Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Tun Fatimah-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV)
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Tun Fatimah-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV)

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency to Receive Two Tun Fatimah-class OPVs

The Tun Fatimah class is an offshore patrol vessel (OPV) built by the Malaysian company THHE-Destini with the assistance of Damen company from the Netherlands based on the design of the Damen 1800-class OPV vessel. THHE-Destini is a joint venture between two local company which is THHE and the Bagan Datuk-class patrol vessel builder, Destini Berhad. The Tun Fatimah class is also known as the Damen 1800-class offshore patrol vessel and the class changed names after the first ship of the class, KM Tun Fatimah. Janes reported that THHE expects to deliver the first of three Tun Fatimah-class OPVs to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) in July 2023.

The Tun Fatimah class has an overall length of 83 m (272 ft 4 in), an overall beam of 13.7 m (44 ft 11 in), and a draught of 3.9 m (12 ft 4 in). The offshore patrol vessel has a displacement of 2,616 tonnes, and a speed of 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph). The OPV is powered by two Caterpillar 3512C diesel engines. The main armament of the ship are one 1 × 30 mm Aselsan SMASH RWS and light defensive weapons such as 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm machine guns. She also has a complement of 46 crew. To fulfill the patrol duty, she also able to operate one medium-sized helicopter and one unmanned aerial vehicle. All ships will be named after female warriors of Malaysia.

The Damen 1800 OPV contract was awarded to THHE-Destini local company in early 2017. The ship contract is worth RM738.9 million and the construction started in December 2017. The first Tun Fatimah-class OPV was launched in October 2022, five years after its keel was laid down. It was originally scheduled for delivery to the MMEA in mid-2020. The construction of the second OPV started in 2021 and is expected to be delivered in October 2023. The first steel was cut for the third OPV in February 2022 and is expected to be delivered by April 2024.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia – APMM) is the coast guard organisation of Malaysia, and principal government agency tasked with maintaining law and order, and coordinating search and rescue operations in the Malaysian Maritime Zone and on the high seas. The Agency and its members are part of the Malaysian Federal Civil Agency and report directly to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The MMEA however, can be integrated under Malaysian Armed Forces command during an emergency, special crisis, or wartime.
The agency maintains close ties with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and Japan Coast Guard (JCG).