Walk Like An Egyptian

A graphic promoting the keel laying ceremony. RMN

SHAH ALAM: Walk Like An Egyptian was a song made famous by an American band the Bangles. However, in building the Gowind corvette, the French firm DCNS and maybe the Egyptians, are beating our boys in Lumut.

Boustead Naval Shipyard started building RMN’s LCS, four months earlier than the first Gowind corvette build by DCNS for Egypt. The steel cutting ceremony for the first LCS was conducted at the IHX Metallix plant in Holland on Dec 3, 2014.

DCNS cut the first steel for the first Egyptian Gowind corvette on April 16, 2015. And some 18 months later on Sept. 17th, the vessel – Elfateh – was launched at the DCNS shipyard at Lorient.

The steel cutting ceremony as recorded by the RMN website.
The steel cutting ceremony as recorded by the RMN website.

Compare that to the LCS. Fabrication started in Lumut in late December, 2015 or early January, this year while the keel laying ceremony was only held on March 8. And almost six months later, no one will say officially about the launch date.

https://youtu.be/YXtdQOFIlq0

It was expected that DCNS will beat BNS to the punch. Lorient is a “hot” yard complete with steel cutting facilities while BNS is a “cold” one – it has not build any ships since the last Kedah-class, KD Selangor. Work on KD Selangor started in 2006 while the ship was launched in 2009 and commissioned a year later.

Furthermore, BNS has to rely on sub-contractors for the supply of steel and to cut them. It takes around three months for the shipyard to get the cut steel before it could start building any part. And that without any change in the production line.

If they are changes, invariably they will be in a new ship build, the steel cut three months ago has to be re-work or discarded completely, delaying the building process.

It is likely that DCNS also faced the same difficulties but with all the facilities within a shouting distance, any problems could be hammered out quickly.

Two Kedah class, KD Kelantan (175) and KD Selangor (176) berthed at Lumut jetty in early 2014. The ship on the other side is KD Mahawangsa. Malaysian Defence
Two Kedah class, KD Kelantan (175) and KD Selangor (176) berthed at Lumut jetty in early 2014. The ship on the other side is KD Mahawangsa. Malaysian Defence

Like us, Egypt is also building more Gowind corvettes in their own shipyard – three actually – but they had the presence of mind to get DCNS to build the first vessel so the French could sort out all of the problems first.

And problems have crop up, as in any new build. DCNS was expected to deliver the first Egypt Gowind in 2017 but now it could be delayed to 2019.

First steel cutting ceremony for Egypt Gowind corvette at Alexandria Shipyard on April 16, 2016. DCNS picture.
First steel cutting ceremony for Egypt Gowind corvette at Alexandria Shipyard on April 16, 2016. DCNS picture.

For the record, work on the first Gowind corvette to build in Egypt started at the Alexandria Shipyard on April 16, this year where the first metal, was cut.

BNS was supposed to deliver the first LCS also by 2019 but the word in the industry that it will only happen if we are very lucky.

RMN To Receive First Littoral Combat Ships In 2019 – Hishammuddin

LUMUT, March 8 (Bernama) — The efficiency of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) will be further increased when it received the first batch of its Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) in 2019, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein said.

I was told that BNS are having production difficulties (as explained in the 5th paragraph) and progress is not as smooth as have been projected.

A CGI of the LCS
A CGI of the LCS

Who knows what stage of the LCS will be now if the first vessel was build at Lorient instead of Lumut. But that’s water under the bridge now .

I have stated before that I am not very optimistic about the delivery time of the LCS. I sincerely hope I am proven wrong this time around.

Edited to add: The Auditor General visited BNS on Sept 1, probably his first visit to the yard after the report back in 2006 which detailed the NGPV travails. Perhaps the 2016 Auditor General report will include the audit of the project. The release in the RMN website is sparse on details and the pictures are also mostly on the officials. There is a picture of the LCS being built but its only served as a background.

To see the report – in Malay – go here.

* Note. The post on the steel cutting ceremony were among those that went missing after Malaysian Defence server crashed last year.

— Malaysian Defence

If you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment

Share
About Marhalim Abas 1161 Articles
Shah Alam

43 Comments

  1. Come on… where all the RM 8 billion+ go?
    Don’t tell me it wasn’t enough.

    Reply
    Most of the money is still with the Treasury. BNS can only claim the money based on the progress of the ships.

