Laksamana class Frigates, An Overview

Boustead Gowind Frigate

KUALA LUMPUR: I had refrained from making any comments on the new ceiling price for the new RMN SGPV/LCS/frigate as awarded to Boustead Naval Shipyard announced on Friday. Yes I did mentioned I believed the cost will go higher but thats it.

My hesitation is based on the fact that it is very difficult to pin point the cost of naval ships unlike other equipment such as tanks and armoured personnel carriers. Although some had stated that I was wrong to say that the AV8 being developed by DRB-Hicom as over-priced if compared to the Army budget, I am inclined to believe that I got it right. I stand to be corrected of course.

A close-up of the BNS Gowind Frigate

Back to the issue at hand. Comparing prices with other ships is difficult as most countries usually only announced the cost of the hull and it systems, conveniently not publishing the price of the combat and weapon systems, which accounted for 60 per cent of the total cost. It gets more confusing as some countries put old weapon systems on their new ships for example the Danish Absalon combat support ships and the South African Meko A200 frigates.

BNS/Gowind Frigate model

From the Canadian Defence Policy,Foreign Policy, & Canada-US Relations site:
“With that caveat in mind, the following are rough unit prices for the frigates mentioned in the text and the Single Class Surface Combatant.
• Danish – 1.5B Kr = $333M Cdn (Project Patruljeskibe)
• FREMM – 280M € = $447M Cdn (French version, diesel powered)
• FREMM – 350M € = $600M Cdn (Italian version, turbine powered)
• Dutch –400M € = $639M Cdn (De Zeven Provinciën class)
(or up to –450M € = $719M Cdn quotes vary according to source)
• Spanish – 400M € = $639M Cdn (F100/Nansen class, prices vary)
• Typ 125 – 550M € = $878M Cdn (projected German Fregatte Klasse F125)
• FREMM – 550M € = $879M Cdn (projected air defence version)
• Typ 124 – 700M € = $1.12B Cdn (German Sachsen class air defence frigate)
• CF SCSC – 1.06B € = $1.70B Cdn (Single Class Surface Combatant)
* these figures does not include Standard SM-2 SAMs.

The SSM launchers amidship

From the list above, I believe only the Germans and Canadian cited the full cost of their ships apart from the Standard SAMs. As for the Laksamana-class frigates (my designation for these ships although the reader’s poll says Ganas-class) – not to be confused with the Laksamana-class corvettes in service – the cost of the programme (ceiling of RM9 billion, around RM1.5 billion per ship) from my guess-estimates is justifiable. Yes, we might get it cheaper but BNS and Kementah had to follow the government’s procurement policy which invariably raised the cost.

The BNS/DCNS Gowind frigate

Of course we might get it even cheaper, if we did not buy the design (and the right to export, export to where?) and get a foreign shipyard like those in South Korea (as suggested by Azlan) to build it for us. We could also got it cheaper by getting ST Marine to build the hull for us in Singapore (they also probably bought the design of the Delta-class frigates) instead buying the design from DCNS. Anyways, I believed the price would be the same if we had bought the Sigma class frigate from Damen Schelde. On the how the programme was won that in itself required another post.

So how did they come up with the cost then? My estimates, per ship

Hull – around RM500 million
Combat systems, integration, training etc RM1 billion.

Specifications (to be confirmed)
Length 109 metres, displacement 2750 tonnes
Speed 29 knots, twin screws, powered by four diesel engines, probably in CODAD configuration and most probably to be supplied by MTU.
Combat equipment (to be confirmed)
A Bofor 57mm Mk 4 gun on A mounting, an eight cell MK41 VLS launcher at B mounting, navigation radar (most probably SAAB) ESM/ELINT (unknown, could be SAAB) radar (as the DCNS design has an enclosed mast for antennas, it could be the EADS 3D/4D radar, the former the same one on Kedah class or Saab/Thales); EO/IR/FCR (unknown, could be Rheinmental Oerlikon Contraves); NSM SSM in an eight cell missile launcher amidships: countermeasures, unknown, two Oto-Breda 30mm remote controlled guns, and helicopter approach radar (unknown type) hull mounted and VDS sonars (most probably from Thales and 2 x triple torpedo launchers (most probably the same as the Lekiu frigates).

