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Friday, 24 July 2009

So Can We Proceed With Batch 2 Now?

Yesterday 23 July 2009 was the day the last unit of the Kedah Class Patrol Vessel, PV176 was launched and named as PV Selangor. It is a great comeback by the Boustead Naval Shipyard to ensure the completion of the first batch of PVs delivery despite the setbacks faced by the project in the early part of the projects. They have proven their mettle despite all the unfair critiscms and doubts thrown at their ability to finish the project with local expertise and materials. BNS now truly deserve the mantle of shipyard as they no longer act just as a dockyard for the navy ships repairs as per its reputation previously.

Credit : mcwood from milphotos

Nonetheless it is a bit puzzling to read in the article in The Star today above what seems to be a plea by the Chief Naval Officer Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar for the Government to proceed with the second batch of the patrol vessel, despite the Government pledging as per my earlier post that "once the first batch of six boats has been delivered to the RMN" as reported in this Bernama article. I personally expected that the contract or at least an MOU on this project would become one of the showpiece agreements to be signed at the LIMA 2009, especially since BNS had kept their end of the bargain. This is one promise the Government should keep as the justifications for the new batch of patrol vessels has been clearly stated by the Government in the article itself, notwithstanding the reasons given by the Admiral.

So if shortage of funds is a hindrance especially if this is due to a possible upgrading of its armaments, then lets proceed with the plain vanilla configuration as per the first batch as long as the vessels are builts. That is why it was designed as a fitted for not with platform, so that once funds becomes availables it can be up-gunned as required no matter how this concept has been pilloried by those ignorant of its value. We need the platforms for offshore patrol of our national waters, there is no need to second-guess that. What should be left now is a debate on how to name the new class, and can I venture it to be the Sabah class for both national unity and nostalgic sake.

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