Laksamana class frigates and the Ghost of Amin Shah. Updated

PETALING JAYA: No, sdr Amin Shah has not returned from his self-imposed exile (UAE, I am told) but it appears that his playbook from the NGPV is being played out in the SGPV (the official name of the Laksamana class) programme,

This is the best description I could give to the level of intrigue surrounding the SGPV programme.As Jorge Santayana said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. It appears that many people even those involved in the rescue of the NGPV programme had forgotten about the fiasco. The Auditor General’s report is still available on its website, so its easy to re-learn the lessons. Here

I am also guessing those in power have access to a more comprehensive report on the programme which would be good enough to guide them “on the straight path” but unfortunately the same mistakes are being repeated.

While Amin Shah remained in self exile, some of his previous touches remain in play for the SGPV.

1. Amin Shah bypassed the Navy

Whenever he got stuck, financial or on specifications, Amin Shah used his political connections to get what he wants. He also more or less, managed to get the approval to buy over the Lumut dockyard although reservations by the then CN (see the AG reportI. Since the matters had gotten the green light from the higher-ups, what does the Treasury and RMN officials can say anything about it? That’s we how end up with the MEKO A100 design and the rest of the stuff on the Kedah class.

SGPV.
RMN was mostly bypassed with negotiations for the ships design and sub-systems were mostly through the the Defence Ministry and Treasury. (The navy by this time 2010/2011 had already got their specifications in mind). According to Zaid Ibrahim consultants were also paid to develop the specifications. Read Here. No explaination has been given on who are these consultants.

2. Amin Shah foisted a new design he hull, CMS, other sub-systems and engines to the navy (see above). We end up paying for the development costs for all these things. And the vendors later sold the upgraded designs to other navies for a profit.

SGPV
A new hull and CMS were also foisted to the navy. The Gowind frigate remained a paper ship. Yes they built the Adroit, an OPV demo vessel now manned by French navy sailors but its not a frigate.

The ship is supposed to be the example of the Gowind philosophy but since the French already had their frigates, we end up as the Guinea pig. We will pay the development costs of the class together with its sub-systems especially the SETIS and if/when they managed to sell the design to other countries DCNS will be paid handsomely. We cannot ask for royalties as ours is the BNS Gowind frigate a highly specialised variant. Both the Saudi and Singaporean navies bought a variant of the La Fayette frigate, so their cost of development would be cheaper. The Saudis probably paid higher as they got the first variant while Singapore might also pay extra for their own customisation.

3. Amin Shah set up companies to procure materials and goods to the former PSC Naval Dockyard Sdn Bhd for the NGPV programme. Since he controlled if not owned these shell companies he bilked the government twice. And these shell companies get their goods and services cheaply and then billed PSC Naval Dockyard a bomb. He also somehow got progress payments although the project had stalled. Some equipment, paid already by the government also went missing.

Gowind OPV

SGPV
It is alleged that several companies had been set-up to provide materials and services for the programme. I know these are allegations only but since the practice is so wide-spread among defence companies, I am letting this go through. Moreover since the sub-contract agreements and similar arrangements are never made public, it is almost impossible to get the evidence to prove this allegations. The decision to hire the three consultants as mentioned in example 1 is a good indicator of possible shady practices , though I must concede not proof. That’s what you get when you allow private companies to manage procurement programme on behalf of the government without proper supervision.

Ooh, by the way, listed below are the supposedly the equipment to be integrated into the SGPV.

Guns: 57mm Bofors (BAE System), MSI 30mm remote control guns ( I written before its Oto Melara but its the same MSI guns being fitted to the Kasturi for the SLEP. The gun is a Bushmaster, the same one to be fitted on the Denel turret for the AV8)
SAM: VL Mica (MBDA) We will be the first to buy the system for a ship around the region. Hopefully the SAM is available in both the RF and IR version as available for fighter jets.
SSM: Exocet MM40 Block 3 (MBDA)
Radar: Smart S 3D radar (Thales)
FCR: Rheinmental TMX EO
Main engines: MAN diesels
Generators: MTU
CMS: SETIS
VDS: Captas (most probably the 2 version)
Torpedo: 2 triple torpedo launchers (most probably the same as on Lekiu and Kasturi)

The ESSM and NSM specified by the RMN had been consigned to the dustbin.
Didnt I said before, the more things change, the more things stay the same? We got rid of Amin Shah but it appears that we are trying very hard to emulate him. It is for this above reason, I am now stating that the project is un-justifiable.

Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1163 Articles
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49 Comments

  1. Looking at the weapons specified, I must say that it is really disappointing. I rather the RMN go for a cheaper hull like the upgraded Meko100, but with better weapon like ESSM, NSM etc.

    S**** for the RMN to choose a different hull, allowing the sharks now to have a go at making a killing with high cost…..now the RMN will be getting substandard frigate….gowind….more like gobreakwind!

    Reply
    It was not their decision to make

  2. The NSM and ESSM probably got slashed becoz the French wanna French weapons onboard. They “pressurised” the “sharks”. Given DCNS history in not just Malaysia, i am not suprised that they will even go as far as to use bribery and threats. The french firms are desperate to ram up their weapon sales due to tougher competition from China, Russia and other European countries. Recent setbacks with the Rafales in UAE and Exocets facing though competition nowadays from the NSM, and RBS-15 only put the oil to the fire. We would hav been better off to go with the British, German or even BNS own local MEKO design…..

    Reply
    DCNS is not worried about what weapons are onboard its the SETIS CMS that they had insisted on….

  3. And we are not the first to use VL Mica for navy ships. The French and Oman navy (Khareef corvettes)are the launch customer for the system. The Morroccan navy (Sigma class) also had agreed to purchase it. But it still have shorter range (+-18km) compared to the ESSM (50km)…

    Personally, i think the MM40 Exocet Block 3 is a good purchase since we had been been using various version of the missiles since 1970s. The Block 3 boost a 180km range much like the NSM. MM40 Exocet Block 2 can also be upgraded to the Block 3 standard as currently being done by the French Navy. Maybe we should use this chance to follow suit with the Lekius, Kasturis and possibly even the NGPVs..

  4. Marhalim, I heard rumours that an ex naval high ranking officer will soon disclose the dissatisfaction regarding the navy’s role in determining the specification(not only the SGPV but more or less everything) . This eventually will help the navy’s stand which always been blocked by politics!! I hope this rumours is true!!

    Reply
    I can’t keep tab with everyone but the ones I am in contact with are only willing to talk in private.

  5. Najib should appoint some ex-armed forces to lead MINDEF. You see, this is exactly the result of appointing a civilian or worst ‘Politician’ to run MinDEAF!! It is all about DUIT not do it right!! Honestly I am losing my faith towards BN now.. I think I will vote for opposition in the next election.

    Reply
    Its not about who, its about how they conduct themselves

  6. Talking about commonality and development cost, if it’s true that we are going to bear the development cost for the Gowind, since we love to be the test bed for new platform, then BNS is no different with PSC. If they are smart, FREMM platform should be chosen as our SGPV design if stealth hull is what the Navy wanted. Given by the number of hulls being ordered by the French Navy, Italian Navy and Moroccan Navy, it would be wise to follow the footsteps of the Singaporean Navy to purchase a common hull and share the development cost with other nation. We can save a lot of cash purchasing the FREMM compared to the untested Gowind.

    Reply
    The FREMM is a much bigger ship, at least 4000 tonnes plus, so I am not sure whether its cheaper to go that route.

  7. Ok, the FREMM is a 6000t class of warship, I might have big wet dreams, then again, the La Fayette is a better platform compared to the Gowind, take an example of the Singaporean Navy, their Formidable Class is a down scale compared to the original La Fayette but still packs a lot of punch compared to our soon to be Gowind Class.

  8. What you are not seeing the need to cover “off book” losses incurred by PSC-NDSB. These in turn were due to ‘non-direct business expenditures’.
    Amin was simply trying to square the circle….and feather a nest he knew was going to need sooner rather later.

    Actually, they should have named the NGPV, the ‘Tun’ class given those who were behind the fiasco.

    Perimekar II?

  9. Why are the culprits of these disasters not in the dock? Because their political masters would undoubtedly be implicated. They are all on the take! And the level of graft is only increasing as the realization that they will eventually lose power sets in. It is not just defence. These same crooks have found many ways to line their pockets. I guarantee that if a proper audit was done of government toilet paper procurement, you’d find the cockroaches lurking in the shadows.

