LANGKAWI: Two Contenders for MRSS. Despite the MOU between Boustead and PT PAL, there is yet no guarantee that they will get the contract to build the MRSS. Facing off against the offering is a contender from China though it is not clear which ship or the shipyard yet.
Although, one China firm is taking part in LIMA 17, CSSC, it did not display a LPD-type ship, similar to the MRSS concept. In the previous LIMA, they had of course.
PT PAL of Indonesia, in the other hand had a model of its MRSS and the picture of it as the backdrop at its booth. Basically its a refinement of the model shown in Indo Defense last year.
Boustead, meanwhile, did not have a model although it touted the MOU with PT PAL with a banner. I did not find anyone who could speak about the MRSS or even the LCS and LMS for that matter but I guess there is still time to speak with them in the next few days. Hopefully.
I am not sure whether the competition from China is a serious one or simply an attempt to make the Boustead/PT PAL offer an honest one. I am told the project will be funded soon, likely to be in 2018, if all goes well in the economic and political spheres, of course.
I am told a point defence missile system is needed while a medium calibre gun is also specified. Of course, if they decided on a China made ship, it is likely to be fitted with China made weapons system as Western companies are not allowed to fit military grade stuff on such vessels.
The Boustead/PT PAL model has a 57mm gun so I guess that is probably the choice of the builders. Interestingly, KRI Banjarmasin, the third Makassar class which the MRSS based on is fitted with a 40mm L70 Bofors gun as its main gun. The ship is taking part in LIMA 17.
Anyhow, work on the MMEA OPV is expected to start early next year. The three ships will be built at the TTHE shipyard in Pulau Indah, THHE officials confirmed. As reported previously, the ship will be built to the Damen 1800 OPV design.
However, unlike 1800 design, the MMEA OPV will not come with a hangar for an embarked helicopter. It can land and refuel helicopters up to an AW139, however, as well as UAVs. No decision has been made on the UAV.
It will be fitted with four Caterpillar diesel engines with two screws for a design speed of 20 knots. It will be 83 meters long and crewed by 70 personnel.
It will be fitted with the Aselsan SMASH 30mm RWS on the A deck,two GPMGs on both sides just behind the bridge and a 50 caliber gun facing aft above the helo deck.
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