division senior general manager Syed Amir Shahabudin said its SGPV was an evolutionary design of the NGPV, three of which were already in service with the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN).

The NGPV is based on the Blohm + Voss Meko A100 design specifically for the RMN in the early 1990s. Two of its Kedah-class lead ships were built in Germany and were fitted at the BNS facility in Lumut, Perak. The four remaining Batch 1 of the NGPV were built and outfitted at BNS facilities in Lumut and Penang.

With a length of 91 metres and a width of 13 metres, the corvette can reach a maximum speed of 22 knots.

The “multi-purpose combination” MEKO is a shipbuilding concept based on modularity of armament, electronics and other equipment, aiming at ease of maintenance and cost reduction.
When the NGPV contract was signed in 1999, 27 Kedah-class vessels were supposed to be built for the RMN.

But due to the global economic crisis, the second batch project, comprising six vessels, was deferred until the 10th Malaysian Plan.

BNS is proposing that the ship be armed with a Vertical Launch System for anti-air warfare, four launchers for MM40 Exocet missiles for anti-ship warfare and lightweight torpedoes for antisubmarine.

Syed Amir said they were also proposing that the Kedah-class COYSS 110-M1 Combat Management System be maintained for the SGPV as it was designed to be readily upgradeable.
At 99 metres in length, the SGPV is capable of carrying 75 crew members and 15 marines or special forces personnel.

ThyssenKrupp vice-president Sales Ola Gullberg said its Batch II design was fitted with a traditional stack based on the feedback from the RMN.

The ship is also fitted with a VLS system for anti-aircraft missiles that sits behind the main 76mm gun on the bow.

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