  2. Why am I not surprised?
    Defence local industry already failed many times. Latest news said that BNS has financial difficulty due to this project, right? Will SGPV follow the NGPV story?

    http://www.thestar.com.my/business/busines…steads-results/

    Reply
    I believed its a cash flow problems, they need to finish the ships to get the money.

  3. still not change…wasting time and money..never learn..

    Reply
    We were committed once the decision was made in 1997 to give the NGPV project to Amin Shah.

  4. Same old story, is this another amin shah 2.0 ? This is what we call ‘you fail to plan then you planned to fail’. From the beginning BNS haven’t equipped this shipyard with the complete facilities to build such a modern ship, without steel cutting facilities and has to rely on ‘outside’ source to do such works process. In construction if you delay, the 1001 costs will haunted the contractor and affecting the progress of project. Profit margin become small and this will cause financial disease for the contractor. The final stage of this financial disease the government have to appoint the kontraktor penyelamat to finish off the project.

    Reply
    As BNS is part of public listed Boustead and partly owned by LTAT we can be sure no one will abscond. Whether they will be able to stick with the delivery dates and budget is another issue

  5. There was also quite a bit of work that had to be performed, infrastructure wise, before BNS could start work. BNS would also have had to hire some people who are not part of its workforce – for the NGOPV programme they hired some Aussies who had prior experience on the ANZACs, to help with QC. As Marhalim has pointed out, since the NGOPV prgramme BNS has not been in the shipbuilding business; its business has been confined to refits, overhauls, etc. I’m not surprised that DCNS is doing things faster; it has the workforce, it has the experience and it has the infrastructure. For me, of far more important is that the LCS gets delivered on time, on spec and withing budget. I won’t form any conclusions until then.

  6. 5 Lick – ”From the beginning BNS haven’t equipped this shipyard with the complete facilities to build such a modern ship, without steel cutting facilities and has to rely on ‘outside’ source to do such works process.”

    They have the facilities – if they hadn’t they wouldn’t have been able to build the NGOPVs. When BNS received the contract it started on expending its infrastructure to cater for the LCS; it needs to as in addition to building the LCS it also has to continue its core business of doing refits and overhauls; as such additional facilities are needed. Lets what and see how things proceed instead of becoming premature prophets of doom. It still very early days to form any conclusions.

  7. To be fair. We must not equate the opv project with BNS. The projwct was first awarded to Amin Shah n when the company went kaput, Boustead took over to salvage the project. The company i work for supplied certain software for the project. Under Boustead, they manage to complete the project.
    But then Boustead has weaknesses. Many experienced personnel were let go after the project n there is no continuity. So everything has to start afresh all over again learning painful lessons.
    Give them a chance. Once the first ship is completed, hopefully they will have learn all the painfull lessons anew n become better n more efficient in the following ships.

  8. Lee,

    I agree. Unfortunately people are quick in forming conclusions without being acquainted with all the facts and before the final result is known. As BNS hasn’t constructed anything in almost a decade and has to not only construct the LCS but also simultaneously continue performing refits and overhauls [the Naval Dockyard was originally planned to be a refit/overhaul yard – the plan to construct ships came later] it is taken that its infrastructure has to be expended. We all know that DCNS could probably have constructed the ships faster and cheaper than having then constructed here but – like having the AV-8s built here rather than in Turkey – it’s water under the bridge. Now all we can hope is that all 6 ships are delivered on time, on spec and within budget.

    The RMN’s immediate priorities now is the LMS and ASW helos – lets see what happens and how fast things can start rolling. On paper the Wildcat is the ideal choice as it shares common parts [including the engine] and we have experience on the Super Lynx. The problem is that ASW is a time consuming game requiring air assets to have the needed range, endurance and onboard space for torps and sonobuoys. The few operators that configured their Super Lynxs/Lynxs for ASW mostly didn’t have a larger platform on hand so they had no alternative.

  9. Imho to enhance bns capability,there must be a continuity to the sgpv program so that the skill sets and knowledge are not lost come 2022 when the last ship is expected to finish.As such plan should be in place for further ship building after that, maybe for the replacement of the current 5 light frigates(kd hang tuah to kd kasturi) using the updated gowind model perhaps

  10. The workforce,can be retained through continuous naval projects. But it depends on our govt commitment and contracts to it in the first place.

