SHAH ALAM: No new torps. It appears that the RMN had taken a lesson from the NSM/MICA combo saga, deciding that the fastest and cheapest way to arm the LCS was to choose what was already in its inventory.
In this case, the lightweight A244/S torpedoes.
Asked whether the RMN was looking to buy the LCS new torpedoes like the MU90 or stick with the in service A244/S, RMN chief Admiral Kamarulzaman Badaruddin replied that they had chosen the latter.
“We will use the (Leonardo) A244/S torpedoes already in service. Why should we opt for a new one? The torpedo (A244/S) is already and available for use on the LCS”, he said when met after the commissioning ceremony for KD Gagah Samudera and KD Teguh Samudera at the Lumut Naval base on Apr. 26.
I had tried to find out about the choice of torpedo for the LCS since the Gowind was selected for the program. As of DSA 2018 it was the last major sub system for the LCS that had not been announced. With the confirmation from the chief on the selection of the A244/S it appears that cooler heads had prevailed this time around. I am guessing Kamarul and the navy had realised that it was not wise to relive the missiles long drawn out saga.
Sailors preparing to take on board a A244?S torpedo for a firing drill in November, 2017. Kasturi FB page
The imbroglio over the missiles started when the Gowind was chosen as the RMN had wanted to arm the LCS with the NSM and ESSM combo even though the ship was designed with the Exocet Block 3 and VL MICA in mind. DCNS now known as Naval Group also designed the ship with its own torpedo launching system as well as the MU90 torpedoes it developed with Leonardo.
According to SIPRI, Italy supplied 75 of the Leonardo A244/S torpedoes to Malaysia from 1992 to 1999 for use with the Lekiu and Laksamana class ships. As the torpedo launchers from the Laksamana class corvette had been transferred to the Kasturi class, KD Kasturi and KD Lekir are now using these torpedoes, apart from KD Lekiu and KD Jebat, of course. The Black Shark heavyweight torpedo, also manufactured by Leonardo, armed the RMN’s Perdana Menteri class submarines.
RMN drill Sea Skua ASM and drill A244/S torpedo
The parachute equipped A244/S version is also used by the Super Lynx. Posted below is a torpedo firing drill by KD Kasturi in November last year. The video was uploaded on the ship’s Facebook page
"Standby for firing , on my count , 5, 4 3, 2, 1 . Fire torpedo" ( TASO, 2017)
Posted by KD KASTURI on Isnin, 27 November 2017
The delays in signing the missiles contract is expected as I had reported previously, will have an impact on the commissioning dates of the LCS.
The decision to use the exisiting torpedoes will however makeup for the delays in getting the missiles.
It is interesting to reflect that when Boustead announced the deal for the LCS torpedo launcher back in November, 2013 it says that other details of the contract was “classified”. (Malaysian Defence post on the subject is one of those that went missing following the server failure two years back)
Although Boustead did not identify the launcher chosen citing the classified nature of the deal, J+S, a UK based company now known as SEA, made public its selection in late 2014 saying that it will be supplying the triple torpedo launcher and associated equipment for the LCS.
The company says its launchers are compatible with all types of torpedoes available in the market. It did not identify the torpedo though as that is the responsibility of the RMN.
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