MRSS As Well, Plan B Shorts

Al Quwaisat UAE Navy landing ship. Military Edge

SHAH ALAM: MRSS as well, Plan B Shorts. In Malaysian Defence polls, the most favored MRSS design was the Damen Enforcer beating the Makassar class and the China made LPD. And it seemed that the MRSS was the next ship to be build under the RMN’s 15 to 5 plan until…May 9 of course.

Well the MRSS may still be build despite what the government is saying about the country’s finances. I am guessing here but I will say what the future holds for the military will be made known when the government announced its 2019 budget on November 2.

Al Quwaisat UAE Navy landing ship. Military Edge

Anyhow it appears that I was guilty of missing a potential MRSS candidate at LIMA 17. In my defence, I must say that I am old guy now rather set in his ways. Anyhow it is hard to be a one man show at a defence show with many exhibits.
AL Quwaisat of the UAE Navy. Militray Edge picture

The Plan B, MRSS candidate is the 80m landing ship built by Shin Yang shipyard operating out of Kuala Baram, Miri, Sarawak. The shipyard build two of the landing ship for the UAE Navy. Both were delivered in 2012.

Shin Yang brochure of the 80M ship

From Borneo Post.

MIRI: Shin Yang Shipping Corporation Bhd (Shin Yang) yesterday displayed the capability that a local company can be in par with the established global shipping and ship building industry.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Navy gave it recognition and acknowledged its local expertise and skills in ship building by commissioning it to build two 80M LCT training vessels.

“Our business relationship with the UAE Navy started way back in 1998 after we sold a vessel,” said chief executive officer Captain Ting Hien Liong at the launching ceremony for the training vessels – Alquwaisat and Alputaisi at Piasau Slipways Sdn Bhd in Kuala Baram.

The business relationship blossomed and a series of order for vessels were made by the navy to Shin Yang over the years, said Captain Ting.

“Alquwaisat and Alputaisi were the eight and ninth vessels commissioned by the UAE Navy to us and we believe that this cordial business relationship will continue to grow,” he added.

Present at the ceremony was Shin Yang Sdn Bhd executive director Ling Chiong Pin. The UAE Navy was represented by Col Mahmoud Yousif Basif Alzarooni, Col Abdulla Yousif Abdulla Alhammad, Major Mohamed Rashed Aldhanhani and Major Omar Taresh Moosa Alali.

Al Quwaisat of the UAE Navy. Borneo Post picture

I am not saying the landing ship build by Shin Yang fulfilled the role of the MRSS as envisioned by the navy. But with moeny tight, four similar vessels of this class or an enlarged variant would be a boon to the RMN for its operations supporting the five offshore stations in the Spratlys as well as those in ESSCOM AOR. RMN is aware of the shipyard’s capabilities, its Kedah class and other ships as well, have been sent to Shin Yang’s sister facility, Piasau Slipways, for refits previously.

— Malaysian Defence

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31 Comments

  1. These 9 ships that SY shipyard build is what UAE is using now to do amphibious landings in Yemen.

  2. Off topic

    The Philippine government has allocated PHP289 billion (USD5.46 billion) for procurement during the second modernisation phase (Horizon 2) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which runs from 2018 to 2023.

    We cannot let our defence procurement budget to fall lower than what the Philippines has allocated for theirs. Even with USD2 billion per Rancangan Malaysia for each service like I have always advocated, that would be just USD6 billion overall, just a bit more than what the philippines are allocating.

  3. Yeah 2months back, a Kedah was on a floating drydock at the shipyard, mast and Super Rapid under canvas. The amphib they built IMHO is not mil-grade,as the class certification is under Bureau Veritas, a norm for merchant vessels.

    Reply
    UAE has no problem with that these ships are being used in the Yemen war

  4. So it’s the Damen Enforcer 10K we’re getting, right?

    Reply
    It’s on hold so I am not sure whether the government will proceed with MRSS or not let alone the design chosen

  5. @…
    The Pinoys have different priorities in terms of defence expenditure as they now have a macho president, and they just came out of a devastating battle. They will surely need to spend more in beefing up their armed forces in view of China threats & Marawi incident.

  6. I’m amazed what this local shipyard was doing in the international scene when I first read the news sometime back. Got me to wonder why RMN don’t operate landing crafts. My simplistic logic that such vessel would be great as logistic support and training for our outpost island. Another feature was to utilize these landing crafts as sea base for ESSCOM, not until I was told it’ll be uncomfortable for the crew.

    Question is, what say RMN if the government go with the landing craft and not wait through this tough time, as the MRSS solution? I foreseen the first thing they will loss is the command ship part with these landing craft?

    Anyway, that’s just me. What other role will RMN loss?