  11. I’m not sure the first Egyptian Gowind is delayed…

    Looking at the Fremm construction timeline, it takes about 12 months from launch to first sea trials and 2 months for builders trials. The Gowinds are half the size with much simpler equipment fit-out, so things could go even faster. But either way, late 2017 seems likely for commissioning. Should give DCNS plenty of time to pass-on any lessons learned to BNS.

  12. if i may ask, is it cheaper for the lcs to be built in France? and what is the main purpose of building the ships here..should bns complete the 6 lcs..will it be abandoned again for 10 years until the goverment decides to order new ships?

    Reply
    Its difficult to say whether it will be cheaper in France, because it will involved a lot of things. Whatever my misgivings about the current predicament about the project I am not saying it will be abandoned any time soon. It WON’T be whatever the current difficulties. Boustead is too big to let it failed. Late delivery is my main concern, yes its maybe premature but its just my concerns.

  13. Same problem here in Australia.

    Once the LHDs were finished, there is no more work in Victoria. They will have to start fresh on the project to replace the ANZAC class. The AWDs are being built in Adelaide as the new subs.

    The problem here is different states are also vying for the same job.

    Perhaps for Boustead, MRSS after LCS?

  14. @Azlan

    “Lets what and see how things proceed instead of becoming premature prophets of doom. It still very early days to form any conclusions.”

    Because the initial stage we can foresee the problema/constraints that contractor are facing may potentially drag the whole project delay/failure in the end. That is why i said if you fail to plan then you planned to fail. If the most vital process (steel cutting) currently rely on outside source, I don’t see the subsequent works will expedite accordingly. Might as well since this is first ship, the momentum are quite slow, I hope 2 ship will be ok and can be delivered on time.

  15. Sapurakencana yard just near BNS. They have complete automated cutting machine and welding machine. FPSO no issue for them. Nowdays they dry oil and gas job. Eat the pride and have them help.

  16. Azlan,

    Regarding the ASW helos, what do you think is the best candidate?

    If I’m not mistaken, the EC725 is also one possible candidate for the programme. And since the Air Force owns them, the Armed Forces could also save in terms of maintenance. And plus, last time, there were even talks of buying an extra 12 helos to replace the Nuri, but I assume that plan is gone..

    Then, there’s also the factore of training. Since Eurocopter is also setting up a helo simulator for training on the EC725 platform in the country (not sure if it is completed), it could also help speed up the training process.

    And performance wise, the EC725 has a good range which could contribute significantly to ASW.

    Plus, in terms of production, Eurocopter has a few production lines to speed up the building process of this helos, 2 in Europe, 1 in Brazil, and possibly another one in India.

    What are your thoughts in this?

  17. Nimitz – ”The workforce,can be retained through continuous naval projects. ”

    In this case the workforce wasn’t retained as the company went ratshit; many left or were laid off. Ultimately the government has to give some level of commitment as to orders; until that happens local companies will find it hard to stay a float.

    5Lkick – ”Because the initial stage we can foresee the problema/constraints that contractor are facing may potentially drag the whole project delay/failure in the end.”

    The keyword here is ”may”. It is common for things to start slowly and then get faster as thing ramp up. That may well be the case here. Again – its still early days to form conclusions as any delays or issues faced now with the lead ship doesn’t automatically mean it will affect the whole programme. I’m no fan of BNS but even larger, more established and more experienced yards have faced delivery and other issues.

    KIM – ”Eat the pride and have them help.”

    It may have nothing to do with pride but with other issues. Until we have the full story and until we know the final result; lets not form any conclusions. We don’t even know for certain if the delays was caused by steel cutting issues ….

  18. Q,

    Like I said, on paper the Wildcat is the logical candidate; from a training and logistical perspective. The problem is that the Wildcat, when fitted with a dipping sonar, the equipment in the cabin and torps [all of which take ups space and adds weight on an already small platform] might not have the needed range and endurance for ASW work and I’m not sure if a Wildcat has space for sonobuoys. Granted ASW helos do not go looking for subs on their own [contacts are usually detected first by a mother ship or other means] but flying around at low level looking for a contact and deploying a dipping sonar is time consuming and takes up fuel. To think that some navies fitted torps to Wasps!

