SGPV or LCS…Part II

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.

Sigmacorvette
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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Shah Alam

41 Comments

  1. Hmm, 6 companies. What I had in my mind right now is:

    a) DCNS – Gowind Class
    b) Thyssenkrup – MEKO on steroid
    c) Damen Schelde – Sigma 10513

    Who are the other 3 company? Rumors are saying the MEKO CSL have been offered as well. Which left another 2 and my wild guess might be Turkish – Milgem and Navantia.

  2. What about the Finccantieri MP corvette? Had it make the cut, I think it’ll be worth a go surely.

    Reply
    The three companies I mentioned were the favourites, I am told. Since its a long way to go before the contract, anything can happen….

  3. If the project is new and the budget is going to be RM1 billion per ship (roughly Euro238 million)it should purchase the best hulls-namely good sea keeping states, stealth, german engines-high speed engines at that-diesel on diesel or maybe a combination of CODAG. We can also specify the very best fit for the ship too-dream of heavy calibre high speed gun, anti-aircraft guns/missiles-vertical or RAM launch, anti-ship missiles, good sonar, torpedoes, modern AESA radar.
    I think the concept is the same as the just announced armoured car purchased from Turkey-we are buying the shell and equipping it our own way.

    Reply
    The ceiling price is RM6 billion for six ship but since the cat is out of the bag, which contractor will want it to be lowered? Thats the reason I called out the announcement for the ceiling price as a mistake. As for the rest, only the Kedah-class and Sigma corvettes have been build so far albeit the smaller version, so good sea keeping remained a theory. I am assuming that at least four diesel engines will be fitted so the SGPV/LCS will have a dash speed of around 25 knots or more. I dont think the RMN will go for gas turbines as they have a phobia for gas turbines after what happened to old Rahmat last time. An ala carte design sounds good but we need to understand integration cost money. And in the end little indigenisation really took place just local assemblies…..

  4. Ym Lee, What ‘heavy calibre high speed gun’ are you refering to??
    The largest gun we can fit is the 76mm Super Rapid, anything larger like a 127 or 114mm gun will need a bigger hull.

  5. And the Thales APAR will most probably cost much, much, more than the 15 million Euro the USCG paid for it’s TRS/3D’s. It will be embarassing if cost overuns lead to the shorter range RAM being installed or even worse, a navalised MANPADS mount like Sadral. BAE Systems off course is only too happy to offer Seawolf 2, but the most likely candidate apart from ESSM is MICA. One thing that strikes me from looking at these modern ship designs is the lack of deck space needed for damage control work or to temporary hold captured pirates, etc..

    Reply
    It appears I was mistaken that the APAR was the only radar that had been integrated with the ESSM. Both the SAAB Sea Giraffe AMB and the EADS TRML 3D are also approved for the ESSM.
    I was told by a DCNS rep that the Gowind multi-mission corvette can be fitted with the Aster 15 but not the 30.
    To save money they can buy the launchers and sensors but buy just enough missiles for certification and commissioning for all six ships, a variant to the Fitted For but Not Equipped policy…only those in operations to be fitted with the live ordnance…

  6. From the U.S. DoD site. Thanks to ”weasel1962” who found the link and posted it in another forum.

    ”Lockheed Martin Corp., Archbald, Pa., is being awarded a $21,867,788 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-10-C-0092) to exercise an option for the procurement of 7,665 enhanced laser guided training round Paveway II units for the Navy (7,217) and the governments of Pakistan (300), Spain (88), and Malaysia (60). In addition, this modification provides for the procurement of 589 wooden containers for the U.S. Navy (500) and the governments of Pakistan (74) and Malaysia (15); ”

    Reply
    Training makes perfect… but not much to go around then….

  7. Rahmat was a nightmare because it has 6 gas turbines. Its a nightmare in terms of the gear boxes, synchronisation and integration of the speed of the turbines. These 6 turbines are also old tech turbines.Now they dont need 6 turbines but rather they need maybe two diesels and two turbines to boost the speed when required.
    Come to think of it, many countries are buying up older but surplus ships now like the oliver hazard class and modernizing them.This can be a quicker, faster, more cost effective way to go for the RMN.
    lOOK AT HOW MANY YEARS OTHER COUNTRIES CAN USE THEIR f-5e, Skyhawks?. How did other countries do it?

    Reply
    Yes a twin RR MT30 gas turbines will be wonderful but then again it will be more expensive to buy and maintain. Why take the risk when you got people willing to do it for less (less is relative here)?
    We cannot even take care of new equipment we bought. Are you willing to risk it with second hand goods?

