Options for Kedah class Batch II

A graphic of the Kedah Batch 2. via ....

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SHAH ALAM:Lately RMN chief Admiral Ahmad Kamarulzaman Baharuddin has been going around on the idea of reducing the service vessel types from 15 to 5. One of the steps to be taken to achieve that goal is for RMN to aquire more NGPV (Meko A100) type corvette/OPV instead of going for a totally new model of ships.

He is said to want 12 ships of the NGPV class. Whether that is meant to be a total of 12 ships including the current ones or another 12 new ships for a total of 18, is still to be confirmed. For this article I am assuming 6 additional Batch II to complement the existing 6 Batch I NGPV’s.

Two Kedah class, KD Kelantan (175) and KD Selangor (176) berthed at Lumut jetty in early 2014. The ship on the other side is KD Mahawangsa. Malaysian Defence
Two Kedah class, KD Kelantan (175) and KD Selangor (176) berthed at Lumut jetty in early 2014. The ship on the other side is KD Mahawangsa. Malaysian Defence

For the plan to be successful and a realistic one, the Kedah Batch II must in my opinion cost less than USD 160million each and any upgrades (not including refits) of the current Kedah to something similar to Kedah Batch II must be somewhere around USD 40million for each ship.

The fighting capability of those ships should be similar to China’s Type 056 (Jingdao) class corvette, UAE’s Baynunah class corvette or Oman’s Khareef class corvette. If the Kedah Batch II ships comes out to cost as much as the previous batch (USD300 million), there is no cost advantage at all to go for commonality, and better corvettes such as the turkish MILGEM, costs less.

One of the UAE Baynunah class corvette, Al Dhafra at NAVDEX in 2015. Mztourist - Wikipedia
One of the UAE Baynunah class corvette, Al Dhafra at NAVDEX in 2015. Mztourist – Wikipedia Commons

My self imposed ceiling price of USD160 million makes it quite a challenging task to spec the ship. It could be done, as i found out.

General Design

For the Kedah Batch II, the MEKO 100RMN design would be carried forward as it is to save cost. No modifications to put a smoke stack or any other major modifications would be done to the design. This would mean there is no big design costs to be incurred, and most of the design is mature and don’t need to be tested or retested.

This would also mean a greater commonality between the new and old batch of ships. For the new build Batch II, additional equipment (sonar and torpedoes) would make it lean towards ASW operations, while the Batch I would be upgraded to Batch II standard but without ASW equipment for cost saving reasons, to concentrate on ASuW operations.

Hull and machinery
The advantage of MEKO 100 design is its modular design means there is other ships that are built to the same design. It also means that different modules can be subcontracted to cost effective shipyards (like Korea or Vietnam) and be assembled back in Malaysia.

A model of the Gawron class. The project has been cancelled as the cost to arm the ship would add another USD320 million to the project. The hull only cost USD$100 million. Source Wikipedia. Picture by Pibwl (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
A model of the Gawron class. The project has been cancelled as the cost to arm the ship would add another USD320 million to the project. The hull only cost USD$100 million. Picture by Pibwl, via Wikimedia Commons

The MEKO A100 design has spawned the Kedah (MEKO 100RMN), Gawron (MEKO 100 – ED. Project cancelled as of 2016), Braunschweig (K130) and Saar 6 (K130) classes. From open source information, the Gawron hull and machinery (this is a bit bigger than Kedah, with gas turbines and diesels for power) costs around USD130 million(1) . The latest build of the small MEKO A100 design is the four Saar 6 corvettes for the Israeli Navy. The ships would cost USD120 million each(2) (3).

With proper cost control (no major redesign of hull and modules, no more TOT costs etc etc), subcontracting some (if not all) ship modules to cost effective shipyards overseas, I believe for Kedah Batch II hull and machinery could be done for USD 100 million each.

Electronics
From open source information, a corvette sized ship electronics (Combat management system, Platform management system, Radar, Fire Control, sonar, ESM, IFF, radios) would cost anywhere around USD30-40 million per ship(4) (5).

A close up of Kedah class bridge. Note the EADS 3-D radar and FCR
A close up of Kedah class bridge. Note the EADS 3-D radar and FCR

A mix of common equipment with the Kedah Batch I and new equipment, with the older Batch I to be upgraded to similar level of equipment so that all ships would have an almost common standard of electronics.

CMS : Thales Tacticos or Samsung Thales Naval Shield
Radar : EADS TRS-3D/ 16ES
Fire Control: Rheinmetall TMEO Mk2 , TMX/EO Mk2
Sonar : Thales Kingklip or Atlas Elektronik DSQS-24C. Modular Captas 1 towed sonar
ESM : Thales vigile 400
Decoy : SRBOC

Weapons
With about USD20 million left from my self imposed ceilling of USD160 million, a bit of creative decision must be made. For the main gun, I would go for the Hyundai-Wia 76mm gun. It is said that the gun is “a lot lower in cost” than the Oto-Melara version(6).

Hyundai-Wia 76mm gun. Via....
Hyundai-Wia 76mm gun. Via….

With the Oto-melara version costing around USD5million(7) we could assume that the Hyundai-Wia gun is about USD3 million a piece.

For the SAM and AshM, this is the most radical idea for the ships. As the navy has looked at equipping its ships with Chinese kits before(8) , I think that this idea would not be unthinkable as some would think it is. ( ED. It will not work as China remain a potential adversary. It is unlikely that the RMN ships fitted with China made weapons will be able to lock on PLAN ships or aircraft if it ever comes to that)

FL-3000N. via ...
FL-3000N. via …

As for the SAM, I am thinking of going for the FL-3000N system as it is similar to the RAM system the NGPV was designed for. This would also mean minimal modifications to the ship structure to install the FL-3000N as it is also non-deck penetrating design as the RAM launcher. 2x 15 round launchers would be installed, 1 in front of the bridge, and 1 on top of the hangar in place of the 30mm gun.

C705 missile. Via...
C705 missile. Via…

For the AshM, i would go for the C-705 missile (above). This is a low cost design (it is said to be cheaper than a C-802A missile, which is sold for less than half the price of an Exocet) with similar range to the MM40 missiles that TLDM are using. Two quadruple launchers of the C-705 would equip each ship.