  7. @ joe

    USD5.5 billion is considered low, even with that amount the philippines cannot get alot of what they wanted. Duterte is not a fan of buying big for the military and that budget is what is left after he cut a lot of what the military wanted in the 1st place. So you consider malaysia spending less than what pinoy is getting as okay?

  8. We have to ask what what role and expectations we have for our surface combatant units, and if we can realistically hope to have enough for these roles.

    It should be obvious that if we have high intensity wartime taskings for the MRSS (as opposed to a peacetime or low intensity sealift role between East and West Malaysia, or a support role in low intensity actions- both which require only a converted civilian vessel) then the ship must be given a capable escort. The LCS can do this we will barely have enough escorts and there should be no great expectations as to their capability.

    That would leave us with few or no units to take on other taskings, such as escorting merchant ships or oil platform protection. To say nothing of forming a task group to seek and engage enemy units.

    3000 ton frigates moving at combat speeds (which are below flank speeds) have an endurance in single digit number of days. Without an oiler our ships will have to return to port for replenishment, which further increases the number we need.

    We have to ask if wartime role for an MRSS will give us more taskings than we have (and will ever have) ships for. And if we don’t need an amphibious warfare type ship for such a role, whether a cheaper type will do.

  9. @MA “UAE has no problem with that these ships are being used in the Yemen war”

    A commercial-build vessel may not be as capable or last as long as a military vessel, ref HMS Ocean.

    @joe
    Well said. The Pinoys need to spend more because of how far behind they are, and to make up combat losses.

    @AM
    Sorry, not sure I understand the point you’re driving at.

  10. @ AM

    Realistically?

    Tasks of the navy.

    – ensure our sea lines of communications (SLOC) are open. That means able to protect civilian ships that uses the SLOC, and able to detect, track and eliminate warships, submarines and aircrafts that threatens our SLOC. This also includes the capability to clear the SLOC from mines. We are defending our own shores, so a port will be just 1-2 days away.

    – ensuring we can protect and able to safely exploit the resources in our EEZ, whether it is oil, fish or minerals.

    – defending malaysian sea borders from intrusion of foreign forces.

    – supporting our ground forces to operate and fight from the sea. It can be logistics from port to port, an amphibious landing, or enduring littoral operations.

    Now for the MRSS.

    Let me spell out the MRSS – Multi Role Support Ship. So what is expected of this ship? Can a civilian ship do what MRSS should do?

    – logistics support. What is the difference with a civilian ship? It is designed to carry vehicles, ammo, fuel, stores (food etc) and the ability to transfer them that a civilian ship does not have: UNREP (underway replenishment), VERTREP (helicopter replenishment), well dock and others.

    – amphibious landings. we are not going to invade anyone so most of the landings will be in a permissible low intensity operations. No shame on planning something that is realistic. It is useful as there is a lot of places that does not have port facilities and it is a good capability to put ground forces on any available beach. A MRSS has accommodations and support for a battalion of men for time at sea, and the means to land them on a beach, by landing crafts and helicopters.

    – enduring littoral operations. As a floating base for PASKAL or army operators. A well dock for easy RHIB and small boat operations. Command center, medical support. Even as a floating base for PUTDs little birds.

    – support for small boat operations and patrols. CB90, LMS, FACs and the like. Command. Fuel and stores replenishment.

    – HADR – Humanitarian assistance, disaster response. Floating hospital, relocation centre, command centre.

    – aviation support. At sea helicopter base. Helicopter refuelling. Helicopter maintenance.

    A ship that can do all this are not necessarily expensive. The Philippines SSV ordered from PT PAL costs USD42 million each, that is a 11,500 tonnes full load ship with the length of 123 meters, and a width of 21.8 meters, has a crew of 121 men and can accommodate 500 troops that is cheaper than the comparatively smaller 680 tonnes LMS.

  11. with LMS on hiatus or cancel,the MRSS will be the priorities. the candidates is here,all info is there and just need approval and money. RMN will need extra ship to SCS fast.

    and……….all is up to new govt. will it hear the RMN or choose their own view of budget defence(everything is okay,everything is aman). lets pray hard!!

  12. It’s not just China we have to worry about but also Indonesia, they will be a much larger economy in 20-30 years and it they remain stable politically, no problems. The worry is what if thing it all goes pear shaped. We have to also watch our back. Defence cannot go below 1% gdp, regardless of the argument about schools and hospitals.

  13. I think AM is pointing out TLDM is lacking numbers in the surface department and having an amphib TF in a high intensity war will pullout more fleet assets from other taskings. Low intensity war the amphib of civilian class is good enough. Correct me if I’m wrong, AM.

