Another Look, RMN 15 to 5

KD Jerong. RMN

SHAH ALAM: Another Look on RMN 15 to 5. A guest post by … With the new political dawn in Malaysia, there is some skeptism of the continuity of the current Malaysian defence plans. For TLDM, arguably its 15 to 5 plan is to date one of the most visible plan that has been shown to the public. Even then there are questions on the whether the CSIC LMS68 can fulfil all the tasks that it is going to take over from the various current platforms. There is also concerns that the MRSS would be another gold-plated ship that is not worth the money to be paid for them.

In the near term, it is expected that budgets will be tighter than usual due to the need to reduce the government’s deficit. The updated plan also needs to consider the expanded role APMM will have in the new government based on the manifesto that they have released (menambahkan sumber dan kapasiti Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia) and APMM’s existing PPSMM 2040 plan.

Here is my opinion on the PPSMM 2040 (some of the writings here are related to my opinion on PPSMM 2040).

APMM Plans


The LCS major equipment detailed. RMN graphic

Our nation’s maritime defence stand should be planned inclusive of all players, TLDM, APMM and Marine Police. TLDM’s 15 to 5 plan should be looked together with PPSMM 2040 plan and vice versa. Not to be looked as plans totally not related to each other. Things like peacetime patrolling tasks, although can be done by TLDM, should not be a no.1 priority (along with buying ships designed primarily for peacetime patrolling like the OPV), instead a secondary task for TLDM to its primary warfighting capability. As warfighting capability is its utmost priority, ships capable of fighting wars are those that should be bought by TLDM, not ships with only minor armaments. Patrol ships are the primary tasks of APMM, and they should be provided with the budget to aquire those kind of ships in adequate quantity.
KD Jebat at LIMA 17. KD Jebat Twitter.

To have some visible near-term savings, budget for RMK11 and RMK12 would be reduced to a bit less than USD2 billion per Rancangan Malaysia with the others hovering around the USD2 billion mark. IMO USD2 billion of development budget for a service (in this case the Navy) every 5 year tranche is affordable, and already one of the lowest among Southeast Asian countries.

So here it goes (TLDM original plan vs alternative)

RMK11 2016-2020
3x SGPV Gowind
3x LMS

Alternative RMK11
3x SGPV Gowind USD1300 mil

RMK12 2021-2025
3x SGPV Gowind
8x LMS
1x NGPV Kedah
1x MRSS

alternative RMK12
3x SGPV Gowind USD1300 mil
3x LMS-A USD120 mil
9x LMS-B USD135 mil (9x LMS-B1)
2x MRSS USD100 mil
2x Lynx ASW (used) USD150 mil include upgrade for whole fleet
2x AS355 (used) USD10 mil

RMK13 2026-2030
5x NGPV Kedah
7x LMS
2x MRSS

alternative RMK13
2x SGPV Gowind USD900 mil Gowind no.7 & 8
1x Scorpene USD500 mil Scorpene no.3
6x LMS-A USD240 mil
8x LMS-B USD190 mil (3x LMS-B1, 3x LMS-B2, 2x LMS-B3)
2x MRSS USD100 mil

RMK14 2031-2035
5x NGPV Kedah
1x Submarine

alternative RMK14
1x SGPV Gowind USD450 mil Gowind no.9
2x Arrowhead 140 USD700 mil
1x Scorpene USD500 mil Scorpene no.4
8x ASW Helicopter USD400 mil

RMK15 2036-2040
1x NGPV Kedah
1x Submarine
4x SGPV Gowind

alternative RMK15
2x Arrowhead 140 USD700 mil
2x Scorpene USD1000 mil Scorpene no.5 and 6
SLEP Scorpene USD150 mil SLEP for Scorpene no.1 (2nd time)

RMK16 2041-2045
2x SGPV Gowind

alternative RMK16
SLEP Gowind USD500 mil
SLEP Scorpene USD300 mil SLEP for Scorpene no.3 (1st time) and no.2 (2nd time)
Arrowhead 140 USD200 mil medium range SAM (Aster maybe?) and additional NSM stocks for Arrowhead 140 frigates.

A CGI of 3 Arrowhead ships

The most radical change in my alternative plan is for TLDM to abandon the NGPV Kedah Class altogether. All the remaining NGPV Kedah Class to be transferred to APMM starting 2031. The savings from not building the additional 12 planned NGPV batch to would be around USD1.5 billion. Savings of around USD500 million would also be had by cancelling the current LMS project and replacing this with different LMS platform.

The latest China made LMS model

Phase out plan
Laksamana 2021-2025 (Hang Nadim to be the museum ship instead of Hang Tuah for the new Navy Museum in Lumut)
Vospers 2021-2025 (to be retained for PSSTLDM? Name could be changed to KD Ujong Tanah for Sri Johore, and KD Indera Kayangan for Sri Perlis, if need to reuse the name for newer TLDM ships)
Perdana 2021-2025
Handalan 2021-2025
Jerong 2026-2030 (some to be retained for PSSTLDM?)
Seri Tiga 2026-2030
Inderasakti 2026-2030
Kasturi 2026-2030
Mahamiru 2026-2030
Lekiu 2031-2035 (to be sold)
Kedah 2031-2035 transfer to APMM

Now some explanations of the points above.

– LMS
The total cost to buy 18 CSIC LMS68 would be USD1.2 billion. IMO, it is still not too late to cancel the order. A new development has seen Sun Bo, general manager and president of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) is being investigated by China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) “suspected of committing serious violations of laws and regulations”. This can be a good excuse to cancel the LMS order. As an alternative, the best fit would be to buy a derivative of the South Korean Gumdoksuri FAC. Each ship costs around USD40 million. Costs could be controlled by reusing Bofors 57mm main guns from our current FACs. Modifications to replace the gas turbine with another diesel engine would also be done, this would probably lower its top speed from 44 knots to around 36 knots.
LMS-A
9 units
Key Platform Characteristics
Length overall 63 m
Beam maximum 9m
Draft 3m
Displacement 570 tonnes
Speed 36+ Knots
Armament 57mm Bofors, 30mm RCWS (MSI or ASELSAN), 4x AShM (exocet/c-star/NSM), 12x vertical launch HELLFIRE Longbow MMW

LMS B concept

LMS-B
This will consist of 12x LMS-B1(Multipurpose Patrol), 3x LMS-B2(Logistics), 2x LMS-B3(Hydro Survey). These 55m high-speed, long ranged offshore capable ships will take up the capabilities left by FAC(G), FTV, MCMV and Hydro Survey ships.
www.malaysiandefence.com/another-perspective-lms/
Key Platform Characteristics
Length : 55m
Width : 10m
Engine : 4x MTU 13,800bhp
Speed : 30-32knots
Range : 3000nm @ 30knots, 5000nm @ 12knots
Fuel : 160,000L
Water : 190,000L
Crew : LMS-B1 = 8+12 VBSS (accommodation for 28)
LMS-B2 = 8 (accommodation for 14) + 60 passenger seatings
LMS-B3 = 8+22 survey (accommodation for 32)
Radar : Kelvin Hughes Sharpeye LPI
EO : FLIR EO turret or similar
EW : –
Sonar : commercial
Main gun : 1x 30mm RCWS (MSI or ASELSAN)
Secondary guns : 2-4x 0.50cal machine guns
Non-lethal : 2x LRAD 500x or equivalent
Missiles : –
Boats : 1x 6.5m RHIB with A frame davits (LMS-B1)
Multi mission area : for 5-6 TEU containers, 15T crane.

A Gumdoksuri class FAC

The total cost of this alternative plan would be around USD700 million. This is a saving of around USD500 million compared to the original 18 ship LMS68 plan, along with an additional 8 ships (for a total of 26 LMS ships compared to the original LMS plan). LMS-B with its long range at full speed (3000nm @ 30knots) will be the main welcoming party and shadow ship for foreign naval ships passing through our waters and EEZ, freeing TLDM frigates and APMM OPVs for other patrolling duties (APMM ships would be the one to shadow foreign Coast Guard ships).

– GOWIND SGPV
The original plan for batch 2 was to start in 2036 the earliest. By that time the oldest Gowind the KD Maharaja Lela would be 15 years old. My alternative plan is to immediately continue building 3 more Gowinds after the 1st batch is completed. This is possible by not building the 2nd batch of the NGPV Kedah Class OPVs. The 2nd batch of Gowind to be reduced by half (from 6 to 3) and the savings of USD1.3 billion to be used to buy 4 general purpose frigates (as opposed to Anti-Submarine centric frigate of the Gowinds).

– MRSS
The most cost-effective replacement would be to just aquire the PT PAL SSV design. From the Philippines order, each ship costs USD42 million. With customised systems, but with exact similar hull as the SSV, the TLDM MRSS could be had for around USD50 million each. 1x 76mm Oto melara gun up front to be cannibalized from Laksamana , Kedah or ex-pohang class This buy could also be used to improve malaysian-indonesian bilateral ties, with 2 builds in Indonesia, and another 2 in Malaysia.

MRSS concept based on the Makassar class.

– ASW helicopters
Additional 2 used Lynx (Pakistan stored airframes or UK retired) and 2 Fennec (civilian) to be bought in the near future, to increase the total helicopters to 8 of each type. The additional 2 Lynx to be rebuild to the same standard of the current TLDM Super Lynx. An upgrade to the Lynx to add lightweight dipping sonar (thales compact flash) would be done. With OPV budget freed, additional 8 new ASW helicopters could be bought in RMK14.

