KDB Syafaat (photo : Olaf Eggert)
Tidak kalah dengan tetangganya, Brunei juga melakukan modernisasi pada angkatan bersenjatanya, kali ini Angkatan Laut Brunei mendapatkan 4 kapal patroli baru yang dipesan dari galangan kapal Lurrsen Jerman, kapal patroli ini sikenal sebagai Ijtihad class.
KDB (Ijtihad (photo :Juergen Braker)
Keempat kapal baru tersebut diberi nama KDB Ijtihad (17) , KDB Berkat (18), KDB Syafaat (19), dan KDB Afiat (20).
KDB Afiat (photo : Michael Brakhage)
Kapal dengan tipe High Speed Craft ini mempunyai panjang 41 m dan lebar 8 m mampu melaju dengan kecepatan max 32,5 knot, dan kecepatan jelajah rata-rata 14,6 knot.
KDB Berkat (photo : DiFoo)
Uji coba terhadap kapal ini dilakukan di kanal Kiel - Jerman. Brunei juga memesan kapal OPV pada galangan Lurssen Jerman ini.
Baca Juga :
Royal Brunei Navy Sails Forward With New Vessels
3 Desember 2009
Harnessing Power Of German-Made Itjihad' Class Patrol Boats
Bandar Seri Begawan - The Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) looks set to sail on into the future onboard new patrol vessels soon with the acquisition of several German-made `ljtihad' class patrol boats.
After the decade-long legal wrangling over Brunei's refusal to accept the three completed offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) that were built by British Aerospace (BAe), the Ministry of Defence (MinDef) then turned to German ship manufacturer, Lurssen Werft, to build several new naval platforms for the RBN with which it could still effectively maintain a credible deterrence and perform its other roles and responsibilities.
In an interview with Dr Ezio Bonsignore, Managing Editor of Military Technology Magazine, which is also based in Munich, Germany, the Bulletin posed the question to ascertain whether the capabilities of these new patrol boats are as effective compared to the OPVs for the RBN's intended roles and missions.
Dr Bonsignore said: "The Ijtihads are significantly less sophisticated and complex to operate than the previous OPVs/corvettes.
"This is the reason why the RBN ordered them. The RBN did put the OPVs/corvettes on sale because it realised that it did not have sufficient trained personnel to operate them."
The OPVs were significantly bigger in every aspect compared to the Ijtihads.
From displacement to crew complement, as well as the level of sophistication of its electronics and weapons system, the three completed OPVs, which had already been dubbed the Kapal Diraja Brunei (KDB) Nakhoda Ragam, KDB Bendahara Sakam and KDB Jerambak certainly dwarf the Ijtihads in terms of capabilities, but it was the consideration of capacity that ultimately made MinDef rethink its decision.
Sources at MinDef, meanwhile, declined to comment.
The Bulletin made further queries to the Military Technology Magazine about how they found out about RBN's latest acquisition in its modernisation programme.
"We picked up the news about the Itjihad being at her sea trials froth a local German newspaper, and from here I followed the story," acknowledged the managing editor.
During the second Brunei Darussalam International Defence Expo last August 12-15, the Military Technology Magazine published a special report in Issue 8, 2009, Volume XXXIII, entitled 'Defence in Brunei: The RBAF's Development Plan'.
The magazine stated: "The Ijtihad class is the first vessel in a class of three 40-metre patrol boats that was built by Lurssen Werft for the Royal Brunei Navy."
The particular issue of Military Technology Magazine was distributed during the second Bridex at its new venue in Jerudong, which did not receive any negative feedback from MinDef nor the RBN.
On May 20, Jane's Defence News, another renowned military publication also published a report, entitled 'Mystery patrol craft starts trials out of Lurssen Werft yard', in which it stated: "The first of a new class of patrol craft believed to be destined for the RBN has commenced sea trials from German shipbuilder Lurssen Werft's Bremen yard.
Named Ijtihad and bearing the pennant number 17, its construction has remained a closely guarded secret."
It also acknowledged that Lurssen continues to refuse to comment on Ijtihad.
"However, information transmitted by the vessel's automatic identification system identifies the craft as being under the Brunei flag."
According to other sources, the commanding officer of the first completed Lurssen-built patrol boat had left for Germany in early October, to train alongside the crew that was already there earlier this year to train on the vessel.
They are also expected to sail the patrol boat back to Brunei sometime next year.