    Reply
    Yes sdr Amin Shah basically got to eat the cake …

  10. Any body from SPRM reading this? What are you waiting for. You got a case here.

    And do you really think the oppositions party is any different?

  11. Hmm these new ships are agin without the capability to launch underwater weapons-no torpedoes to fight below water warfare. Its surely not that expensive to equip the ships with a three launceher set of tubes on each side?. Buying things based on a political decision is surely political/admin interfearance in military affairs of the country. Let the armed forces make their own choice so that what they buy is what they need to optimises the money-taxes collected from us is spend most usefully

    Reply
    YM Lee,
    Yes the ships will be fitted with two triple torpedo launchers. I just did not put in this post but it was listed in the previous post about the project

  12. U sure the engines are MAN and not MTU? Anyway, I was made to understand that the issue with the ESSM was the need for a Constant Wave Illuminator, which is not only very expensive but takes up a lot of space on the ship. The range of ESSM can only be achieved with this CWI installed.

    Reply
    Nothing is final until the engines are installed! It could be an all MTU ship! Yes with ESSM they need a much more powerful expensive radar like the APAR and the Smart L (as on board the F124 and the Dutch air command frigates) or or BAE Systems Sampson if its to be used in conjunction with the SM2/3 or 6. The Danes has shown that the ESSM can be used with the EADS 3D-radar and FCR combo.

  13. yes, Najib should appoint some ex-armed forces to lead MINDEF. giving n the opposition a power will make thing worst. Maybe BN should lose some other state to make them realize. BUt not the Putrajaya..

    opposition are ‘dua kali lima’ or worst! wish we had proper opposition here

  14. The Danes have chosen SMART-S in combination with ESSM. The Danish vessels equipped with TRS-3D are with NSSM which is a significantly shorter range than ESSM. As a rule of thumb you should detect a Supersonic Anti Ship missile at double the interception range. If you want to be able to engage these with an ESSM that means your surveillance radar should detect them at 2 x the max engagement range of ESSM. TRS-3D can not do this.

  15. The TRS-3D or SMART-S etc. are all 3D surveillance radars. The CWI is NOT contained in the surveillance radar. It is a separate transmitter that guides the missile to the target. Thus, the ESSM is a guided missile, while the MICA is a Fire-and-Forget type. The surv radar is a sensor providing input to the Combat Management System. The CWI obtains data from the CMS and then directs the missile to the target.

    Here’s an excerpt from the NSSM Consortium, which can be found readily on the www: ‘There are five Continuous Wave (CW) Illuminators (Transmitters) used with the Seasparrow and Evolved Seasparrow Missiles. Of these, two are considered Consortium products and are described in the subsequent paragraphs. The other three transmitters are the MK 93 MOD 0 MACWIT in use by the Royal Danish Navy and the Solid State Continuous Wave Illuminators (SSCWI) in use by the Australian and UAE Navy’s.’

    Reply
    The Danes used the Saab CEROS FCR with CWI for the Absalon and Knud Rasmussen class. The Absalon used the Smart S mk 2 3D while the Knud used the EADS 3D radar. For the new frigates they are using the SMART L and the APAR as they are also considering the SM2/3 in conjunction with ESSM.

  16. Yes, the CWI is considered part of the FCR and not the surv radar, which was my point. It does not matter which surv radar is used, as long as it is a 3D radar. The range of all 3D radars are much more than 50 nm anyway

    Reply
    So to say the CWI was an issue with adopting ESSM could be a boondangle. It was the FCR that’s the issue…

  17. I believe so. In any case, apart from the FCR, to be able to utilise the full OTH capability of the ESSM, the CWI would need satellite input as well. I am sure Malaysia doesn’t have this and we would have to get approval from the Americans to use their satellite for this purpose. This is a major consideration. IMO, the VL MICA is more than capable to carry out medium range duties and is the right choice for our Navy. Operations wise, a fire and forget missile system is easier to support and operate. In any case, to address the possibility to accommodate the ESSM in the future, the selection of the launcher should be done to address this concern, i.e. the launcher should be capable to house both missile types. Space onboard to house the CWI equipment can be addressed later, similar to any software development and integration needs. Thus, if a long range capability is required due to changing strategic needs, the conversion can be done relatively easily.