For close in defence two MSI DS30M 30mm cannon would be installed to the rear of the bridge. ED. If the hull is not lengthened, this will not work as there is no space as can be seen from the picture of the Gawron

One of the two B515 triple torpedo launcher on KD Kasturi as seen in early 2014. These torpedo launchers were taken from the Laksamana class. Picture by Malaysian Defence.
One of the two B515 triple torpedo launcher on KD Kasturi as seen in early 2014. These torpedo launchers were taken from the Laksamana class. Picture by Malaysian Defence.

Two Eurotorp B515 324 mm triple torpedo tubes would also be installed for ASW duties. ED. If we are going for this launchers, I guess we need to buy the 76mm guns from Oto-Melara as they also manufacture these launchers. I do not think Finmeccanica will allow us to buy the torpedo launchers if we opt for the copy-cat 76mm guns

Upgrades to the Kedah Batch I ships

With a budget of USD40 million for each ship, USD15 million for Electronics, USD 20 million for weapons with US5 million for miscellaneous cost. Any normal planned repair/overhaul/refit costs to the Kedah Batch I would be additional to the upgrade costs. The electronics would see a new CMS/PMS, new ESM to commonise with the new Batch II ships. As for the weapons, it would add the FL-3000N, C-705 and MSI DS30M 30mm to the ships while the old 30mm on top of the hangar would be removed.

A graphic of the Kedah Batch II. via...
A graphic of the Kedah Batch II. via…

Conclusion
With a mix of European, Korean and Chinese equipment, built into a hull assembled in Malaysia, I think a very capable corvette in the shape of the Kedah Batch II ships would be a very credible addition to the RMN fleet. The ceiling price of USD160 million still gives a ship with a very good fighting capability, and giving BHIC a very good product for export to friendly countries. With commonisation of most hardware between Batch I and Batch II ships we should see a reduction in life-cycle and service costs that the RMN is hoping for.

References:
(1) – http://wyborcza.pl/1,76842,11232357,Wojsko_do_remontu__koniec_z_Gawronem.html
(2) – http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/diplomacy-defense/83608-150827-israel-sends-naval-engineers-to-germany-to-help-in-ship-deal
(3) – http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/year-2015-news/august-2015-navy-naval-forces-defense-industry-technology-maritime-security-global-news/3029-design-of-future-tkms-built-saar-6-meko-a100-corvettes-for-israeli-navy-unveiled.html
(4) – http://aviationweek.com/awin/it-s-official-thales-won-oman-order
(5) – https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/content/thales-supply-key-systems-new-corvettes-indonesian-navy-worth-60m-euro
(6) – http://www.janes.com/article/50055/lima-2015-hyundai-wia-positions-76-mm-guns-for-malaysian-corvette-programme
(7) – http://www.drs.com/news-and-events/in-the-news/oto-melara-pitching-76-mm-gun-as-option-for-navys-future-frigate/
(8) – http://www.janes.com/article/51011/malaysian-navy-mulls-chinese-kit-for-laksamana-class-upgrades

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1163 Articles
Shah Alam

50 Comments

  1. No Chinese weapon or electronic whatsoever plz. I prefer European more than American and definitely not Chinese.

  2. Your opinion of the new & upgraded NGPV is very interesting. This should have been done when the first Kedah ship was built. If we could built another 18 NGPV, it surely would make the PRC Navy or other would be agressor think hard about coming to our water territory. Well we might have to change the PRC weapon with the western or USS built.

  3. I don’t think fitting the so called Batch II ships with Chinese made equipment or any equipment that has not been in the RMN service is a good idea. The main thought of introducing the 15 to 5 concept is to reduce the type of ships, so that the cost for training, maintenance and spares can be optimized. In other word, the spirit of operating the same type of ships is to operate the same equipment. For example, the A gun, it should be either Bofors 57mm or Oto Melara 76mm as they are already installed in RMN ships. Look at RSN, all their ships operate the Oto Melara 76mm (including their new LMS). For other equipment like missile, radar etc, I suppose the same thing should be taken into consideration.

  4. @ marhalim

    The single gawron class hull is already completed and launched as the ORP Slazak. It is finished off as a OPV for financial reasons.

    As for missiles. Remember “peluru tak bermata”… Even french and usa has no way to switch off their excocets or harpoons. If there is, usa and British frigates wouldn’t be hit by exocets. They might know how to counter it but that still involves the normal ways, no “special codes” to block from targeting chinese ships or aircrafts.

    There is still some space at the base of the radar mast for msi seahawks. A bit of modification to fit a cantilevered “balcony” there should be enough to fit the guns.

    As it stands, the NGPV wouldn’t be TLDM’S high end assets. The Gowind is. So it is a choice of no missiles (budgetary reasons) or going chinese. Better have some kind of missiles than nothing at all.

    Anyway this article is just my opinion of a practical option for NGPV batch II. Do give your idea on other practical and affordable options for the NGPV, both to retrofit the current ships and to arm the new batches.

    Reply
    I have walked along the area behind the bridge, where the missile boxes are supposed to be. There is no space for single MSI 30mm gun there. Yes they need to build some sort of fantails there to fit in two 30mm gun.

  5. @ amer

    Yes my idea follows your spirit of commonality.

    My plan is for the NGPV to have 90% commonality with each other. Thats why I didn’t go for thales smart-s radars or such.

    My plan is for all of the NGPV ships (old and new) to have common equipment except:
    – Sonar
    – Asw equipment
    – Main guns

  6. Actually the main complained many years back is about the ehxaust at the side which some how or another during manovers got into the crew cabin….that is why they want smoke stack…..if this complain can be solved without major modifications this might work

    Reply
    There are other issues but since those are operational ones lets left them at that

  7. If an order is ever made for follow on Meko A-100s, the RMN will certainly insist on a stack. Sure it will incur extra costs but that cost is worth it; given the smoky issues encountered by the Kedahs. Thyssen – which took over as the head of the German Naval Group – has actually designed a slightly lengthened Kedah with a stock : proposed for the LCS programme. Ever wondered why certain RMN ships have rear part of their hulls blackened? I always thought it was to make recognition [when using MK1 eyeballs] difficult but it also has to do with other reasons.

    Nalzar – ”This should have been done when the first Kedah ship was built.”

    Why? As pointed out before when the NGOPV programme was launched; the ships were intended to perform secondary, peacetime constabulary type roles with a secondary wartime role. What we intend follow on Kedahs to is slightly different from what we originally wanted the 1st batch to do – the operational requirements have changed.