Thales compact flash sonar

– Arrowhead 140?
IMO this is one of the most interesting Frigate design to come out lately. Yes, it is based on the Iver Huitfeldt, but without the expensive Anti-air warfare radar suite and missiles. Looking at the budget of UK’s Type 31 frigate project, 4 Arrowhead 140 Frigates could be bought for the cost of 3 Gowind frigates. This could be the new TLDM flagships, replacing the Lekiu and Kasturi classes (and to take over the names of those famous Malaccan warriors). This is to be a general-purpose frigate, it would have a more advanced radar than the Gowinds (Thales NS200 maybe?), more anti-ship missiles and anti-aircraft missiles. Guns (2x 76mm Oto melara up front as per Iver Huitfeldt) to be cannibalized from Laksamana, Kedah or ex-Pohang class ships. Carrying 4 large RHIBs, it could also perform as a Command centre/information node for littoral security operations. With a total of 9 ASW Frigates and 4 large general-purpose Frigates by 2040, IMO this would give TLDM a better capability than the original plan. With the transfer of OPV task to APMM, and the APMM target of 20 large OPVs, there should not be a reduction in overall capability but instead an increase from the current (2018) maritime security capability.
Key Platform Characteristics
Length overall 138.7m
Beam maximum 19.8m
Draft 4.8m
Displacement 5,700te
Main engine 32.8 MW
Speed 28+ Knots
Flight deck and hangar for 20T helicopter.
Armament 2x 76mm Oto Melara, 2x 30mm RCWS, 16x NSM, 32x VLS (VL Mica + Aster), 6x Torpedo launchers.
Boats 4x Large RHIBs

Scorpene
The original plan was to only buy 2 additional submarines starting in 2031. Savings from other programs would enable 2 more Scorpenes to be bought. So there will be at least 6 operational submarines post-2040, instead of just 4 as the original plan. But why more Scorpenes? Because we are familar with the platform, and could assamble the submarines ourself at the already paid-for submarine overhaul facility in Kota Kinabalu. Get the modules built in India, Brazil or France and assemble them here in Malaysia. The new Scorpene build would incorprate the latest battery (dry electrolyte lithium-ion and such) technologies of the time, enabling long underwater endurance without using AIP. Weapons should include the forthcoming submarine-launched version of the NSM, enabling a truly stealthy ship and land attack solution.

KD Hang Tuah. Wikipedia.

Hang Tuah
Well this is just a dream of someone who really cares about the history of his country, to preserve this grand old ship as a fully operational historical naval ship. While the army has large allocation for ceremonial units, howitzers, horses and armoured vehicles (ferrets), there is none for TLDM. After the mistakes of KD Sri Terengganu and KD Rahmat, this is a chance for TLDM to do good (and not to repeat doing the exact same thing but hoping for a different outcome), and the best way to preserve a ship is to keep it fully operational, with a permanent crew to take a good care of it. To keep a ship operational with no valid reasons is difficult, and employing the KD Hang Tuah as a training ship and OPV is a good way to keep this ship in operational use. The KD Hang Tuah was designed with simple uncomplicated systems ordered for the use of an african country. The simple systems of KD Hang Tuah makes it an easy task to refit and upgrade this ship to be an operational training ship and OPV. This is not unprecedented as Thailand have preserved and still uses operationally their historical ships HTMS Makut Rajakumarn (KD Rahmat’s sister ship) and HTMS Pin Klao. A full refit and upgrade of the ship to a condition better than new would be done (so it is basically a new build ship using the KD Hang Tuah hull), with all new engines, mechanical, electrical, accommodations and climate control systems. Operationally the systems installed should be on par with the APMM new OPV. EO FCS systems could be taken from the Laksamana class (the new GEM Elettronica EOFCS115A) and also Laksamana’s Link Y datalink system. To be equipped with latest equipments such as Kelvin Hughes Sharpeye LPI radar, EO turrets, Farsounder 1000 3D front facing obstacle avoidance sonar and Satcom. Weapons to remain the 57mm Bofors plus restoring the quantity of 40mm Bofors to 4 (installing those removed from retired vospers). The 40mm Bofors would be mainly used for training, and for gun salute. The total budget for this should not exceed USD30 million and this would preserve the historical ship for many years to come. The KD Hang Tuah would be used as an OPV, training ship for PSSTLDM (navy reserves) and as an ambassador of Malaysia / a tool for defence diplomacy to friendly countries (for example during fleet reviews). The ship could also annually tour around Malaysia as a PR activity for the navy and to instill patriotism among Malaysian citizens.

New TLDM Museum Lumut
The new TLDM Museum in Lumut should be the center of excellence for everything about the history of TLDM. The Museum ground should include the offices of PUSMAS TLDM and also KD Sri Manjung PSSTLDM. The main building if possible to have the front end shape of KD Malaya building of TLDM Woodlands. Inside there would be galleries dedicated to WW2, Confrontation (including local men who served on RN ships like HMS Belfast), Ops Tugu, PASKAL and Submarines. If the scrapping of KD Rahmat is still not far along, I was hoping if the bridge of KD Rahmat could be saved and mounted at the new museum similar to the HMAS Brisbane bridge at the Australian War Museum. To get KD Sri Terengganu back from Melaka and probably 1 of the FAC(M) and put them on display on the museum grounds. The ship’s waterline should be set the same level as the ground, similar to preserved ships of Royal Thai Navy (go and learn how the thai’s preserve their historical ships on land). For the floating ship museum, instead of the large KD Hang Tuah, the KD Hang Nadim would instead be the museum ship. In history Laksamana Hang Nadim was the son of Hang Jebat and was bought up by Hang Tuah after his father died and later also appointed as Laksamana. A smaller ship should be more managable to be tied up alongside rather than the large KD Hang Tuah. Piers would be made to accomodate the KD Hang Nadim, and also other visiting ships. Regular events like open ship days, Children days, activities of the navy reserves, Kadet Laut sleepovers, rememberance ceremony etc should be organised to make the museum a living and interesting place for visitors to visit not just once, but return for multiple times.

Conclusion
As usual, this is just an opinion of a random rakyat that would probably be just a nonsense to those in the game. Anyway in my opinion this alternative plan would be able to save money for the government in the short-term, while giving a better capability in the long term compared to the original 15 to 5 plan. Passing most of the OPV business to APMM does not really mean that the maritime security would be compromised, but actually enhanced by letting APMM to get more of the cost-effective Damen OPVs (instead of TLDM’s expensive Meko 100 based Kedah class OPV). Additional funds freed would give the navy budget for ASW helicopters, which is not even in the original plans, more submarines and bigger Frigates. With a total force of 9 ASW Frigate, 4 GP Frigate, 6 Submarines, 4 MRSS, 9 LMS-A and 17 LMS-B (plus 2 training ships KD Gagah Samudra, KD Teguh Samudra and 1 training/OPV ship KD Hang Tuah), the TLDM would shape to be a formidable naval force in the South East Asian region by 2040.

This alternative plan could still be called 15 to 5 as:
1. Gowind
2. Scorpenes
3. LMS
4. MRSS
5. Arrowhead 140

Unit distribution
Unit distribution
– HQ Armada Barat (Lumut)
2 Arrowhead 140 GP Frigate
3 Gowind ASW Frigate
2 MRSS
2 Training Vessel
1 Frigate Historic (training/OPV)
3 LMS-B1
2 MCM team
– MAWILLA 1 (Kuantan)
3 LMS-A
3 LMS-B1
– MAWILLA 3 (Langkawi)
3 LMS-A
3 LMS-B1
– Pusat Hidrografi Negara (Port Klang)
2 LMS-B3
– HQ Armada Timur (Kota Kinabalu)
2 Arrowhead 140 GP Frigate
6 Scorpene SSK
3 LMS-B2 (Gugusan Semarang Peninjau)
2 MCM team
– MAWILLA 2 (Sandakan, Semporna, Tawau)
3 LMS-A
3 LMS-B1
– MAWILLA 4 (Bintulu)
6 Gowind ASW Frigate
2 MRSS

* the post above is completely opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of Malaysian Defence

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

81 Comments

  1. As usual, thank you very much Marhalim for allowing me to post this on your esteemed webpage. There are some edits that i hope you can do to the article. Again, thank you.

  2. Getting Arrowhead frigate would mean 15-to-6 plan. And may I ask if the suggested allocation for RMK above, will it affect the RMAF plan to get 6 LCAs per year, plus the MPA, plus the MRCA later on?

  3. … – ”All the remaining NGPV Kedah Class to be transferred to APMM starting 2031.”

    The problem with this is that the ships will be a big ”aged” during this period. In addition to maintenance issues and the resulting costs associated with; it really remains to be seen [even assuming the MMEA doesn’t have to be forced to accept the Kedahs] if the MMEA during this period will have the needed manpower to operate and maintain them. Of course in the MMEA’s context having ex RMN Kedahs might provide no added value [in terms of operational effectiveness and operating costs] compared to what it will have during the said period.

    …”Additional 2 used Lynx (Pakistan stored airframes or UK retired)”

    … ”The additional 2 Lynx to be rebuild to the same standard of the current TLDM Super Lynx.”

    If I’m not mistaken these were ex RN HAS.3s transferred to Pakistan in the 1990’s. As such it might not be a good return on investment to bring them up to Super Lynx standard given their vintage.

    … – ”An upgrade to the Lynx to add lightweight dipping sonar (thales compact flash) would be done.”