    Reply
    As far as I know, from my cursory reading of the ESSM literature and I stand to be corrected, there is no satellite linkages with the use of the system. The use of SM2/3/6 for BMD will necessitate the use of satellites for firing solutions. Since the ships are too small to be fitted with Standard missile family, the question of the need for American export license is elementary.

  18. Gentlemen, lets look at this from the Malaysian Defence Industry point of view. I am talking about the ‘the supposedly equipment to be integrated’ list and not the hull as any hull can be built by BNS with the right drawings as proven by the first batch of PVs.

    Bofos, MSI, Rheinmetall, MTU, MAN and even MBDA all have local entities supporting the equipments up to overhaul level. These are not new companies looking to make a fast buck from this project and in fact have already invested in setting up local workshop with local expertise to support their equipment in service with RMN. They already have track records and looking at the list I am very happy to say that it will be a big boost to help RMN achieve ‘self reliacy’ with local expertise support.

    This should also be a big factor when deciding what equipment to use because how else can we achieve ‘independence’ from the ‘mat sallehs’ in terms of national defence if we keep depending on them to maintain our defence assets. Not just who has the bigger canon or who can shoot a missile further. What good will it do when in time of requirement those guns or missiles cannot be used as the manufacturer are not allowed to support us anymore?

    Anybody out there share the same sentiments?

    Reply
    At first glance, yes. But if we ever become stupid enough to become a pariah state, the level of capability we have might not be good enough.

  19. I believe you do need satellite linkage for Over The Horizon target illumination and tracking capability.

    Reply
    For the ESSM, I believed not. From Defense Industry Daily page

    “ESSM proceeds through various modes and phases during typical launch and fly-out sequences. Generally speaking, there are 3 fundamentally different guidance modes used by ESSM: Home All the Way (HAW), S-Band Midcourse Guidance (SB MCG), and X-Band Midcourse Guidance (XB MCG). During HAW operation, ESSM receives target illumination and rear reference for the entire flight from launch to intercept. This limits the number of missiles older radars can guide against saturation attacks, but that issue is inherent to those ships and their systems. SB MCG is the mode used when operating with the AEGIS combat system. XB MCG is the mode used with combat systems with Multi-Function Radars (MFRs) like APAR, SPY-3 and SEAPAR”

    Note the UAE Baynunah class corvette is armed with ESSM and its fire control radar is the Selex Orion RTN 25 X-band radar.

  20. Dear Sir,
    I am not sure what do you mean by the reply by pariah state and that the level of capability we have that might not be good enough.

    Just for your info Bofors guns have been overhauled in Malaysia since the 80’s. MSI guns since late 90s, MTU since 70s, Man since 80s etc etc all with local expertise. Even missile overhaul and firing are conducted by Malaysians.

    Are you not proud that Malaysians are capable and that we should continue to train and build the capabilities of Malaysians.

    Do you always want to be a ‘slave’ to the west?

    I wonder who wants to live in a ‘pariah’ state? and how are we going to avoid being a pariah state? By paying the defense companies billions of dollars and let them tell us what we can and cannot do with our defence assets????

    Sedia Berkorban & Malaysia Boleh!!!

    Reply
    Do I want Malaysia to be self reliant? Of course I do but I need to see game plan first. So far, all of the national interest (assault rifle, naval shipbuilding and armoured personnel carrier) project have has turned fatricide. The only way foreign defence companies are not allowed to work or supply their services to Malaysia is when there is an economic/arms sanctions by the UN, hence the pariah state status. Iraq, Libya and Serbia were former examples. North Korea, Iran and Syria are almost there but not yet
    Oooh I forgot about the time when Indonesia was hit by the arms embargo by the western countries due to the troubles in Timur2. Most of their AF planes were grounded as they had no spares. And Indonesia, is the only country in SE Asia that built and export planes!

  21. Well, the VL MICA are design to be a cheaper n smaller alternatives to the Aster 15/30 series or ESSM. So the selection of the missile maybe is a cost saving measures by RMN. However the lack of range is still a bother.

    As for the Exocet MM40 Block III, it has the same range as the NSM and can also dual as a land attack cruise missiles just like NSM. Block II can also be upgraded to Block III and i hope the MINDEF will use this chance to test it. Maybe in the future the Lekir’s and Kasturi’s Exocet can be upgraded. It is an excellent choice as we had been using various type of the proven Exocet missiles.