    If cash wasn’t an issue then ideally a larger helo would be bought –
    yes going down the Cougar route has several advantages but MR-60s are more widely used than ASW configured Cougars and we train with navies that use MR-60s. Then there is the question of how marinised the Cougar is? Even marinised helos suffer corrosion issues when deployed for too long; as was the case with the Super Lynx when deployed in the Gulf of Aden. This is just my opinion but if left to the RMN, I suspect it will go for a larger platform.

  19. What we should do now imo is start buiding this ship in france.the money saved by doing so (quite a lot actually if you consider the possible bailout money also wakakaka) can be given to boustead to build more patrl boats like the samudera class which is less complicated to bulid compared to lcs.so every body win.but this will never happen .

  20. Agreed on how govt can help maintain a skilled, experinced and competant naval shipbuilding workforce. Luckily Mal is far unlike Aus, naval shipbuilding is a big political topic both at states and federal level.

    Wonder how Sing can maintain its naval shipbuilding workforce.

    Reply
    Thats why they start the LMV project after completing the Omani OPV which came after the Thai LST. The Omani OPV project was the reason the LMV program is humming so well. The first LMV could be described as the fourth vessel in terms of ship building schedule as it was build after the third or 4th Omani OPV. That’s why the LMV is now already on the 3rd ship. Plus they got a host black projects that keep the shipyard busy plus the civil projects. They also do maintenance for RSN. Next is the carrier project as the O&G projects are gone just like Malaysia. Note the ST shipyard is state owned compared to BNS so they don’t have to compete for refit and maintenance job.

  21. Building the LCS in France would mean the whole contract would have to be renegotiated. Renegotiating the contract at this stage might not lead to costs savings but more cash spent and delays! Plus work has already started in Lumut.

  22. nimitz,

    Take Deftech as an example. After delivering all 200 odd Adnans it had to wait for quite a while before receiving a follow on order for 48. If further orders are not received how long more will Deftech keep open its production facilities for the Adnan? If Deftech didn’t receive the AV-8 contract would have had to resort to lay offs or is overhaul/depot level maintenance work sufficient to make ends meet? By right Deftech should already start looking at an Adnan upgrade programme; namely by improving the Adnan’s protection levels against shoulder launched weapons.

    The question however of whether the engine and gearbox on Sharpshooter Adnans can take the extra weight brought on by applique armour is unknown to me. There is also no further news on the Deftech/Bumar Laberdy collaboration to upgrade Cambodian T-54/55s with financing supposed to have been provided by a Malaysian bank.

    Well said Marhalim.

  23. Isn’t the initial plan was to build total 27 ships, so there’s no problem of getting continues order.

    Reply
    That was the plan back in 1997 but its mostly back to the drawing board now

  24. nawab,

    They came up with the 27 NGOPV figure over a 16 year period because the 20 odd Vosper built [Sabah, Keris and Sabah class] PCs were to have been progressively replaced. Initial plans called for an initial 6 ships, leading to follow on orders. Off topic but initial plans – as announced publicly – called for 32 CN-235s to be ordered from IPTN; we ended up ordering 6 followed by 2. With defence not a priority how can the government commit to large orders of big ticket items?

  25. Okiedokie on local defence industry situation. They’re surviving but can’t go further due to cash flow and low volume on contracts, not to forget the “sharks” in the soup. Not many gain sucess in export. In the end, we can hope no further delay in defense projects.

    Maybe OCTober we can have a post on Samudera ships.

  26. @nimitz

    “They’re surviving but can’t go further due to cash flow and low volume on contracts, not to forget the “sharks” in the soup. Not many gain sucess in export.”

    Agreed with this statement. That is why i emphasize on planning. Actually what is main objective BNS build SGPV locally? Without no continuation on previous kedah class design, yet they want another new design to working out? Hehehe. If they want to sustain in this industry, you have to seek opportunity for exporting those products and not only waiting the government contracts and small small job like refit, regular maintenance and so on. At least indonesia’s PT PAL and singapore’s ST Marine can survive because of exporting their products such as endurance class and makassar class to the neighboring countries. So, that is the job that keep them alive and sustain in this industry. If the objective of build SGPV locally, so that the BNS will expand as a regional hub for naval ship, then, the dock yard have to be equipped with all the facilities including steel cutting facility and so on. If just one time job, then i don’t have to say any further. Same goes to AV8 project.