    It could be done but a problem would be the need for suitable power supply; a reason [apart from internal space] why the majority of Lynx users have shied away from fitting such gear to their platforms. Apparently, the issue of adequate power supply has been been rectified on the Wild Cat.

    … – ”With customised systems, but with exact similar hull as the SSV, the TLDM MRSS could be had for around USD50 million each.”

    This remains to be seen. Almost everything we have bought; from the Kedahs to the Gowinds [to an extent the Kasturis too]; have been gold plated or equipped to a high spec. The PN’s Makassars have a very basic fit and DC standards. Based on our record; the MPSS [as specified by the RMN] might cost much more.

    … – ”The simple systems of KD Hang Tuah makes it an easy task to refit and upgrade this ship to be an operational training ship and OPV.”

    I have a soft spot for Hang Tuah but the reality is that she’s well past her retirement date. Hull’s worn out and vital machinery like the generators, electricals, etc, are getting increasingly maintenance intensive, which is why the RMN is in a hurry to retire her. Sure, we can continue operating her if funds are available [even older ships are still operational] but in the long run is it worth the cost and effort?

    joe – ”will it affect the RMAF plan to get 6 LCAs per year, plus the MPA, plus the MRCA later on?”

    It’s like asking how many subs we’ll be operating in the 2050 period : who knows? We can safely assume that stuff like the MPAs and MPRSS will be funded in the near future but everything else well be subject to factors such as politics, the economy and the geo-political environment.

  4. @ Joe

    The plan is to drop the NGPV Kedah class. So no new Kedah class OPV. That is where some of the budget is saved and reallocated to other plans. Functions and taskings of the Kedah OPV would be passed on to APMM (see my APMM plan) and for APMM to buy the comparatively cheaper DAMEN OPV1800 instead.

    My plan does not effect other services plan, as my idea revolves around existing budget levels, and does not require budgets to be increased more than what was allocated to TLDM previously.

  5. Rather than popping up Plan “this” and Plan “that” which is service-centric,can we go for a Defence Review, followed by Defence White Paper that will shows gov commitment in the clear regarding defence&security. I believe its high time we acknowledge the threats and defences. The UK SDSR 2015 for example. Closer to home, Indonesia have MEF, the Philippines have AFP Modernization Act…

  6. Ok, let’s face it guys, it will take some time (let’s say until the end of the year or middle of next year, or maybe can do or not?) for the new Gov to stabilise and get things done (right).
    Remember, some of their ‘important manifesto’ , such as reduction in fuel prices (95) have yet to be realised.

    Anyway, I like your idea of adding ‘a few more’ Laksamana’s, maybe 4 ships to the current 6. If only the current design could be stretched to 120m, and add another 6 of the stretched version. Aster armed of course. Then we don’t need the Arrowhead 140.

    Arrowhead 140? No way the current Gov is going to order these ships. Remember these are ‘middle size proper frigates’ will warrant a high price tag. One is not going to equip these ships with token or austere equipment.

    Gomduksuri is Ok. Seaworthy enough, with diesels, so, maybe10 – 12 vessels all with SSM’s.

    LMS-B is also Ok. In various forms, maybe 20 – 26 vessels including MCMV’s.

    MRSS, just take Makassar design and be done with it, if can do, minor stretched to 135m, say 5 vessels.

  7. @ nimitz

    Since you suggested it, why not you give it a go, a simple generalistic Defence White Paper of things you think should be like for our military.

  8. @ nimitz

    Since you suggested it, why not you give it a go, a simple generalistic Defence White Paper of things you think should be like for our military.

  9. @ azlan

    “I have a soft spot for Hang Tuah but the reality is that she’s well past her retirement date. Hull’s worn out and vital machinery like the generators, electricals, etc, are getting increasingly maintenance intensive, which is why the RMN is in a hurry to retire her”

    That is why i suggest something akin to a full rebuild, not just a basic repair, with the ship gutted to the hull and all new wirings, plumbings, gensets and engines. Thats why i put a budget something like 2/3rds of a new DAMEN OPV.

  10. @ azlan

    “I have a soft spot for Hang Tuah but the reality is that she’s well past her retirement date. Hull’s worn out and vital machinery like the generators, electricals, etc, are getting increasingly maintenance intensive, which is why the RMN is in a hurry to retire her”

    That is why i suggest something akin to a full rebuild, not just a basic repair, with the ship gutted to the hull and all new wirings, plumbings, gensets and engines. Thats why i put a budget something like 2/3rds of a new DAMEN OPV. A large ship tied up alongside without maintenance will suffer similar fate to KD Rahmat. That is why i suggest a smaller ship, the KD Hang Nadim instead as a static museum ship.

  11. HTMS Tachin that you have pictured there is a museum ship at Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School, which is why it is well taken care of.

    In our context, I am not sure if a ship will fare better in military hands. The fate of aircraft left in the open at the RMAF museum does not inspire confidence, in striking contrast to how Thailand (admittedly with the military never far from controlling the parliamentary budgetary process) treats its aircraft at the RTAF museum in Bangkok.

    Still, getting her out of water would be a start and would avoid the Rahmat debacle.

  12. @…
    So the plan is to drop the Kedahs (NGPV) platform then. Quite a waste considered how much money, time & effort to bring it in for local manufacture, but its a 90s design no longer suited for the Navy frontline vis-a-vis stealth ships.

    @Nimitz
    There are pros and cons of White Papers and Defence reviews. It must be done objectively and with the security of the country as the paramount criteria. Some of these have irrevocably change the course of the country’s defence agenda (ie the White Paper that cancelled the excellent but never to realise its potential Avro Arrow, or the Defence Review that decided to sell HMS Ocean soon as it when thru an expensive refit, or that ). Agenda pushing or penny-pinching politicians in these committees will have far-reaching damage that we cannot afford.

  13. Ideally a ship that’s preserved is one that has served a navy well and one that has a proud history. The Laksamanas ; don’t fall into this category as from Day One they were a liability (like Rahmat); bad sea keeping, various systems (including the trackers) that didn’t perform as advertised, etc. If preserved they will be a stark reminder of how the MAF and taxpayers gets bug•••d when politicians dictate what to buy based on politics rather than operational needs and cost effectiveness.

    If anything I’d like to see a FAC preserved as these have served us well and off course Hang Tuah; which despite originally being a low spec frigate intended for Ghana and used by the RN for a while; served us well and still does. The key lesson learnt from Rahmat is that maintaining a ship as a floating exhibit costs money so hopefully a company will do a better job with Hang Tuah and whatever else we decide to preserve.

  14. @Zainal
    I agree with you that getting ANOTHER frigate platform, especially with TOT is involved, is just unfeasible. We already have the NGPV platform, albeit its dated. Better to study if we can lengthen Gowind platform to 120~130mtr.

    To me, the VL Mica is more for area self defence. If the VLS deck space can be made higher, then 2nd batch of larger Gowinds should focus on AAW+ASW, with Aster 30 (12) and a smaller complement of VL Mica (4) for self defence, plus VLS-launched torps (Hong Sang Eo) in place of the NSM. A pair of Gowind1 (with VL Mica+NSM) and Gowind2 (with Aster30+VL Mica+Hong Sang Eo) can conduct patrols together and offer a more all rounded offensive capability.

  15. Why does the LMS needs a type A and B? Can’t we just use just one hull type say the Gumdoksuri for both job description? Purchase 26 ’empty hulls’ and make the payload interchangeable on all 26 ships like Danish Stanflex. Less systems could be purchased to save cost since not all ship would be at sea at the same time. Fit 3 diesel engines on all ships. If it needs to be an FAC run all 3 engines. If it needs to do slow patrol/ hydrography task it can run on 2 or even 1 engine. Economic of scale wise, that would help save money on procument. Maintanance wise, parts commonality would surely reduce maintanance cost.

  16. I don’t quite understand the logic here.

    On one hand, it is proposed that the RMN focuses on warfighting capabilities and leave patrolling to APMM.

    However, the suggestion is to replace Kedah-class NGPVs (which are essentially corvettes) with patrol boats, such as Gumdoksuri FACs.

  17. @ zainal abidin

    The reason why I suggested the Arrowhead 140 is because it is planned to be cheaper than the Gowinds. Google on frigate type 31 and look at its budget. Google iver huidtfelt too, and look at videos of the ship, and interviews with their captains, how going larger means lower cost and easier maintenance, full military DC specs and machinery silencing not by designing complex individual systems but having a large silenced “raft” and putting commercial equipments on that “raft”.

    In around 2030 New Zealand will also be in the market for a new frigate. We can offer to build for them the arrowhead 140, and possibly have a closer operational ties within FPDA with new zealand, malaysia and UK using the arrowhead 140 design.

    Also this is the ships that in the future will be playing the waters off our coast.
    These are 10,000 tonne behemoths that will dwarf our 3,200 tonne gowinds. So IMO we need to have some frigates of the size of the arrowhead 140

    @ AM

    The reason why I suggest to preserve the KD Hang Tuah as an operational ship is exactly for that reason, for it not to face the same fate as KD Rahmat. That is also why I suggest the smaller KD Hang Nadim to be the floating museum ship instead, as it is smaller and hopefully more manageable to be properly maintained. Why I also suggest the PSSTLDM of KD Sri Manjung to be co-located at the museum, for these ships to be manned and taken care partially by the reservists.

