KUALA LUMPUR: The Defence Minister I am told is gracing the Paris Air Show being held this week at Le Bourget. Apart from promoting our local defence shows, I am sure the French will undoubtedly used the opportunity to market their products from the Cougar to new corvettes. The British, I am sure is fuming….
So far there is no news of any defence deals although this is elementary. Even if we had the money, the signing ceremony would only be done at LIMA 09. Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines did sign some deals though…
I wish I was in Paris this time of the year. although I am told the lines for Mona Lisa during the summer would be extremely long.
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I think the French have been eyeing the possibility of Malaysia being a customer for the Tiger over the next 7-8 years or so. Personally, I believe there are items that are much more urgently needed than attack helicopters. Have you heard anything about the possibility of the Cougar deal being signed later this year or 2010 Marhalim?
Marhalim: Yes, the Army and the Air Force have been salivating for attack helos since the late 80s and 90s although the question who will operate them has not been answered. There other two other more questions whether there are funds or the need for the attack helos (and what type) have also not been satisfactorily answered by all the service chiefs within the last two decades.
On the Nuri replacement programme, I have not heard anything yet, hopefully some answers will come forth next week….
Ahhh…Paris in Spring. In Summer, all you have are smelly Frenchmen.
The PUTD needs to wake up and smell the kopi. They need to learn to crawl before trying to run.
We like to buy French because their government has very few restrictions against ‘national interests’.
i bet fremm frigates will be a big wet dream huh? last time i check from unconfirmed sources, a single frigate with 16 launcher aster 15 and 8 MM40 block 3 will cost around Euro 300 million. I pray a replacement for Nuri will be done soon. At this point i will just accept any new thing apart from maintaining the Nuri…
Marhalim: Yes, wet dreams, I believe the Fremm frigates would cost more than RM2billion each…
aaa that assuming a local co get the contract to build it…. If we just allow for out right purchase, no tech transfer, it would be around RM1.2-RM1.4 billion each i guess
Marhalim: If we have the money to build similar vessels, and I am not saying we should even if we had the money, personally I would prefer the RMN to remain a brown water navy, it would be cheaper to have the ships build in France and Italy (its French and Italian programme) with perhaps some 100 Malaysian shipyard workers hired by the builders, paid the same as the local workers, for the duration of the programme…..
Whilst the main cost would be the ASTER and the electronics fit, building the vessel in a Korean shipyard would save the government a bit of cash.
Marhalim: Even if we did go the FREMM route, I dont think the French and Italians would want to have the ship built in Korea as they would be afraid that it would be copied and sold to others…..
My experience dealing with recovery process of an entity getting a government contract for shipbuilding for the navy but failed to repay the loan or finished the original contract give me following insight:-
Original Contract value RM5.7 billion over 10 years
Capex RM1.8 billion-of which almost 100% debt at 7% over 10 years- amortisation of RM306 million over 10 years or total RM3.06 billion
Working Cap over 10 years-estimated RM300 million a year for 10 year-RM3.0 billion
Even before counting required return on equity of at least 5% per annum and inflationary cost of another 5%, the project is already a lost
Marhalim: Sounds much like the NGPV project….
It does not have to be based on the FREMM design. The S. Koreans could design a ship to take the ASTER and other related stuff. In my opinion the the latest S. Korean KDX designs are more impressive than the FREMM design, without the modularity.
Marhalim: The ships the Korean are building are based on the Aegis-radar, and Standard missiles, if we were to ask for them integrate the Aster SAM system, of course, it could be done but with a longer commissioning period and most probably more money…
The FREMM design is a little large for TLDM needs. How about just negotiate a deal to construct Meko A200 (south african version) here in Lumut as a follow on to the Kedah order. Meybe we can ask the Germans for a few surplus Leopard 2 as deal sweeteners…
Marhalim: I think after what happened with the Kedah, I dont think anyone will want to do anything with the Germans for at least another decade or so……
Without knowing the actual cost, maybe the more cost effective measure (“a big Maybe”) is to upgrade the Lekiu class to MM40 block 3 and Umkhomto IR or R, the same goes to the Kedah class. For the Kasturi class, they should include in the slep Anti Aircraft Missile such as Aspide
Marhalim: integration with the Exocet Block 3 should be elementary as advertised by MBDA and it would not be too hard to fit the MK 41 VLS for the Umkhonto, if we used the six launchers. For Kedah class it would be a tight fit but since it had not been fitted with the missiles, upgrading to a newer type maybe another option. The same six cell MK 41 VLS should fit the Kasturi although integration could be a hassle.