  14. Chua,
    No sure what you trying to make a point on the HMS Ocean. It is 24 years hull and keep going.

  15. Off topic

    The philippines has ordered 744 RPG-7 launchers from Russia. This is the 1st official weapons order to russia. Another asian army that sees the potential of the uquibitous RPG-7.

  16. IMHO we should consider the Phil and Indo that spend a lot more than us in the coming decade as the new normal. The world now is moving back to it natural order where a big country will have a bigger economy but sometimes in the future both will stuck in the middle income trap not manage to move forward while we going 2survive just fine because our small population unless our new gov fuck up of course. This maybe oversimplify thing but if we look at our GNI it is currently double compared 2 Indo and pinoy. 2 be on par with us in theirs econ need 2grow twice than us regurlaly in next 10years which is not happening.According 2the world bank a ageing population will hit every nation in the future compared 2 what is happening now where the majority of the ageing population is the First World countries. If your country did not manage 2 become a develop nation before it becomes an ageing population thing could get messy. Bear in mind that apart from Singapore we are the only A rated country in Asean.

  17. @…

    “A ship that can do all this are not necessarily expensive. The Philippines SSV ordered from PT PAL costs USD42 million each, that is a 11,500 tonnes full load ship with the length of 123 meters, and a width of 21.8 meters, has a crew of 121 men and can accommodate 500 troops that is cheaper than the comparatively smaller 680 tonnes LMS.”

    Sometimes I just wish you stop mentioning about these. Every time when we compare our procurement of military equipment it’s ALWAYS cost more than what other people paid for theirs! Maybe it’s always following the formula of “Actual cost = cost of goods x 3 (for payment to the various local experts, advisors, representatives)”

    Abang Mat, are you reading this forum?

    Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all.

  18. I agree with Ujang. The Indons and Pinoys still need to play catch up for another 2 decades. But our aging population is the silent killer often overlooked in defense issues. We need to just spend ‘enough’ at say 1% def spending to keep up with the Joneses.

  19. … – ”We cannot let our defence procurement budget to fall lower than what the Philippines has allocated for theirs.”

    Not only does the Philippines [being a large archipelago] have a much longer coastline and much more waters; the PAF has also been much more underfunded or neglected compared to the MAF; as such it has more catching up to do.

    … – ” What is the difference with a civilian ship? It is designed to carry vehicles, ammo, fuel, stores (food etc) and the ability to transfer them that a civilian ship does not have: UNREP (underway replenishment), VERTREP (helicopter replenishment), well dock and others.”

    No doubt but when it comes to delivering cargo from Port A to Port B; a civilian ship can do the job just as well. The value of a MPSS will come into play when cargo has to be delivered to a point or place without proper facilities or when a ship is needed to perform in conditions that are not ideal for a civilian ship.

    … – ”Another asian army that sees the potential of the uquibitous RPG-7.”

    It depends; did the army issue a requirement for RPGs or was the decision made at a political level?

    AM – ”We have to ask what what role and expectations we have for our surface combatant units”

    We commonly hear of HADR being a prime reason why the MPSS should be funded. That’s fine buy in reality but unlike the Philippines and Indonesia, both being large archipelagic countries which have areas that are hard to gain access to; most natural disasters in this country will be in places which are easily accessible by road or in areas where resupply will be possible [even taking into account temporary disruption] by means other than by sea. Another point made to justify a MPSS are UN missions. Sure, the Saktis deployed to Somalia and Croatia in support of MALBATT [aslo to East Timor and other places] but how often will we need to support troops abroad by sea; given that in most cases it is cheaper and more practical to use a commercial ships.

    I’m not saying of course that we don’t need a MPSS; merely that we have to have a clear and realistic understanding and expectation of the roles they most likely will perform.

    Hornet Lover – ”The Philippines SSV ordered from PT PAL costs USD42 million each”

    Factors such as support and training also plays a part; as does a ships’s DC standards and quality of steel used.

  20. @ ujang

    “Bear in mind that apart from Singapore we are the only A rated country in Asean”

    The big issue is our defense investment does not commensurate with the standing of our country in asean.

  21. My opinion, the SY platform will need to be enlarged to handle 2-3 landing crafts, the above to have enclosed hangar for 2 choppers, and interior with sufficient space for troop embarkation and easily reconfigure as mobile hospitals during disaster relief.

    Can be built to commercial specs with perhaps some light weapons (30mm Aselsan RWS & couple of 50 cals?), since much of the defensive works should be handled by its escorts.

  22. Azlan “We commonly hear of HADR being a prime reason why the MPSS should be funded. That’s fine buy in reality… most natural disasters in this country will be in places which are easily accessible by road or in areas where resupply will be possible [even taking into account temporary disruption] by means other than by sea.”