    @ azlan
    Yes the laksamanas are not as historically valuable as the hang tuah. That is why i prefer spending money on hang tuah as a historical but fully operational ship. It can always be berthed beside the museum for special events when not on operational patrol, and can visit various ports all over malaysia.

    @ Hilmi
    http://www.malaysiandefence.com/another-perspective-lms/
    The LMS has to cover a multitude of diverse taskings from warfighting up to HADR in a single ship. To have all the ships to the same standard would mean either all of them are to a lower spec, or compromises to any one of the tasks that it needed to cover. Trying to cram too much capability in a single platform actually has a negative effect on the cost, as the JSF fighter programme has shown.
    In my opinion the tasks needed to be covered by the LMS is so diverse that it could not be cost effectively done by a single ship type. It would be more cost effective to split the LMS requirement and capability into 2 types of ship, a high end (LMS-A) and low end (LMS-B). Something similar is also done by South Korea for their PKX project, with PKX-A for high end and PKX-B for low end capability.

  18. joe – ”To me, the VL Mica is more for area self defence.”

    It is a point defence system.

    … – ”That is why i prefer spending money on hang tuah as a historical but fully operational ship.”

    Having a preserved ship is one thing; having a preserved but fully sea going ship is a something else [even a non sea worthy but floating one can be troublesome as the hull needs upkeep] it consumes much more resources. The RMN simply doesn’t have the inclination or resources for this.

    … – ”Yes the laksamanas are not as historically valuable as the hang tuah.”

    Not only that; in the RMN service they were a huge disappointment. Ideally a ship selected to be a permanent exhibit will be one that has more of a ”happy” or functional service history. If anything, one of the FACs should be preserved.

  19. Nimitz,

    Yes. A White Paper is something we should seriously consider. At least a White Paper would provide the MAF with a strategic blueprint or plan based on our threat perceptions, priorities and the geo-political environment. It would also provide the public with info as to the direction we’re taking and the need for a well funded MAF.

    It still remains to be seen – very early days – however as to which direction our new political masters will take with regards to procurement. With regards to policy nothing will change much.
    Although individuals with an anti pathetic stance on defence now form part of the government; the good news is that individuals who have been involved in defence issues in the past are also there. Whether procurement policy will change or whether it will still be driven by politics [to what extent] really remains to be seen.

  20. @ azlan

    “Having a preserved ship is one thing; having a preserved but fully sea going ship is a something else [even a non sea worthy but floating one can be troublesome as the hull needs upkeep] it consumes much more resources.”

    It is easier to do everything correctly up front, refit it to a new ship standard, and keep it operational with permanent crews. rather than tie it up alongside with dubious maintenance and relegated to follow KD Rahmats fate. As i said in the article – A full refit and upgrade of the ship to a condition better than new would be done (so it is basically a new build ship using the KD Hang Tuah hull), with all new engines, mechanical, electrical, accommodations and climate control systems. A lot of classic yachts have been preserved in this way, the ship will turn up basically as new ship with only the original hull from the old ship. As the refit is to only OPV standards, no expensive multi million CMS, Radars, missiles etc are required, and off the shelf machinery and components are to be used as much as possible.

    A sample of how a classic ship fully refitted to modern standards (well a warship does not need to spend on luxurious fittings, but similar concept still applies)
    https://www.boatinternational.com/yachts/editorial-features/history-repeating-how-malahnes-refit-restored-her-1930s-splendour–30321

  21. Ooooh, pardon me, it’s the Maharaja Lela class Frigate (Malaysian Gowind) not the present Laksamana class FAC.

  22. On lengthening the gowinds.

    The design started off as a corvette, lengthened a bit to become the SGPV frigate and now you want to lengthen it further?

    It would still be nothing when compared to 8,000 tonnes UK and aussie type 26 ASW frigates, 9,000 tonnes USA arleigh burke destroyers or the new 10,000 tonnes Chinese type 55 destroyer/cruisers. At 5,700 tonnes estimated displacement the arrowhead 140 will enable malaysia to not be seen as dwarfed by foreign navies in its own waters.

    In my plan 9x Gowinds until 2030, 4x more Arrowhead 140 2031-2040 not okay?

    Original plan is to only build 6 more Gowinds 2036-2045. So in original 15 to 5 plan only 6 gowinds up to 2035, do you think that is better?

  23. @Azlan
    Sorry but I’m not too familiar with the difference between area and point. My opinion is, VL Mica is mainly for aerial self defence or within a fleet. The 2nd batch of Gowinds will need to be studied if it can be fitted with Aster30. Which VLS system will our Gowind use; A-35, -43, -50?

  24. ….. – ”It is easier to do everything correctly up front, refit it to a new ship standard, and keep it operational with permanent crews. rather than tie it up alongside with dubious maintenance and relegated to follow KD Rahmats fate.”

    I never said it can’t be done; nobody’s disputing the fact that it can be done and you have explained why it can be done. Many things can be done if there is cash and intent to do so and if it’s worth the effort in the larger scheme of things. The point I’m trying to make is whether it’s worth the effort? Is the RMN even interested or inclined to do what you proposed given it has other issues to focus on and that resources are stretched?

    Hang Tuah can and should be preserved; ideally she will not be a floating exhibit but would be placed on land. That way lots of cash can be saved on her upkeep when compared to her being converted into a floating exhibit with all the maintenance/upkeep that entails.

    … – ”(so it is basically a new build ship using the KD Hang Tuah hull)”

    Sounds great on paper but you’re assuming her hull is still in good shape and isn’t worn out. One of the reasons why it was decided that spending cash [more than absolutely minimum to keep the sea worthy] on the Laksamanas was throwing good money down the drain was because of the condition of the hulls. Even if the hulls were in good shape it was decided that spending cash on a full SLEP just wasn’t the effort as the cash could be put to much better use elsewhere. Granted, the Laksamanas are not the Hang Tuah and vice versa but I’m mentioning all this again to reinforce the point that although – on paper – many things are feasible; in reality it might not be worth the effort, even if there was interest.

    … – ” At 5,700 tonnes estimated displacement the arrowhead 140 will enable malaysia to not be seen as dwarfed by foreign navies in its own waters.”

    That displacement might be a bit too much for our operational requirements – our ships hardly go to sea for more than 2 weeks, are never more than 2 days away from the nearest port/base and we operate mostly within our waters/EEZ and along the periphery.

    Sure, a larger ship always looks more impressive but it’s what the ship is fitted with that counts. We can have a ship better armed than the LCS’s without their displacement reaching over 5,000 tonnes.

  25. @…
    Gowinds were supposed to be our premier frontline fighting ship. To top that means another costly exercise, especially if it involves TOT as before. Then what about the larger crew complement these ships would entails? On a platform vs platform basis, it might be cheaper but with our weapon fit out, TOT local construction, and cost of the Kedah platform that you suggest we throw away, it would probably be a lot higher than just getting more Gowinds.

    The Arrowhead fitout looks tempting, better radar, better missiles, more missiles, but could we fit them into Gowind instead? Only drawback is the 16 VLS silos but that can be counter with more ships. An uprated Gowind with Aster30, Thales Herakles, Asroc(maybe?), can complement the current Gowind units in all-round performance, won’t break the bank for yet another new platform, commonality in crew familiarity and servicing, and Gowind per unit cost will go down if we make more of them.

    Furthermore, does out doctrine requires an even bigger ship? It seems the only reason why you suggest Arrowhead is because we need a bigger bully in the playground.

  26. Well,
    If really want the Arrowhead 140, forget about the Maharaja Lela class all together and concentrate on getting at least 12 units of Arrowhead, of which 6 units will be lesser armed @ equipt and 6 units to be better armed with better SSM’s, SAM’s and sensors. Stationed in the South China Sea they will be.

    But anyway or anyhow Arrowhead 140 will still come second best if one were to compare to peer navies Type 55, Arleigh Burke or Type 45 which are full blooded destroyers.

  27. More reading on the arrowhead 140 and iver huidtfeldts

    http://www.ft.dk/samling/20141/almdel/fou/bilag/20/1417702.pdf

    https://www.babcockteam31.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Arrowhead-140-Brochure.pdf

    See how economic the ship is when cruising.

    See how many crews it need (less than the gowind in fact)

    See how much does it cost (less than 1 gowind)

    So why not?

    @ joe

    It is tiring to answer you when every single item you raise has been clearly written in the article.

    As i highlighted the arrowhead 140 is planned to be even cheaper than the gowind. I have said that getting 4 arrowhead 140 instead of 3 gowinds should cost the same, the same means no need of additional bufget.

    I have clearly said read both of my APMM and TLDM article. Nowhere have i said to throw away the Kedah OPVs.

    @ zainal abidin

    Arrowhead 140 is not an ASW oriented platform. All arrowhead 140 will also mean a compromise in shallow littoral warfare missions. The arrowhead 140 would be ideal in offshore situations in the spratlys or in the indian ocean approaches to selat melaka. We have already started on gowinds. They are a good platform anf we need the capability that could be gotten from them, but do we need 12 with 6 to be build so far in the future? I even avocated to get 3 more gowinds earlier than what the navy plans.

  28. @ zainal abidin

    Chinese or US navies are not our peers. They are way above us.

    When western press mention of peers, they compare othera to themselves (america mostly) so dont dream of malaysia as anywhere a peer to america anf china.

  29. @ azlan

    Of course the will must be there to invest usd30 million (around rm120 million) to the KD Hang Tuah. That investment does not just keep something historical intact, but lets it continue to be a ship that protects malaysian seas as capable as our other OPVs.