    Nalzar – ”If we could built another 18 NGPV, it surely would make the PRC Navy or other would be agressor think hard about coming to our water territory. ”

    You really believe that? We can never play on a level playing field with the likes of China; irrespective of how many ships we have.
    BTW its not PLAN ships that are intruding into our EEZ at the moment but mainly Maritime and Fisheries Enforcement ships.

    …… – ”My plan is for the NGPV to have 90% commonality with each other.”

    Commonality is one thing; usability and practicality another. I’m all for commonality but there is certain stuff on the Kedahs [stuff designed more than a decade ago] that should be replaced by others. Take the TRS-3D as an example; I have no idea as to how it compares in cost with the Smarts 3D but it’s easier to use [has much less modes – the Danes discovered it’s always problematic getting the right mode when time is short] and from open sources is – supposedly – more capable [to be expected given it’s slightly newer than the TRS-3D].

    …… – ”So it is a choice of no missiles (budgetary reasons) or going chinese. Better have some kind of missiles than nothing at all.”

    This is debatable and also relies on the threat environment; as well as integration issues and whether the original Kedahs will ever be armed and with what. If the original Kedahs get RAM [I say RAM because the space in the ‘B’ is intended for RAM and RAM is integrated with COSYS – if we replaced COSYS, integrating a Western made COSYS would be easier with RAM than with a Chinese system] then logic dictates follow on Kedahs also get RAM – having both with a different system will be a nightmare.

    As for the Hyundai-Wia 76mm mount, will be interesting to see if the company is working on a smart round like the DAVIDE or even if the DAVIDE is compatible with the Hyundai-Wia 76mm mount [same calibre yes but there could be other issues at play]. What also drove the cost up for the original Kedahs was not only the sensors but other stuff like the helicopter recovery system, the navigation system, the distillers system, etc, : all were gold plated.

    Very interesting article. My take is that before we go into certain issues; we first must define the likely roles the Kedahs are likely to perform in both war and peacetime and how whatever future capabilities they have can complement other assets.

  8. If i may ask, is the 5 service type ships plan been approved by the govt..if not, what is the time frame for the plan to be approved and budgetted. Will there be like a special program initiated by the govt similar to perista in the 80s

    Reply
    Its not yet approved. The Chief met with the PM this week to present the plan. Whether or not it will be approved is unknown at the moment but we will soon know about it. IMO there is no money for next five years for the navy apart from the LCS and the submarines

  9. …… – ”My plan is for all of the NGPV ships (old and new) to have common equipment except:”

    The RMN should have not more than 2 types of SSMs in service : MM-40s and NSMs. Granted Chinese missiles may be cheaper but whatever advantages we gain by buying cheaper will be offset by having 3 different missiles. Not only will we have to train people to operate and maintain 3 different kinds of missiles but we’ll have to buy new test/maintenance systems for the Chinese missiles – in the long term having 3 types of missiles will be more expensive than having 2. There is also the issue of integrating the Chinese missiles to the Western supplied CMS and other stuff, including data links. Not a problem for sure but it’ll also require money.

  10. The smoke issue of malaysian ships is mostly due to the quality of fuel we are using. There are other technical issues with meko a100 class exhaust (water ingress etc) but AFAIK technically it has been rectified. My suggestion to build the batch II hull as is due to:

    – Commonality
    – No technical risk
    – No additional design costs to be incurred
    – No additional cost of an enlarged hull

    As I said all these little specification creeps (all the wants) will add up to the cost quite substantially. That in the end will cause the “cost effective” part of the plan to dissappear without you realise it.

  11. Realistically the new navy plan imo would start in rmk12, with batch II NGPV starting as the 6th gowind is finished.

    As for the 15 to 5 plan, I really believe not everything could be done cost effectively (for the LMS and MRSS requirements) when combined into 1 platform. Look at the cost creep of JSF fighter program, and look at a400m users retaining and even buying new c-130 hercules instead of replacing them all with all a400m fleet.

    For example:

    The supposed LMS platform is to replace:
    – Fast attack craft (missiles)
    – Fast attack craft (gun)
    – Mine countermeasures
    – Patrol craft (sri johor and sri perlis in sandakan)
    – Fast troop vessel (fast ferry)
    – Hydrographic survey

    Trying to combine all capability into a single hull design would mean very high compromise in all of the tasks. That would mean increased cost for a compromised capability. I would see all those tasks to be served by at least 2 different platforms, one high end, one low end, with a much lower overall aqustition and operational cost than trying to do all tasks in a single platform…

  12. The new ships can be both the meko or even the gowind types. The gowind has the advantage that it is bring built now n building more may bring down the cost of building them.

  13. “As for missiles. Remember “peluru tak bermata”… Even french and usa has no way to switch off their excocets or harpoons. If there is, usa and British frigates wouldn’t be hit by exocets. They might know how to counter it but that still involves the normal ways, no “special codes” to block from targeting chinese ships or aircrafts. ”

    The HMS Sheffield was rushed there and the USS Stark was not expecting to be fired on by Iraq. Had these navies had time to prepare, they might have obtained ways to activate the self destruct which many missiles have. And even so you only have seconds to activate your countermeasures.

    Obviously the missile manufacturers would not want to provide these. But there is no such problem if you’re firing on the country that produces it.

    In the first place, what Marhalim probably meant was the Chinese would know the detection envelope of their sensors and countermeasures, and use this to hinder our detecting them in the first place. Once shots are fired, they can then deceive or avoid the envelope of the missile guidance system.

  14. Could you conment please on the report of about 100 fisihing boats and a few coast guard ships from china at beting patinggi ali. Is this a normal occurence or a higher level of intimidation by China. Would this help in the navy quest for more ships considering thr govt reluctance in spending for defence purposes?

    Reply
    China is being China, of course, they consider most of SCS as their waters as part of the Dash Line 9. Will it matter to the government? I have no idea what is going on at PMO. Actually they should, but to what extent what we can do to influence the China government is = to me – limited.

  15. I don’t think it’s a good idea. Them banglas have been doing just that; using korean ship, with european electronic suite and chinese armaments, and it failed spectacularly. BNS Bangabanshu was commisioned in early 2000s yet they took it out of service and it took the koreans almost 8 years to fix it so it could be recommisioned again. Even now they still founf teething problems every now and then, which suggest the they couldn’t completely make it right.

