FCR For KD Perak, Part 3

Sailors on board KD Perak preparing to leave Kota Kinabalu naval base for an exercise, recently. Note the FCR on top of the bridge. RMN

SHAH ALAM: Some four weeks after the FCR tender for KD Perak closed, three companies have now been shortlisted for the project. Malaysian Defence previously reported that five days after the closing, Eperolehan website has yet to specify the number of bidders and their bid prices.

To recap, in early October, the Defence Ministry issued a tender for the supply, delivery, installation, testing and commissioning of a fire control radar (FCR) KD Perak pennant number 173, the third ship of the Kedah class.

KD Perak personnel manning the CIC. RMN

According to the tender publication, the RMN estimates that the cost of the FCR and services (installation, testing and commissioning) at RM15 million.

As the Eperolehan website has listed the bid prices, we know that one of the companies shortlisted has bid RM21 million for the tender, RM4 million above the estimated cost by RMN (see above). The other two bids came at RM14.840.15 million and RM14.990 million, both of which are below the estimated cost.

Akrep FCR from Aselsan, used for illustration only. Like most FCR in the market the Akrep can also control missiles. This was the same as the Contraves TMX/EO FCR fitted on the Kedah class ships. Aselsan.

It is unclear whether one of the lower bids will be selected instead of the higher bid. We will have to wait and see.

It must be noted that in the recent parliamentary debate, Pendang MP Datuk Awang Hashim questioned why the Defence Ministry chose the Thales GM400 Alpha for the RMAF long range air surveillance radar contract stating the competitor had offered lower price in the tender. The MP did not identify the lower price radar, though.

Thales Ground Master 400 Alpha. Thales

Defence Minister DSU Mohamad Hasan responded by saying that the ministry was not bound to choose a lower price product for its tender process. He stated further that the Thales radar was selected by the end-user mainly due to commonality with an already service one.

For the record, Thales France was awarded the LOI at LIMA 2023 of RM170.6 million for one unit of 3D air defence long range radar complete with ancillary equipment, associated support and design and build of infrastructure.

— Malaysian Defence

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  1. “ministry was not bound to choose a lower price product”
    Thats the beauty of open tenders, bids can be competitive thus lower the acquisition cost, but it doesnt mean enduser are forced to take the lowest bid if they can justify a higher priced one better meets their needs, so tenders gives the enduser more options to choose.

  2. That question asked by the MP is either the MP think that ‘purely’ saving money/buy the cheapest is ‘only’ way to go, or he just want confirmation that RMAF chose the suitable equipment for them regardless whatever the price. If the first one will make him look less smart IMO

    Regarding the FCR, there are a few western FCR that is commonly used on smaller ships ranging from FAC size to corvette size. They are Saab Ceros 200 and Thales Lirod MK2, while Rheinmetall TMX/EO mk2 is very rarely used (which RMN will use).

    I tried to find who else use TMX/EO (mk1 and mk2) but seems only RMN and Thailand still/will be using it hence why difficult to source spare parts as nobody seems to be using it, please correct me if I am wrong. Why RMN chose this for LCS and Kedah? Well I guess that it was BNS who chose it all the while due to you know the Rheinmetall+BNS fiasco/drama happened. Even German Navy never used their homegrown TMX/EO instead prefer Thales and Saab FCR

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