    If something like the billion ringgit taman tugu in KL can be done, or couple hundreds of millions spent so far this year for the agong, why not spare just a few million saving the KD Hang Tuah?

    If the will is not there, yes just pull it ashore. But it would be a waste to let the name of the greatest malay warrior stuck on land unable to defend the country.

  30. It should be theoretically possible to design a follow on SGPV with “Aster30, Thales Herakles” and in greater numbers than it has. The Formidables carry these and much more, and are of similar dimensions and displacement to the SGPV.

    It’s a question of what spaces can be moved around or shrunk. Adding a CIWS with little deck penetration will be easier than say carrying as many SSMs as the Formidables- which have a larger SSM deck to carry up to 24 SSMs. Another issue is not compromising the low RCS of the design.

  31. @…
    I would be very interested how you arrived at the cost for Arrowhead. Did you consider the addition if TOT/locally made here?

    And my referral to Kedah class perhaps could be worded better, sorry, but your plan seems to mothball the Kedah class manufacture (that’s what I meant by throwing it away). Have you considered the cost sunk into this project to TOT it? If what Kedahs we have currently did not recoup this, it must be considered in your Arrowhead costing as well.

  32. @ am

    The gowinds comes in at USD450 mil each. How much additional cost to enlarge the design, what kind of changes would it take and what commonality would it left with the current gowinds? Remember the design was originally was at 2,500 tonnes, stretched to 3,100 tonnes for SGPV, how much bigger can it go without compromising hull shape, stability, strength?

    A ship that is purposely made bigger is much more easier to upgrade. You dont need to design unique items to fit awkward spaces. All that adds in to cheaper cost than trying to enlarge a small ship.

    @ joe

    As i said, please read up on the iver huidtfeldt and arrowhead 140. You can know what is the cost of hull and machinery, electronics, weapons and manpower costs for the ship. The arrowhead 140 cost considers the transfer of the design to UK.

    Your reasoning for kedah class should be applied for the gowinds to if your way of thinking is correct. But why is it not? Why build more kedah class when something more cheaper can perform the same duties as the kedah class – APMM’s DAMEN OPV 1800.

    As i have written in the article, not building the kedah class can save the navy USD1.5 billion that could be spent on more submarines, having more frigates earlier than the original plans, ASW helicopters and better armed ships. Each APMM DAMEN OPV 1800 cost less than half of the projected new Boustead NGPV design, and that would be a more cost effective ship for peacetime patrol of the EEZ.

  33. @AM
    That’s an interesting idea. If the SGPV can be further lengthened, I would prefer to add it to the VLS deck space. 3 modules of 8 cell A50 (for 16 Aster30 + 8 VL Mica) mounted on raised mini deck ala Type 45 destroyer.

  34. @…

    No need to touch the YDP Agong institution in your argument.

    Theres much more billions in terms of tax evasion by many unpatriotic persons, even among the top ten of most richest towkays in Malaysia.

  35. Let see the fleet composition in the year 2030 (assumption)

    Original 15 to 5 plan
    6x gowind
    2x kasturi
    2x lekiu
    12x NGPV Kedah
    3x MRSS
    2x Scorpene
    18x LMS68 + RLMS?

    alternative plan
    9x Gowind
    2x Lekiu
    6x NGPV Kedah (to be transfered to APMM post 2031 after refit)
    4x MRSS
    3x Scorpene
    9x LMS-A
    17x LMS-B
    (In APMM fleet – 9x Damen OPV 1800)

    Btw a beautiful picture of egypts gowind 2500 corvette
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DhRSA9TW0AAbLRn?format=jpg
    The Maharaja Lela is only a bit longer than that. So how much longer do you want to stretch the design? If you go wider too it is basically an all new design that just superficially looks like the gowind. There is a reason why Naval Group designed the all new Belharra instead of just enlarging the gowind corvette design.

  36. … “How much additional cost to enlarge the design, what kind of changes would it take and what commonality would it left with the current gowinds? ”

    I was not suggesting lengthening the ship at all. As said, the Formidables have similar dimensions and displacement. It’s the arrangement that allows them to carry three times the number of SSMs and twice the number of SAMs. (In fact, the SSM deck can carry 8 Harpoons while also being fitted with two additional RHIBs and a crane. I believe this enclosed area can be fitted out with additional VLS cells if needed). If we made changes to free up some additional space, it would be possible to increase armament and it wouldn’t take earth-moving changes or sacrificing a lot of commonality to do it.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nmasjSLJPt8/UZjYk4xeIXI/AAAAAAAABfU/HCc_1Ggc0x8/s1600/18+May+2013+NOH+089a.JPG

    https://www.mindef.gov.sg/oms/content/dam/imindef_media_library/photos/cyberpioneer/news/2013/mar/15mar13_news/LYE_1741.JPG

    Currently, there may be a substantial amount of commonality with the Formidables considering they are both from DCNS.

  37. @…
    Nope. The TLDM 15 to 5 plan was all along to get more Kedahs to complement the Gowinds hence continue to recoup the cost of TOTing Kedah platform. If we were to get ANOTHER new platform while ditching Kedahs, then this new platform must cost in the loss of potential to recoup the cost of the Kedah platform.

    If we were to go for Arrowhead, then I am of the same opinion as Zainal Abidin above, to ditch further manufacturing of Gowind & Kedah ships and just adapt the Arrowhead platform to a fleet of longer (full capabled) & shorter (less capabled) mix of ships.

  38. @ AM

    That centre space in the formidable class is the only place to cram AShM, cranes and boats. The 2 RHIBs are the only ones on board the ship, it is not additional 2 as you described.

    If you want to carry 24 harpoons, there will be zero space for cranes or RHIBs.

    The layout in the picture you posted is:
    – 2 RHIBs to port side
    – 2x harpoon launchers for max of 8 missiles (4 installed as per picture) to starboard side. All missiles shooting towards the port.
    – 1x crane to starboard side in between the 2 harpoon launchers.

    That many spaces for weapons also means less space for sailors, which is fine as the formidable class only carries 90 persons on board.

  39. @ AM

    My mistake, for the formidable class there is another RHIB hangar that fits 1 RHIB under the bridge to the port.

  40. @ joe

    The TOT for the MEKO design is already fully paid for. The only advantage to continue building Kedahs is the design is ours and we just need to pay for the material and build costs, which is projected to be around USD150 million per ship. No such thing as need to recoup the TOT cost. Even that USD150 million per ship still leaves a pretty bare ship with only guns as its armaments, which is why i prefer that we build more DAMEN OPV 1800 for APMM at less than half of that cost instead.

    To each is their own opinion, and I still believe that we need the Gowinds as our main ASW enabler. The Arrowhead 140 to be the general purpose frigate and fleet flagships, hopefully with some commonality to our fellow FPDA countries.

  41. @AM
    Quite hard to attain similar compactness as the Formidables. Their VLS deck space is longer to house all 32 silos while Gowind only has half (16). Their location for the Harpoons are pretty similar as our NSM.

    If we can lengthen further the VLS deck by 3mtr, I would add at least another 8cell module. Otherwise keep to the current length but raise the VLS deck to fit Aster30. This method can also be implemented for our current Gowinds when time for their SLEP.

  42. … – ” lets it continue to be a ship that protects malaysian seas as capable as our other OPVs.”

    No amount of internal upgrades will change the fact that the hull is still several decades old and that even if upgraded [on costs grounds] the ”new” Hang Tuah will still be inferior [systems/sensors wise] compared to present OPVs [i.e. the Kedahs] and unlike the Kedahs [which if fully ”fitted for”] will only be useful for routine low threat taskings.

    … – ”But it would be a waste to let the name of the greatest malay warrior stuck on land unable to defend the country.”

    Sentiments have to be put aside on the grounds of practicality and funding. No matter how inexpensive or ”cheap” the upgrade you proposed; the fact still remains that the cash is being spent on a ship several decades old and that cash is badly needed elsewhere.

  43. @ azlan

    I fully understand where you are coming at. But this is “HangTuah”. I would have balked if something like this is to be done to the laksamanas or kasturis for the matter.

    So lets leave it at that. An option to those who can really decide on the matter.

  44. Anyway is there anyone with a better understanding of ground forces care to give their thoughts of the future plan for tentera darat?

    Ground forces is not my forte and i dont want to irk many of you with my constant want of Polaris DAGOR and ZBD-03s LoL!

  45. One thing to note is waterline length of ship. SGPV is 105m. For Formidable I not sure wut been say 114.5m so far is overall length or waterline length. SG Mindef will try and go for lower number or less ofensif name like LST for Endurance LPD. Formidable always seeming slightly longer.

    For sure, the Formidable tonnage is no longer 3200 ton but more as the ship has install a lot of new equipmen and depend on mission module. 3200 ton was wen the ship was build. Even the Victory class weigh more then the originel ton.

    The soon mid-life Formidabel upgred as annunce by Minister Ng will add more anti-sub and anti-air capabiliti so maybi expect Formidabel to get heavier.

  46. joe: “Otherwise keep to the current length but raise the VLS deck to fit Aster30. ”

    Assuming the current launcher is A35 (probable because the shipyard would have chosen it to minimise costs), to fit Aster 15 we would need to raise the deck 80cm. I suggested this here before but it was mentioned that it is structurally challenging.