Based on the specifications above, I believe the cost of the ships is justifiable as the price include the IP and the right to export (again to whom?). One caveat though, the ships must be commissioned with all systems in place and no increase in cost during construction, though I am not too confident on this part.

Of course, by adding six helicopters with ASW suite would bring another RM600 million to the cost of the whole programme. As for the total cost of the programme for the next 30 years, my best guess it will be around RM30 billion.

While the cost of the ships is justifiable one must look at the bigger picture of course. Is it justifiable for RMN to be spending RM9 billion for the next ten years? I do not think so if we look at our defence budget. Just read my post on the 2012 defence budget. That said, as someone said to me the other day, we will not be able to afford anything at all if we take into account the long term costs. The Datuk could be correct but as my old boss used to say there are many ways to skin a cat.

It will be easy to say “increase the defence budget” but with other pressing needs such as education and social sectors, defence will always be seen as a wasteful venture especially when most of her sons and daughters (including me of course) are not involved in it.

With no extra money expected in the near future, it is therefore imperative for those involved to do their level best to cut wastage and more importantly, not be swayed by their retirement plans.

Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1163 Articles
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51 Comments

  1. Interesting that a VDS has been selected as most of us were expecting a towed array. But are needed however, beyond the basic hull mounted passive/active sonar. Wonder if ASIST, which is on the Kedah class, will be fitted for flight ops. What’s missing is an electro-optical sight, like the Miradors going on the Kasturis.

    Reply
    The latest version of the Oerlikon Contraves FCR is equipped with an EO sight but its mostly used for the Millennium cannon.

  2. Why persist with the “Laksamana” designation for this new class? It will only create confusion especially amongst the media who will not be able to make the distinction.

    Reply
    Its my designation of the frigates. I will continue to call the ships by that name even after the official naming ceremony

  3. Why does it take very long time just to build one 109 meoter long vessel? First one will come only on the 2017. By that time our country will be overrun by enemies. And by that time the weapon system will be outcalssed by new ones. I’m frustrated with the government for letting our defence in poor shape.

    Reply
    I have no idea why the deadline is 2017 but normally it will take four years for a ship to be built and commissioned. Could it be that they will only start to build in 2013 or they are giving themselves an extra year cushion?.

  4. I guess najib is very confident that our economy can grow consistently for the next 15 years for these defence mega projects, if we assume each branch gets rm10 billion (RM8 billion for AV8, RM9billion for LCS and possibly RM10 billion+ for MRCA) we will be spending about RM30 billion of procurement for the next 10 years. I guess we can afford this but what plague the public even the defence enthusisasts are the big price tag when we can easily save by going by other options-second hand ships from tpfinancially troubled European countries or, have other shipyards build for us. BNS better make sure that the design rights of the Meko 100 and Gowind 200 get us some export customers or at least use these designs to supplement our future needs, not about another IP for the next batch of TGPV.

  5. This ToT for defence purchase has been hallmark of Mahathir though an astounding leader is completely clueless about defence, we probably wasted more money on every military equipment bought under his era,the Lekius,the Migs for example, utter crap and, like the horse breeding technique we got from Poland for buying the PT-91M, we still dont breed horses till this day,the Poles must be laughing *** off.
    Dont want to be rude, but as long these old semi dictators are looking behind najib’s shoulder or future Pm, we will continue this ToT legacy for everything.

    Reply
    Its not about defence or ToT its about rewarding some people
    You forgot about the most expensive flight ever!

  6. IMHO for more bang for buck, just limit the LCS to 4 unit or RM6 billion. The extra RM3 billion can be used to buy and refurbished the nakhoda ragam class (3 of them). So at least by 2014, we can get 3 corvettes armed with Exocet MM40, light torpedo and sea wolf SAM while waiting for the 4 LCS. But i guess it will be more complicated that what i suggest huh?

    Reply
    Its not complicated but your option meant that the shipyard gets less money….

  7. “One caveat tnough, the ships must be commissioned with all systems in place and no increase in cost during construction, though I am not too confident on this part.”

    This should be underlined!

    As for the cost, two comments:

    At RM1.5 billion per ship, if one of them gets sunk by a cheap anti-ship missile, or worse a ‘dislodged shaft’, that will be a VERY expensive 4th submarine (KD Pari being the 3rd)!

