PETALING JAYA: The Royal Malaysian Navy is in the midst of upgrading and readying its assets to beef up the nation's marine and naval defences.
In his New Year address on Friday (Jan 10), Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Mohd Reza Mohd Sany said the Navy will work to improve the readiness of its ships as it aims to have at least 75% of its assets in categories one to three, causing certain ships to be pulled out of operations.
"This will mean ships that are not in any of these programmes will spend more time at sea.
"Personnel need to be prepared both physically and mentally and even our ships need to be in the best condition to see this year through," he said.
He added that the Navy would depend on strong collaborations between its bases in the east and west to better coordinate operations at sea.
Admiral Reza said that the Navy has also bought 12 new Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) from the US and the new assets will be placed at its base in Kota Kinabalu.
"We expect our maritime monitoring capabilities to improve with these new assets," he said.
He added that the Navy is also in the midst of calling for tenders to procure 18 Fast Interceptor Crafts and three new helicopters and said that it is also reviewing feasibility studies to fulfil the need for Multi-Role Support Ships (MRSS).
"MRSS are crucial especially to aid with logistics and support during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts within the country and the region. We are confident that with such assets, we will be able to carry out such operations more effectively," he said.
In the new year, the Navy also aspires to introduce a new learning concept which will focus on special skill development based on ship class management to fulfil needs prescribed under the Armada Transformation 15 to 5 plan.
He said the new concept would create new specialty talents based on ship classes.
Admiral Reza also listed welfare initiatives for Navy personnel and their families, including efforts to solve housing problems.
This includes continuing to upgrade the defence personnel quarters in Lumut and Kota Kinabalu as well as building new quarters in Kota Kinabalu as prescribed under the 11th Malaysia Plan with an allocation of RM410mil.