  8. Sir,

    It has been reported that FNSS won a contract to supply jigs and maybe hull to be assembled by deftech for the PARS, around 257 of them at USD600 million or roughly RM1.9 billion at current exchange. So actually what is the early buzz that this project will cost up to RM8 billion? if they are only assembling and purchase other equipment such as the 30mm turret, 25mm cannon turret and and 12.7mm HMG turret, at most it will cost another USD600 million. So kalau cam ni at most per unit should not be more than USD6 million making it almost similar to what stood in the market i.e between USD 2.5 (for heavily equipped russian apc mainly) to USD7 million (based on chezch apc cost which now i think under investigation)per apc depending on equipment. kalau camni okla but kalau depa nak buat everything here tu yang leh jadi up to USD 10 million per apc, even more expensive than K2 tank.

    Reply
    RM8 billion is how much was the Letter of Intent which the government signed with DRB-Hicom (Deftech) at DSA 2010. RM8 billion is the ceiling price for the contract. Its not a made up figure. Yes, I understand that the LOI amount is the ceiling value for the contract – as explain by Dzirhan here and the final contract price could be lower.
    But as far as I could remember anyway – if thats any relief – there have never been an instance that the Letter of Contract price is lower than the LOI. I stand corrected of course. Just look at the Cougar and Scorpene. And in the case of the NGPV it went higher of course.

    I know its like comparing apple and oranges but if you want to sell a car to a representative of a buyer and the rep tells you that his boss has reserved RM10,000 for the car, would you be willing to sell car at RM5,000?

    It will be mostly local assembly. From a Turkish report it was mentioned we are buying frames ls from FNSS not just jigs. If this is correct then we will not be involved in the actual fabrication from ore to flat steel to chassis building. If they are going to frames do you expect them to fabricate anything else from scratch?

  9. Buying surplus hulls, like what Chile did with the Type-23’s and Pakistan with the Type-21’s, is certainly a cheaper and cost effective option. It is also a faster solution, BUT there are several other key factors to consider, namely the manning levels of these ships compared to newer designs [yes manpower issues are a problem in a navy the size of the RMN], these ships are older and will be mantainance intensive, and off-course the question of spares and operating costs.

    Marhalim, very curious as to why the RMAF is getting 60 Paveway 2 training rounds when we only have 8 airframes. The local media didn’t mention anything, but there were several foreign news reports that said the hijacked MV Leopard, had MK82 bombs for the RMAF in her cargo hold.

    Reply
    Yes I am curious too. But its the kind of question that is usually not answered. I am guessing that they want to train as much as possible especially against moving targets. 60 is a small batch. A US NAvy carrier air wing will used more than that to qualify for combat.

  10. It is interesting to read you poll Marhalim with the Gowind Class is leading the poll. For me, I like both design but I have the feeling that Boustead will continue with the same design as they showcase during Lima 2009. For Sigma design, I don’t think our govt will ever choose it.

    Reply
    Yes the Gowind is most attractive design leaving the Boustead/Thyseenkrup looking almost ancient. The Gowind was designed within the last five years while the B/T version is designed some 15 years agp. My polls are independent of the selection process. And as for the competition itself its all wayang kulit…

  11. there is a 2-pages overview of RMN’s development in the latest Warship IFR magazine. among others, it mentioned ESSM as a strong contender for the LCS. WIFR also reported that most of the sensors package will remain the same (TRS-3D, TMX/EO etc) as with current Kedah’s configuration. It also mentioned on the strong RMN’s interest to equip LCS with VDS/towed array sonar, adequate ASW armament (torpedo tubes) and so forth. Is there any truth on this Mr Marhalim?

    btw, there was high commendation about RMN’s past feat in Gulf of Aden since the first Ops Fajar deployment.

    Reply
    I have been writing consistently since 2009 about the configuration of the SGPV/LCS so there is no need to repeat it again. Just to add that Saab is clearly making progress in replacing the sensors and systems on board the new ship. One wonders what will happen to the Contraves plant in Malacca if they do decide on the Swedes…..

    It appears that RMN ops in Gulf Aden improved significantly when they started using MV Bunga Lima instead of the frigates, OPVs and supports ships….

  12. Visby class corvette is an excellent example for LCS deployed by the swedes. maybe, just maybe the visby’s can be evaluated as the future 6 LCS. Since the visby’s are designed to suit the LCS environment.

  13. rather than visby i would rather have hamema from the fin, visby currently have no AAM. The fin class have umkhomto ir (12 km range) and 8 RBS15, quite a deadly combo although no asw

  14. Just announced by Singapore’s Mindef. Singapore will build new naval vessels to replace the 12 Fearless class ships. The Fearless class is still very young.

