By Azaraimy HH
The Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) has enhanced its sea power capability with yesterday's commissioning of recently-acquired Darussalam class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) - named KDB Darussalam and KDB Darulehsan - for a more modern naval platform to defend the country's waters.
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, who is the Minister of Defence and Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces consented to preside over the commissioning ceremony at the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Jetty in Muara yesterday.
The Ministry of Defence stated that the acquisition and commissioning of the two modern armed vessels signalled a significant development in the Defence
White Paper to modernise the Royal Brunei Navy with knowledge and assets. The two Darussalam-class OPVs are the first of its class for the world-renowned German shipbuilder and the RBN.
A third Darussalam class OPV, 'KDB Darulaman', is still on its way for commissioning some time this year.
Measuring 80 metres in length and 13 metres wide, the Darussalam-class OPVs are diesel-powered armed vessels and equipped with BOFORS 57mm gun and 40mm Exocet missiles.
The modern naval platform can launch out a 'Rigid Inflatable Craft' (RIB) from the rear and provide a landing platform for helicopter (helipad) on board for day and night.
The commissioning ceremony yesterday began with the arrival of His Majesty the Sultan at the RBN jetty, greeted by Deputy Minister of Defence, Dato Paduka Hj Mustappa bin Hj Sirat and the Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Hj Abidin.
After a royal salute, His Majesty the Sultan inspected the Guard of Honour, before proceeding aboard KDB Darussalam and KDB Darulehsan for the commissioning.
His Majesty first came onboard KDB Darussalam. On the deck, surah al-Fatihah was recited by Lt Colonel (U) Haji Abdur' Rahim bin Haji Abdul Karim, Head of Religious Department at the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.
His Majesty was then briefed from Lt Colonel (L) Hj Mohammad Yusuf bin Masron, the Commanding Officer of KDB Darussalam. His Majesty the Sultan then handed over a Commissioning Pennant to the Commanding Officer of KDB Darussalam.
His Majesty also consented to sign the 'Maiden Voyage' and received a 'Pesembah', which was a 'Ship's Cap'.
His Majesty the Sultan then proceeded to the commissioning of KDB Darulehsan. On board, after the recital of surah al-Fatihah, His Majesty was briefed by Commanding Officer of KDB Darulehsan, Lt Colonel (L) Zil Husam bin Abdul Rahman.
His Majesty the Sultan then handed over the Commissioning Pennant. His Majesty the Sultan also toured KDB Darulehsan and sat for a 'Santap' on board, before signing 'The Maiden Voyage' and receiving the 'Ship's Caps'.
His Majesty also consented to try out the 'Rigid Inflatable Craft' from KDB Darulehsan. After the commissioning of KDB Darussalam and KDB Darulehsan, His Majesty the Sultan continued to visit KDB Afiat - which is one of four 41-metre Ijhtihad-class Fast Patrol Boats.
- Borneo Bulletin
(14th May 2011)