Singing to An Ocean

SHAH ALAM: Singing to An Ocean. It has been four weeks after LIMA 17 and I guess it’s the time to post some photographs of the maritime segment. From the pictures below one can surmise that one can design a purposeful, a good looking ship even under a tight budget.

However, sometimes requirements, real or otherwise, turns a ship, arguably, into an ugly duckling. On certain ships, it just take an odd looking turret or radar mast to ruin the aesthetics.

Gagah Samudera, the training ship which was design by Daewoo Shipbuilding of Korea. She looked like the ex Brunei frigates

I am not a ship designer but if one were to give the Most Awkward Looking Ship Award at LIMA 17 that honour must belong to KM Bagan Datok of the MMEA. Whether or not KM Bagan Datok will turn out to be a purposeful design or not, will only be known in the near future.

KM Bagan Datok

Her extra tall design – the main reason it look awkward- must have come from the manning requirements set by MMEA for the NGPC. That manning requirement is also adopted for the OPV to be build by THHE Destini Sdn Bhd though this time around it was the helicopter hangar that was deleted from the Damen 1800 OPV design instead of adding an extra deck to the hull.

Vietnam Navy frigate Dinh Tien Hoang. She is the first of four Gepard class frigate of Vietnam Navy.

Even the older KM Pekan, an ex Japanese Coast Guard OPV, looked much better than her younger fleet mate.

KM Pekan

If her main superstructure were updated to a more modern design, KM Pekan would have left Bagan Datok at the docks. As it is she still looked very elegant, comparable to the sleek design of KD Jebat and Gagah Samudera.

KD Jebat

As for the KRI Banjarmasin, she is very similar looking to the Damen LPD Enforcer 1000 which the Dutch shipyard is looking to offer for the RMN MRSS requirement. Banjarmasin which was built at PT PAL shipyard in Surabaya looked nothing at all like her two Makassar class LPD. Perhaps Daesun of South Korea was inspired by the Enforcer LPD design which have been available for the last decade or so?

KRI Banjarmasin

A more modern design, Bangladesh Navy BNS Prottoy, looked pretty contemporary when compared to other newer ships like the Vietnamese Gepard class frigate (above). Their  sleek silhouette however were undone by the ancient looking 76mm gun turrets.

BNS Prottoy

That said even the 76mm Strales guns on the Italian Navy frigate ITS Carabiniere looked pretty ugly.

ITS Carabiniere

In fact, these ships were outclassed in the looks department by the Indian Navy corvette, INS Kora with its stealthy Oto Melara 76mm gun on its A mounting though admittedly the ship looked more dated than the other ships. This is understandable as the Kora was designed in the late 1990s.

INS Kora

If a sleek modern stealth design matters, RSN frigate RSS Tenacious will take the first prize with Japanese Navy JS Teruzuki Aegis destroyer taking up the second spot.

RSS Tenacious
JS Teruzuki

As beauty is in the eye of beholder you might have your own favourite design. Your choice is a good as mine. Does a good looking ship does better in a battle? Not really but it helps when you have rows of grey hulls to look at an exhibition.

— Malaysian Defence

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