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KD Kadah MEKO 100 Patrol Vessel
New Generation Patrol Vessel (NGPV)

In Malaysia, protracted negotiations surrounding the plan to construct up to 27 Blohm+Voss MEKO A100 light frigates finally resulted in a contract during November 2000. The 30-knot, 296-foot light frigates carry eight MM 40 Exocet antiship missiles, a 57-mm dual-purpose gun, and a helicopter, but no antisubmarine systems.

Design based on Blohm + Voss MEKO 100 including measures to reduce the radar and IR signatures. Space has been include for SSM, SAM, sonar and EW suite. Principal tasks were expected to be maritime surveilliance and patrol duties in the Malaysians EEZ. The first two are based at Sepanggar.

The concept of the smart ship was fitted for but not with the interface of all types of maritime warfare. This means, if an increase in warfare capabilities have been implemented, the system and the existing equipment can be integrated without having to go through a complex process of modification.

The ship was designed and equipped with advanced equipment to make a smart ship. It can be operated with a minimum number of crew members are still able to maintain the level and duration of the operation is high. For example, the ship is equipped with control and monitoring system, known as the Ship's Control And Monitiring System (SCAM), using technology L3 Communication from Canada to control and monitor every movement of the machine parts and power on board without affecting the operation of the public.

Shipbuilding process began with the success of the navy to get approval from the Government of Malaysia to build 6 New Generation Patrol Vessels to preserve the sovereignty of the nation's waters. Thus in 1996, the Malaysian Government has opened the bidding to any shipping company to build these vessels. Finally, the German Naval Group Consortium was declared the winner of a contract to carry out the construction of the New Generation Patrol Vessel Navy.

Following a delay of 19 months since initial signature, the Malaysian government, the Penang Shipbuilding Corporation [PSC-Naval Dockyard, now known as Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn. Bhd.] and German Naval Group comsortium (led by Blohm + Voss) reached final agreement in November 2000 for the supply of an initial batch of six vessels. Prefabricated modules for the first two of the 1,650-ton ships will be supplied by Blohm+Voss, which would provide technical guidance for the transition to total assembly of later ships at Lumut. The first two OPVs were built in Germany for shipment to Malaysia and assembly and fitting out at Lumut. The first ship left Hamburg on 1 April 2003 and the second ship on 6 October 2003. Subsequent ships were under contruction in Malaysia.

The program was plagued technical problems and quality control issues and, following the reversion of PSC to state control by September 2005, a new management team was put in place. The third and fourth units were under consideration in late 2006 and work on the hulls of the fifth and six units had started.

The New Generation Patrol Vessel (NGPV) program, which originally envisioned a total of 27 ships, was delayed for almost three years caused by mismanagement of the local shipyard and system integration issues. The first two ships of the MEKO A100 Kedah-class had been delivered to the Royal Malaysian Navy and were based in East Malaysia. In 2008 Malaysia announced that the next four ships in the NGPV program were going forward. Malaysia could be looking for enhanced ASW capabilities in the second batch of NGPVs.

Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BN Shipyard) achieved another milestone when the fifth locally made patrol vessel (PV5) was successfully named, KD (Kapal Diraja) KELANTAN by her highness Raja Perempuan Kelantan Tengku Anis Binti Almarhum Tengku Abdul Hamid. Also witnessed by the Sultan of Kelantan, his highness, Tuanku Ismail Petra Sultan Yahya Petra, the ceremony was held on 24 November 2008 at the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) Naval Base in Lumut. Also present was YBhg Laksamana Madya Dato' Seri Ahmad Ramli Haji Mohd Nor (Retired), the Managing Director of BN Shipyard which in his speech said that, 'The naming event is significant as it represents yet another milestone of BN Shipyard's ability to deliver the patrol vessel despite the hurdles faced.'

In line with BN Shipyard's vendor development program for maritime related industries, more than 1,000 local companies participated in the patrol vessel project. The vessel would subsequently undergo its final outfitting, Setting-To-Work (STW) of equipment and systems, Harbor and Sea Acceptance Trials (HAT and SAT) and Life Firing Trials (LFT) prior to its delivery to RMN for commissioning.

The government had planned to go ahead with the construction of the second batch of the new generation patrol boats for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) once the first batch of six boats (which includes KD KELANTAN) had been delivered to the RMN by early 2010. In the contract the construction of 21 additional patrol boats was agreed within ten years. This part of the contract has a value of 5 billion euros. But nothing came of these schemes.

KD KELANTAN was designed as a versatile vessel capable of performing a myriad of tasks ranging from search and rescue, crisis management to offshore patrol duties. The vessel was also built on an advanced modular warship design that allows flexible installation of weapons, electronics and major service systems. Due to modularisation with standardised dimensions and interfaces, large components of KD KELANTAN can be quickly installed, removed, exchanged or replaced. This allows dimension flexibility for upgrading or modernisation, time and cost saving, maintenance and repair within a significantly shorter period. The modularity concept technique enables BN Shipyard to undertake parallel construction of the ship platform and the modular payload concurrently. In the final outfitting phase of a ship, the already tested modules are forwarded to the shipyard, installed on board and connected to the vessel's respective service systems within just a few days.

In 2015 the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) planned to upgrade four of its Kedah (Meko 100 RMN)-class corvettes for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations. The RMN operated six Kedah-class vessels, which were commissioned between June 2006 and December 2010. The vessels are based on the Blohm+Voss MEKO 100 design and were built by local prime contractor Penang Shipbuilding & Construction (now Boustead Naval Shipyard, a long story) in partnership with a German naval consortium. To achieve the ASW upgrade, the RMN proposed to equip the four vessels with torpedo launchers, towed array and hull-mounted sonars, and equipment to support the operation of an ASW helicopter.

By 2016 RMN chief Admiral Ahmad Kamarulzaman Baharuddin had been going around on the idea of reducing the service vessel types from 15 to 5. One of the steps to be taken to achieve that goal is for RMN to aquire more NGPV (Meko A100) type corvette/OPV instead of going for a totally new model of ships. He was said to want 12 ships of the NGPV class. Whether that was meant to be a total of 12 ships including the current ones or another 12 new ships for a total of 18, was still to be confirmed. For the plan to be successful and a realistic one, the Kedah Batch II must cost less than US$160million each and any upgrades (not including refits) of the current Kedah to something similar to Kedah Batch II must be somewhere around USD 40million for each ship.

For the new build Batch II, additional equipment (sonar and torpedoes) would make it lean towards ASW operations, while the Batch I would be upgraded to Batch II standard but without ASW equipment for cost saving reasons, to concentrate on ASuW operations.

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