    If RMN want to save cost, they might as well as using and enlarged, more capable version of Gagah samudera class ship and using existing weapon systems (bofors/oto melara gun, Exocet MM40/nsm as well as whatever SAM the navy is planning for LCS and Lekiu-class frigate) to simplify logistics.

    In fact, RMN can use the same template for the planned LMS as well as new cutters for MMEA

    Reply
    AFAIK the Algerian navy has not had problems with its China made corvette fitted with Western and China made stuff.
    As for Babagandu it’s well known that the ship fell victim to the political impasse of Bangladesh. She was bought and brought into service by one administration and retired when a new government was elected. Granted she might had technical problems before she was retired but her premature decommissioning is probably one of the reason she still having teething issues until now

  16. ……. – ”The smoke issue of malaysian ships is mostly due to the quality of fuel we are using.”

    The smoke issue is so bad [regardless of the quality of fuel used] that when the Kedahs are pumping out smoke; other ships try to stay away as they’ll be covered in soot!

    Commonality is great but some stuff on the original Kedahs have to be replaced. No point sticking to the same stuff just for the sake of commonality if certain stuff [designed more than a decade ago, which will be much older when the follow batch enters service] is old or is not functioning optimally.

    Same goes for COSYS, even assuming that COSYS is still being offered in a few years time; it would be silly to stick to COSYS for the sake of commonality when they’re are newer, more efficient and capable CMS in the market. If the original Kedahs get RAM or whatever; logic dictates the follow on ones are armed the same. Any cash we save buy buying something cheaper will be offset by using it on integration costs and other stuff.

    Dundun – ”I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

    Simple. The idea is to go for stuff that already has been integrated and stuff that is mostly in service. The problem comes when we custom design or specify stuff which is not already integrated to meet our specific requirements [prime example is the MKM]. When that happens; the MAF and taxpayer pays the price.

    AM – ”The HMS Sheffield was rushed there and the USS Stark was not expecting to be fired on by Iraq. ”

    If I recall correctly, Sheffield at the time of the Exocet launch was using her SATCOM and this interfered with a general warning that was transmitted by the task force. Stark wasn’t even on action stations; Phalanx was switched off [like one on the Hanit]. This was mainly because the Iraqis then were best mates [then] and the Yanks were expecting an attack from the ”evil and freedom hating” Iranians but not the ”friendly” Iraqis.

  17. @ azlan

    In my article I suggested replacing the CMS, or cosys in your parlance with thales tacticos or Samsung thalecs naval shield for the old ships and putting the same cms in the new batch for commonality.

    @ marhalim

    There is a few comments I made in the morning that is still missing…

    Reply
    Sorry there’s no other comments in both the spam and trash sections

  18. Adding to my point, just because we have not heard of destroying incoming missiles with their self destruct feature, does not mean it hasn’t happened in secret. If it has, it is surely a secret worth keeping.

    If such technology existed in the west in the 1980s, it would have been focused on defeating Soviet missiles and not on the French Exocet. Then there’s the possibility it simply wasn’t fitted to the USS Stark or HMS Sheffield, or as I suggested previously, that it wasn’t activated in time.

    You may have heard of the QRC-248, which the USAF used to mimic Soviet IFF systems and prompt the transponders on Vietnamese MiGs to respond. The warning it provided saved several US aircraft.

  19. @ am

    You are talking hot air. No such switch off things existed. C-705 is a fire and forget missiles. Even the ship launching it couldn’t switch it off once launched.

  20. AM – ”Adding to my point, just because we have not heard of destroying incoming missiles with their self destruct feature, does not mean it hasn’t happened in secret. If it has, it is surely a secret worth keeping.”

    You remember the scene in ”Hunt for Red October” when Admiral Greer pressed a self destruct button for a Mk48 that was fired at the Red October? Always wondered if that was possible.

    My guess is that Chinese made missiles or fire directors will have no problems locking onto Chinese aircraft and ships; just like a Harpoon from a IN P-8 will have no problems locking onto a USN destroyer. The question is really whether Chinese export stuff [like U.S. export stuff to non NATO or non treaty countries are] will be downgraded.

    …… – ”In my article I suggested replacing the CMS, or cosys in your parlance with thales tacticos or Samsung thalecs naval shield for the old ships and putting the same cms in the new batch for commonality. ”

    Noted.

    The trick will be in ensuring that whatever is eventually selected has already been integrated with other stuff. The longer the RMN [or to be precise, the government] takes to introduce follow on Kedahs into service; the older the stuff on the original Kedahs will be and support and obsolescence issues will prop up.

  21. @…

    \”C-705 is a fire and forget missiles. Even the ship launching it couldn’t switch it off once launched.\”
    There may not be a selfdestruct button, but fire & forget missiles are easier to be countered with softkill. Assuming that PLAN knows everything about the missile, they could formulate a more effective countermeasure against it. In hindsight, I\’m assuming that the missile will be used against the Chinese, which is a quite an improbable assumption. What if we eschew the notion to arm the 2nd batch with missiles and instead use heliborne armaments. We are planning to buy wildcats in future right? Seeing that the class were meant to be OPV, maybe we don\’t have to arm them to teeth. What do you guys think, would arming the helis instead of the ship itself would be more coat effective?

  22. Stop thinking of upgrading the older kedah class because with little money by keep upgrading the older ship with new equippment we will never expand our surface vessel….expand the numbers first then talk about upgrading the old kedah class….

  23. The current superlynx already armed with the 25km range sea skua and i always thought that the superlynxs are part of the anti surface armament of the 6 opv. What is lacking on the six opvs are anti submarine detection capability and anti air capability. The asw capability could be added (is it possible?) To the opv via a towed sonar as the superlynxs can fire a torpedo guided by the opv.anti air well worst come to worst just ad a dozem manpads(if the army can spare it)

  24. … “You are talking hot air. No such switch off things existed. C-705 is a fire and forget missiles. Even the ship launching it couldn’t switch it off once launched.”

    It is you who are ignorant. You confused the mode of guidance guidance (IR, active radar homing, inertial or anything not requiring launch platform assistance) with a self destruct feature.

    But surely you believe that if technology existed to self destruct enemy missiles, the creators would make it public knowledge

    And in this discussion of Chinese missile for the RMN, we are talking about firing on the very same country that manufactures the missiles.

