Communications Suite for Lekiu and Jebat

A close up of the KD Jebat Sea Giraffe and Thales radars. US Navy pix.

SHAH ALAM: It was reported on Oct. 30 that the government had awarded a RM19.5 million to Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd (BHIC) to supply and deliver a communications suite for Squadron 23rd Frigate of the Royal Malaysian Navy.

BHIC said the contract, valid for the next two years, was awarded to its wholly-owned unit, BHIC Defence Techservices Sdn Bhd (BDTS).

KD Lekiu launching a Sea Wolf SAM in an exercise in 2014. TLDM picture.

“A formal contract between the government of Malaysia and BDTS will be signed at a later date,” BHIC said in a statement filed with Bursa Malaysia. As I had missed the announcement on that day this is posted here for the record.

KD Lekiu (FFGH 30) passes by the US Navy submarine USS La Jolla (SSN 701) during a submarine warfare exercise at CARAT 2011. US Navy pix.

Today it was reported that BHIC shares at Bursa Malaysia was down after it reported that it had lower earnings in Q3. Of course one could find other ways to report the news.

KD Lekiu and Gagah Samudera as they prepare to dock at Pattaya. Nazir Darus

Malaysian Defence had posted other upgrades to both KD Lekiu and KD Jebat, which make up the squadron previously. Lekiu is currently in Thailand together with Gagah Samudera for the inaugural Asean International Fleet Review to be held in Pattaya this weekend.

A map of the ships taking part in the Asean International Fleet Review 2017.

It is likely the new communications suite was contracted to overcome obsolescence issues as the two ships were built in 1994 and 1995 just like the other new equipment recently acquired for them.

KD Jebat at LIMA 17

However, it is likely that the new items being installed on them are probably the last ones to be paid for in the near future. I was told that due to the 15-to-5 plan no more funds will be allocated for future upgrades. As you aware under the plan, RMN fleet of the future will only comprise of the LCS, LMS, kedah-class, the MRSS and the submarines.

KD Lekiu and KD Jebat sailed together with USS George Washington in Andaman Sea. US Navy picture

The Lekiu and Jebat will undergo periodic refits as scheduled but this will be only to ensure that they will be able to continue with their duties. The same is also expected for the other legacy ships in the navy including the Kasturi-class and Laksamana class corvettes and the FACs.

A model of the LMS displayed at the DSE show in Bangkok, recently.

This is expected as the navy ramped up its 15-to-5 plan. The government cannot afford to buy new ships while at the same time funding new things on RMN older ships. How this is will be managed is beyond me, however.

— Malaysian Defence

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25 Comments

  1. Look at the maps of the ships participating in the fleet review. The lead ship is the Royal Thai Navy’s historic ship, the destroyer HTMS Pinklao. The ship was launched in september 1943, which makes it 74 years old this year.

    https://www.bangkokpost.com/media_dc/image_dc/2013-08/file6b7stm8z1j58nz76nid.jpg

    Hopefully TLDM personnels going to the review could visit the ship and learn more about how they manage to keep that historical ship operational. This could be then used to keep KD Hang Tuah in commission.

    If thailand can do it, we can do it too.

  2. Exocet MM40 and Sea Wolf would be time expired soon. If there is no more further money for upgrade on Lekiu and Jebat does this mean it will be only gun based ships soon?

    Reply
    Likely

  3. It makes more financial sense just to concentrate on the gowind and the scorpene as main combatant maybe 12 gowind and 4 scorpenes.The lms for the patrol both offshore and inshore. Maybe up to 24. So can cut the ngpv,lekius,kasturis and Lasamanas. Just my 2 cents

  4. kamal,

    We might not be willing to pay for new missile systems, but it’s more likely that we will pay for new rounds, refurbishing our current rounds or even secondhand rounds.

  5. This market for new western anti ship and anti air misel is expand a lot now. Anti ship misel u got nsm, lrasm, new rbs 15 mk4, perseus, unname israel and allies supersonic anti ship misel, japan and this korean misel.

