Yonca Onuk, a top Turkish shipyard, has delivered the first four of 10 MRTP-16 fast intervention boats to Malaysia’s Coast Guard Command as part of a $100 million contract, a senior Turkish procurement official said yesterday.
Three of the four boats were delivered and launched earlier this year, while the fourth was unveiled this week at a ceremony at Malaysia’s Langkawi shipyard that was attended by senior officials from both countries, according to authorities.
Two of the ships were directly built by Yonca Onuk while the two others were constructed by Malaysia’s Bousted shipyard under contract, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Director General Adm. Datuk Mohd Amdan Kurish said at the ceremony, according to Turkish procurement officials who attended the event.
“The remaining six are expected to be delivered in June next year. Of the six, two will be built in Turkey and four here,” he said.
The fast intervention boats are slated to be used mainly in anti-piracy and anti-smuggling missions, Malaysian officials said. The MRTP-16 has a maximum speed of 60 knots and can carry 10 crew members.
For Turkey’s rapidly rising exports, Malaysia has become a top customer this year. In February, FNSS, an Ankara-based joint venture with the United States, signed a deal worth nearly $600 million with Malaysia for the joint development and manufacture of 257 8-by-8 Pars amphibious armored vehicles. The Pars was designed by FNSS, and also comes in 8-by-8 and 6-by-6 versions.
The MRTP-16 deal is the largest partnership in the defense business sector between Turkey and Malaysia apart from the FNSS contract.
Small naval platforms are among the strongest sectors in Turkey’s defense export sector. Yonca Onuk’s MRTP-related boats have been sold to several countries.
As part of a 2009 agreement signed with the United Arab Emirates, Yonca Onuk is also selling 34 fast interceptors to the Gulf country. Five boats have been delivered so far while two others have been put to sea and are undergoing tests.
The UAE boats are fitted by STAMP stabilized machine gun platforms, a well-exported item made by Turkish military electronics conglomerate Aselsan.
ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News