- The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Authority will soon induct its first UAV-capable patrol vessel
- Platform will significantly improve the service's maritime patrol and surveillance capabilities
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Authority (MMEA) has completed sea trials of its first-of-class New Generation Patrol Craft (NGPC), the service announced via an official social media channel on 3 March.
The vessel, which is the first of six 44 m coastal patrol vessels ordered from Malaysian shipbuilder Destini Shipbuilding & Engineering under a MYR380 million (USD85 million) inked in 2015, is also expected to be commissioned "soon", an MMEA official Jane's spoke to on 6 March said, although no specifics were provided.
"The boat will be participating at LIMA 2017," she added, referring to the Langkawi International Maritime Exhibition, which will be taking place from 21 March to 25 March, indicating that the platform may be inducted before the event.
The NGPC has been based on a design by Germany-based Fassmer Shipbuilding Company, and will be the first vessels operated by the service to feature an organic unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capability. Each platform features a Thales Fulmar UAV launcher just behind the position of its primary weapon, which is namely the Aselsan 30 mm remote controlled naval gun. The UAV, which will be equipped with one high-resolution camera with automatic target tracking capabilities, can be recovered via a net-based retrieval system that will be deployed on the deck behind its bridge.
According to specifications provided by Destini Shipbuilding, the 297-tonne NGPC features an overall length of 44.25 m, an overall beam of 7.7 m, and a design draught of 1.95 m. The platform is powered by two 1,920 kW MTU engines, and can attain a top speed of 24 kt, and a standard range of 2,000 n miles at 12 kt. The ship can accommodate a crew of 41.
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