15 to 5 and LMS Updates

A CGI of the LMS.

SHAH ALAM: LMS and 15 to 5 updates. The RMN 15 to 5 transformation plan is on track and the navy will have a new fleet – if it goes to plan – in 30 years time. The first two ships under the plan are the LCS – two already being built – and the LMS which is to start construction soon.

Three LCS (including the two already built) and three LMS will be build under the current RMK11 plan which ends in 2020. For RMK12 – 2021 to 2025, the navy plans to build three more LCS, eight LMS and one each of the PV (Kedah class) and the MRSS (Damen design?).

RMN’s 15 to 5 plan, graphic posted on the service official Facebook page, TLDM

Between 2026 to 2030 under the RMK13, it will be five PV, seven LMS and two more MRSS. In RMK 14 (2031=2035) funding will be sought for 5 PV and one submarine; in RMK15 (2036-2040) one each of the PV and submarine and four LCS and RMK16 (2041-45) two LCS as the replacement for a replacement for the Kedah class.

A CGI of the LMS.

The RMN building plans were made public during the sent-off ceremony for 12 officers and men of the LMS project team at KD Seri Gombak, yesterday.
An earlier CGI of the LMS. TLDM picture

Navy chief Admiral Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin says the project team will be stationed in Wuhan, China, to monitor the construction of the two LMS at China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Co. Ltd, at the Wuchang shipyard. Nine personnel from Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd will also be assigned to the shipyard for the build.
The LMS project team (standing behind) posed for a picture with Kamarulzaman (third from right)

Conglomerate Boustead Holdings Bhd has bagged a RM1.17bil contract from the Defence Ministry for the supply of four units of littoral mission ships (LMS).

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the company said subsidiary Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) received the letter of acceptance (LOA) dated March 17 from the ministry.

“The contracted job, which is a collaboration between the Malaysian government and Chinese government, was awarded to BNS under direct negotiation, for collaboration with a partner shipyard in China at a price of RM1.17bil (including goods and services tax), to be implemented over four years effective from the date of signing of the LOA by BNS,” it said.

Boustead added that the LMS would be designed by the partner shipyard and the first two vessels would be built and delivered in China in 2019 and 2020, while the remaining two vessels would be built and delivered in Malaysia in 2021.

“The contract will have a positive effect on the earnings of Boustead for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2017, and will contribute positively to its future earnings,” Boustead said.

The team for this project had a huge responsibility and task to ensure technology transfer between China and Malaysia, which is the first of its kind involving defence, Kamarulzaman said.

One of the Durjoy class LPC shortly after its launching at Wuchang Shipyard in Wuhan. Note the main gun and the rear guns which is covered.

He, however, did not state when the keel will be laid and expected commissioning dates. “We will update you with the exact dates from time to time,” he says when pressed further for the construction schedule of the LMS.

Front view of a LMS model displayed at LIMA 17

Kamarulzaman said the LMS could carry up to three standard ISO containers for mission modules, in the future, from mine warfare, hydrography to ISR duties. However, further details on the mission modules equipment for LMS was not available as they have not been finalised or more importantly funded, yet.

A full lenght show of the LMS model at LIMA 17.

Various containerised mission modules are currently available from 120mm Nemo mortar to SSM which can be easily move from ship to ship, though RMN have yet to indicate its preference for such weapon system.
A containerised 120mm Nemo mortar. This system will be a welcome addition to the LMS. RMN however have ye to indicate it will have something similar to it.

But from the CGI displayed, as reported previously, the first four LMS will be fitted with a China made 30mm RWS forward and two 12.7mm guns amidships.
General specifications of the LMS

Note the general specifications of the LMS above which is a variant of the Durjoy LPC of the Bangladesh Navy.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

44 Comments

  1. Marhalim,

    Does LMS vessel Only Equiped with 30mm Gun under FBNW (Fitted But Not With) and Not using Missile and Torpedos. Why It is Inportant Without Missile and Torpedos not only Because Of money or what ?