    Azlan “You remember the scene in ”Hunt for Red October” when Admiral Greer pressed a self destruct button for a Mk48 that was fired at the Red October? Always wondered if that was possible.”

    Possible for a Mk48 heavyweight torpedo with wire guidance. The Mk46 dropped from the helicopter in the movie is another story.

  25. As it is, theres no point in buying OPV vessels. The coast guard must do their duty. RMN ships must from now on be armed to the teeth

  26. Anas – ”There may not be a selfdestruct button, but fire & forget missiles are easier to be countered with softkill. ”

    In what way?

    Anas – ”Seeing that the class were meant to be OPV, maybe we don\’t have to arm them to teeth. ”

    As I’ve pointed out before; that was the rationale behind the first 6 but requirements have changes. The intention now is clearly to have them better armed than the first 6.

    Anas – ”What do you guys think, would arming the helis instead of the ship itself would be more coat effective?”

    An armed helicopter can supplement a ship’s weapons but can never replace them. Also bear in mind that a helo has a limited range and that in times of very bad bad weather might not be able to launch. Assuming we go for Wildcat; it’s a safe bet we’ll also go for FASGW-L which [like Sea Skua] is intended for use against small craft/FACs, etc, etc. If used against anything armed with a point defence system the launching helo would probably come under the range of the target’s point defence system. Before anyone mentions the range of FASGW-L; it’s ability to take a long range shot will be dependent on several factors. So no, a helo armed with an air to surface weapon can complement a ship’s weapons but not replace them.

  27. Azlan,

    “In what way?”

    Well, I guess it depends on the seeker type and guidance. I’m not very familiar with the C-705, but if it is indeed fire-and-forget it will have mid-course guidance like GPS or inertial, and some sort of active radar homing during closing in. All of which can be messed up using counter measure. How exactly I don’t have a clue, but I surmise that if you know how it works in detail then countering said weapon would be easier.

    Regarding heliborne munitions, IMO, since we are tight in budget now maybe the cheapest way to up-armed the Kedahs is by arming the helicopters, that’s why I asked for opinions whether it is indeed more cost effective. Of course I am aware that arming the helis instead of the ship would not be as capable, but it could be an option for the time being. Once we have consolidated some funding, maybe we could armed the ship with missiles seeing that they are ‘fitted for but not with’ anyway. But if RMN’s intention is for the Kedah Class to be more than OPVs….

  28. Azlan,

    “In what way?”

    Well, I guess it depends on the seeker type and guidance. I’m not very familiar with the C-705, but if it is indeed fire-and-forget it will have mid-course guidance like GPS or inertial, and some sort of active radar homing during closing in. All of which can be messed up using counter measure. How exactly I don’t have a clue, but I surmise that if you know how it works in detail then countering said weapon would be easier.

    Regarding heliborne munitions, IMO, since we are tight in budget now maybe the cheapest way to up-armed the Kedahs is by arming the helicopters, that’s why I asked for opinions whether it is indeed more cost effective. Of course I am aware that arming the helis instead of the ship would not be as capable, but it could be an option for the time being. Once we have consolidated some funding, maybe we could armed the ship with missiles seeing that they are ‘fitted for but not with’ anyway. But if RMN’s intention is for the Kedah Class to be more than OPVs….

  29. Lots of my replies to this topic are missing for 3 days!

    Reply
    I checked both my spam and trash bins, on a daily basis – sometimes three or four times a day – together with the to be approve bin but I did not find your comments. Sorry, it is not that I delete them or anything. If you wish to do so, you can put your comments in an email and I will put it in the comments section.

  30. Lee – ”As it is, theres no point in buying OPV vessels. The coast guard must do their duty.

    It isn’t about the MMEA not doing it’s duty : it is doing it’s duty. ….

    On paper the RMN should not be performing peacetime, constabulary types duties but in reality it has to because the MMEA hasn’t received the funding it needs in order to perform its allocated roles.

    Lee – ”RMN ships must from now on be armed to the teeth”

    The RMN needs many things including adequate ships, air assets, ISR assets and an adequate shore support infrastructure. No point having ships ”armed to the teeth” if we don’t have enough assets for OTHT to maximise a SSM’s full potential, if the RMN still can’t properly operate jointly with the RMAF or if we don’t have enough patrol assets to detect intruders in our vast EEZ.

    Ships ”armed to the teeth” is not an answer; nor a panacea as when it comes to disputed areas, the key is to have a timely presence there to back up our claim to the area. If we get smart and use ships ”’armed to the teeth” in the Spratlys against Chinese non military ships; the Chinese can also get smart and use PLAN ships instead of the of the Maritime and Fisheries ships they currently use.

    The mistake is to assume that if we use bigger or more heavily armed ships; then the Chinese will back away. This is fantasy, gaga land thinking : if the Chinese are willing to tangle with the likes of the USN and the JMSDF; they will not think twice of tangling with RMN ships; irrespective of how big or ”armed to the teeth” they are …. We do what we can do [military presence, diplomacy, confidence building measures, etc]but the reality is that there is only so much we can do; irrespective of how big our defence budget is …

    Anas – ”Of course I am aware that arming the helis instead of the ship would not be as capable, but it could be an option for the time being.”

    I’ve never hinted you were unaware. When it comes to arming ships for self defence and to have some striking capability; armed helos can never be a substitute. How can it be an option or cost effective given the limitations that helos [in our case, a lightweight one] have?
    It’s like saying that if we can’t afford MBTs. we should invest in 120mm armed wheeled vehicles and ATGWs : both are great but can never take the place of an MBT when it comes to deploying firepower or having the operational flexibility.

    Anas – ”All of which can be messed up using counter measure.”

    Depends on so many factors, including – How much warning time did the target get? Was the missile launched LOAL or LOBL? Is the jammer [if there is a jammer] on the targeted ship operating on the same frequency as the incoming SSM? [in a perfect world EW should be customed built but the reality is we have to buy ”off the shelf” and ”off the shelf” is good for certain but not all threats. Things also become somewhat complicated if a jammer is used but the SSM has ”home on jam” capability]. Does the targeted ship have the needed soft kill [chaff or EW] to deal with the incoming SSM?

  31. Lee Yoke Meng,

    Having all ships “armed to the teeth” also ignores the reality that it is simply unnecessary for peace time duties, such as those undertaken by the Kedah.