  27. 5Lkick – ” If the objective of build SGPV locally, so that the BNS will expand as a regional hub for naval ship, then, the dock yard have to be equipped with all the facilities including steel cutting facility and so on”

    Not necessarily. Granted, BNS needs key components such slipways, drydocks, etc, etc, which it has but doesn’t necessarily need to have all the facilities or components needed for the construction of ships. It’s quite common for yards the world over to outsource certain areas ….

    5Lkick – ”At least indonesia’s PT PAL and singapore’s ST Marine can survive because of exporting their products such as endurance class and makassar class to the neighboring countries”

    It remains to be seen in the long run if both companies are able to gain a steady order book. At the end of the day; their core business [like BNS] remains overhauls and refits. ST Marine also faces less local competition compared to BNS as the RMN also send ships to other yards in the country, e.g. the Lekius have been sent to Pasir Gudang in the past and 2 Mahamirus were fitted with new sonars at Labuan, the yard which was formerly Hong Leong Lurssen at times performs maintenance on RMN ships, etc. And as Marhalim rightfully pointed out ST Marine is government owned as such it enjoys certain advantages that BNS doesn’t.

    The decision to construct the LCS locally has already been taken and work has started – complaining is pointless, we must as well complain about the decision to buy Fulcrums and the Laksamanas! Like the decision to build AV8 here; the decision to build the LCS was intended to kickstart the local industry. Whether Deftech ever exports a single AV8 and BNS a LCS remains to be seen and is highly unlikely but there was a reason for going down this route instead of having them built abroad – we can argue that the decision has flaws and the taxpayer and the MAF will pay the penalty but there was a reason nonetheless behind this decision; irrespective of whether [like me] we disagree.

    Judging BNS on the NGOPV cockup and predicting that the LCS will be another cockup based on what happened with the NGOPV is pointless, silly and unfair as it was a different management responsible and the circumstances were different. By right, after all 6 LCS have been delivered there will be a follow on order and BNS will be able to increase the local content, have less dependence on foreign help and be able to ‘weak’ the design fir the RMN’s specific needs; in long term partnership with a foreign yard/company – that’s what was intended with the NGOPV programme but didn’t.

  28. Azlan- ” The decision to construct the LCS locally has already been taken and work has started ”

    That’s why 5Lkick said it was a fail plan. As you know at start many is not approved on building sgpv here based on price and experienced. If Malaysia shipyard is that good, it should be able to build sgpv based on meko. Many already suspicious that picking gowind is just an excuse of incompetency.

    Azlan- ” It remains to be seen in the long run if both companies are able to gain a steady order book. At the end of the day; their core business [like BNS] remains overhauls and refits. ST Marine also faces less local competition compared to BNS as the RMN also send ships to other yards in the country, e.g. the Lekius have been sent to Pasir Gudang in the past and 2 Mahamirus were fitted with new sonars at Labuan, the yard which was formerly Hong Leong Lurssen at times performs maintenance on RMN ships, etc. And as Marhalim rightfully pointed out ST Marine is government owned as such it enjoys certain advantages that BNS doesn’t.”

    A shipyard which is depend on military project is stupid unless it served all US military ships. Both PT PAL and ST Kinetics are also doing maintenance, repair and overhaul not only military but civilian ships too. It not fair to say the benefits ST kinetics as a reason of their succesful, Malaysian shipyards also have their own benefits. Both have their own problems. The different is ST kinetics finds a way to overcome it and make progress such as exporting their LPD and their latest 75 m corvette. Who will buy a military ship from Malaysia?
    People didn’t want to hear your excuse but your efforts and progress only. The problems are yours only to solve it.

    Like 5Lkick said what is the main point to build a frigate here? Malaysia navy is small and unlikely military foreign will buy a corvette or frigate size ships from malaysia shipyard. Yes, it just waste time and money.

    Azlan, I admire your nationalism but the facts are there. We are all aware of the conditions but many already fed up but you still keep a high hope.

    Reply
    If BNS got their way they’ll build the SGPV to an improved Kedah design but the navy wanted a different design and more importantly the government agreed to it.

  29. If Eygpt beat Mal in delivering its maiden ship, we can say its not a “fair competition”, they have DCNS built and troubleshoot its 1st ship then consecutive ship to be build locally. For BNS, they build and troubleshoot its 1st ship locally. To compare how BNS building LCS with Kedah-class also a slightly different story as 1st ship modules came from Germany put together in Lumut.