    The Australian and Turkish Perry class ships had a small portion of deck raised to to accommodate an 8 cell VLS where it was never originally intended. I can’t say but since the Perry was designed with a large missile magazine, some magazine capacity might have been sacrificed to fit the VLS. In which case the idea was not only to increase SAM numbers but also to operate a more modern and easily supported SAM than the early SM-1. (The Perry is an adaptable and very tough design, and IMO sadly has not been developed anywhere near its potential as a more capable ship).

    Of course the same location on our SGPVs is very probably occupied by something else. Even if it could be accommodated, it would involve making a tradeoff in some other aspect of performance.

    To fit Aster 30 (which I doubt on cost and concept grounds, that’s a true area air defence missile), we need an additional 1.5m.

    Would be nice if VL MICA could be quad packed like ESSM, wouldn’t it?

  47. “Anyway is there anyone with a better understanding of ground forces care to give their thoughts of the future plan for tentera darat?”

    Equipment wise, to recap from previous discussions some of us want a modern MBT with growth potential, credible SR and MR ATGM with top attack mode, wider fielding of infantry personal equipment and a rationalisation of infantry weapons with a view to reduce weight.

    I personally would like to see greater distribution of target acquisition and designation capabilities- it was previously speculated that JTAC capability is extremely limited and non-organic to almost all but SF units. Even the ability to talk to aircraft is not that pervasive. We could do with more fires observers trained to request air and artillery strikes and the networks and command architecture to get the requests passed on. I wouldn’t mind creating a new Kor for such units. I also suggest start replacing our 105mm guns with towed and wheeled SP 155mm guns that have better range, responsiveness and weight of fire while cutting down on manpower. To a limited extent it would reduce dependence on the air force for fire support, and is arguably affordable.

    “Ground forces is not my forte and i dont want to irk many of you with my constant want of Polaris DAGOR and ZBD-03s LoL!”

    While getting a few DAGORs isn’t very expensive, some of us see a brigade sized airborne unit as too expensive for an army on our budget, particularly when so many vital things go unfunded. We don’t agree that 10th Para provides options that are the only or even the best/most effective/safest way to do things.

    I’d be happy enough to rid people of the belief that 10th Para was created and maintained primarily to provide an RDF capability to forcibly enter and intervene in other countries’ internal affairs.

  48. @ AM

    not going to discuss land forces for now, lets save it for another time. Anyway why not you give it a try, your plan for tentera darat?

    “Would be nice if VL MICA could be quad packed like ESSM, wouldn’t it?”

    There is a sylver A35 launcher designed for VL Mica, but nobody has ever used it. The advantage of VL Mica is that it does not need a dedicated launcher. Its storage container is the launcher, so simplifying fitment on ships. So for the gowind this is probably the case, no dedicated VL launchers, just spaces in the deck to fit the VL Mica storage container. Disadvantage is the storage container is quite large as it has a build-in exhaust for the rocket blast.

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/10/6b/63/106b635fb80822fc79af6ec4e930d0e0.jpg

    All this thinking of modifying the gowinds will cost more money and creates something that you dont want to get, compromises to what the gowind is already capable of. That is why it is more cost effective and probably cheaper to just get another bigger design.

    My take.
    After 2031, build the arrowhead 140 to basic standard. Tacticos CMS, NS200 3D AESA radar (400km instrumented range). Sharpeye LPI navigation radar. Hull sonar. 2x used 76mm OTO Melara guns, 2x aselsan STAMP 30mm RCWS, VL MICA and NSM. Build in RMK 14 (2ships) and 15 (2 ships). In RMK 16 (2040-2045) get medium range SAMs fitted to the arrowhead 140 for air defence capability. ESSM or aster 15, but i would prefer the ESSM as it could be packed in smaller space than the asters. But we never now what kind of newer missiles available past 2040 do we?

  49. … “The Maharaja Lela is only a bit longer than that. So how much longer do you want to stretch the design? ”

    I don’t suggest to stretch the SGPV, both on developmental cost grounds and because it may not be necessary at all to accommodate some of the things we wish.

    That said, its cousin the Lafayette was stretched from 3200t/125m to a massive 4700t/133m in the Riyadh class.

    … “My mistake, for the formidable class there is another RHIB hangar that fits 1 RHIB under the bridge to the port.”

    Apparently the original Lafayette design has the RHIB bay amidships and the SSMs on the roof above it, just like the SGPV.

    The Formidables retained this original bay for SSMs/additional RHIBs, removed the roof and added another RHIB bay under the bridge. Since I haven’t seen this area I can’t say how large it is or many RHIBs can be stowed there. That said, it is obviously useful as an enclosed mission bay.

  50. …. – ”But this is “HangTuah”.”

    Name wise yes; in other words pure nostalgia and sentiments but if we want to preserve a ship that has really contributed more over its period of service; one can argue it should be the FACs.

    … – ”An option to those who can really decide on the matter.”

    I couldn’t agree more. The RMN has always had the intention of preserving her but has no wish to burdened or stretch itself having to maintain her post retirement. The best we can hope is that a private company has the funds to keep her in good shape in the long run.

    …. – ”That is why it is more cost effective and probably cheaper to just get another bigger design.”

    Actually, unless our operational requirements and threats perceptions undergo a major change; one doesn’t have to modify the Gowind too much; not necessary. All is needed are some minor tweaks to the basic design; not that we’re going to require fundamental changes to the basic design for what we might require in the future.

    AM – ”I also suggest start replacing our 105mm guns with towed and wheeled SP 155mm guns that have better range, responsiveness and weight of fire while cutting down on manpower. ”

    On paper I agree. In reality I’m unsure as there are pros and cons to factor in. For one thing 105mm guns have a faster reaction time and the ability to sustain fire at a higher rate; not to mention a smaller footprint.

    AM – ”To a limited extent it would reduce dependence on the air force for fire support, and is arguably affordable.”

    An all 155mm armed organisation will be more expensive given the costs of 155mm guns and their ammo; compared to 105mm equivalents. For direct air support [depending on the circumstances] air power will still be a better option.

  51. @ azlan

    FYI the original idea for the new museum in lumut and KD Hang Tuah alogside is for both to be operated by TLDM and KD Hang Tuah to remain as commissioned vessel albeit one permanently tied up to the pier. No private companies to be involved. That is the reason I put my plan B idea out here on the KD Hang Tuah and the proposed museum. Because the navy themselves are saying that the KD Hang Tuah is to remain in commission.

    “Actually, unless our operational requirements and threats perceptions undergo a major change; one doesn’t have to modify the Gowind too much”

    I don’t know what is the original idea for the 15 to 5 plan but the original plan is to have 6 gowind now and another 6 15 years later (after 2035). Do we actually need 12 ASW frigates? Is it okay for our largest combattant displaces 3,200 tonnes when china is launching 10,000 tonne destroyers and coast guard cutters? Can the gowind modified to perform air defence role? Those are some questions that is needed to be answered. IMO those questions can be answered by my plan of building building 9 gowinds back to back up till 2030 and later building 4 arrowhead 140 starting 2031.

  52. Tomahawk “For sure, the Formidable tonnage is no longer 3200 ton but more as the ship has install a lot of new equipmen and depend on mission module. 3200 ton was wen the ship was build. ”

    It was already more than 3200t when commissioned. The original Lafayette design, not exactly a bare bones hull but still much lighter in fittings, is listed as 3200t.

    Anyway, the Formidable is a derivative that is shorter, wider and with deeper draft. Singapore owns the design rights.

    … “So how much longer do you want to stretch the design? If you go wider too it is basically an all new design that just superficially looks like the gowind. There is a reason why Naval Group designed the all new Belharra instead of just enlarging the gowind corvette design.”

    As said, I would like to accommodate the systems we want either on follow on Gowinds or on the Arrowhead without stretching it if possible- and the Formidables suggest it is possible.

    In the even that we were to go for a larger ship, an off the shelf design (based on the FTI/Belharra for example) would be preferable to developing our own customised version of the Gowind.

    The 5700t Arrowhead might be too much ship for our needs. The 4250t FTI might be more in line with our requirements and have more commonality with the SGPV.

  53. Personally, I would prefer to replace the exposed NSM launch space on 2nd batch Gowinds with 2x 8cell A70 VLS for SCALP EG(16) and upsize the frontal 16 silos for Aster30(12) + VL Mica(4). This keeps to the same length as 1st batch Gowinds but more formidable than Formidables 🙂

    @Tomahawk
    Formidable draught is 6mtr while Gowind SGPV is 3.85mtr. Food for thought.

  54. Azlan “An all 155mm armed organisation will be more expensive given the costs of 155mm guns and their ammo; compared to 105mm equivalents. ”

    However if it leads to fewer guns, trucks and crews, it might cost less overall.

  55. … – ”FYI the original idea for the new museum in lumut and KD Hang Tuah alogside is for both to be operated by TLDM and KD Hang Tuah to remain as commissioned vessel albeit one permanently tied up to the pier. ”

    FYI the RMN was never interested in maintaining Rahmat [or in the future Hang Tuah] for the simple reason that it consumes resources; scare resources both in manpower and funding. That’s why the private company came into the picture.

    … – Do we actually need 12 ASW frigates?

    What defines a ”ASW frigate”? Given that it’s the norm for many multi-purpose frigates to have a hull mounted passive/active sonar and a pair of triple tube launchers; on paper these platforms would be considered ”ASW frigates”. If however one wants to be more selective in applying the ”ASW frigate” designation than it can be argued; a full fledged ASW platform would have an electric drive, a hull mounted and towed array sonar [or a VDS] and a helo with a dipping sonar and sonobuoys. One can go further and have a pair of helos instead of just one.

