Ammo For Keris Class Ships

KD Keris arriving at the Sepanggar naval base jetty for the welcoming ceremony

SHAH ALAM: Ammo for Keris class ships. In a posting in 2017 on the LMS, I wrote that the Keris class ships will be fitted with a China made RWS and their ammo will likely be compatible with the current 30mm guns in service with the RMN.

I was wrong, and in fact the 30 mm Single Barrel Rapid Fire Naval Gun CS/AN3 on the Keris class fires the 30 mm X 165 mm rounds, the standard 30mm ammo for Russia and other former Soviet client states including China.

The 30mm X 165mm ammo. JSC Iszhmash

The same ammo is however compatible with the GSh-30-1 cannons fitted on RMAF Sukhoi Su-30MKM and the Mig-29 Fulcrum fighters. Before any one ask, yes, the Fulcrums are in storage.

RMAF Sukhoi Su-30MKM M52-02. Note the red cover over its cannon on the wing root. Zaq Sayuti.

The other 30mm guns in service with RMN are the MSI DS30M 30 mm cannon – on the Lekiu, Kasturi and Samudera class ships and the 30mm Oto Breda on the Kedah class ships. Both cannons fire the standard NATO 30mm rounds – the 30 mm X 173mm ammunition.

KD Keris 30mm CS/AN3 RWS. Malaysian Defence

Why I am writing about the ammo on the Keris class, then? Well the Defence Ministry has issued a tender for a MTO to ship their ammo from Europe.

Perkhidmatan Penghantaran Multimodal Transport Operator(MTO) Rounds30mm x 165mm High Explosive Incendiary (HEI) Link Belt untuk Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia (TLDM.

The ammo will be shipped from:

Port of Bar atau Port of Burgas (Port of Loading) ke Pelabuhan KotaKinabalu, Malaysia terus ke destinasi akhir di Depot Peluru dan Bahan Letupan Timur, Pangkalan TLDM Kota Kinabalu, Teluk Sepanggar 88846 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

As Port Bar is located in Montenegro and Port of Burgas in Bulgaria, it is likely the ammo for the Keris class is manufactured by a company in Bulgaria or Montenegro. It is likely from Bulgaria though.

The 30mm MSI gun on KD Gagah Samudera.

Hopefully the ammo for the Keris class are as cheap as was claimed by the then RMN chief.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2184 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. The RMN would have known from Day One that a Chinese made 30mm would fire ammo incompatible with existing (Western) 30mms. Given that the RMN has long made it a policy to achieve greater commonality; we can surmise that it didn’t have any say in the decision to get a Chinese made gun.

    One thing’s for sure; a small limited resourced navy like the RMN shouldn’t be in the position of having to stockpile 2 different types of 30mm ammo/calibre. For that matter it shouldn’t be on a position of having to operate 4 Chinese made ships which are incompatible with Western stuff but I guess that’s water under the bridge.

  2. Interesting to see that RMN decided to get the ammo from non Chinese sources, and it seems to me that they are trying to reduce reliance on Chinese made items wherever possible. I think in the future if they could get a RWS of another make (non-Chinese) they would probably swap it out too.

  3. NATO has 2 standards for 30mm calibre; the aforementioned 30x173mm and also 30x113mm

    Yes I know the 30X113mm caliber ammo is mostly used for airborne applications, in MY it used the gun pods of the Hawks. Recently the light 30 is also fitted on RWS to allow its use on lighter vehicles.

  4. I do wonder if the said ammo is compatible with those for the Migs & MKMs, could they be single sourced for both the Forces.

    I think its more of a Govt policy than what TLDM wants. As it is currently, we are sourcing more “Russian” stuff from Balkan states, ie RPGs from Romania & Serbia, demo charges from Czech, Pendekar ammos are likely from that region too, etc

    About the Chinese stuff, well TLDM might consider it a silver lining since they don’t last very long, they can replace them sooner than later and by then perhaps they can request to change it for a “Western” weapon of choice. This goes the same for the electronics as well.

  5. Hey marhalim, did you hear any news of a Yak-130 being in country recently, maybe around 2-3 weeks ago? Someone took a video of flying around at one of the airbases. By the looks of it doesn’t seem to be during LIMA.

    Some Youtuber mentioned that Yak-130 is RMAF’s choice for LCA. Have to wait and see then….

