SHAH ALAM: Here are the latest buzz on the SGPV/LCS project. It appears that the Boustead proposal is not exactly the slam dunk that the company officials was wishing for.

With six foreign shipbuilders vying to become the technology partner for Boustead there is a high probability that the SGPV/LCS will look more radical than the one displayed below during Lima 2009.

An overview of the Boustead SGPV from the stern. Note the torpedo tubes mounted just forward of the RHIBs and the stack

One consolation for Boustead is that Thyssenkrup is one of the three bidders which are rumoured to be the favourite for the project. Thyssenkrup is the forunner of the German Naval Group which provided the Meko A100 design which resulted in the first six Kedah-class.

I had reported at Lima 2009, the Thyssenkrup version of the SGPV/LCS is similar to the Boustead candidate with the stack and all but with a flushed mounting on the forward missile compartment behind the 76 mm gun.

The bad news is that the buzz has it that the Boustead/Thyssenkrup versions are behind two other designs, both notably from Europe.

The current flavour I am told is the Sigma 10514 variant of the Enforcer series offered by Dutch company, Damen Schelde. However as this is the same variant to be built for the Indonesian Navy, it remained to be seen whether the favourite tag is just hot air.

Yes the current version of the 10514 is not equipped with a towed sonar but I guess that it could be adapted easily on Damen’s proposal to Mindef.

Sigma 10513 corvette

The darkhorse in the bid I am told is the Gowind corvette from DCNS of France.

Model of DCNS ships on display. The one of the far right is the Gowind multi-mission combatant offered for the SGPV/LCS project

What is interesting that both the Sigma and Gowind are primarily equipped with Thales sensors and combat systems while the Boustead SGPV remained true to its German-designed roots. But despite this, Thales, I am told is watching nervously behind their shoulders.

Why? There is a high probability that the Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) may turned out to be from other manufacturers, sensors and other equipment will be from this company while the engines, from this company of course.

The choice now of course belongs to the RMN with much input from the ministry of course. Which design will be selected? Your guess is as good as mine. We will know when we get nearer to Lima 2011.

–Malaysian Defence

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