    It be interesting to see wut navy in region replace use and replace old misel sistem

    For anti air at lower layer ter is mica, improve barak 1 and camm, middle layer tet is aster 15, camm er, and essm. Upper layer ter is aater 30, barak 8 and standard. Ter is also diferent in approach by us and euro sistem. Euro sistem more hit to kill using one misel but us sistem like essm require more than one misel for every enemy misel.

  6. “Euro sistem more hit to kill using one misel but us sistem like essm require more than one misel for every enemy misel”

    Do you have a source to support this? Sounds like a very suspicious claim.

  7. Dear Mr Am pls google DS2017 mbda ready to deliver the vl mica to rta next year.

    I suspect tat mica sucess over camm, aster 15 and essm in msny countris becuz of overall cost, ease of operations, no need for addition cueing from ship radar and rapid lunching. The other sistem need integration cost wit ship sistem but it also mean better and flexibel performances. Mica also shortest renge compare to essm, aster 15 and camm. And in in term of end game performance has least energy for wild vector turns becuz of hot lunch sistem. Camm is cold lunch (but still suffer frm energy lost as cold lunch will not send the misel to high up)but aster has separate boster which give misel dart retain a lot of energy. Essm also suffer frm this energy loss as it hot lunch. Wut it meaning is tat end game less g force turns so less performance. It also meaning u need to take max renge into context. Mica might be 20km max renge. But it effevtiveness is much less. Same wif essm. For end game performance aster is best. Both rmn and rsn want aster.

    For essm curently it need illuminator frm mother ship. It may be problem if mother ship is occupy wif multipel threat and damages ongoing.

  8. euro misel tend to be direct hit.us misel is proximity fuse like essm. Probabiliti of hit is higer for direct hit misel. For proximity fuse it may require more then 1 misel to kill enemy misel esp if enemy misel is very fast exampel high subsonic or supersonic.

  9. @ rocks

    “LMS remind me the gumdoksuri class of south korean navy..”

    Yes except the gumdoksuri is more heavily armed and cost 40% less.

  10. Since we have already spent a lot of money n time to purchase these ships, its available now n since it still has many more years of life left, might as well make full use of them. If the anti ship n anti air missiles are no longer serviceable, better to change to similar systems used in the gowind class so there is similarity n standardization of system. It would not be the most effective use of these expensive ships if we just arm them with guns n full stop

  11. The exocet mm40 expiry is only an assumption by one here.

    Our mm38 was operational for nearly 40 years before retired. The oldest mm40 we have should be less than 20 years old. We did get a few batches, latest those for the kasturi class SLEP.

  12. Whether a missile is hot/cold launched and hit to kill or proximity fuzed has nothing to do with Probability of Kill.

    ” Essm also suffer frm this energy loss as it hot lunch. Wut it meaning is tat end game less g force turns so less performance. ”

    You assume ESSM is hot launched and has already used energy from its booster for launch, therefore has less energy for maneuvers. That’s a very strange argument because ESSM has a longer range than Aster 15 and therefore has a larger booster.

    “For essm curently it need illuminator frm mother ship. It may be problem if mother ship is occupy wif multipel threat and damages ongoing.”

    A missile is truly “fire and forget” when it enters its terminal phase. Even though AMRAAM and Aster can enter fire and forget mode upon launch using inertial guidance, all modern missiles still rely on midcourse guidance because the small active seeker’s range is less than the missile’s maximum range. On paper, you can fire a missile without midcourse guidance. But PK will be much lower because when the missile arrives, the target may no longer be where the missile thought it would be. Which is why pilots still guide their “fire and forget” BVRAAMs with their onboard radars.

    ESSM and Standard missiles are not in the same family. But they are designed to complement each other, and are integrated to the same radars and VLS systems.

  13. It’s not a question of whether if the Thais can do it, then we can too … The question rather is whether we should do it … Then there’s the question of the Thais having the political will to do it and the fact that supporting their ship might be easier than Hang Tuah – yes their ship is older but maybe it’s still easier to support due to various factors.

    Given that the RMN has limited resources, all the cash and effort needed to keep Hang Tuah operational (after retiring from active service) is something the RMN shouldn’t be straddled with as it just diverts cash, manpower resources and focus from other more vital areas.