  15. singapore can la, tengokla budget banyak mana. Ours would need to be more budget stringet and more focus, well in plain terms small but bang for buck. our neighbour can spend up to USD1 billion per ship although they wont. We cant spend USd 1 billion on 2 ships eventhough that is what most of us want.

    Its time to be a more lean and professional force (not that our navy is already not lean).

    The jebat should be upgraded already. New long range SSM and longer range AAM. Up armed the 6 ngpv. Maybe only two fully armed SGPV that we can afford instead of 6. So by 2015 if what i imagine come true our list will be as follows:-

    2 upgraded Jebat
    2 Upgraded kasturi
    6 Up armed Kedah
    2 Fully armed SGPV
    2 support ships
    2 subs
    12 heli

    Not bad la but not sufficientla…

    Reply
    You must forgotten about the the 4 Laksamana class, 4 Mahahamiru class and four Perdana class. All will still remained in service with RMN by 2015. The eight FACs fate remained questionable however although their lives could be extended further in the MMEA….The Lekiu upgrade will only be funded in the next RMK plan….

  16. Aiyoo u tengok lah org malaysia,gayat dengan OPV batch 2,my opinion is RIGHT NOW what malaysia navy needs is quantity n uniformity in purchasing its OPV,jangan pikir jauh sangat lah,u need 1 sqn to oversee selat melaka,1 sqn to patrol south china sea,1 sqn to patrol serawak coastal area,1 sqn to patrol sabah coastal area n 3 spare,if u always talking about stealth design bila can your navy be able to built a formidable armada.not to mention u need a replenishment ship to go with it,ini kapal bukan fuel by nuclear 10 thn tak payah isi minyak.malaysia need to show their presence in those seas…

  17. if only malaysian army think tank,mempunyai pemikiran simplicity is always the best.forget about visby class.gowind class.just think of common hull n quantity that is what malaysian navy needs.regarding weapons fit,china made anti ship missle is cheap n good,why go for expensive weapon fits,anyway when war comes u will need any type of weaponery that can sink warship,n win battle.

  18. i think Asean really need to collaborate on defence purchases. We should be like Europe. Our ships, planes and tanks should complement one another. Only then we can balance China.

    Reply
    Yes that’s the way forward but is hard to get rid of old prejudices and what nought

  19. The SGPV’s main intended role would be ASW. Correct me if I’m wrong but even with a slightly bigger ship than the Kedah –class, the SGPV would not be a suitable ASW platform. ASW is a hit and miss affair in the best of times. Effectiveness in hunting subs with bow and hull mounted sonars requires silent running which means electrical propulsion in addition to diesels required for sustained cruising speeds, basically ruling out small platforms. One could get away from such constraints by using towed array sonars but that would interfere with helicopter ops on such a small ship. Taken together, what this logically means is that most of the ASW capability of a ship of that size would come from its embarked organic helicopter. Even then, for a helicopter to be embarked for sustained periods, a hangar would be required which again would require a bigger ship. All of this leads to the question as to whether this and the MRSS can be rolled into just one naval platform that can be tweaked to meet these and other naval requirements The Danes did just that with the surprisingly cost-effective Absalons , splitting the build into frigates and command and support ships. And while earlier Danish designs were slow and suffered from poor endurance and seakeeping qualities, this new generation of ships are anything but that. Plus they could carry two hangared helos too, theoretically doubling the platform’s ASW capability. Let’s forget about numbers and concentrate on quality. The navy should not be carrying out patrol duties anyway. That is the responsibility of the MMEA with territorial waters and that of the Marine Police in the EEZ. A warfighting force should have warfighting assets.

    Reply
    The SGPV/LCS is designed to be a multipurpose combatant meaning that should excel in all combat conditions. In the current fiscal environment no one not even the US can afford specialist ships for general sea combat. We also can’t afford to have the RMN to wait out a war to justify spending money on them

  20. I agree with you Marhalim. It is sad. Right now, it seems everyone is building the same kind of ships which overlap each other\’s roles, Malaysia\’s SGPV, Indonesia\’s Sigmas, Thailand\’s Patani and now the recently announced Singapore\’s Fearless-replacements. There must be increased consultations. ASEAN needs a couple of AAW destoyers, LHDs and more LPDs and frigates, etc.

  21. I agree with you Marhalim. It is sad. Right now, it seems everyone is building the same kind of ships which overlap each other’s roles; Malaysia’s SGPV, Indonesia’s Sigmas, Thailand’s Patani and now the recently announced Singapore’s Fearless class replacements. There must be increased consultations. ASEAN needs a couple of AAW destroyers, LHDs and more LPDs and frigates, etc.