  22. it seems that almost everyone who follow this blog agreed that current govt procurement and maintenance of military assets are quite flawed, open to abuse and profiteering from the rakyat.

    Reply
    And we hope it is stopped immediately

  23. While I tend to agree that there are issues with the procurement methodology, we also need to think about the strategic requirements of other parties apart from the RMN, especially when involving such a large contract. Needs of the industry come to mind. Also, how the vision of Total Defense can be met.

    I for one would prefer if the RMN (or any end user for that matter) just lay down the technical requirements to be met, e.g. missile range, performance requirements of the CMS, etc., rather than specifying the make and model that it prefers. This pre-selection will result in the loss of leverage during negotiations.

    Reply
    Since we don’t make most of the stuff we want to use pre-selection became the norm.

  24. Jack the Ripper,

    Our MM-38s were first overhauled at the ”Naval Dockyard” and later sent to Pakistan, to a facility approved by MBDA. And spare us the party line about ”slave to the west”, it’s not the West that’s constantly f******g us, it’s our very own people – it’s them we have to thank, for the state we’re in!! After using various Bofors guns since the early 1960’s, I would be shocked if we can’t overhaul them!!!! Malaysia Memang Boleh – but at what cost????????

  25. The chest thumping veneer of patriotism hardly covers the damage done to preparedness and serviceability that half assed ‘local content’ has had on the Armed Forces.
    PSC-NDSB…
    Precision Technologies….
    Pesaka Astana……
    ATSC….
    non-ballistic helmets….
    With domestic content like this, who needs embargoes?

  26. shouldnt the navy consider supersonic anti-ship cruise missile as it offer a bigger punch?or a land based Anti ship missile?we this we can control d malacca strait much better.

    Reply
    Brahmos was offered to boost the firepower of the Kedah class. But I have not heard of any serious discussions on the issue. As for land based ASMs, unless the Navy get their wish list its difficult to see any funding for such project

  27. Re: “‘independence’ from the ‘mat sallehs’” and and “‘slave’ to the west”

    I am in agreement with Marhalim and Azlan on this one. No state, especially one of Malaysia’s size, can be wholly self-sufficient in arms. Of course there are areas where we can and should develop our own local capacity, but as Azlan points out: at what cost? Where we can legitimately be competitive we should be. Where we can’t, we should do as even much larger states such as Brazil, China, India, etc do and that is outsource! Despite decades and billions in investment the Chinese and Indians both are still largely incapable of developing fully-indigenous aircraft. They either rely directly on imports (engines and radars, for example), or on locally-built copies/derivatives. I’ve said it before, but what Malaysia needs to find is its own niche. We can then trade our expertise and products in that area, for others expertise and products in others. Considering Malaysia’s location, I suggested quite some time ago in a previous post, that Malaysia should look to developing UUV technology in cooperation with others. Take this recent article for consideration:

    http://defensenews.com/story.php?i=8785129&c=FEA&s=TEC

    Quote: “The Navy is seeking $47 million for LDUUV work in the 2012 budget request.”

    Why not invest a few million in similar research? Or better, partner with US companies that can use Malaysian waters as testing grounds? Even if nothing comes of the research, it is better to spend millions that might actually create some local benefit than needlessly waste billions to line a bunch of thieves pockets, as we so commonly do now.

    Lastly, here’s another recent article of interest:

    http://defensenews.com/story.php?i=8785419&c=FEA&s=SPE

  28. Two quick additions to the above post:

    1. It should be noted that aircraft is just one area in which China and India are dependent on outside help. There are many others.

    2. Developing advanced engineering programs, in such areas as naval and unmanned systems, in order to develop local expertise, doesn’t line the pockets of anyone…

  29. Azlan,
    If I am not mistaken, the Lumut dockyard has been overhauling Bofors guns, both the 40 mm and 57 mm, for donkey years already. I understand that Bofors and Boustead even has a JV Co now to provide comprehensive support for all Bofors guns in country.

