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Additional of Six Coastal Surveillance System (CSS) Radars for the Eastern Coast of Sabah

Overall, the Ministry of Defense will operate 14 coastal surveillance radars in the ESSZONE area to ensure the safety of the Eastern Sabah coast from various threats, especially Kidnap-For-Ransom (KFR) groups and cross-border criminal elements.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — The Malaysia Ministry of Defense will acquire six new Coastal Surveillance System (CSS) radars to monitor the area in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZONE), according to Defense Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

The acquisition of these six CSS radars is to replace five CSS radars that have experienced damage and cannot be repaired, resulting in the Ministry of Defense decommissioning the system.

“The Ministry of Defense has identified the need to completely fill this gap in the area by acquiring six of the radars that we have decommissioned, plus one more to serve as a new gap filler,” he said.

According to Mohamad, the total allocation for the acquisition of these six radars is approximately RM57 million, to be obtained in the Thirteenth Malaysia Plan (RMK13).

RMK13 will run from 2026 to 2030.

Radar
Coastal Surveillance Radar

 

At present, the Ministry of Defense is operating eight CSS1206 radars, which were recently upgraded in September.

The upgrade project, according to the Defense Minister, aims to enhance radar detection capabilities and command and control capabilities. All these radars are fully operational (full mission capabilities).

Overall, the Ministry of Defense will operate 14 coastal surveillance radars in the ESSZONE area to ensure the safety of the Eastern Sabah coast from various threats, especially Kidnap-For-Ransom (KFR) groups and cross-border criminal elements.

“In addition to geographical factors, the proximity of the Eastern Sabah coast to the islands in southern Philippines and Indonesia opens up space for various threats. These threats are non-traditional, including cross-border crime that can disrupt the security and safety of the area,” said the Defense Minister.

The Eastern Sabah coast covers 10 coastal districts from Kudat to Tawau, including Kudat, Kota Marudu, Pitas, Beluran, Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna, and Tawau, with a coastline of approximately 1,733 kilometers. It involves 361 islands and a land area of 31,158 square kilometers, which is 42 percent of Sabah’s land area.

Radar
Tun Sharifah Rodziah Sea Base

 

Regarding the Tun Sharifah Rodziah Naval Base operating on the Eastern Sabah coast, the Defense Minister stated that the Ministry of Defense has recently completed a refit worth over RM11 million for it.

The Tun Sharifah Rodziah Naval Base was a former oil platform given by Petronas to the Ministry of Defense, which converted it into a floating naval base on the Eastern Sabah coast.

The Malaysian Armed Forces have various units stationed at this floating base, including the Royal Malaysian Navy’s Special Forces (PASKAL). The Tun Sharifah Rodziah Naval Base was inaugurated by the Prime Minister in 2016 by then-Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Defense Minister mentioned that due to the high operating costs of the Tun Sharifah Rodziah Naval Base, the Ministry of Defense may terminate its operations by 2026. — DSA

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