    Why do we not invest in other ways to defend our seas? In my estimation long-range maritime patrol aircraft such as the P-8 would be a better investment.

    Reply
    1st comment: It is part of the risk we take
    2nd comment: An aircraft or UAV does give a longer range patrol capability but no presence. We need hulls to give the “Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn’t have f–ked with?” says Clint Eastwood in Grand Torino” moment. Remember the incident a few months back when an Indonesian patrol boat stopped a Malaysian fishing vessel off Penang. They sent helicopters to the scene but the patrol boat ignored them. It will be a different matter if it was a gunboat bristling with guns and missiles.

  8. One correction here:
    The latest TMX FCR from Contraves is equipped with a general purpose EO, designated TMEO Mk2, based on the proven design of the Rheinmetall MSP series. It can be used basically on any weapon platform, and had been selected to retrofit multiple German Navy ships since 1998. It is just coincidentally that it is fitted on the LM Sea Slice to support a Millennium Gun demonstration.

    Reply
    But the question here is whether the FCR has been integrated with the ESSM or for that matter Aster 15.
    Or are we supposed to do the integration?

  9. In some way, i think Kamal’s suggestion is better!
    With RM9 billion, we can get 4 LCS + 3 nakhoda ragam class + with upgrade. Don’t the decision maker learnt their lesson from NGPV’s issue? RM1billion/fleet that have gun only? When are they going to install sufficient weaponaries for NGPV?

    Reply
    As I had mentioned before the navy is wary of any plans to upgrade the Kedah class fearing it will siphon funds from the frigate programme.
    And any deal that will cut the number of new frigates will be resisted.
    The Kedah class programme cost around RM6 to RM7 billion although some put it at RM9 or RM10 billion. No exact figure was ever announced so take your pick

  10. So n general, the navy has never increased the firepower capability of its surface combatants since the Lekius and Laksamanas,brilliant..so we end up with oversized gunboats that can barely match the frigate size fishing boats from China.

    I see that Indonesians Vietnam have also raced ahead in terms of acquisition of surface combatants with their Gepard and Sigmas which IMo were acquired at a faster pace than the Kedahs, the Indonesians in the past years aven managed to axquire more missile FACs that xan sink the Kedah sips anytime.Forge abput catching up to Singapore, we are now struggling to stay alittle bit ahead of Indonesia and vietnam.

    Een though the current BNS is not the same as the Amin Shah monster, I also share Marhalim’s pessimistic views that these Gowinds have the potential to become expensive oversized gun boats….as he said..

    The politicians are spreading the dough around vor electioms..we are also seeing the same moves around Malaysia….Felda…privatization of KTMB by MMC..its all door gifts for the 1 percent.

  11. For integration with the SSM & SAM, it’s within the SOW of Contraves. But there is an option for the local company to “grab” it if it is deemed capable enough.

  12. IMO, 9B is considered fair for 6 general purpose frigates with 3D warfare capability. Was informed by a little parrot that major redesign of the Gowind was necessary to accommodate the EC725 as the organic helo and an increased number of crew, thus resulting in a long detailed design period of 1 year++.

    Also, integration between the sensors and effectors is carried out via the CMS. So, issue of integration between the FCR and the effectors is not an issue.

    Reply
    Yes I heard about the EC725 being integrated with the frigates but I think its not really good idea since we have to fund the money to turn it into a shipborne helo.

    As for the issue of integration with weapon systems and sensors with the CMS, let’s hope that there will be no repeat of the Lekiu integration issues!

  13. Yeah, I had the same opinion on the helos as well but the Navy might have some other strategic considerations that you and I might not be aware of!

    Reply
    Its not from the RMN….

  14. EC725 on the LCS?? A number of issues come to mind – the Cougars belong to the RMAF and the Cougar is not marinised. Operating it at sea will lead to corrosion problems. Even our Super Lynxs, which are fully marinised, had corrosion problems after operating in the Gulf of Aden for so long and had to be flown to Oman for maintenance. And off course, the Cougar it is not fitted with a surface search radar, and has not been integrated with ESM, missiles or torps, let alone ASW gear….
    As the RMN Chief stated about 2 years ago, the most ideal solution would be to get additional Super Lynxs.