    Reply
    I m afraid that we are more afraid of each other than a single common enemy.

  22. Azlan

    Ahahhh. Finally. I thought ive read this article once. It seems bns did submit a design that include a smoke stack.. Damn.. why did we ever went 4 the gowind in the first place???

  23. @ shed

    Because by going for the gowind design, it enabled TLDM to get 6 full fledged ASW frigates (which is more than it bargained for, after losing the two Batch II Lekiu F2000’s frigates to cancellation) rather than just 6 additional lightly armed OPV’s that is basically corvette-sized.

    With hindsight, TLDM is the one which is getting the better deal here, so why fret?

  24. Bro says..

    The lcs dsgn from bns had a total lenght of 109 meters. Just 2 meters short from the gowind. Overall displacement and armament suits are about the same. Asw? Realy bro?? What about all that tot bs** when we opted 4 the meko’s? Was it all 4 nothing?

    Reply
    It was the politicians who decided on the Meko 100 and the Gowind. its all water under the bridge now

  25. Marhalim

    I rest my case.. national interest. Sharks will always be sharks. It doesnt help though when the other option are bafoons.. yes dr kua. Im talking about u.

  26. In Malaysia, if the armed forces want something they have to find a national interest whose profits align with their needs. And even then, they will not get the specifications they want. Eg the Gowinds will be supplied with the Setis combat system and Mica missile, instead of and Tacticos and ESSM.

    And even then, it comes late and defective (OPV, training ships) and far above the market price (SGPV, AV-8).

    Dr Kua may know little about the military. But he knows not to overpay. He is not ideal but by his thinking we could achieve more with our very limited budget.

  27. Am

    In what sense do dr kua thinking relate to having a better malaysia armed force. If u leave it to the good dr there wouldnt even be a need 4 the MAF since the insurgency and confrantation era is long over. Better use the money 4 more subsidies la bro

  28. Shed,

    U seems confused as a bunch of others or have a limited information about current economies and political situation.

    Quoted by AM,
    Dr Kua may know little about the military. But he knows not to overpay. He is not ideal but by his thinking we could achieve more with our very limited budget.

    This is true and absolutely true. Arguing about the money we spend not show us being an idiot. The silent one is an idiot. By a correct spending, and terminating many of the useless policices (eg: TOT, built in Malaysia terms, Middle Company policy, Broker policy and others) we could save billions, and this billions is not used for subsidies as it is in armed forces budget. It could be channels to other in need project in the MAF.

  29. Then, if there is no need for MAF… Just disband it… Otherwise, its not like we’re at war… Oh wait, terrorism. Damn, some Malaysians are still living in a dream….

  30. If we think if the opposition comes into power they will terminate the so called useless policies ..then we are really so naïve. They will just replace them with other forms of useless policies. People without power talk in different language to those with power. They will learn to talk the same language once they are in power ..

  31. Dr Kua is not in power. He is a citizen entitled to air his view for our praise or ridicule.

    Should I focus my blame on the 1001 commentators outside of power, or on the stupid and the corrupt in power who are actually handing out the contracts to the detriment of our serving armed forces personnel?

  32. John rambo

    I beg ur pardon bro. Its one thing to argue on the defense spending but saying that it is not needed or unnecessary is a dfferent thing all togather. This is what dr kua is realy doing.

    I totally agree with ur point on the useless policy such as middle man, brokers, and ect. But with proper and honest management tot and made in Malaysia is a good policy. Only that the crooks has taken opportunity on such policy to get rich quickly. We should follow up on the tot that we had recieved and create a system best suited 4 of armed forces but sadly that is not the case. The ngpv project was a good example.

    Mofaz

    U totaly read my mind bro

    Am

    If u so fond of the the god dr then please tell him to do some research before commenting on the military. Maybe then i will show him some respect.. yes our defense spending is pure bull@#% but 4 him we dont even need to spend on defense.

    On a diff story the MMEA wants to buy airboats 4 shallow water operation. What? Flat bottom boats 4 our choppy beaches? Damn man.. 1 mill rgt per piece? U got to be kidding me. If it was up to me the crooks should have never reach our beaches in the first place.

  33. The indon PKR sigma is nearly launched. The indon already built their 40 and 60 metres. Even they can export their LPD. Soon they will built something bigger and better. While SG already working and offer their OPV 70/80 metres to others.

    Cmon msian, work with your hand not your mouth. If not catching up then will be left behind further.

  34. shed: “But with proper and honest management tot and made in Malaysia is a good policy. ”

    What for? Even with proper management, how large is the customer’s purchase and how many are we going to export? Would you do domestic assembly to build a mere 18 MRCA?