    From a search on YT, I saw two videos, one was just a compilation of Yak-130 flying all over the place and posed the question whether it will be chosen by RMAF for the LCA/FLIT programme. Second one clearly showed a Yak-130 flying in Langkawi as the coconut trees and the airport buildings in the background were dead giveaways. Its an old video as one can see RMAF Mig-29 Fulcrums on the flight line after the aircraft had landed. I have no idea what aircraft will be chosen but claiming that its the Yak-130 due to a 10 year old video is stretching it a lot.

  6. “I have no idea what aircraft will be chosen but claiming that its the Yak-130 due to a 10 year old video is stretching it a lot.”

    Yeah, that’s what I thought. I couldn’t recalled much of the video but to me it seems to be quite a stretch that RMAF would go for a Yak given that the RMAF has always been preferential towards Western aircraft. But ya never know…

    And apparently a week after the Chinese intruding flight, another CCG vessel harassed a Malaysian energy exploration ship at Kasawari Field in our EEZ. Strangely this was very hush-hush, unlike the flights.

  7. @Azlan
    “we can surmise that it didn’t have any say in the decision to get a Chinese made gun.”

    I think we all here know and can agree that RMN dont have any say on LMS at all (any might be a bit over but most likely) how unfortunate.

    “Strangely this was very hush-hush, unlike the flights.”

    Yeah most likely RMAF want to publicly capitalized that opportunity to push the gov for new radar or any equipment faster.

  8. Thankfully theres batch 2 of LMS in the future (unconfirmed)..Hopefully,our second batch LMS should be able to match RSN’s LMV.Not really try to start a competition between LMS and LMV here..and please enlighten me again on what is actually our LMS functions,area of operations/deployments or maybe ships that they are intended to replace? FAC-G? FAC-M or maybe the corvettes?

  9. They are supposed to replace the FAC fleet but since the FAC fleet is going to be here for the next 15 years, LMS Batch II is going to replaced Laksamana class for starters

  10. Liuqman,

    Actually the RMN did have some say; albeit minor ones. Given the overall issues of going for a Chinese ship with all the Chinese gear which is incompatible; the issue of a Chinese OWS was probably on the bottom of the list of RMN concerns ….

    Luqman – “Yeah most likely RMAF want to publicly capitalized that opportunity

    Firstly air incursions are much rarer then sea ones. Secondly the decision to go public with the air incursion was made by the government. Personally I can’t thunk of any other air incursion or intercept on which rhetorical RMAF has gone public with.


    The RSN’s main advantage is that all its assets operate as part of an integrated network; it has ISR assets and unmanned ones all supplementing each other. It’s not the ship per see …

    Firdaus – “what is actually our LMS functions,area of operations/deployments”

    In short the LMS is intended to operate in areas which are not conducive for the employment of larger ships in operational conditions which do not call for larger ships but the LMSs are not intended to operate in their own.

  11. @Firdaus
    As the name implies, it is to operate within our littoral waters at certain nautical distance off the shoreline, and it would have to be flexible enough for various type of missions hence the modular bay for various loadouts cater to those variety of missions.

  12. RMN should consider MMS or Multirole Mission Ship…. the platform can configured any type of sensor, weapon and engine…

    A rose with different name would still smell as sweet

  13. Any news on the ‘mission modules’ for the LMS? Is it still in the plans and forgotten?

  14. Encik- “Is it still in the plans and forgotten?”

    The question really is whether the RMN was ever truly enthusiastic about modular payloads or was it only a reluctant compromise driven by the 5/15 which itself was a major compromise which the RMN came up with out of sheer necessity due to funding uncertainties and which to all intents and purposes is dead.

    Some navies have found that the modular payload approach suits them; others have found it doesn’t.

  15. I always said it was ambitious to think we could replicate what only the Danish navy has succesfully done with their system integration skills. So LMS will remain a light gun patrol craft after all. Seems strange that these decisions remain nobody’s responsibility or accountability.

  16. Encik – “Danish navy has succesfully done with their system integration skills”

    Wasn’t their system integration skills but the fact they willingly went into the modular payload approach and from the start has much greater control; unlike the RMN. The idea is sound; leading to costs savings and flexibility but ultimately a ship at sea has to be fitted with the right module for the right tasking. Crews also have to face a certain level of proficiency; hard to do if they’re not given ample opportunities to train with a specific module.

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