    Reply
    Money and China stuff.

  2. That is a very comprehensive and detailed plan for up to 30 years from now from the navy leaders.

    Note that the new PV (will it be the kedah class for sure?) will begin right after the LCS batch 1 is completed. There would be 12 new PV. After the 12 new pv is completed 20 years from now there would be the building of LCS batch 2 which interestingly to replace the original kedah class ships which by that time would be around 30years old.

  3. Building plans is one thing. What about the retirement plans? Especially kasturi and lekiu classes.

  4. Quite recently indon had launched new patrol vessels quite similar to lms. in fact indon had launched quite a number of naval vessels for the last couple of years

    sometimes i wonder why we cannot even design a single patrol boat wven tho we are supposedly better than indon

  5. Actually at the end of 15 to 5 program there would only be 12 sgpv, as the original 6 is to be replaced by the additional 6 LCS batch 2.

    As for the 12 new sgpv, i wonder what target price for this new batch. If it is more than usd150mil with full armament, it is not prudent to stay with the meko 100 design. Going for something like the 056 class / P18 class corvette would be much better bang for the buck. Also interesting to see what OPV the australian navy is going to procure, and why BHIC isn’t offering the kedah class to the australian navy opv contract.

  6. Is that the best design the Chinese can offer us?I still say the look of the design is very very familiar with what the French and German shipyards were producing when the FACs was in fancy back in the 1970s.Why don’t they have a look at the ST Marines designs and see what I meant.Maybe the Boustead naval engineers can contribute something to redesign the whole outlook of the ship.Maybe some people might not care about the look and care more about the contents but i beg to differ.

  7. RMK16 (2041-45) two LCS as the replacement for a replacement for the Kedah class.

    Typo????

    a very well plan but it still depend on our Country Financial. Hope RMAF will come out their own roadmap…

    Reply
    By that time the Kedah class will be some 30 years old already

  8. Although it can be financial constraints. But can the vessels been built in a faster way? It feels like once the plan of 15 to 5 is fully executed, the navy might need to start replacing the ships already.

  9. No surprises with the MCM and survey modules : sound in theory but whether the RMN in the future finds that such modules really can do the needed job remains to be seen. There was talk recently of survey work being outsourced or privatised. We can probably expect the LMS to have rails in the future for minelaying.
    Also, whether the 5/15 is really carried out remains to be seen. Anything can change in the future; a different RMN leadership might think another approach is needed, the geo-political situation might change, the government might have other ideas, etc.

    Personally I’m not happy with the decision to put a 30mm in the ‘A’ but whether this was due to budgetary reasons or because the RMN feels that a 30mm is sufficient for the type of roles the LMS will perform of course is unknown. With regards to the ”technology transfer’ sure the government loves ”technology transfers” bu what the transfer will entail and whether it really benefits us remains to be seen …

    … – ”What about the retirement plans? Especially kasturi and lekiu classes.”

    Too early days of the that especially given that both have lots of years left and the government can’t provide a firm commitment as to sustained funding. Firm retirement plans can only be done if firm guarantees are given as to getting replacements; until that happens nothing’s for sure.

    Foxbat25 – ”Is that the best design the Chinese can offer us”

    Wrong question. Ask whether we could have got better for what we’re going to pay, whether the Chinese could offer us better for what we’re willing to pay and whether other yards could have provided better for the same price but were not selected to built the LMS.

    Foxbat25 – ”Maybe some people might not care about the look and care more about the contents but i beg to differ.”

    Differ all you want. I’d rather have a ship with useful utility and one that meets one’s requirements rather than one which is aesthetically pleasing but does not meet requirements.

    Choon – ”wven tho we are supposedly better than indon”

    As far as I’m aware nobody claimed we’re ”better” than them. To answer your question look at the bigger picture rather than it in isolation. It’s largely because there is more political will on the part of their government on account of politics, long overdue modernisation only now being implemented and the sense of urgency given that the TNI-AL also has ships that should have been retired ears ago.