    Forrestcat,

    The TNI-AU and the Vietnamese navy is in much more need of modernisation than the RMN. Getting a few Yakhonts and a few Sigmas doesn’t give the TNI-AL much advantage over us as they still have much larger operational commitments and a fleet that is much older than ours, and not much bigger.

    Reply
    As for the Cougar issues, its a political decision

  15. im still concern about the armaments of these ships.if they choose the exocet40 II instead of III,its still lack the range and firepower in comparison to other regional navies such singapore (block III) and indons(yakhont.Agrees wit Forrescat statement of oversize GUN BOAT.

    Reply
    The SSM according to RMN will be the NSM. The launchers on the model also looked different from the Gowind model at the DCNS booth. I believe DCNS will not make an issue on the choice of missiles. They won’t be making money on it not like the CMS

  16. The NSM is a good system. It can be launched from a variety of platforms (ships, land-based systems, etc.), and its derivative the JSM (Joint Strike Missile) is in development for the F-35, maritime patrol aircraft, and so on.

    Reply
    It is because of the JSM that we need to get approval from the US for the NSM.

  17. On the EC725, agree that it must be a Joint Forces requirement. Only issue is that the EC725 cannot be THE organic helo. The ship should be designed to accept the EC725 but the organic helo should be the Lynx. My view anyway….

  18. Just to clarify, does this latest award means that the Lekiu Batch II project has been cancelled and replaced by the acquisition of 6 SGPVs instead? If so, the weapons fit for AAW of the 6 SGPVs seems pathetic. We are looking at ships that will serve RMN for 2017-2035??. VL MICA will be almost obsolete by then. IMO, at the very least, Aster 15 should be what RMN is looking at and if funding permits, Aster 30s as well. And to my limited understanding, these ships should be sufficiently large(displacement of >2700 tonnes) to accommodate Asters.

    @ Mustaffa:

    RSN is using Harpoon Block 1 Cs not MM40 Block III.

    Reply
    ESSM is the RMN’s choice, Mica or Aster is probably Boustead.

  19. “A canary told me the NSM is out and the Block III is in…. The ESSM is also out and the MICA is in….”

    “Was informed by a little parrot that major redesign of the Gowind was necessary to accommodate the EC725 as the organic helo and an increased number of crew, thus resulting in a long detailed design period of 1 year++. ”

    @Api wink wink…. seems like you have an aviary there.

    EC725 not organic, never designed to – blade not foldable, but you are not far off.

  20. student,

    To fit ASTER 30, a bigger hull would be needed.
    Both also cost an arm and leg, that’s why though ASTER 15 was the preferred choice for the Lekiu Batch 2s 3/4 years ago, ESSM was later selected. The LCS is large enough for ASTER 15 and the Slyver VLS though.

    mustaffa,

    The Yakhont has a long range and a very big warhead but is not very useful unless you have OTHT assets to utilise to exploit its range, which the TNI-AL doesn’t.

    FareedLHS,

    If I’m not mistaken Agusta Westland has ceased producing the Super Lynx and only offers the Wildcat now. The good news for us is that though the Wild Cat has a different engine and avionics, it does share common parts and features with the Super Lynx. And has an IR version of the Sea Skua.

    Marhalim,

    It’s getting more bizarre isn’t it? Not only does it not have foldable wings, the Cougar is not marinised, will belong to the RMAF and has not been integrated with a radar and other gear!! Granted it is a political decision [a dumb one] but I wonder who’s bright idea it was? Hope this idea dies a natural death….. like some other ideas that have been given to the MAF.

    Reply
    No idea but that’s why I called the ships Laksamana class, apart from the chief, the rest should stop spoiling the the broth!

  21. Canaries and Aviaries?

    😆

    Just remember O.S.A.

    Which Gowind design is it Halim?
    100,200 or?

    Reply
    Its Gowind Combat

  22. Yes, I also get the impression from articles that RMN wants to maintain commonality(although already too late for that) ,so expected the exocet Block 3…or is this another political decision?

    Reply
    Too many chefs spoiled the soup…

  23. Re: Super Lynx

    The ‘Super Lynx’ has been replaced in production by the AW159 ‘Lynx Wildcat’. It is outfitted with 2 LHTEC CTS800-4N engines, new avionics, equipment and so on. According to sources that I checked the RMN’s Super Lynx’ are outfitted with the same engines, most other Lynx’ being with Rolls-Royce Gems.