  14. Lee – ”better to change to similar systems used in the gowind class so there is similarity n standardization of system.”

    On paper yes but in reality there will be integration issues plus the fact that cash spent on these old ships can be better used on other, newer assets.

    … – ” We did get a few batches, latest those for the kasturi class SLEP.”

    The first public mention of us having MM-40s was during the same period the Kasturis were fitted with DRS-300s. Tempur had a photo.

  15. @ azlan

    Yes of course the main question is whether we should do it, but as right now the navy themselves want to keep KD Hang Tuah in commision, is for them to study and learn how others manage to do it.

    Our track record of maintaining historcal ships is quite iffy to say the least, so learning something from the thais should add to the facts and figures whether we should keep KD Hand Tuah operational or not. Thailand has a track record of maintaining operational ships like the HTMS Pinklao and HTMS Mangkut Rajakumarn and also preserving historical ships by pulling them onshore and creating monuments out of them.

    BTW HTMS Pinklao has a wonderful FB page. Google – facebook htms pinklao.

    First public mention of us having MM40 was during the launching of KD Lekiu in the mid 90s. The KD Lekiu and Jebat was never fitted with anything other than the MM40 for AShM.

  16. Lekiu and Jebat are lost causes in terms of new weapons systems.

    This is due to their Nautis CMS. The system was already out of date when the ships where delivered, and by now the integration cost to integrate new systems to the Nautis is too much for the Malaysian Navy. Basically a Windows 10 computer with intel i9 has more computing power than Malaysia’s most capable Naval Ships.

    Their is no point thinking about new missiles, fire control radar, EOTS ect. They wont even be able to integrate the new systems technology with Malaysian Old Nautis CMS. Unless they pay the enormous cost which no equipment supply company in Malaysia will want to bare. Lekiu and Jebat are dummy ships with no modern combat capability which is very sad to say as they are essentially the pride of the Malaysian Navy .

    The LMS will most probably be filled with Chinese equipment with the Malaysian Navy having some say on the Radars or Sensors (but highly unlikely). The Chinese will try their hardest to supply everything Chinese and put the Malaysian Navy in a tight situation.

    Obviously it is all political

  17. @ trace

    Your idea is akin to trying to install android so you can have apps on an old nokia communicator.

    Easiest way to upgrade the lekiu and jebat is to dump nautis and use a modern CMS like the thales tacticos. We did that for the kasturi and lekir.

    Then there is a question of priority. There is going to be 6 new much more capable ships coming in, do we still need to upgrade the capability of the lekiu and jebat; or do we even need them anymore (and the kasturi and lekir too) after we get all 6 gowinds?

  18. @….

    Yes the easiest way is to change the CMS. However The Malaysian Navy has undertaken the project with cost as the highest priority. After numerous failed tenders and budget cuts the Lekiu class refit has fallen into a pit it cannot crawl out of right now. By changing the CMS the budget will go through the roof. thus the navy has tried all they can do to integrate new systems with to the Nautis with no extra cost to them. They have done this by awarding the tender to companies that have confirmed they can can do the job. However these companies have failed due to lack of integration documentation and help from Nautis OEM.

    Again you are correct. The question is priority. The 15-5 plan is underway with the first LCS being built and unfortunately behind schedule. The older generation ships like the Lekiu class will be phased out. But in that time Malaysia needs its naval front line. With the Laksamana Class, Lekiu Class and Kedah Class suffering from system failures Malaysia is left with basically really big boats with guns. But hayyy! its better than nothing.

    The 15-5 Plan is definitely a good idea with a good plan with a good Chief of Navy to lead and implement it and will turn Malaysia into a first class blue water navy. Malaysia needs capable ships and personnel and a massive leap in their Electronic Warfare knowledge and capability. Unfortunately until the refits, replacements and newly acquired assets are in service, The Malaysian Navy is in bad shape.

  19. Now it does seem illogical that the bare minimum will likely be done for the Lekius to keep them in service pending LCS, but a CMS upgrade and some shuffling of weapons systems was done for the Kasturis, which are much older. Would think they would have gotten the bare minimum also.