  10. I was Thinking If Another Batch of LCS will Be Air Defences System Version. It Should Be Great To Protect Malaysian Airspace In South China Sea. For me, ADS Version Of Littoral Combat Ship Should Equiped With CAMM Or Some US New Sea Air Missile System. Example, If Chinese Jets are On their Way To Enter Malaysian Airspace. The Navy Air Defences Will Respone To Shoot down Those Jets Immidiatily.

  11. Thousands of words have been said about the LMS here but to date no visitor [unless I’m mistaken] has asked if the RMN had any say in deciding which Chinese yard it wanted to work with. Was the decision as to which yard would build the LMS made at a political level with the RMN having very little say? Was the RMN presented with the design and told it’ll have to make do the best it can with what’s offered?

    Like many here there are aspects of the LMS I’m not happy with but it’s not all doom and gloom. They’ll have better sea keeping, range and endurance than the FACs they’ll replace; have a lower radar and presumably lower IR signature [some are very gung ho about ”stealth”], will have better performing and longer range sensors, will be cheaper and less maintenance intensive to maintain and [we hope] will be networked [like The Lekius and Kasturis] to one another as well as to other RMN assets.

    As I’ve previously pointed out a major concern is whether they’ll eventually be fitted out to replace the capabilities we lost on the Perdanas, Handalans and Laksamanas? A major conundrum the RMN will face is that although it has a preference for Western gear; it will have no choice but to go for Chinese gear due to budgetary reasons and the need to avoid integration of Western gear to Chinese gear; which can drastically spiral the cost. As such we’ll have frigates/LCS/NGOPVs with a Western fit and LMS with a Chinese fit – not the best of arrangements. As for the modules; great on paper to achieve costs savings and flexibility but whether modules actually work for us or meets our needs is something only time will tell.

  12. Will the containerized items be ‘plugged’ into a Chinese CMS to be controlled from within the ship? Or standalone and accessible only from outside you think?

    Reply
    It depends on the mission modules itself. For example, the Nemo container mortar has a standalone control system though I guess one has to link the radio with the mother ship for cordination.

  13. @ azlan

    The chinese LMS has a performance no better than the old Jerong class FAC(G), and even worse than the MMEA new NGPC.

    As of chinese sell what is within our budget, just look at the chinese P18N OPV. It is bigger, better armed, than the LMS, and at a price cheaper than the LMS. The original durjoy also cost just a quarter of the LMS version. All the markup is on BHIC side, not the chinese. If you still want to put it on the chinese, just look at the new damen MMEA OPV. That ship is also cheaper than the LMS. Buying all 18 of the LMS would only be a massive waste of money for the little capability the LMS gives to TLDM.

  14. Is there anything we can reuse from previous ‘technology Transfer’s eg use COSYS M1 or Tacticos CMS in these low tech ships?

    Reply
    No

  15. It is better for Malaysia buy Russia’s Steregushchy class corvettes which is stealthy equipped with Oniks-800 (Yakhont export Version) supersonic cruise missiles (Mach 3.0) compared with France’s Exocet subsonic cruise missiles (Mach 0.92). It also has a 30 mm cannon, 4 torpedo tube launchers and a helipad for an ASW helicopter like AgustaWestland A159 Wildcat etc. It also can be equipped with S-400 or Igla SAMs. Each unit (Tigr export Version) costs only USD 150 million. Subsystems can be customised to suit Malaysian needs like what was done with the Sukhoi Su-30MKM multirole fighter jets. A smaller variant is the Buyan-M missile boat without helipad. It is not advisable to buy from China given the conflict in the South China Sea.

  16. Sundra Anand,

    That is The Stupid Thing I Ever Heard. No More Russian OK. Western Is Better Than Russia Vesssel Except For Buyan-M. And FYI, Why Malayaia Choose China For LMS. Cause Of Low Cost man.