    You must realise that this is not a war but a political game. We will never be firing on the Chinese, and the worse that could happen is a ramming match. Under such circumstances, it is more important that your ship is agile to have some degree of control over a collision, whether intentional or or not. It should be structurally robust so it is not sunk or damaged beyond economical repair.

    Packing your ship with sensors and weaponry is only risking them damaged for nothing, and adds a lot to maintenance costs.

    There will always be a need for ships of high and low capability. As I have suggested, there are no substitutes for patrol vessels to enforce our territorial claims. But for conflict purposes, it might be desirable to offset surface combatants with aircraft such as our Su-030MKM, which is long ranged and can mount a good load of anti ship missiles for every purpose, fast and slow, large and small. And of course, aircraft are multirole.

    National and tactical air superiority will always be pressing needs. I wouldn’t argue for more combat ships beyond the 6 LCS until air force gets all the fighter and AEW aircraft it needs. This is how I would spend our next billion ringgit.

  32. In any case, you should be more concerned with whether the Chinese will mess with customer support for our missiles if it suits them.

    They can privately slow or stop the flow of components regardless of what they publicly say, and if we are in that position because we bought their products, we are hardly in a position to protest.

    There are so many lambasting the US for imposing political conditions on their weapons sales, but few believe the Chinese and any country will do the same.

  33. AM – ”We will never be firing on the Chinese, and the worse that could happen is a ramming match. Under such circumstances, it is more important that your ship is agile to have some degree of control over a collision, whether intentional or or not. ”

    True.

    People drew the wrong conclusion from the latest incident in the Natunas. The Indon officer on the spot made the decision to back down in order to protect the lives of his men and because he knew there was nothing else he could do. The only TNI-AL presence was a single RHIB. Even if a TNI-AL frigate had been there; the Chinese would still have acted as they did. People are under the illusion that if one gets ”tough”, the Chinese will back down. If that were true the Chinese would long ago have stopped confronting the USN and JMSDF.

    AM – ” It should be structurally robust so it is not sunk or damaged beyond economical repair.”

    Just as importantly we need adequate numbers of ships so we can ensure we always have an adequate presence to back up our claims. The Philippines long ago found itself in the position of not being able to back its claims. It is to the credit of the RMN that despite the limited number of hulls it has; that there is always a ship on station in the Spratlys and at least another a few hours steaming time away.

    The whole point of the Chinese entering our EEZ is not to make war, as some seem to think but to reinforce a political point and also to attract the attention of RMN and MMEA ships so Chinese trawlers can work without being chased off.

  34. Soon the Chinese won’t have to send a PLAN frigate to “act tough”. They are building the world’s largest coast guard vessels at 10,000 tons.

    This ship is not only long ranged, you can bet it is optimised for the kind of ramming, water cannon spraying and intimidation that China is doing now.

    For reference the heaviest Burke variant is 9800 tons.

  35. Q: Why not just let the kedah’s be just an OPV without AShM’s?

    A: The Meko A100 is designed as a warship that can fight. To enable it to fight, it needs to be armed with AShM and missile CIWS. If we are content on a pure OPV, it is cheaper to build DSME Samudra Class ships as a dedicated OPV, it is a waste of money to build new Meko A100 just to let it be under armed. A single ship of the DSME design costs just usd 50 million.

    Q: It is a chinese made missile and we are going to fight the chinese!

    A: Our diplomatic path is to always be in good terms with the chinese government, even with disputes on the south china sea area. A buy of chinese military equipment will further the image of malaysia is on good terms with the chinese, especially among chinese government and military personnel. A buy of the C-705 and FL-3000N would not be an issue for the chinese military as the C-705 is not the main AShM of the Chinese Navy (140km range and lightweight 110kg explosives) and the FL-3000N is a short range self defense missile system.

    Q: why add another missile? Why not just commonise with MM40 or NSM? And why the C-705 anyway?

    A: Everything is a compromise, and we try to get the best compromise option possible. If the TLDM 15 to 5 plan is a reality in the future there will be:

    12 NGPV Meko A100
    9-20 LMS

    Each of them to be armed with at least 8x AShM missiles and plus reloads. For a very conservative calculation lets say just 0.5x reloads would be bought, that is easily more than 350 missiles needed. If we are going for MM40 Exocets (said to cost usd 1.5 million each) that is usd 525 million to buy exocets for them. The C-705 is designed as a missile that is cheaper than china’s own C-802 missile, and C-802 is already said to cost less than half of the exocet. The low cost is due to its small size, 140km range and 110kg explosives, optimised to kill corvette/small frigate sized (1500-3000tonnes) vessels. Let say the C-705 is 1/3rd the cost of the exocet, that in itself means usd 350 million in savings. Why the C-705? It is one of the latest missile design from china, although not the biggest, fastest or furthest range of the available chinese AShM’s. Most of the frigates and corvettes of asian navies are around 1500-3000 tonnes displacement anyway and that most have little missile defence systems installed. So it is adequate to destroy most naval ships that the navy would encounter. So a compromise of having advanced high end NSM missiles on Gowind Frigates and low cost C-705 on NGPV and LMS is an acceptable option in my opinion, and quantity is always something good to have rather than having nothing at all. Even in a standoff, knowing your ship has AShM’s would make your opponent think about standing down and go away as an option, rather than risk to continue with the standoff. And that in itself makes having the NGPV fully armed a totally worthwhile option.

  36. If we cant do anything n we will not do anything, it begs the question why do we need a defence force at all?. Might as well expand our foreign service n be pally pally so all problems can be resolved over a cup of tea.
    Why not arm our ships to the teeth?. We have the ships. Its there n its even wired for it. If its so useless why build these 6 ships in the first place n wire it for but not with. Cant ynderstand all these logic.
    It is precisely our budget (if any) is so tight that we need our assets to be the best n use it most efficiently.
    If no money we dont buy so many.
    Its just like us. Bad times, maintain the car. Dont change a new one

  37. …… – ”A buy of chinese military equipment will further the image of malaysia is on good terms with the chinese, especially among chinese government and military personnel.”

    There is a certain reluctance to buy high end ”Made in China” : for various reasons. If it has it’s way, a certain Malaysian company will secure sales of a Chinese made medium range missile. The same company had signed an MOU with Norinco in the 1990’s to sell AFVs here.

    …… – ”Let say the C-705 is 1/3rd the cost of the exocet, that in itself means usd 350 million in savings.”