    Reply
    Same engines alright but everything else is different and they have not yet built an export version or sold one

  24. Dzirhan seems to opine that the Gowinds will get the Exocet block 3 but even he says he is not sure what the govt is thinking.So we will have to wait a year forthe final design and see what hidgepodge they will throw in.never mind NSM or exocet as long it can sink other ships.

    Reply
    One thought they would have learnt something from the Scorpene and NGPV procurement debacles but it seems the adage “the more things change, the more they stay the same” is apt here

  25. Marhalim

    Any comment on the payment to foreign consultants including one from Singapore to evaluate the weapons systems of the SGPV, as alleged by Zaid Ibrahim?

    Reply
    Of course any consultant on weapon systems will be a foreigner since no local company make such systems. As we all know most multi-national companies are based in Singapore, so technically what Zaid Ibrahim said is correct but we must look at it from a bigger perspective. Heck, even the Boeing guy heading the MRCA bid is based in Singapore! The Saab chap flies down from Stockholm. Only BAE Systems has local presence all this time. Dassault open its KL office last month.

  26. To quote someone from a singaporean militaty forum…indonesia navy will overtake malaysia in terms of capability in the long rub if we continue our politicised procurements.sure we get them in the end..in smaller numbers..but the cost!!!!!

    Maybe we will be lucky in the next decade or so…hopefully no maritime disputes!

    Reply
    All military procurements are political but at other places the politicians only limit themselves to which country and how much money, ours……

  27. in 20 years, Indonesia will be in the top 5 largest economy in the world, so it would naturally enhanced their defense budget thus may become the China of SEA. So no surprise if they overtake most nation in SEA in terms of military assets

  28. marhalim,

    off topic. can’t the navy men say something/recommend about what do they need to the top men/decision makers? or are they just accepting whatever decision made for them? those in navy of course they know what they need. or are they just redha and accept these decision?

    i am hoping this RM9billion fleet could go on par with formidable class. well, that’s just a hope.

    Reply
    The weapon systems I posted are basically what the navy wants.

  29. The Lynx , the new model , production is for British navy and army requirements at the moment.

    If they are prepared to export the new Lynx,will come later .

    If the design of the Gowind takes a year than ,theres enough time for developements on the Lynx.

    Using the EC725 for the navy, surely our generals are not that careless, they will get it fitted with anti corrosion features and the lot.

    The goverment is smart,lot of critics dont see that, yes sometimes a few mistakes, but our key people like Bank Negara Zeti are brilliant managers of our economy.

    They will love I am sure to have to stop managing the percentages for the notti stuff our politicans get up to.

    The plan seems to be spread over time , so if it becomes unmanageable there will be exit points to save the goverment money and face.

  30. Halim, Gowind 2000 T Combat?

    Reply
    I am not too familiar with the Gowind. As far as I know there are three version, OPV, corvette and the Frigate or Combat

  31. Had no idea the LHTEC CTS800-4N has been selected for the Wild Cat. It supposedly offers better performance in hot/humid conditions and we were the first to choose it rather than the traditional Rolls Royce engines. Glad common sense prevailed, and we went for the Super Lynx, rather than Kamans offer for 6 Seasprites and a Kamax thrown in for free.

  32. The truen owners of the so called Singapore company might not even be singaporeans…plus the core activities of the company has got nothing to do with naval ship building. Looks like a cover to me…

  33. Re: Azlan “Glad common sense prevailed, and we went for the Super Lynx…”

    I think we all forget sometimes that not every procurement has been bad. Although it may be difficult to find a perfect program, good decisions have been made from time to time. Take the Hornets, for example. Although few in number, they have served well.

  34. I hope its the multimission combat Gowind.

    Azlan, Is the engine u mentioned the new one developed for the upgraded new model?

  35. Dave Malaysia,

    It was offered years ago. We were the first to select it for the Super Lynx. Come to think of it, we were the launch customer for the Super Lynx, just as we were for the Hawk 100/200s.
    Ensuring the Cougar is marinised will cost cash…. Integrating it with a surface search radar will also not be cheap. And unless it is fitted with a surface search radar, it won’t be very useful having a Cougar operating from the LCS, especially if the only sensors it has are MK1 eyeballs. What I still don’t get is why there are plans to operate the Cougar at sea, when it belongs to the RMAF and is meant to supplement the Nuris.