    As to the MM38s, Boustead used to have a JV with MBDA to overhaul the system but that JV has now ceased to exist. Dunno why. Not sure where the Exocet maintenance is now being carried out. Will try and dig up the answer…

    Reply
    The unspoken word is that the Armed Forces not just the RMN is wary of dealing with MBDA due to the high cost of support. Hence the position with NSM and ESSM are not just about capability but long term support. I am not sure whether this is the true reason as they (MBDA) worked with local companies which are designated as the main contractors. Its gotten so bad that Zetro – providing support for Jernas – has bought a British company to ensure that it can provide the services as stipulated in the contract

  30. Api,

    The Naval Dockyard started performing routine maintenance of all our Bofors, the Creusot Loires, the Emerlecs, the 375m Bofors ASW rockets since the 1980s. As I was trying to make clear to Jack the Ripper, this is nothing to shout about and is also done by dozens of other countries [during LIMA 2009, Bofors was awarded a contract to provide spares]. Our MM-38s were sent to Pakistan some years ago to be rewired.

    Mustaffa,

    I don’t see how introducing supersonic missiles into the equation will change anything. Sure, we can do what the TNI-AL did with it’s Ahmad Yani class, but to what end? And do we even have the OTHT assets in place?
    What we need at present are more hulls in the water,to supplement our already overworked fleet, not missiles.

  31. to azlan,

    do you forgot that our super lynx can perform OTHT for the exocet?

    Reply
    There are not enough of them

  32. IMHO we should scrap the project,scrap the current govt, throw the books to those who play not by the books, review almost everything from bottom up and just get more PV (80-100m length) to get more hulls in the water, more MPA in the air, more Radar on the ground.

  33. ahtrun,

    No, I’m aware that our Super Lynxs are fitted with Link Y but as Marhalim said, we only have 6.

  34. nimitz,

    ”scrapping the current gov” sounds nice on paper/in theory, but has Pakatan or it’s ”great” leader said anything of substance with regards to defence? Have they given the rakyat a clue as to how they intend to do a better job in ensuring the MAF is adequately funded and the taxpayers get more added bang for their ringgit?

    Like many of us, I eagerly await the day when Pakatan has something of actual relevance and usefulness to say about defence………….

    Reply
    Perhaps they are waiting for Eagle to draft something about it..

  35. Reading the article in the link by FareedLHS above, I find it funny that the selection of SETIS is being put forward as Boustead’s choice. I am more inclined to believe that Boustead was somewhat ‘encouraged’ to champion the SETIS by unseen hands. In any case, the choice of Tacticos by the Navy also carries with it some unsavoury thoughts! Reminds me of Marhalim’s reference to people preparing for pensions in a previous article… I for one would have loved if the COSYS was chosen. Local support is already in place. Local engineers are already capable to carry out system engineering and some measure of software development. From what I hear, the system is performing well on the NGPVs. Selection of the COSYS would ensure that the local content be substantially increased and contain more value added activities this time around.

    Reply
    As I had written before it was mandated by DCNS, so technically it was BNS.

  36. Azlan,

    We already knew how the current govt stand on defence. We also knew PR have no stand yet on defence. Are we going to live with the devil that we know or to try the unknown?

  37. FareedLHS,

    Thanks for the proper link. Somehow, I left out the ‘y’.

    nimitz,

    Well, it’s a matter of opinion isn’t it? With regards to defence, until I’m convinced otherwise, I’d rather stick to the devil I know, rather than going with the ”unknown”, especially when the ”unknown” has said nothing regarding defence except critisising everything under the sun for political milage [more often than not with wrong and misleading info!]and has yet to present us with an alternative policy. We’ve heard how PKR will eradicate corruption, have a transparent government, reduce our debt, etc. Hell, Anwar even said that if he was PM, he would solve all out problems with Indonesia in 2 weeks!! But we’ve heard nothing regarding defence, and I wonder why…..

    Api,

    At LIMA 2008, BNS publicly said that for commonality, it was recommending COSYS. Now it’s changed it’s tune.

  38. Azlan,

    I agree it’s a matter of opinion. Let voters GE13 decide.

    Agree with Marhalim, “the project is un-justifiable”. RMN should better pursue the PV design (the devil that we know) than jump into the “unknown”

  39. Azlan,

    I am inclined to believe that Boustead was championing COSYS all along, what with Atlas Defence being the OEM and Boustead having 51% equity in that company. Boustead had to give way and back SETIS due to insistence by DCNS to incorporate SETIS into the GOWIND.

    nimitz,

    Totally agree that the NGPV design should have been the basis for the SGPV. I understand that the RMN had some issues with the MEKO design but that could have been addressed in the SGPV design. Also, I had the opportunity to view a 3D computer model of the stealth version of the Boustead SGPV-LCS design (not the one Boustead displayed) and I must say it looks damn good! Sad that the RMN and the Govt decided not to go down this road….