  17. ….. – ”The chinese LMS has a performance no better than the old Jerong class FAC(G), ”

    The design has better sea keeping, range and endurance than not only the Jerongs but also the Perdana and Handalans. Unlike all 3 the LMS is not a purpose built FAC for which range, endurance and sea keeping are not priorities given their traditional roles.
    Also, given that it’s larger the LMS has more deck and internal space in case we want to add on anything in the near future. I’m not a fan of the design but looked objectively; it is way ahead of the Handalan, Perdana and Handalan in many aspects. The question of whether it will be armed with SSMs of course remains to be seen.

    … – ”As of chinese sell what is within our budget, just look at the chinese P18N OPV.”

    There are lots of things we could have bought and lots on offer but before we get into that did did the RMN have say in the matter as to which yard it wanted to work with and which design it preferred? Was it even offered other designs apart from what was selected?

    Sundra,

    So it’s alright to have China as the biggest investor here and for us to be China’s largest ASEAN partner but not alright to buy Chinese gear on account that China is involved in the Spratlys? Using your logic we must as well not buy anything from Indonesia as we have an unresolved maritime boundary with them and Ambalat is still unresolved. We should also not buy anything from Singapore on account of Pulau Batu Puteh. Does that makes sense?? BTW there is no ”conflict”’ in the South China Sea at the moment. As for Russian naval gear; none were even considered and none were offered. Like Chinese gear,Russian gear will be incompatible with what we currently have and there will be integration issue to sort out. At least the Chinese LMS will have licensed built MTU, Russian ship will have Russian engines with ZERO commonality to what we already have.

  18. Encik – ”Will the containerized items be ‘plugged’ into a Chinese CMS to be controlled from within the ship? Or standalone and accessible only from outside you think?”

    If it’s standalone it will be no better than a WW2 or for that matter a WW1 ship. Ideally all the modules will be integrated to the CMS. The issue here is integration which is problematic and expensive. e.g. if we were to specify Harpoon bur want a Chinese CMS we would have to get the Chinese and Harpoon OEM [assuming permission was granted] to work together to integrate and certify Harpoon to that Chinese CMS. As certain countries have found integrating U.S. to French can be a big issue and here we’re talking about Western and Chinese.

  19. Many seems to be frustrated with the LMS procurement. I see questions by the regular contributors here with some clearly known answers on how the administration of our country operate. I honestly don’t know how effective is this purchase in term of enhancing further our naval line up will be. So far, what we know is pretty much on the surface, maybe? But I do have a question. Does anyone here think RMN will stick to the original built of these LMS once it’s been build here in Lumut? I mean, would it be possible for them to westernized the LMS without having to waste more money on integration?

  20. @ sundra anand

    I believe you are not from malaysia, so I just want to tell you of one thing. Read up on Flight MH17.

  21. Sundra Anand,

    The raw performance of any weapon (speed, range etc) and the sheer firepower of a platform are hardly a guarantee of victory.

    It’s also important is that any new assets are compatible with and can be reliably networked with other fleet and air assets otherwise they will be operating in a standalone fashion, depending on only their own sensors for awareness. We would be at a severe disadvantage against a more networked adversary. At the end of the day, Western platforms are still more networked and their supply chains are more responsive than Russian or Chinese.

    Exocet may be old. But when new missiles are available that are faster, stealthier, smarter, longer legged and so on, we can replace Exocet and integrate new missiles to Western vessels without footing huge integration costs. In the mean time, we are not going against enemies with credible anti-missile defences.

  22. What’s exactly wrong with boustead? It’s kinda similar like MMC gamuda, people hate them for getting plenty of project but in the end of the day, they had the capital, manpower, expertise as well as the necessary equipment to get the job done.

    In fact, malaysia’s shipbuilding industry has smaller players than building construction industry, so expect similar shipbuilder to win a contract over and over again. Does it leads to complacency to both side? Perhaps but then again other player needs to be active in winning smaller contracts to build their expertise as well as trust.

    RMN already had being taken to some wild rides by noob shipbuilders (psc-nd, ngvtech) so it’s understandable that they wanna stick with known partner

  23. edliew – ”I honestly don’t know how effective is this purchase in term of enhancing further our naval line up will be.’