    Reply
    The Kedah class steel was also cut in Holland, though it was a different mill than the LCS one. This was done for all the six ships, even the two that was built in Germany.

  30. Romeo – ”That’s why 5Lkick said it was a fail plan. As you know at start many is not approved on building sgpv here based on price and experienced.”

    I have already said that building the ships here was a flawed decision but it’s pointless complaining as work’s already in progress and flawed or not; there were reasons behind building the ships here. If it was up to me I’d rather have them built abroad but it wasn’t up to me or the ”many” you mentioned. If we want to go on and on moaning about the LCS being build here we must as well also go on and on about other flawed decisions including buying the Fulcrums, Laksamanas, HK-33s and Panhards! I have also said that instead of being prophets of doom; we should wait for the final result before coming to conclusions. Again : what’s important now is the LCS being delivered on time, within budget and within specs.
    As for 5Lkick saying it’s a ”fail” plan; he’s entitled to his opinion but I’d rather wait and see what eventually happens before declaring it’s a ”fail” plan ….

    Romeo – ” If Malaysia shipyard is that good, it should be able to build sgpv based on meko. Many already suspicious that picking gowind is just an excuse of incompetency.”

    I have no idea as to how you came up with such an incorrect conclusion but the fact that we did not build more ships based on the Meko A-100 had ZERO to do with BNS being ”is that good” [as you put it] BUT because of other factors including political, problems the yard had with the GNG and what the RMN wanted – zero to do with ”incompetency’ [as you put it]. In fact, Thyssen [which took over as the main partner in the GNG] was promoting a design based on the Meko A-100 which BNS would have been able to build if the design had been selected – just because a design based on the NGOPV/Meko A-100 wasn’t selected doesn’t mean the Gowind is easier to build or the yard is unable to do the job of building a design based on the Meko A-100. In fact building a design based on the Meko A-100 would be easier than building a completely new design. And before anyone insinuates I have nothing to gain; nor am I involved in any way with BNS.

    Romeo – ”A shipyard which is depend on military project is stupid unless it served all US military ships.”

    No, a shipyard which depends on military project is not ”stupid” as you claim: the key is sustaining adequate work over a long period. BNS/Naval Dockyard was first conceived as a refit/maintenance yard; plans for shipbuilding only came later. BTW, BNS isn’t the only yard which depends wholly on military contracts.

    Romeo – ”The different is ST kinetics finds a way to overcome it and make progress such as exporting their LPD and their latest 75 m corvette”

    I have nothing but praise for ST Marine but the circumstances facing that company are slightly different compared to BNS. One can’t simply make an apples to oranges comparison without first taking into consideration key factors.

    Romeo – ”Who will buy a military ship from Malaysia?”

    It’s wasn’t a frigate, corvette or OPV but a Malaysian yard has exported ”military ships” before ….. Check.

    Romeo – ”Azlan, I admire your nationalism but the facts are there”

    It has zero to do with ”nationalism” but with reality and hard facts. Just because the ”facts” don’t fit in with your narrative or what you’d like to convince yourself is the true picture; doesn’t mean they’re not facts.

  31. Got to talk with a senior BNS person recently. At least the contract they signed with the government is in Euro (they fought hard to get it) so any forex losses would not be bourne by BNS.

  32. Basically we have tidbits on whats happening to project LCS. Lack of info fuels speculations. Can we get somebody “official enough” to update us on the project progress? We’re unfortunate compared to the US, most of its non-secret military project development progress have updates for public comsumption. At least MD brings awareness on whats happenings.

  33. For ST Marine the next big project is not just the giant LHD but air defence frigate I read to replace Victory. ST own deisgn or perhaps model after Horizon frigate?

    Reply
    IMO I think more likely after the LHDs are a pair of smaller LPDs, as a replacement for the Endurance class. They cannot be sending the LHDs for everything. So they need a LPD for other missions where the LHD not needed. Probably after that they will start building a replacement for the Victory.

  34. Nimitz,

    Its all based on speculation and the unfair and unrealistic assumption that just because the NGOPV programme was a cockup; that the LCS will also be a cockup. Before even the first hull has been launched people have jumped to conclusions. People also have a tendency to make apples to oranges comparisons without taking into consideration the various factors involved.