    Reply
    I have reservation with the main yard also having stakes in the suppliers but as I written it was part of Amin shah’s grand design. Boustead should have divested all the shares in these companies, but I guess it was due to the support contracts

  40. Api,

    I would be very interested to find out which of the 3 designs that were reportedly shortlisted – the Sigma, Gowind and the ”stealth” version of the Meko A 100 – was the RMNs preferred choice. I have nothing against the Gowind, but as the whole intention is to develop the local shipbuilding industry and we already have or had a relationship with the Germans, the logical move would have been to go for a larger version of the Meko A100! Apart from the lack of a funnel, are there any issues with the Meko A 100 design that the RMN is not happy with? But it would seem that unlike the 1990’s when British Aerospace under Charles Masefield had the most political pull, now it is the French – they have received 3 major contracts in a row – Scorpene, Cougars and the Gowind – what next?

    Something else that worries me is whether rising cost in the programme will result in the LCS not being equipped as the RMN had specified. We now hear that ESSM was specified, first for the Lekiu Batch 2s as it was cheaper than ASTER 15, then we hear that MICA has been selected! According to Dzirhan Mahadzir in his FB page, the cost was not the issue behind MICA being selected over ESSM, but the fact remains that MICA has a shorter range than ESSM and is NOT capable of dealing with supersonic targets! Now if only members of the opposition or our writers from our local defence mags would start asking questions………

    reply
    it also raised the question of the FCR – TMX Eo – manufactured by Boustead subsidiary as the main reason for the selection.
    . One poster said the ESSM need a better radar (APAR) to exploit its range against supersonic missiles, one said no ESSM is control by normal FCR. But the UAE frigates used a Selex FCR to control their ESSM.
    I think the MICA is no cheaper than a single ESSM (reportedly US$600,000 per missile) as it has not been produced in numbers.

  41. Azlan,

    From what I hear, the Navy’s choice is Damen and were totally against the MEKO, not due to issues with the design, but mainly as a means to thumb its nose at TKMS for the lack of support given to the NGPVs. DCNS was the dark horse all along.

  42. According to naval writer/photographer Guy Toremans, COSYS, as fitted on the Kedah class, needs software modifications as it is designed for low threat/intensity ops. So the big question is how it compares against SETIS and TACTICOS? Will send him an e-mail to find out what he knows about COSYS. If indeed the MSI 30mm guns have been selected for the LCS, it will be the improved version of the ones fitted to the Lekius, the same as on the Darings.

  43. >From what I hear, the Navy’s choice is Damen and were totally against the MEKO, not due to issues with the design, but mainly as a means to thumb its nose at TKMS for the lack of support given to the NGPVs. DCNS was the dark horse all along.

    Well, the Navy’s plan wasn’t very bright also. They allowed the dark horse DCNS to come in and looking at the way things are starting, DCNS won’t be easy to deal with too. even the selection of CMS, the Navy can’t decide…..what a bad omen to start with….the user cannot select the equipment fittings!

    The only good thing about the french is that they are very flexible with the greasing of palms of very selected few people……all this will be at the expense of the M’sian taxpayers.

    Reply
    Lack of money meant that we have to choose among the usual suspects…

  44. Anon,
    I’ve got nothing for or against the Gowind, but why is DCNS the dark horse? A report has clearly indicated what CMS the navy wants [the TACTICOS] but the French, as usual, are pushing for a French product. And what makes you so sure that the navy wasn’t ‘bright’ about allowing DCNS in? Who allowed DCNS in? On paper, wouldn’t you agree that since we are already working with DCNS on the Scorpenes, perhaps choosing them again would not be such a bad idea after all?

  45. Azlan, the darkhorse label was posted by Api, and I was commenting on his post.

    If not choosing TKMS was to thumb its nose due to lack of support…. than the French will be no better too. Don’t you think the RMN being the user choose be the one who decides which CMS to choose ? What right has the vendor to say you much choose this particular CMS (meaning the Senit). It is free or we have to pay ? If we have to pay, why can;t we choose ?

    As to whether choosing DCNS because of the Scorpene is a good idea or not….I leave it to the general public to figure out themselves.

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