    As I said, it’s not all doom and gloom.

    – To replace the aged and overworked FACS plus the very troublesome and also aged Lasksamanas which never almost never performed as advertised and were a major liability; the RMN will get a new design which is more economical to maintain and which is more suited for its operational needs. The FACs had poor sea keeping for our needs and we used them as patrol assets in open seas for which they were never designed for.

    – The question is whether the LMS – in due time – will replace the capabilities lost when the missiles on the FACs were retired; that’s the question. Secondly, fitted out with various modules; will the LMS do effectively what the RMN hopes it will do? Only time will tell.

    edliew – ”I see questions by the regular contributors here with some clearly known answers on how the administration of our country operate.”

    Indeed and unfortunately we have an opposition which is even more clueless and antipathetic towards defence. Add that to a population which as a whole is complacent towards defence and the situation is what we have now. With regards to the ”30 year plan” I’ll be really surprised if the plan lasts that long : over time priorities, politics, threat perceptions and economics change.

  24. dundun – ”What’s exactly wrong with boustead?”

    The situation with BNS also applies to the industry as a whole; i.e. the way the government approaches defence. Who writes the specs : the industry or the end user? People have lots to say about the LMS and thefact that we could have got better for what
    we paid by buying ”x” or buying from somewhere else [true]
    but did the RMN even select the yard it wanted to work with and the final design? Who selected the yard; BNS or was it offered by the Chinese as part of a government to government deal?

    If given the right budget, if the government places priority on ensuring the end user gets what it needs rather than the needs of the local industry and if the end user has adequate say; BNS [which originally started out as a refit yard] can provide the RMN with what it needs, based on its specific specs to meet its specific operational needs.

  25. “If it’s standalone it will be no better than a WW2 or for that matter a WW1 ship. Ideally all the modules will be integrated to the CMS. The issue here is integration which is problematic and expensive. e.g. if we were to specify Harpoon bur want a Chinese CMS we would have to get the Chinese and Harpoon OEM [assuming permission was granted] to work together to integrate and certify Harpoon to that Chinese CMS. As certain countries have found integrating U.S. to French can be a big issue and here we’re talking about Western and Chinese.”

    I agree. I think unrealistic to think we will see integration with a Chinese CMS for western weapons and systems. If no one else with more resources has been able to do it no reason to think we are any smarter. Or it would come at a ridiculously high cost of course.

  26. Encik,

    Which is why the LMS will be fitted out with mostly Chinese systems. Not that Western systems are necessarily ”better” than Chinese ones but at least with Western systems we have the experience and there will be some level of commonality with Western ones we operate. Another issue with modules is the question of whether the Chinese have come up with the needed ASuW, ASW, MCM, etc, modules? The whole point of the 5/15 was to reduce the number of ships/systems operated; adding Chinese systems to our inventory means we’ll have to create a separate training/support network.

  27. Out of topic

    UK is to sell some of its C-130J hercules to Bangladesh.

    This is probably the 1st sale of used J series hercules ever.

  28. “The whole point of the 5/15 was to reduce the number of ships/systems operated; adding Chinese systems to our inventory means we’ll have to create a separate training/support network.”

    Spot on. ‘software’ is where the savings would come from, not hulls IMO.’software’ includes all the people cost associated with different systems…if 2 different hull types used the exact same systems there would be savings in training, economies of scale, etc…don’t know if TLDM considered that or if they have no say…

    Reply
    Beggars cannot be choosers…

  29. Forgive me for asking this but why is it our gowind cost almost the same as the thailand frigate but with less armament mr marhalim?

    Reply
    It is hazardous to compare the cost of different ships just by the cost of purchase alone. There is a lot of variables. We can only compare the prices if its the exactly same type of ship. Anyhow, on paper, our Gowinds seemed to cost more to a comparable ship as we bought the IP rights so we can try and sell them to other countries. Some of the money also went into getting the infrastructure at Boustead Naval Shipyard up to standard so we can build the ships locally. That is the reason they need to get as many ships built there to get a decent ROI for the LCS project and not mention the job opportunities.
    The Thais just bought the frigates outright so they just need to pay for the hull, machineries and the weapon system. They did go the same route like we when they build the 90 metre OPV.

