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Royal Brunei Navy

Brunei has a baseline of about 100 kilometers long with her territorial limit extended out to 12 nautical miles. This followed by Exclusive Economic Zone (EZZ) extended to 200 nautical miles within which, estuaries and several rivers extending well into the interior. RBN is based in Muara, which is situated 4 km from Muara Town with the majority are malays. Since 1977, The Royal Brunei Navy is equiped with Missile Gun Boats and other Coastal Patrol Craft. Ship's names are prefixed KDB as in Kapal Diraja Brunei, which translates as Ship of the Rajah of Brunei.

The main responsibility of the Royal Brunei Navy is to conduct search and rescue and to deter and defend the Brunei waters against attack mounted by sea borne forces. In maximising her role in defending the country from external threats, the Royal Brunei Navy is currently expanding the present base to accomodate the newly purchased War Ship (Off-Shore Patrol Vessel) which are equipped with the latest technology. The Lurssen Patrol Vessel PV 80 has a length of 80 metres, a speed of 22 knots and a displacement of 1 625 t. The ship comes equipped with a flight deck and can launch and recover a boat from a stern dock. Four of these vessels have been built, including three for Brunei.

By 2008 the Royal Brunei Navy's vessels were tired and ready for replacement. But sorting out the OPV problem kept the RBAF from moving forward on much-needed equipment procurements. Embarrassment over the state of the fleet and the desire not to lose face was a principle cause of RBN Commander Dato COL Johari seeking to limit the size and scope of the annual CARAT exercise the past few years. The Offshore Patrol Vessel procurement fiasco, which did some serious medium term damage to the RBN's traditionally close relationship with the UK Navy, was finally near resolution, with new ships on order from a German manufacturer.

The imperatives to enhance the RBAFs maritime capabilities in the short to medium term are twofold. They are the need to replace existing vessels which are expensive to maintain and lack the necessary operational flexibility to protect fully the nations interests in adjacent maritime areas; and the overlap between those tasks and Brunei Darussalams ability to make an effective contribution to the regions shared interest in maintaining maritime safety and security, including the prevention of illegal transnational movement.

The overarching strategic objective is to establish a layered series of surveillance and response capabilities that maximise the nations ability to control its adjacent maritime areas. Early acquisition is important. To achieve the best mix of capabilities within available resources, a careful balance will be established between platform numbers, required performance, sensor and weapons fit, and cost.

The priority requirement as of 2007 was to acquire several patrol vessels able to operate effectively out to the limits of the nations Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), respond quickly to specific sightings, board suspect vessels and, if necessary, sustain a maritime presence. To meet that need, there will be an initial procurement of patrol vessels. These were to be: no more than 80 metres in length, with a self defence capability and the ability to withstand sea conditions within the region; and of a proven commercial design and with the flexibility to be reconfigured for optimised performance in key roles, including surveillance and response, as a tactical command and control centre, and to deploy elements of the land force.

The new vessels were intended to significantly enhance the RBAFs capacity to participate in regional maritime control planning and exercises and perform essential maritime safety tasks. To support early acquisition and ensure affordability (including overall life cycle costs), either private finance initiatives or leasing of the vessels will be considered.

Closer to shore, speed of response is particularly important whether for maritime safety, search and rescue or intercepting suspect vessels. Such operations are essential to protecting the nations maritime interests, including in the vicinity of offshore resource platforms. They support the activities of other national maritime enforcement agencies and are essential to the nations ability to cooperate with its neighbours in controlling transnational threats. To provide this more immediate layer of maritime security, as of 2007 it was planned that a small fleet of fast patrol boats would be acquired. These will replace the existing Missile Gun Boats and Coastal Patrol Boats, enhancing operational performance while cutting operating and support costs. They will be up to 40 metres in length, equipped with an all-weather day and night surveillance capability, and be capable of transporting a boarding party or small troop formation.

Replacement of the existing RBAF capabilities for shallow water and riverine transport and interception will be undertaken subsequently. Those tasks overlap most directly with other national agencies and alternative deployment options exist including Air Forces rotary wing capability.

Transparency of the operational environment is essential to the early identification of security challenges and a timely response. The capacity of the RBAF to achieve this has been primarily focused at the tactical level. Expanding the force's capacity for more continuous broad area coverage in maritime areas is the immediate priority for capability development. Initial progress has already been made in the maritime environment with the introduction of the much more capable Navy patrol vessels. Their extended range and sea keeping support a continuous presence in adjacent waters.

