Back Into The Future

SHAH ALAM: Back into the future. RMN has published its procurement priorities – some might call it wish list – for RMK12. The procurement plan was announced by RMN chief Admiral Reza Sany during his speech – made via the service’s social media channel – for the 86th anniversary of the navy on April 27.

Among the equipment being sought are eight LMS, two MRSS, two anti submarine helicopters, five maritime operations helicopters, eight special forces assault boats and 12 fast interceptor boats. Also in the plan are one unmanned aircraft system, one each mine hunting and mine disposal systems, a bridge simulator, a fast action tactical trainers and upgrades to the 14 fast attack crafts (FACs).

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

The upgrades of the FACs will see them with new power packs (engines and generators – not sure whether all brand new or refurbished) and fitted with new mini combat management system (CMS) for better surveillance and fire control – will allow the boats to operate for another 15 years.
KD Jerong, the lead ship of the 6th Squadron FAC (G). RMN

Adm. Reza said most of the equipment like the LMS, assault boats, FIC and maritime operations helicopters are the follow on batch of things already procured under RMK11. RMN has taken delivery of the first LMS, KD Keris, in January while the rest are in various stages of the procurement processes. As for the second LMS, Admiral Reza said the ship had been completed and it was expected to be delivered and commissioned at any time soon.
PCU Sundang at the launch ceremony in July 2019. RMN

The delivery and commissioning of Sundang was supposed to take place this month but it is delayed likely due to the coronavirus outbreak. The RMN chief also said that two more LMS will be delivered on scheduled in May and August, next year.
RMN’s 15 to 5 plan, graphic posted on the service official Facebook page, TLDM

In his speech, Admiral Reza also said that the Navy was also proceeding with the 15 to 5 transformation plan though it has now been modified – though he did not explained the modifications. That’s for another day of course.
Three MRSS designs on display at the RMN booth at DSA 2018

Anyhow the procurement plan looked very much what was said earlier including the ones that was detailed in the 2019 Defence White Paper with the exception of the two anti submarine helicopters. In the White Paper only the maritime operations helicopters were mentioned.
PASKAL operators trained for maritime demonstration with Super Lynx helicopter. RMN

Of course, the elephant in the room is whether or not the government can afford all of the items above. It is also unclear whether the list had been approved for the RMK12 and more importantly funded. Of course the navy has the right to work towards getting what it feels was needed for it to perform it was tasked for, despite any funding difficulties faced by the government.

— Malaysian Defence

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