  30. @…
    “UK is to sell some of its C-130J hercules to Bangladesh.”

    Source? I find that a little hard to believe; nothing personal, just shocked.

  31. Actually…this is my opinion only….the buy chinese n simple hull design with almost no armament has got to do with future upgrades….maybe 10 yrs down the lane…with that company doing the upgrade themself…imagine…the rear space could be added another level for heli pad…simple layout like the sing LMV….the bridge could be added another level…n contract for another 2 decades….who knows…mtu engines they are expert in this field….

  32. @….
    thanks. I think it’s a mistake. The UK-EU transport fleet doesn’t need any further downsizing.

  33. @ Chua

    Read further on UK SDSR and see how much reduction they are planning for their military.

    Even if the Bangladesh sale is not followed through, they will still be retiring 10 their C-130J starting this year.

  34. Let’s not be too critical.
    Similar concept are being push all over the world. One such concept is the – 80 m MCMV by SAAB which is also multi-mission.

    It is scalable, gun can be change and sensor can change, It has 2 20ft container and 2 RHIB docks almost similar with LMS concept. The only difference is that it can be configure for helideck or rotary UAV but that is because of the extra 11m in length.

    For further read of the SAAB proposal.
    http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/2017/may-2017-navy-naval-forces-defense-industry-technology-maritime-security-global-news/5241-udt-2017-saab-rolls-out-its-mcmv-80-mine-counter-measure-vessel-design.html

    The important question is whether LMS can use other OEMs mission modules or retracted to the Chinese.

  35. @ mirsy

    The mcmv is basically everything saab learned during its involvement with the singaporean LMV. You can see the obvious similarity between the two designs.

  36. RedSot – ”the buy chinese n simple hull design with almost no armament has got to do with future upgrades”

    ”The buy chinese” was simply due to economics and politics – nothing else. Whilst we can remain optimistic about what the future will hold the fact remains that in the vast majority of cases, in many navies, ”fitted for” often doesn’t equate with ”fitted with”. One can plan all one wants for ”future upgrades” but it ultimately depends on funding and priorities.

    mirsy – ”’Let’s not be too critical.”

    Indeed. as I said : it’s not all doom and gloom.

    The issue now is whether –
    A. The RMN will get the funding – in the future – to fit out the LMS they ways it wants to.
    B. Whether the RMN will eventually find the modules as a whole – based on its specific needs – to be effective, i.e. will a LMS fitted out for MCM be able to do what a full fledged MCMV can to the RMN’s satisfaction- just because other navies have found this approach to be effective doesn’t mean the same will apply to the RMN.
    C. Whether various modules, including MCM and survey, will be available from Chinese sources. At the moment the Chinese have not gone down the modular route they way various Western countries have.

  37. It seems like the CMS is what decides what systems can be chosen for the ship. if that is the case we are stuck with whatever the Chinese CMS is able to work with, and as Azlan says, will be difficult, if not impossible to get western OEMs to work with them (I cannot find any example of a Chinese CMS integrating with any western naval weapons). Even the Saab MCMV proposal would suffer the same issue if it had to use a Chinese CMS. But it probably won’t if it uses the Saab CMS that has more open architecture (And integrate seamlessly with other Saab products). Hopefully the western modules can still be effective standalone. Maybe put the OEM multifunction displays next to the Chinese CMS displays so crew can at least share data verbally? Sounds crude.

  38. I wonder if we previously bought any rights to the COSYS 110 CMS? That system would maybe integrate quite well with Atlas systems at least and hopefully cheaper than something like Tacticos? Probably designed for low intensity combat too. (No, I don’t work for Atlas).

    Reply
    Supposedly we did.

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