    FareedLHS,

    It was a very close run thing with the Hornets. Originally it was intended only to get the Fulcrums. We later issued a RFP for 12 Hornet C’s but the 1997 crisis came along. Other sound decisions we made, IMO, were for the Lekius.

    Reply
    Our best buys: Nuri, C-130s, M16A1, 105mm pack howitzers and Browning pistol. Mostly stuff procured prior to the 80ss. Lekiu was way too expensive and too under armed to be considered a good buy. It is also the first of the light frigates by BAE Systems.

  36. My vote no 1 best buy post 80’s would be the Hornet. If i could turn back time, i would drop the hawk 208 and used the allocation for another 4 hornet

    No 2 best buy for me would be the 4 laksamana corvettes. One can argue it is actually out dated technology but for me its a value for money for USD50 mil a piece and good enough as a deterrent factor. It come armed with 4 Aspide SAM (with range at least twice the sea wolf) and 6 ottomat that out range the exocet by 1.5 times at least. Pity we only bought four

    No 3 for me would be the Astros. again this is more of a wow factor and awe factor. Making people think twice before thinking to cross our land border (in case of war lah) and could also be used to attack the sea vessels.

    No 1 worst buy for (excluding the current plan lah) is the PT91M. As for me at US$5.5 million a piece its as expensive as the M1 but with less superior capability. For US348 million total, we could bought around 100 Leopard 2 and few dozen associates vehicles

    No 2 worst buy for me is the hawk 100 & 200. my argument it has the worst crash record (apart from the nuri). Even worse than the MIG. 5 hawk 100 crashed, same number for the 200.

    Third worst buy for me is the MIGs. I just think we pay way too much for late 70’s technology that could only last less than 4000 hours life

    Reply
    We buy only 4 Laksamana-class corvettes as it was the number built for Iraq. I believe at least two more are operated by Ecuador or Colombia.
    I agree with your list apart from the Astros. I know you qualified it for its shock and awe factor it was obsolete even by the time we bought it. Yes, Avibras is said to be developing new missiles for the system but it wants somebody to pay it. Could it be we the Malaysian tax payers will be funding it?

  37. Marhalim,

    It was expensive because we bought ‘Made In Scotland’ and paid in sterling! By the standards of the day, I don’t think the Lekius were under armed, her weapons fit – a 57mm gun, a 16 cell VLS, 8 Exocets and 2 30mm guns – remain pretty impressive for vessels that size. The only other alternatives at that time, to Sea Wolf were Crotale and Sea Sparrow.

    Reply
    We should have opted for the Sea Sparrows. By that time box launchers for the Sparrows (and first generation ESSMs)was already coming into the market. But as the Boustead frigates we allowed the shipyard to decide the weapon’s fit

  38. I would like remind the people who condemned the Hawks. Pilot training and other aero asset management has a lot more to be explorer by people who are not involved in the industry. After all, the reasons giving did not show any relevant to the topic and point straight towards bad execution.

  39. Re: the Hawks

    A quick fact check – BAE Hawk advanced jet trainers have served with distinction in Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Finland, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, UAE, UK, USA and Zimbabwe.

    If the Hawk is good enough for the US Navy (T-45), the RAF (T1 and T2), and so on, I am quite confident that there is nothing wrong with the aircraft itself. IMO, the problems with the Hawk (as with any other aircraft) mostly arise in RMAF service as a result of “bad execution”, as Hui pointed out.

    That said, with the Hawks approaching 20 years old, the RMAF had better take action to replace them soon. IMO we should purchase another 8 MB-339CMs and/or make an offer for the RNZAFs 17 MB-339CBs. The Mk.208s should be replaced by an additional squadron of whatever aircraft replaces the MiG-29s.

    Reply
    That’s why Kamal included it in our past 80s worst buy list which I endorsed. Whether its the fault of the plane its not an issue.

  40. With static defense budget, bad execution should be minimised as low as possible. But its easier said than done. AFAIK no country in the world does not has bad execution problem eg US with its ever increasing cost of the F35 and late deliveries, Australia with its NH90 and the submarine debacles, japan with its f2 jet issues just to name a few. But compared to these countries where defense budgets runs into at least double digit billions usd, we cant afford to allow bad execution be a major problem as our budget is so paper thin.

