22 Desember 2016
New fleet in Sepanggar will be operated next year (photo : Wiki)
KOTA KINABALU: The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) is in the process of restructuring its fleet by building another one based in Sepanggar near here, hence enabling it to have two fleets operating by next year.
RMN Chief Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin said building of the new fleet in Sepanggar was in line with the government's commitment to ensuring a high-level of security in the national waters, especially in Sabah and Sarawak.
"It will enable the RMN to have two fleets - the east fleet and the west fleet. At present, the RMN only has one fleet based in Lumut, Perak.
"The new one based in Sepanggar will be responsible for the maritime security of Sabah and Sarawak ... it will be implemented next year ... and we will have two fleets," he said.
Ahmad Kamarulzaman said this to reporters after officiating the decommissioning ceremony of the Royal Tugboat (KTD) Kepah at the RMN Sepanggar Base Jetty near here today.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Kamarulzaman said the RMN was also planning to set up the Region 4 Naval Base in Bintulu next year, and had already identified a suitable location for it.
"We are confident we will be able to set up Region 4 Naval Base in Bintulu by next year. We will be looking at optimising the current infrastructure in Bintulu (Port).
"So, we are looking at a collaboration with relevant agencies without having to spend too much money building a new base," he said.
On the KTD Kepah, he said the decommissioning marked the start of the RMN Transformation Plan 15-5 in the effort to cut costs by reducing the number of ship classes from 15 to five, as well as old ships which required a high maintenance cost.
Ahmad Kamarulzaman said the KTD Kepah had been in service for 36 years and had been skippered by 27 Commanding Officers, contributing much to its marine operations.