Strengthening the RBAF's capacity to make regular, and where appropriate concurrent, contributions to stability operations whether regionally or in support of the UN will be an important aspect of future capability development and deployment planning. The extended range of the new patrol vessels improves force deployability and provide a much greater capacity for cooperative maritime activities.

The Missile Gun Boats (MGBs) were built by Vosper Thornycraft Singapore in the late 70s. These Vessels are named after KDB WASPADA, KDB PEJUANG and KDB SETERIA. The Coastal Patrol Craft (CPC) Squadron consisted of KDB PERWIRA, KDB PEMBURU and KDB PENYERANG.

Support Squadron is equipped with four Landing Crafts used mainly for Mobilising Land Forces Light and Heavy vehicles and personnel through rivers. These Vessels are named after KDB DAMUAN, KDB PUNI, KDB SERASA and KDB TERABAN. This squadron also equipped with twenty-six Fast Assault Boats (FAB) for riverine operation. Each is capable of doing in excess of fourty knots, carrying a section of troops. They can rapidly be deployed to any estuaries of rivers. Other than these, the Support Squadron also has five long boats, four 'Temuai' and a tugboat.

Fleet also has a Diving Section, which is always in a high state of readiness to give support especially in search and rescue operations. Training Wing is established to provide high quality courses and training to improve the knowledge in terms of practical and theory for all officers and other ranks in the Royal Brunei Navy. Naval Technical Traning School is responsible for establishing technical qualified personnel and to ensure ship system to be maintained throughout.

Engineering Section is responsible to give maintenance support and to enable all Royal Brunei Navy ships to perform its operational duties efficiently.The Engineering department is further divided into four main sections namely Hull Engineering, Base Engineering, Marine Engineering and Weapons Engineering.

Four class FPB 41 patrol boats are delivered by the Lrssen shipyard to Bruneis navy in 2010. Lrssen delivered four 41-meter, 265-ton Ijhtihad-class fast patrol boats, each armed with a single Rheinmetall 27 mm gun. According to Bruneis defence ministry two of the patrol boats entered service in March 2010, with the second pair joining the fleet in August 2010.

And the Lrssen shipyard delivered three class PV80 offshore patrol vessels to Bruneis navy in 2011. Thanks to the new Offshore Patrol Vessel that the navy commissioned into service in 2011, goodwill visits to China were being planned in 2012 to promote relations between the two countries. The Darussalam Class Offshore Patrol Vessels can make longer journeys overseas compared to older vessels of the RBN, and had already made such visits to other nations.

Brunei Navy Equipment

1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2013 2015 2020 2025 2030
Personnel 550 700 700 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
Active 550 700 700 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
Reserve -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Ships Source Tons Year Inventory
Corvettes... ... ... ... ... 3 3 3 3 3
Nakhoda Ragam1 95-meter OPV UK 1,940 xxxx -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Darussalam 80-meter OPV GER 1,??? 2011 -- -- -- -- -- 3 3 3 3 3
Fast-Attack Craft 3 3 3 3 ... ... ... ... ... ...
Waspada SIN 206 1978 3 3 3 3 -- -- -- -- -- --
Patrol, Fast, Inshore ... ... ... ... 4 4 4 4 4 4
Ijhtihad FPB-41 GER 265 2009 -- -- -- -- 4 4 4 4 4 4
Patrol Craft, Fast 3 3 2 2 2 ... ... ... ... ...
Periwa SIN 38.5 1974 3 3 2 2 2 -- -- -- -- --

Amphibious Warfare

Amphibious Warfare 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Landing Craft, Utility (LCU) ... ... 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Serasa AUS 336 1996 -- -- 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Landing Vessels (LCM) 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Damuan Loadmaster UK 90 1976 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

    1 - Bids were solicited in 1995 and an award was announced in that year, with an actual contract being signed with BAE Systems in 1998. Brunei refused to accept the 3 ships because they reportedly did not meet the desired specifications. Brunei settled with BAE in the International Court of Arbitration in 2006 and the 3 ships were subsequently sold in 2008 to Algeria. The deal with Algeria fell through, and by early 2012 the Indonesian Military (TNI) reportedly wanted to buy the vessels.




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