SHAH ALAM: LOI for MRSS soon? RMN chief Admiral Kamarulzaman Badaruddin says the navy will make public the chosen design of the MRSS at the upcoming DSA 2018 exhibition. He declined to name the design however. “It will be a surprise for the show” he says.
Kamarulzaman says by making public the design it will confirmed the government’s commitment to the RMN 15 to 5 plan. “I hope this will lead to the signing of the contract by LIMA next year,” he told Malaysian Defence when met the National Hydrographic Centre, on Apr. 4.
A latest graphic of RMN 15 to 5 outlines a potential MRSS design
Yes, the chief did not say anything about an LOI. However as an LOI is a percusor to a contract it is likely that it is how the chosen MRSS design will be revealed. Even if I am wrong and no LOI is announced at the show the fact that the Chief says he hoped for a contract to be signed within 12 months showed where the program is going. As for the design to be chosen, your guess is as a good as mine.
A close up of the MRSS model shown at PT PAL booth at Indodefence 2016.
Previously, Malaysian Defence had reported that Boustead had signed an MOU with PT PAL to offer a variant of the Makassar class for the MRSS requirement which had been put forward since 2005. Even at LIMA last year, Boustead together with PT PAL showcased a variant of the MRSS which they were offering. Note, since then Boustead has not said anything on its offering, not a good omen of its chances of being selected.
PT PAL booth at LIMA 17
The case for MRSS has gotten stronger following the announcement of the 2018 budget.
Damen Enforcer LPD 10000
Apart from the MRSS, Kamarulzaman confirmed that the contract signing for the Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) will be conducted at DSA. He did not say how many missiles or the value of the contract. As you are aware, on Apr. 9, 2015, Boustead’s Naval Dockyard Sdn Bhd awarded Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace the contract the supply the equipment (launchers and etc) and integration of the NSM with SETIS, the combat management system supplied by Naval Group for the LCS.
A Damen design modified for a LPD role
As I had mentioned before this was not the contract for the missiles though it finally sealed the NSM selection for the LCS. MBDA has also been awarded the contract for the launchers and other equipment of the VL MICA SAM for the LCS though it also has yet to sign the contract for the missiles.
Live firing with NSM missile from corvette HNoMS Gnist outside Andøya in Northern-Norway
Kamarulzaman says the contract for the VL MICA missiles will not be signed at DSA 2018 due to documentation issues. He did not say when it will be signed.
VL MICA by MBDA
The contract for NSM missiles was necessary as the first of class LCS, Maharaja Lela, was scheduled for the sea trials in October, this year. Delays in signing the contract will affect the delivery schedule of the missiles which is likely to impact the commissioning of the first LCS.
A Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is launched from the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) during missile testing operations off the coast of Southern California. The missile scored a direct hit on a mobile ship target. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zachary D. Bell/Released)
They could afford delays into the MICA delivery as Naval Group has test fired them on the Egyptian Navy Gowind 2500 corvette.
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