  41. Can the EC725 main rotor blades be folded? I thought it could. It’s the tail rotor that can’t.

    Reply
    Folded for storage and transport I believed is available for the Cougars but not like those helos designed for ships

  42. FareedLHS,

    The main problem initially faced was problems with avionics caused by humidity. Other problems were a higher than expected usage, a shortage of ground personnel and detachments to Labuan, which led to servicibility problems because of a lack of infrastructure there.

    kamal,

    When paired with the FCS and other support vehicles, the ASTROS is pretty accurate. Only problem is that a guided GPS round has not been developed, still it’s a great area saturation weapon, particularly when targets have been pre-registered.

    Reply
    One of my biggest concern about the Astros is the lack of numbers which brings the question whether or not we could have gotten more tube artillery for the whole army

  43. Kamal,
    Since you acknowledge the fact that bad execution is part of the fixed cost, the term we used is “manageable risk”. A fancy word that you will see a lot in the annual report.

  44. It has been reported that the Chief of the Navy had said that while the Lynx is a capable craft the navy had wanted something even more capable- a larger craft that may have a longer range and its main role would be for sub hunting. So it should be in the same class as the sea king so that maybe dunking sonar can be attached together with the capability to hover and carry weapons like say 4 torpedoes.

    Reply
    Sounds like the EH101 to me…..

  45. Marhalim,

    Has the 2nd ASTROS regiment been delivered yet?
    The army is in no hurry to replace it’s Model 56s [a batch was delivered in 1982] as most guns still have barrels with plenty of life left. Wonder if the first batch that was delivered, and used in the Confrontation by the 1st Federation Artillery Regiment, are still operated. Remember Amin Shah’s plan to manufacture/license assemble the Light Gun in the late 1990’s? We also received an offer from RDM for an upgrade kit for our M101s.

    Ym Lee,

    Problem here is that no vessel we operate has a hangar large enough to take something the size of a Merlin. Another problem for us, is that when you factor in the costs of dipping sonars and processing gear, the price of the aircraft will go way up. ASW skills is a very expensive game as it takes years to master and requires plenty of regular training, which requires lots of cash! I would be happy if we start off with having sufficient MPA’s, fitted with nothing more than a surface search and a FLIR, routine patrolling.

    Reply
    I have been told yes but cannot get anyone to say it

  46. Could any of you tell me what will happened to our Meko-A100 design? Original plan for NGPV required 27 patrol vessel, now as far as I know, have been reduced to 18. The plan for 27 OPVs (correct me) was scrapped and changed into 6 specialized OPVs, 6 anti sub ships and 6 air defence ships. Now that we have Gowind design, I am sure that we will not use Meko-A100 for the remaining 12 vessels (it only logical that we would use Gowind from now on). Apart from possible conversion for MMEA, the way I see it, Meko is already a dead end. If any of you think differently, I welcome your opinions. As usual, I stand corrected.

    Reply
    The Meko A100 design is now KIVed. BNS had offered a modified design for the SGPV contract but in the end it went with the Gowind design as RMN had wanted a different design. As whether or not it would be modified for MMEA, I am not privy to the info. Technically it could be done (although BNS need a design authority to validate any modifications to the basic hull) but MMEA do not have the funds for new procurement, ships or aircraft. I am also of the opinion that the Kedah class design is wrong, the superstructure is way too big despite claims its a stealthy design. The K-130 the Meko A-100 design for the German Navy has a much lower profile of a superstructure which I believed is a much better design. The K130 however has issues of its own, otherwise I would recommend it to be purchased for MMEA/RMN immediate usage (yes I know it has a different CMS and other sub-systems).

  47. Brazil just picked up 3 90m, 2200t, OPVs for a paltry “120 million pounds ($186 million U.S.) with a further 13 million pounds being allocated for training and support by BAE”.

    http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=8723875&c=AME&s=SEA

    Reply
    These are real deal OPVs armed with 30mm guns. They should have been suitable for MMEA not a blue water navy like RMN. As for the price, yes it reflect the price of a patrol vessel not a corvette or frigates.
    It must also be noted that the price of the OPVs also reflect the need for BAE to secure the contract and future ones. Moreover the previous owner had paid part of the boat’s cost

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