    … – ”Is it okay for our largest combattant displaces 3,200 tonnes when china is launching 10,000 tonne destroyers and coast guard cutters?”

    You keep mentioning size/displacement. What does size/displacement have anything to do with it? Firstly, even if we had a 8,000 tonne destroyer it would still not deter China. Short of getting a tactical nuke [even then] nothing will do to offset the fact that we simply can’t meet China on equal terms; it has the cash, the numbers, the population and the industrial base.

    Secondly, based on our threat perceptions, requirements and budget we can have a better armed ship displacing much less than 5,000 tonnes. It’s not as if we need the deck space for a 96 cell VLS or for hangar big enough to accommodate a pair of medium size helos. It’s not as if we need a design with enough range and endurance to operate for long periods over great distances away from the nearest RMN base. A platform displacing 5,000 tonnes or more would be great to look at but would be superfluous to our needs and would cost more to maintain/support.

    If your concern in size/displacement is related to the possibility of ramming; sure a 5,000 tonne ship would make a better battering ram compared to a 1,500 tonne ship but how likely will we get into such a situation? Also, now that ships mostly have zero armour; even a 500 tonne ship can a cause considerable damage to a much larger ship. Look at pics from the Cod War [what would later be Hang Tuah served in those waters]. Much larger RN ship suffered serious hull damage from much smaller Icelander trawlers.

  56. AM – ”it might cost less overall.”

    Whether towed or otherwise; a 155mm gun has a larger footprint : heavier, bigger and bulkier. A SPH would require maintenance; much more than a wheeled towing vehicle.

    AM – ”However if it leads to fewer guns”?

    Why would it lead to fewer guns? If you mean that we’ll buy less 155mms than we would if we were buying 105mms, yes but maintaining those 155mms [especially if towed] would cost more and the actual guns and ammo would cost more.

  57. @ AM

    FTI to cost usd820 million each. With full anti-air and ASW suites.

    Arrowhead 140 to cost usd350 million each. Basic anti surface capability with long at sea endurance. The original Iver Huidtfeldt design that is the base for the arrowhead 140 costs usd325 million with around usd70 million in reused weapons (guns and missiles). Iver Huidtfelts are equipped with full anti-air suites.

  58. @ azlan

    There would be no private sector involved as the KD Hang Tuah to remain as a commissioned ship in TLDM. Operational (as my suggestion) or otherwise tied permanently to a pier. But doing the same thing to KD Hang Tuah as what is done to KD Rahmat, albeit now by TLDM themselves does not inspire much confidence that the outcome would be better.

    http://www.malaysiandefence.com/training-ships-to-be-commissioned-next-year/

    Meanwhile, Rear Adm. Azhari when met in Bangkok on Nov. 6, says the commissioning of Gagah and Teguh will not mean the end of KD Hang Tuah, the RMN’s current training ship. He says Hang Tuah will be kept in commission though she will be turned into a museum ship just like the Royal Navy ship, HMS Belfast. Hang Tuah will be the centre piece of the new RMN’s museum to be located in Lumut, says Azhari. As she remained in commission, the RMN will be responsible for her up-keep.

    ” You keep mentioning size/displacement. What does size/displacement have anything to do with it? Firstly, even if we had a 8,000 tonne destroyer it would still not deter China. Short of getting a tactical nuke [even then] nothing will do to offset the fact that we simply can’t meet China on equal terms; it has the cash, the numbers, the population and the industrial base ”

    There are other things that is short of a full blown war. If a full blown war happens, ships will be sunk mainly by subs and fighter jets, not by other ships. But in the instance of something like a standoff, holding your ground in a tense situation while leaders sort it out on the meeting table, a large ship does have its advantage. The Maharaja Lela is optimised for ASW duties with towed VDS and such, although without very high end systems like the type 26 frigates. IMO around 9 Gowinds is good enough for sub hunting duties, with 4 GP large frigates for flying the flag and air defence duties. Instead of MR SAMS, arrowhead 140 frigates could be enployed for air defence of teluk sepanggar submarine base.

  59. P.S. ”Icelandic” not ”Icelander”.

    AM,

    Personally I’m still uncertain which direction we should go in the future : all 155mm or not? I suspect even the Artillery Directorate isn’t very sure yet. On paper; all regiments, apart from 10 Para’s arty regiment, should convert to 155mm. The calibre has the range, the ability to fire ”smart” rounds and gives a bigger bang compared to 105mm. Yet pros and cons remain. The fact that we’ve ordered new 105mm is to replace 10 Para’s worn out Model 56s; not necessarily and indication that we want to continue having our Close Support Regiments to continue using 105mms.

    Similarly, for our needs is a tracked or wheeled platform more suitable? People often mention the need for a tracked platform in order for it to keep pace with the PT-91s and Adnans. Yet in our terrain the PT-91s and Adnans won’t be covering vast distances at great speeds and a wheeled platform doesn’t necessarily have to keep pace with the PT-91s and Adnans in order to provide direct fire support.

  60. @Azlan
    I’m of the opinion that just like the duality of C130/A400M, both arty calibers have their roles to play, 105mm for tactical deployment while 155mm is more strategic for area saturation. My opinion, the 105mm arty corp should be paired with PUTD Nuris, whereby they can be airlifted and deployed faster than transporting the 155mm arty into the theater.

  61. Azlan:

    Fully agree on both points. Another point is that SP guns on trucks with 6 or more wheels themselves have good off-road mobility. They will be able to operate efficiently off-road for the sake of concealment, getting into firing positions and relocating to avoid counter battery fire.

    For that matter, the “off road” terrain that we will operate on consists of tracks and plantation areas, which themselves are rapidly giving way to urban and suburban terrain in any area of strategic significance. All things that we’ve talked about before.

    …: “FTI to cost usd820 million each. With full anti-air and ASW suites. Arrowhead 140 to cost usd350 million each. ”

    No one’s expecting differently equipped ships to cost the same. You mentioned “full anti-air and ASW suites” on the FTI which include Aster 30, AESA and a towed sonar array. If we reduced the weapons and sensors specs on the FTI, being a smaller hull it would cost less.

    I’m curious about your price tag of USD450 million on our SGPV- the last I heard on the price was RM9 billion for six ships.

  62. @ AM

    Can you really reduce the belharra price to USD350 milion?

    ” I’m curious about your price tag of USD450 million on our SGPV- the last I heard on the price was RM9 billion for six ships ”

    Yes you are correct, the price is RM9 billion, during the time the exchange rate was RM3.20 to USD1. So it is actually USD468 million, but it is easier for me to remember USD450 milllion.

  63. Joe – ”My opinion, the 105mm arty corp should be paired with PUTD Nuris, whereby they can be airlifted and deployed faster than transporting the 155mm arty into the theater.”

    Army Nuris do undersling Model 56s. It’s one thing doing it in peacetime however and another very different thing doing it in time of conflict. The needed helis have to be available for that particular tasking. It will also take quite a number of helis and quite a number of sorties to lift even a single battery plus crews and ammo. Easy on paper not so easy in reality when the helis [already limited in number] are doing other things and when the skies might not ”safe”. The Brits were reminded of this the hard way in the Falklands given the limited number of helis they had and the quantity of ammo needed to be lifted.

    Same with IFVs. Marketing brochures tend to place emphasis on the fact that IFVs can be air lifted but how many aircraft and sorties are required to lift even a squadron if IFVs [in our case the AV-8]; plus crews and support equipment? Great if all the needed aircraft are operational and available for the tasking and great if operational circumstances calls for just a few IFVs but if not ….

  64. .. – ”There would be no private sector involved”

    In the longer term plans to privatise her upkeep are also being looked at if funds are tight. Having the RMN maintain her in the long run [even moored and not seaworthy] is a drain on scarce resources; both financial and in manpower; as such plans are also being looked at for partial external funding to be obtained. One of the reasons the RMN wants to ”keep” Hang Tuah is because of what happened with Rahmat but it all depends on funding.

    Personally, I think that the RMN should first ensure that cash is available for a shelter to protect the former KD Sri Terengganu [in Melaka]. She is in bad shape and here we are talking about maintaining a frigate as a floating exhibit.

    … – ”If a full blown war happens, ships will be sunk mainly by subs and fighter jets”

    Depends entirely on the circumstances doesn’t it and who the ”players” are ….. My view is that the ubiquitous and cheap mine is the main threat; not the more ”sexy” missile” or smart guided munition but here we are veering off topic. If there is a standoff [like what you described] chances are it will be a ship [with guns] that will sink you simply because of the short reaction time on account of the close proximity the ships are and because missiles are not beyond their minimum engagement range.

    … – ”The Maharaja Lela is optimised for ASW duties with towed VDS and such,”

    Does that really mean she is ”optimised”? She remains a multi-purpose platform; despite having [on account of a towed array] a better ASW suite than anything else operated.

    … – ” – a large ship does have its advantage.”

    They do but everything has its advantages ; smaller ships also have their advantages [especially for a mostly shallow water littoral navy] and the key fact remains that navies go for ”large” ships because they need the range and endurance; we don’t. In our case a ”large” ship would be superfluous. We can’t plan for a ”’larger” [5,000 tonnes or more] ship just because it looks more impressive or presents certain advantages [which in our context are outweighed by the disadvantages] because in our context a ”large” ship is simply not needed.

    Which is why the RMN [and interestingly the TNI-AL] are not interested in ”larger” ships.