    “If u so fond of the the god dr then please tell him to do some research before commenting on the military. Maybe then i will show him some respect.. yes our defense spending is pure bull@#% but 4 him we dont even need to spend on defense.”

    I don’t care if you respect Dr Kua or not. I don’t follow every word he says. But I can say is he is not a traitor, a crook and a criminal who has sold out our armed forces to enrich himself. Who- Dr Kua or such cronies- do you think deserves to be put to death?

    The ex RMAF chief was quoted as saying this about the contracting practices of certain officers: “Do not sell out professionalism and self-respect for personal gain.”

  35. A very good example of how people without power once talked different language then once with power talking same language as those previously in power is the Penang State. Pre 2008 election against LRT against Island side highways against sea
    reclamation project against hill clearance projects and against mega projects. Once in power different storey. LRT and Monorail all over island and mainland side…3 highways projects proposed on island side ..mega project tunnel ..hill land cleared under the guise of Penang Hill Tourism project with Hotels etc..Cable car project across channel and up to Penang Hill and all these funded by surprise..surprise..Land reclamation rights given to the developers …

  36. Am

    Who says anything about the mrca? Who? Me? Nope. We are by right a maritime nation. We can focus on a certain sector such as shipbuilding by receiving tot from other nations. Then expand on that technology buy creating something that is suited 4 domestic or international usage / clients. Just look at PT PAL and ST Marine now. Wheres ur Malaysia boleh spirit bro?

    The same goes 4 our small arms sectors. Do u expect to order out simple stuff such as amunitions from foreign suppliers each time we ran out of them. This is why tot is so important. If u dont have the know how then buy that knowlegde. Master it and adapt. Serve the nation. Domestic production (on paper that is) should be cheaper. But sadly the crooks have taken advantage of such policies.. 4 example SMEO is know like PKNS. Instead of selling affordble products they are cutting our throats with their monopoly. ” tp jgn marahkan nyamuk kelambu yg kau bakar bro”..

    Yes Dr kua is not a traitor. But he is not a patriot either. He is an opportunist. Commenting on issues that is close to the “rakyat” without proper research first. If he is realy sincere he should propose ways on how to maximise the MAF expenditure and procurement with such low budget instead of saying that it is not needed. He is and always be a politician first. And lost at the recent party polls if i was not mistaken..

  37. Malaysian shipbuilders are busy with Training Ships, NGPC and SGPV. Want to export? Well looks like their hands are full or the IP only valid for local use only.

    Indo and Sing will be building bigger better naval vsl that suits them, their govt demand is there.

  38. Bousted shipyard in lumut is upgraded to able to build 3 gowind sized ships at the same time. Before 2020 all tldm gowinds would be completed.

    Malaysia has shipyards in perlis, kedah, penang, perak, selangor, johore, terengganu, sarawak and sabah that has and able to build naval ships. There is a huge export potential of malaysian built naval ships, it just needs some political will to push it to malaysia’s friends and allies.

  39. …, short memories you have.

    Looking at our record, who wants to buy ships from Malaysia?

    Not only were the Kedahs over budget, they were delivered two years late and with hundreds of defects. The first two were also found to have 100 and 383 uncompleted items aboard them respectively.

    What about the two new training vessels?

    “Before 2020 all tldm gowinds would be completed.”

    If this happens on schedule, it would be a big step towards your goal. However, our record does not suggest that it will happen on schedule. Even on this programme, we’ve already had to increase the budget by 50% before work has even started.

  40. “Just look at PT PAL and ST Marine now. Wheres ur Malaysia boleh spirit bro?”

    Of course. Singapore pays a very high price to develop and build just 50 Primus or 8 OPVs for example. Defence spending is the biggest single part of the government budget, and they have had only a handful of exports. Fine since they have the cash, what about us, building domestically to supply a market that does not exist, and enriching businessmen in the process?

    You can put Dr Kua on trial and cannot convict him of anything. I can think of many in the present government who would be locked away if given a fair trial. It is these thieves who are lacking in patriotism, not him or me.

    “If u dont have the know how then buy that knowlegde. Master it and adapt. Serve the nation.”

    We do have many talented engineers in Malaysia. Who do you think is wasting their talents or soaking up the budgets for their own ends?

    “Domestic production (on paper that is) should be cheaper. ”

    Not always. Even though labour costs are lower here, the market is small. It might surprise you that David Boey revealed that Singapore imports 5.56mm because after manufacturing it for decades, they have decided that it is not worthwhile and have switched to importing it. And I dare say they fire off more rounds than we do.

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