    Irrespective of how cheap it is and how much we save in the short term; the fact remains that if we buy it; the RMN will have 3 types of SSMs : MM-40s, NSMs and C-705; each requiring specific training to operate and maintain; as well as separate shore support equipment – this in the long term defeats the purpose of buying cheaper missiles because we actually end up spending more. There is also the matter of integrating the C-705 to a Western radar, CMS and trackers.

    I see your logic and your suggestion has merit but we should be reducing [which we are trying to do] the numbers of different types of kit operated, not increasing them. I have nothing against Chinese missiles. If someone suggested we buy Harpoon; I would still maintain that introducing yet another SSM into our inventory doesn’t make sense.

    …… – ”To enable it to fight, it needs to be armed with AShM and missile CIWS.”

    What something is designed to do but what the end user does with it and how he equips it are 2 profoundly different things. My guess is that the RMN will forego arming the original so the cash can be used elsewhere. If indeed we go for a follow on batch; this batch will from the start [unlike the first 6] be intended for more serious stuff [to better complement the Lekius, Kasturis and LCS] and will be equipped to do the roles originally envisaged.

    ……. – ” Even in a standoff, knowing your ship has AShM’s would make your opponent think about standing down and go away as an option, rather than risk to continue with the standoff. ”

    In an actual standoff, when opposing ships are hundreds of metres away, or less, as is so often the case, from each other, the main danger is being rammed [ever seen pics of the damage RN frigates got from Icelandic trawlers] or if things get really ”hot”, the main and secondary guns : as you’re fully aware, SSMs have a minimum range.

    AM – ”They are building the world’s largest coast guard vessels at 10,000 tons.”

    True but the fact remains that this 10,000 tonne ship is not a military ship and like almost all the Chinese Maritime and Fisheries ships; will probably not be armed with a main gun.

  38. Azlan, “True but the fact remains that this 10,000 tonne ship is not a military ship and like almost all the Chinese Maritime and Fisheries ships; will probably not be armed with a main gun.”

    Whether it mounts a main gun is quite irrelevant for the kind of encounters the Chinese are having. There will be ramming, net cutting and intimidation, but no shooting.

    Still, the fact that the Chinese are arming this ship (see below) does not mean we should up-arm our MMEA or RMN ships, we aren’t getting into a shooting war..

    Quote:
    Reports state that these ships will be able to hit 25 knots and will be outfitted with 76mm naval cannons, two secondary gun turrets, two anti-aircraft CIWS mounts as well as being able to carry at least a pair of large Z-8 multi-role helicopters. These helicopters, somewhat akin to a CH-53 Stallion, could move a lot of personnel and material very quickly without a port available.

  39. Azlan, “True but the fact remains that this 10,000 tonne ship is not a military ship and like almost all the Chinese Maritime and Fisheries ships; will probably not be armed with a main gun.”

    Whether it mounts a main gun is quite irrelevant for the kind of encounters the Chinese are having. There will be ramming, net cutting and intimidation, but no shooting.

    Still, the fact that the Chinese are arming this ship (see below) does not mean we should up-arm our MMEA or RMN ships, we aren’t getting into a shooting war..

    Quote:
    Reports state that these ships will be able to hit 25 knots and will be outfitted with 76mm naval cannons, two secondary gun turrets, two anti-aircraft CIWS mounts as well as being able to carry at least a pair of large Z-8 multi-role helicopters. These helicopters, somewhat akin to a CH-53 Stallion, could move a lot of personnel and material very quickly without a port available.

    … – ”A buy of chinese military equipment will further the image of malaysia is on good terms with the chinese, especially among chinese government and military personnel.”

    You had better be right, otherwise your stubbornness will cost us dearly when the Chinese cut support or spare parts for the missiles.

    Lee Yoke Meng “Why not arm our ships to the teeth?. We have the ships. Its there n its even wired for it. If its so useless why build these 6 ships in the first place n wire it for but not with. Cant ynderstand all these logic.”

    Because we will always need lightly armed patrol vessels. Leave the heavy weapons on the battle force, there is no point putting them on patrol vessels and sending them out to sea day in and day out to get worn out and need maintenance.

    Lee Yoke Meng “As it is, theres no point in buying OPV vessels. The coast guard must do their duty. RMN ships must from now on be armed to the teeth”

    Your suggestion will do nothing at all to deter the Chinese. They know that we will never open fire because it is the perfect excuse for their deploying SAMs, ASMs and fighters to the islands as they did last month.

    Furthermore if warships was damaged in a collision with the Chinese, we can do nothing about it, whether it is a high or low end ship. In fact, making it a high end ship will only bring humiliation unto ourselves. “China Coast Guard vessel rams and causes heavy damage to Malaysian Navy frigate” is what the Chinese internet army will say.

  40. AM – ”Whether it mounts a main gun is quite irrelevant for the kind of encounters the Chinese are having. There will be ramming, net cutting and intimidation, but no shooting.”

    Which is precisely the point I’m trying to make.At the moment they don’t need PLAN ships or ships that are armed but if we up the ante, they can too. The fact that the ships are not military and are not armed is relevant. If we get too aggressive – in response to their actions – or we send ships ”armed to the teeth” [to quote someone] they also can play that game; in ways we’ll be unable to respond to.

  41. Lee – ”Looks like nothing. Might as well tell RMN to close shop”

    If you prefer; we can slash our other budgets to enable the RMN to have lots of ships; all ”armed to the teeth” with ”long range” [naturally] so the perfidious Chinese or anyone else for that matter; won’t dare enter our waters …… And we can forgo all diplomatic efforts; as well as confidence building measures and just rely on military means. We are after all a regional power [with the potential to become more] and woe betide anyone who dares annoy or anger us.

    Unfortunately we don’t live in gaga-gaga or cloud cuckoo land and have to deal with real world realities in which not only does military means not provide all the answers but also goes hand in hand with other non military means …..

  42. Sam & AshM from ChiComm drew the most flak here. Stick with NSM & RAM and tweak that USD 160M to anumber that can accomodate those missiles looks fine to me. Why Euro? Its RMN traditional OEM. Why RAM? If only MICA have a launcher like RAM,we can go for it but so far only RAM can fit the current ship design.