    Very true. The same could be said of many war scenarios we would face. There would be little reason to go the amphibious warfare route and invest in the assets and training needed. Doing so would only increase our exposure to enemy action, in peacetime it would draw resources away from other areas and in wartime it would draw units away from other duties (similar to the arguments against a large paratroop force).

    “Another point made to justify a MPSS are UN missions. Sure, the Saktis deployed to Somalia and Croatia in support of MALBATT [aslo to East Timor and other places] but how often will we need to support troops abroad by sea; given that in most cases it is cheaper and more practical to use a commercial ships.”

    Another thing about UN missions is there is far less urgency than a “war or warlike” scenario. That time can be used to arrange commercial lift that will unload at a somewhat convenient port. And of course we can pick and choose our UN missions, or rely on fellow contributors for lift.

    “I’m not saying of course that we don’t need a MPSS; merely that we have to have a clear and realistic understanding and expectation of the roles they most likely will perform.”

    At the end of the day, are we ready to say we don’t have wartime scenarios involving an MPSS- or that we don’t have the resources to maintain, exercise and field everything the capability involves (surface units as escorts, a marine landing force and a host of supporting assets and units) in a war? If we are, we can switch to looking at navalised logistics vessels with only a peacetime utility, and make some very substantial savings in the process.

    If we say otherwise, then we must accept that we’ll never be fielding an MPSS with neither robust justification nor ability to deploy it effectively.

  23. @ AM

    The MRSS is a navalised support ship with mostly peacetime utility. That is what the philippines SSV and Indonesian makassar class LPD is all about anyway. Get your peer war mindset and justification out and look at what kind of scenarios that can happen, and that is mostly going to involve non-state actors at remote hard to reach places.

    Our current Inderasakti and Mahawangsa are build mostly out of commercial specs, and now around 30 years old. Those ships have no well docks and are designed to support the 3 WW2 LST and Inderapura. We basically have no amphibious capability since we lost the inderapura. So the new MRSS need to have capabilities that the MPCSS and LST provide.

    Something the MRSS could provide that commercial ships cant
    – command facilities
    – small boat operation and support
    – aviation (helicopter) support
    – troop support afloat
    – vehicle transfer direct to beach.
    – medical support
    – fire support (with ships own guns)
    – fuel, stores and ammo support

    Such ships cost less than even the chinese LMS68, so it is not something that we cannot afford to have, rather if we can really take a ship as it is and not try to goldplate everything in it.

  24. @…. Since our country never experience the change of gov we can safely say that majority of us is not the wiser type. Many are obsessed with the promise made by the now gov that money did fall from the sky and our life should have been easier. If u are the previous gov will u invest a big money on def if your voters have this kind of mentality. Let’s just hope in the future Malaysian will be wiser thus making any controversial decision a lot more easier.

  25. Azlan “We commonly hear of HADR being a prime reason why the MPSS should be funded. That’s fine buy in reality but unlike the Philippines and Indonesia, both being large archipelagic countries which have areas that are hard to gain access to”

    … “The MRSS is a navalised support ship with mostly peacetime utility. That is what the philippines SSV and Indonesian makassar class LPD is all about anyway.”

    The other reason they don’t talk about is they see the need to deploy large forces to their more restive areas, which are often lacking in transport infrastructure. There is less emphasis on fielding the MPSS on conventional operations in the face of air-sea domain threats, which is the main reason in our case.

    … “Get your peer war mindset and justification out and look at what kind of scenarios that can happen, and that is mostly going to involve non-state actors at remote hard to reach places.”

    An attack by “non-state actors” far from population centers and infrastructure with the best (or only) way to deliver a reaction force being by MPSS- maybe you can describe the scenario you have in mind.

    “Something the MRSS could provide that commercial ships cant”

    A navalised commercial ship can handle some of the things you listed.

    “Such ships cost less than even the chinese LMS68, so it is not something that we cannot afford to have”

    Might be affordable to acquire but how are the operating costs? Then again if the overall difference is insignificant, why not.

  26. Marhalim,
    Idea, since we are under the assumption and impression on what the present gov says we are a ‘bankrupt nation’ or heavily in debt and have no extra monies to spend ( or so it seems), why not go the Bunga Mas 5 and 6 route and ask MISC for lets say another 3 – 5 similiar ships and convert them accordingly.

    And please arm them accordingly too, not just with GPMG’s, at least with 20 – 25mm cannon , even better with 30mm RWS and/or with those ‘cheap’ point defence SAM launcher (Simbad type).

    Reply
    If it was for the APMM I will agree with you but not for the navy

  27. Yes, pity us for not being able to provide the simplest of equipment for our navy when other nations are able to do so, even with pre-owned equipment.

    The Ocean may be too large for us but 5 new Makassar class will do. But then again, show me the money (or so it seems).

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