  35. The Horizon class was built in limited numbers because it is too large even for European needs. Singapore won’t be building such a size, especially since enough of the capability is in the Formidable class.

  36. I guess it depends on the European country. Some have an expeditionary role or global commitments; some don’t. If anything the main obstacle with the Horizon will be its cost rather than size or displacement. Sweden deployed corvettes for extended periods in the Gulf of Aden and it must have been a wee bit uncomfortable for its crews. A friend of mine who left the service almost 20 years ago was the XO of Kelewang. He spoke of an incident when the sea was so rough that everything that was not secured in the bridge had overturned and even the person who was at the helm was puking!

    I tend to like large ships, not because they look impressive but because of the flexibility they offer in terms of more deck space, range, endurance and a larger hangar that not only can embark large helos but can also be used for units like Paskal. Given that no RMN ship on deployment is more than 1/2 days way from the nearest base or port and that deployments like Ops Fajar was a one off thing; we don’t need ships displacing 4/5,000 tonnes and the range and endurance they offer. The Formidables were needed as the RSN needed a hull than can accommodate the Sylver, plus they also come in useful if the RSN is faced with a situation where it has to deploy in the South China Sea or other areas.

  37. “Some have an expeditionary role or global commitments; some don’t. If anything the main obstacle with the Horizon will be its cost rather than size or displacement. ”

    The Horizon project originated when the Cold War was on, which likely influenced the longer endurance and large size of the ships because replenishment would have been more difficult in a full on naval war. There are also more redundant systems on the Horizon than the FREMM for the sake of sustaining battle damage.

    Since then, FREMM has replaced Horizon in those navies’ plans because these requirements are no longer emphasized. In fact, the proposed version of the FREMM shows that it one can have a more advanced radar and other systems than the Horizon on a smaller hull.

  38. Most western countries like UK, Germany, France and USA needs large ships as they are operating very far from home waters (ie expeditionary). Even USA “littoral” ships are meant not to operate in ther own littoral, but to operate in other countries littoral thousands of miles from USA.

    On the other hand, TLDM main task is to defend our own littorals. The furtherst would be the OPV and Frigates operating in South China Sea and the Andaman Sea entrance to the Melacca Straits (which is ill suited to small FACs TLDM are using in those areas); and the LMS (ideally with the size of current laksamana class corvettes) operating in the Melacca Straits and Esscom areas. So we should not blindly follow what is needed by other countries, but to tailor our ships precisely to our own needs and requirements.

    @AM
    Horizon was supposed to be the dedicated anti air warfare destoyer for the escort of the Carrier air group. The requirement is still there, but the budget is not. FREMM was supposed to be the dedicated ASW Frigate, but 2 of the planned FREMM is to be fitted for anti air warfare as replacements of cancelled Horizon destroyers cancelled due to budget cuts.

  39. Like I said, our ships are never more than 1/2 days sailing time to the nearest port/base. Another issue with regards to ships with a large displacement and deep draft is that not all our bases have jetties that can take a deep draft ship. If we ever went for a combatant displacing 5/6,000 tonnes it would be because we have to fit a certain VLS or some other system on it; not because we need the range or endurance such a large ship has to offer. The LCS has a shallow draft because most of our operating areas – with the exception of parts of the Sulu and South China Sea – are shallow. It is for the same reason, as well as our operational requirements that we’ll probably never order a large ocean going SSK and will stick to smaller designs like the Scorpene.

  40. The design of the LMS will draw heavily from limitations faced operating current ships including the Laksamanas [ships the RMN never wanted but were forced to accept] and FACs [bought at a time when operational requirements and threat perceptions were different]. The biggest danger is not whether the RMN will receive the LMS but on specs/requirements having to be reduced due to budgetary issues. Granted there will be drawbacks but one can’t have everything : does the LMS needs a heli-pad? Leaving out a heli-pad and just ensuring space on the quarter deck for a UAS would mean that the deck space saved could be used for something else. By this stage the RMN has a pretty good idea as to what it needs for the LMS; now it remains up to the politicians.

    After ordering a large batch of 120mm rounds last year the Poles it seem have come up with a new 125mm KE round. After buying from Prentis, we ordered better ammo from another source which remains publicly unknown.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.