  43. Azlan,
    when tldm wanted NSM, I didn’t see you opposing the addition of a new missile type. With the phasing out of fac(m), kasturi corvettes, lekiu frigates in tldm’s 15 types to 5 plan, I forsee the exocet would also slowly be phased out (and also the OTOMAT, for the Laksamana’s). How else are we going to buy AShM’s for 30 ships cheaply? Also remember rocket propelled MM38 (which has only a short range of 42km’s) was substantially cheaper than the jet engined MM40 block3, thats why we could buy lots of MM38 in the old times. IMO a combination of NSM and C-705 is still a very2 credible AShM capability, even without the MM40 in the arsenal.

    On the other note,

    AShM like the c-705 are very2 simple to operate. They just need a coordinate input of the target from any radar (iranian missile boats and hizbullah uses commercial grade kelvin hughes radar to target their chinese based missiles) and the launch command, thats it. Fire and forget, no need of a datalink (although the latest land attack version of the c-705 has a datalink option).

    As we are talking about the NGPV here, my opinion is still if TLDM wants to build new batch of Meko A100RMN, you need to arm it as a combatant (and as a commonality measure, similarly arming the current Kedah class to the same standard). If you are content with a big OPV with guns, it is substantially cheaper to build more of the Gagah Samudra type of ships as TLDM’s OPV. No need for a expensive high end specced hull like the Meko A100.

    Our diplomatic engagement with our neighbours is always on a relatively friendly note. We have not engaged our neighbours in a hostile tone like Philippines towards China, or Indonesia towards Malaysia in the past. But for us to be taken seriously, we must always have a strong defence for us to sit on the negotiating table and not being taken lightly. Our naval operations is not directed exclusively to counter China. And the best department to deal with south china sea encroachments is by having a stronger coast guard. But that is additional to upgrade and strengthenig the navy’s fleet, which is the main issue of this topic.

  44. ……. – ”when tldm wanted NSM, I didn’t see you opposing the addition of a new missile type. ”

    Actually, I was of the opinion that we should stick to one missile.
    Just because I didn’t ”oppose” it here, doesn’t mean I didn’t have an opinion. I have opinions an lots of things; not all I mention here….

    ……….. – ” (and also the OTOMAT, for the Laksamana’s”

    The Otomats became unoperable 3-4 years ago, as did their directors.

    …… – ”Also remember rocket propelled MM38 (which has only a short range of 42km’s) was substantially cheaper than the jet engined MM40 block3, thats why we could buy lots of MM38 in the old times.”

    We bought ”lots” of MM-38s because we had ”lots” of ships armed with it : 2 Kasturis and 8 FACs. BTW, when we first bought it, it was around RM250.000 – prices went up after the Falklands. We didn’t buy ”lots” of MM-40s because we only had 2 ships armed with it; followed by 2 more in the late 1990’s [to replace the MM-38s].

    …… – ” my opinion is still if TLDM wants to build new batch of Meko A100RMN, you need to arm it as a combatant (and as a commonality measure, similarly arming the current Kedah class to the same standard).”

    Well that is the intention and nobody is disagreeing with you.

    Irrespective of any advantages gained buy buying a new SSM [to add to MM-40 and NSM] the key fact remains that it’s silly for a navy the size of the RMN, with its resources, to operate 3 different types of SSMs. In the long run this becomes more expensive and leads to training and support issues. Plus there are integration issues. At a time when we should be reducing our logistical footprint; we’ll be increasing it merely for short term benefits.

    ….. – ” And the best department to deal with south china sea encroachments is by having a stronger coast guard.”

    Agreed but one works with one what has and not what one plans to get. The fact remains that the MMEA at present is unable to perform all its allocated roles. Until that changes the RMN will be forced to perform the peacetime, constabulary types duties it currently performs. Not many know that there were plans for the MMEA in the 1990’s but the RMN opposed it fearing that its budget would be slashed to fund the MMEA.

  45. Our SGPV kedah class is Meko 100, not meko A100, if want built base on meko A100 need to pay license/tot. even built more more Meko 100 need pay license too.
    and if we built now cost not less than usd 200 million as spec base on Admin. cost grow up every year.
    well hull cost not much different 1300 tons to 2400 tons.
    latest navy ship trend is 360° ship bridge or large so more easy to eyeview of sea, specilly those 500-2000 tons ship is doing Mix duty in sea.
    Using Searam more to defense of ship, not really have air defense capability, we should select more low cost and advance 3-Cell ExLS CAMM Stand Alone Launcher, which provide missile & air defense. provide 12 pcs sea captor missile.
    as we getting Gowinds, more logic we use Gowind 1000 for Kedah Batch2.

    Tonne: 1300-1600 tons
    Propulsion: MTU 8000 9.1MW X2,CCP, generator
    Speed: 27-28 knot
    missile,Sea Captor in 1 or 2 -Cell ExLS CAMM VLS. 2x NSM missile due to small size and stealth design, since we already use it on LCS. side hull: 25mm x2 gun and 12.7mm gun. 76mm navy Gun.
    radar: EADS-TRS3D/Thales Smarts 3D

  46. The navy top brass should try mintak some money from adenan satim.something like saar class around six ship(only patrolling sarawak) is nothing compared 2 sarawak state reserve. having this kind of fleet guarding our claim in scs certainly gonna make our word carried more weight.with some explanation that this is a win win situation i think the sarawakian not gonna oppose this.************

    Reply
    Defence is the purview of the Federal government. Anyhow if even they asked the Sarawak CM now, he would not have the money. Even Petronas is feeling the burn due to the low oil prices.

  47. Many (or to be fair) most of the European Navy opv did not armed with SAM/SSM.most of them just had 1 main gun and 2 secondary heavy mguns.Take a look at Meteoro Class of Spainish Navy or even Gowind L’Adroit class of French Marinè Nasionale that only cost around USD90mil complete with SATIS system ans other radar systems..and ofcoz that include a tiny 30mm remote control guns,2 heavy mguns and 2 boats..can we concider this class?

    Reply
    Those are real OPV, ours is a light frigate

  48. @ jack

    This writing is about my opinion of what to do with the kedah class 3 years ago, when there was no 15 to 5, no APMM plan 2040.

    Now i am more keen for APMM to get more of the Damen OPV1800 or similar, with cost of less than USD60 million each, and for TLDM to forget about the kedah class altogether.

  49. Jack,

    The ships of most European navies are modestly equipped compared to USN equivalents because in a high threat environment they would be operating under a strong air umbrella and would benefit from resources other partner nations would contribute.

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