    … – ” IMO around 9 Gowinds is good enough for sub hunting duties,”

    Whatever the numbers; the ships have to work with MPAs; in addition to their organic helos and all must be networked. As such it will be teamwork and its vital that ships have enough ASW training [hard to do with peacetime navies that have lots of things on their plates] and as well as the needed training to work alongside MPAs [this is one reason why I’ve maintained that the RMN should operate MPAs but of course various obstacles stand in the way. If the ship is just operating on it’s own it has to be very lucky [when it comes to detection ranges and identification] because a sub will always have the advantage.

  65. … “Can you really reduce the belharra price to USD350 milion?”

    All things equal, a Belharra can’t cost less than an SGPV, being a bigger ship.

    But all things aren’t equal- setting up local production of the SGPV being one of them. It contributes to your Arrowhead 140 costing less than the SGPV despite being much larger. If you had assumed local production of the Arrowhead, it would cost more than the USD350m quoted for UK production.

    So with a uniform basis for comparison -production venue, weapons and sensor fit etc- why wouldn’t a 4250t FTI cost less than a 5700t Arrowhead?

    Another matter is Belharra comes from the same yard as the SGPV and has more commonality with it.

  66. @ azlan

    A commissioned ship must be under the full care of the navy. As usual I have thought of multiple options on what to do with KD Hang Tuah. That is why I suggested rebuilding it as new to be an operational OPV, as the best return of investment and the best chance to preserve the ship. Better spend money on an operational ship rather than spending money on a decaying and non operational hulk. But as i said before, the choice is in the navy’s hands.

    ” Which is why the RMN [and interestingly the TNI-AL] are not interested in ”larger” ships ”

    Nope, TNI-AL has cut short its SIGMA frigate program as it is now looking at larger platforms as a replacement of its van speijks. Those being looked at are the Iver Huidtfeldts and De Zeven Provinciens

  67. … – ”A commissioned ship must be under the full care of the navy. As usual I have thought of multiple options on what to do with KD Hang Tuah. That is why I suggested rebuilding it as new to be an operational OPV, as the best return of investment and the best chance to preserve the ship.”

    By all means do think of ”multiple options on what to do” [not only with Hang Tuah] but the reality is that the RMN has no interest in maintaining her as a sea going ship and that ”rebuilding” her may look great on paper [many things do] but there are a lot of factors involved and the RMN would get a better return on investment if the cash was spent on other areas. There are other way [more practical] of preserving her. Rebuilding her [as I’ve pointed out] also depends on her hull condition …. Also, a commissioned ship is owned and under the responsibility of the RMN but it doesn’t mean that external funding won’t be sourced.

    … – ”But as i said before, the choice is in the navy’s hands.”

    You hit it spot on : a cash and resource strapped RMN has no wish to allocate resources for stuff that is not vital.

    … – ”Nope, TNI-AL has cut short its SIGMA frigate program as it is now looking at larger platforms”

    ”Larger” platforms displacing 5,000 tonnes and above? Doubt it – at least not for the foreseeable future. Like us the TNI-AL does not need the range and endurance a ship that large offers. At least not yet, unless the country’s threat perceptions undergo a drastic change …. One can argue that the TNI-AL needs a ship a bit ”larger” than what it has but it doesn’t have to be a very large ship given its operational requirements and geography.

  68. @ azlan

    ” By all means do think of ”multiple options on what to do” [not only with Hang Tuah] but the reality is… ”

    For many years you have been telling me the reality of so many things, like the RMAF has no need whatsoever for used hornets and LCAs. As a concerned and patriotic citizen, yes I will continue to think of multiple options of good things our defence can do. Lets have less negative bashing, and more constructive discussions.

  69. @ AM

    ” So with a uniform basis for comparison -production venue, weapons and sensor fit etc- why wouldn’t a 4250t FTI cost less than a 5700t Arrowhead? ”

    As it is the FTI costs 2x the base of the arrowhead design, the Iver Huidtfeldt. The iver huidtfeldt ships are equipped with the same high end air defence sensors (like the SMART-L radar) of the type 45, horizon destroyers. In all an Iver huidtfelt costs around USD320 million plus additional USD70 million of reused weapons (2x 76mm oto melara guns, 2x harpoon launchers, 2x ESSM launchers. 35mm millenium gun and VLS launchers for standard missiles are new). The USD350 million cost of the arrowhead 140 is also taken into account the higher cost of building the ship in UK, along with the plan to spread out the module build among various shipyards in UK to create work opportunities all over UK. So that ceiling price could also be applicable for local build in Malaysia. Can the belharra design be build to even the same price of the Gowind SGPV LCS? I have great doubts. Can we build ships at competitive prices? I think with a good ship design like the arrowhead 140 and with the NGPC and Damen OPV experience will prove that malaysia really boleh.

  70. Azlan:
    ”Larger” platforms displacing 5,000 tonnes and above? Doubt it – at least not for the foreseeable future. Like us the TNI-AL does not need the range and endurance a ship that large offers.”

    Yes and No..
    As archipelago nation TNI see their islands as a floating base. Building base in strategic island can reduce the need of endurance. But, you forget about the need for SAR and disaster relief. Many accidents happened in the sea so the need of ship that can stand sea state 7 at least is needed.

    Reply
    SAR is now the responsibility of Basarnas now, the national SAR agency

  71. Romeo – ”Many accidents happened in the sea so the need of ship that can stand sea state 7 at least is needed.”

    I didn’t ”forget”. One does not need a ”large” combatant” for that the roles you mentioned. They have the Makassars for disaster relief/SAR.

    … – ”For many years you have been telling me the reality of so many things, like the RMAF has no need whatsoever for used hornets and LCAs.”

    I stand by what I said that buying ”used” has its penalties just like I stand by what I said with regards to the need to be very wary when upgrading stuff as it depends on many factors. On the ”used” Hornets – unless it really has no choice” – the RMAF would rather not buy ”used”; it has /valid legitimate reasons for this. Just because something is low houred and in top condition doesn’t mean there will be no issues later encountered. BTW I never said the RMAF has ”no need whatsoever for used hornets and LCAs” [please don’t put words that aren’t there]; merely that buying ”used” has long term penalties and that as it stands the RMAF has no immediate plans to retire the Hawks [despite on paper there being other alternatives] on account of them still having lots of life left.

    And just because something can be upgraded ”cheaply” doesn’t necessarily mean it should be upgraded as various factors have to be looked at first; namely age and whether the cash can be put to better used elsewhere [the Laksamanas and other stuff come to mind]. The ”realities” I mentioned is based on what I’ve heard and based on our needs/limitations; not on my personal preferences….

    … – ”. Lets have less negative bashing, and more constructive discussions.”

    Just because I tend to disagree with some of what you say doesn’t mean it’s ”negative bashing” or that ”more constructive” discussions are needed. If I agreed with everything or most of what you said; would you be talking about the need for less ”negative bashing” and ”more constructive” discussions? Unless I’m very mistaken we have been engaging in ”constructive” discussions. ”Negative bashing” is when someone disagrees with something for the sake of doing so and provides no explanation or facts to back up what he’s saying.

  72. P.S.

    … – ”As a concerned and patriotic citizen, yes I will continue to think of multiple options of good things our defence can do”

    As someone who’s very interested in defence matters; I will continue to voice my opinions. Not that I’m claiming to be be an ”expert” which I’m most certainly not. I will also welcome any inputs as to whether anything I’ve said is fundamentally incorrect or flawed. Like others I also play around with ”options” but the ”options” I play around or look at are tied to the specific circumstances the MAF finds itself in with regards to budget, threat perceptions, core requirements, commonality, etc and the acknowledgement that what looks great on paper [many things do] doesn’t always [unfortunately] translate to the same in reality.

  73. not sure if this true or not according to this tweet
    https://twitter.com/edythena/status/1019109171814268928

    decommissioning a ship without its replacement?
    that’s not going to look good for the RMN..

    Reply
    I have written on this previously. The decommissioning is scheduled for tomorrow at Lumut, I am debating whether to go or not to go there but its more likely I am not going.

  74. @ marhalim

    On the KD Mutiara, what will its fate be?Will it be sold off? Scrapped?

    If you are going probably you can help to check how far along ex-KD Rahmat scrapping has been done?

  75. Regarding the MRSS

    A few slides from PT PAL on malaysian MRSS project.

    This is on the design evolution of the makassar class LPD
    https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Hpz2ChwO6I8/W1Kc9SrEXwI/AAAAAAAA7hw/IhQijEBzJ50VoV5Ztos0HAhMUQemlJeHACLcBGAs/s1600/PAL-1.jpg

    Another on PT PALs production schedule.
    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-neTZECKs978/W1KdWETpxWI/AAAAAAAA7h8/yKrDg5Ymv50232ahVaPKXISxW3RNC2yKgCLcBGAs/s1600/PAL-8.jpg
    There are already plans for MRSS 1 and 2 (subject to contract signed of course) at PT PAL starting 2019

  76. Looks like the Arrowhead 140 website is up again.

    This is the latest Arrowhead 140 export brochure

    http://www.arrowhead140.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Arrowhead-140-EXPORT-brochure.pdf

    If we want a closer ties with UK, australia and new zealand, going for the arrowhead 140 as one of the 5 in 15 to 5 instead of the kedah class would be desireable.

    BTW looks like there is a new requirement for 18 fast interceptor crafts from TLDM. IMO we should just recapitalise the CB90 fleet with new upgraded CB90s.

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