    That said, I wonder at what point the Lekius will be retired after the LCS are operational. Keeping them means we need a larger increase in manpower. Retiring them is also not ideal because even after we get LCS and LMS, we will remain short of hulls.

    “With the Laksamana Class, Lekiu Class and Kedah Class suffering from system failures Malaysia is left with basically really big boats with guns. But hayyy! its better than nothing.”

    As for “guns,” the Laksamanas are said to be FAC(GPMG) (credit to Azlan for this nugget) because the fire directors are not operational. The bare minimum has been invested in these old, non-standard ships. I also read a Navy guy who said Jebat has many systems non operational because parts were cannibalised for Lekiu.

    “The 15-5 Plan is definitely a good idea with a good plan with a good Chief of Navy to lead and implement it and will turn Malaysia into a *first class blue water navy.* ”

    Be careful with those words. We have no intention, capability or necessity to be blue water. We also aren’t training or recruiting, or even budgeting at the standards of a “first class” navy.

    Reply
    The Kasturi class SLEP costs RM703 million a thing which will never be repeated on the Lekiu class.

  20. @AM

    Yes it is wonder what would become of the Lekiu Class. Will they go down the Laksamana Route? only time will tell.

    Good piece of information you gave on the Laksamana guns and Jebat’s cannibalization. I’ve also heard from alittle bird that cannibalization is also happening through out most of the Malaysian Navy’s assets.

    On your reply to my comment on the 15-5 plan. I believe it would of been best to quote the whole paragraph. As you can read i state my veiw on the the steps Malaysia needs to take to get to blue water capability.

    Malaysia has every intention to become a blue water navy. Dont believe me ?

    http://www.spsnavalforces.com/story/?id=458
    http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1777926

    Of course you are correct that Malaysias current capability is not up to that standard. With budget cuts up to 50% there is no option to increase spending. But the goal is there and its a goal Malaysia must chase or be left behind.

  21. @ AM

    You need to understand the context of the Kasturi SLEP. At the time, there is an economic downturn, the lekiu batch 2 is cancelled, most budget used for the scorpenes and the SGPV batch 2 (the now LCS gowind project) is uncertain. The SLEP was a necessity at that time frame as there is no other main surface combattants other than the lekiu and kasturis

    Move forward to 2017, we are inducting 6 state of the art ASW frigates, so there is no urgency to upgrade them as what happened then.

    The lekius are quite young, but without meaningful upgrades they will be relegated to 2nd rate combattants, and IMO that is not something nice to see. Either upgrade them (which is not in the 15-5 plan) or plan to sell them while they are still useful to a friendly navy. With the future plan calls for 12 more new PV and a 2nd batch of 6 gowinds, safe to say there won’t be much budget for upgrades.

  22. trace,
    Thats the problem with lack of technical capability.
    1. Equipment must be swapped out one by one over time. That keeps your OEM occupied and sustainable.
    2. In the current situation, CMS has to go. If anyone in the Navy thinks he/she can get away with it, then this person must go as well.
    3. There is no such thing as ” confirmed can do; but failed”. This means Navy themselves does not know whats going on before getting screwed for awarding contracts that are not meant for to be closed.
    4. 15-5 sounds good, but it does not fit the reality. We do not have the resource to pull it off. Therefore signing up for 6 hulls meaning the equivalent older ships has to go as soon as possible regardless of the total outcome.
    5. The truth is, cannibalising is all over the armed forces. Budget always looks good up until the OEM full support service runs out.

  23. what kull army
    in amerika

    trace,
    Thats the problem with lack of technical capability.
    1. Equipment must be swapped out one by one over time. That keeps your OEM occupied and sustainable.
    2. In the current situation, CMS has to go. If anyone in the Navy thinks he/she can get away with it, then this person must go as well.
    3. There is no such thing as ” confirmed can do; but failed”. This means Navy themselves does not know whats going on before getting screwed for awarding contracts that are not meant for to be closed.
    4. 15-5 sounds good, but it does not fit the reality. We do not have the resource to pull it off. Therefore signing up for 6 hulls meaning the equivalent older ships has to go as soon as possible regardless of the total outcome.
    5. The truth is, cannibalising is all over the armed forces. Budget always looks good up until the OEM full support service runs out.

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