First LCS To Be Launch Next Week

First LCS prepared for launch. Credit Aizat.

SHAH ALAM: RMN’s first of class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) will be launched next week at Boustead Naval Shipyard in Lumut. The launch of the ship marks the countdown into service of the LCS in 2019.

The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah is expected to officiate the ceremony on Aug. 24 though in keeping with naval traditions, Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim is expected to launch the ship and named her as Maharaja Lela. She will be given the Kapal Diraja prefix when she is commission into service, hopefully in 2019.

RMN chief Admiral Kamarulzaman Badaruddin confirmed the launch ceremony and the name of the ship when met at the Defence Ministry today.

The LCS major equipment detailed. RMN graphic

The navy which had surveyed the public to choose three themes – Warrior, Weapons and Valor – as the names for the LCS, had apparently chosen the Warrior, hence Maharaja Lela as the first of class. And keeping with naval tradition the first of class will take up the 2501 pennant number.

LCS naming survey.

It is likely that RMN had chosen the pennant number in keeping with its stand that it is an LCS, a new class of warship and not a corvette or a frigate. The new ship will not looked like the Egyptian Gowind at its launch as the panaromic mast has been installed on the ship prior to the launch.

Egypt first Gowind 2500 after her launching on Sept. 17, 2016. Note that the PISM has not been installed. DCNS

Meanwhile, Malaysia has become the second ASEAN country after Thailand to be elected to the State Partnership Program initiated by the U.S Defense Department. Malaysia signed the SPP with the Washington National Guard at a ceremony today (Aug. 16). officiated by Chief of Defence Force Jen Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor.

Gen Affandi signing the SPP with Washinton ANG.

Raja Affandi says through the SPP, the Malaysian Armed Forces with the Washington National Guard will not only carry military cooperation activities – joint training exercises – but also social development activities.

A Blackhawk helicopter flies during Eks Keris Strike which comes under Exercise Bersama Warrior.

As a first step, MAF and WANG have carried out a series of joint exercises through Exercise Bersama Warrior, from Aug. 6 to 18 in Mentakab, Pahang and Kluang, Johor. This cooperation will be further expanded in the future for the benefits of both parties.

— Malaysian Defence

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34 Comments

  1. Cool. Question, can the 57mm main gun shoot down incoming missile or the LCS only defence against anti ship missile is the VL Mica?

    Reply
    It is supposed to be a CIWS as well but with the 3P rounds. However I have yet to be told that we have bought these rounds. The latest 57mm rounds we bought were all HE I believe

  2. EeThey should have named it after our forefathers who have fought for independence and brought forth unity to our country in conjuction with our 60th Independence Day and that this would be the flagship of our navy for decades to come. Guess it will take centuries more so-to-speak before the like of Tun H.S Lee, Tun V.T Sambathan, Tun Fuad Stephen would be honoured with their name being put on a lead ship of the navy.

    Reply
    I prefer they named them after PGB recipients

  3. Meh,

    There is always the possibility that the LCS in the future might be fitted with a jammer for use against the seeker head of an incoming ASM. Even if the jammer works however, the problem is that some missiles may have a “home on jam” feature. To date only a few Russian missiles are believed to have this feature.

    When dealing with supersonic ASMs at close ranges, even if it’s destroyed; fragments of the missile might still hit the ship and by virtue of the speed and kinetic energy; can cause damage to a ship.

  4. “It is supposed to be a CIWS as well but with the 3P rounds.”

    Are we hooking it up to a fire control radar with anti missile capability?

    Reply
    No idea yet

  5. It would be great if the lcs will have more of the NSM than only 8 pieces as i think the lcs ability to do damages to other surface vessels and ground targets is not enough.

  6. I hv doubt abt lcs functionaliyy as even US now has abandoned lcs and revert back to old class. I m sure they learnt some big fall out with this class…some limited capabilities which they would not share yet.

    Reply
    Despite the same name our LCS and the US Navy are completely different animals

  7. Well done Boustead and TLDM. Clearly the management
    this time are much much better than during the NGPV project.

    Seems like great quality of workmanship as well for the first Gowind to be build outside France.

    The timing is also perfect to launch KD Maharaja Lela in this kemerdekaan month of August.

    Once again, syabas dan tahniah.

  8. itu ari rasanya laksmana ada ckp dkt twitter dia pasal 57mm punya 3p rounds kd jebat rasanya so kita memang dah ada la 3p rounds

  9. Indeed only the later Bofors 57mm variant can fire 3P. It was claimed that MK2 could deal with ASMs but this was probably hard on its rate of fire.

    Nalzar,

    8 ASMs are considered sufficient for our needs given that we are unlikely to face any high intensity scenarios the likes of Jutland or Leyte Gulf. Having 8 is actually the norm for most navies.

    AM,

    I could wrong but I doubt the gun has to be hooked up to a fcs/tracker with anti-ship capability. Any tracker will do as long as the gun has a sufficient rate of fire and the needed type of ammo.

  10. Correct me if i’m wrong Azlan. If we fire 8 missile at target, how many will really hit the target?

  11. Api,

    A “launch” doesn’t necessarily entail putting a hull in the water and having it move by its own power. That will come during “trials” conducted by the yard.

  12. Does PASKAL permanently stationed a fireteam or section in every naval ship? Or the security of the ships is handled by their own naval crews?

    Reply
    AFAIK only on special occasions does a Paskal team is stationed on board ships like the piracy missions near Somalia. For starters there is not enough Paskal troopers to do that in the first place. Guarding the ship is part and parcel of a sailor’s job. As for normal boarding parties these are conducted by sailors who had been given training for such operations. Boarding foreign trawlers are not as hazardous as a hostage rescue operations. That said it’s still very dangerous.

  13. Nalzar,

    Depends. Is the target a slow moving aircraft flying at high altitude? Or is it an aircraft moving fast and employing jamming or a supersonic missile flying a few metres above sea level? How early was the target detected and identified?

    Not sure about Western/NATO doctrine but Russian/Soviet doctrine calls – in most circumstances – for more than 1 missile to be fired to increase the PK. In our case the LCS is unlikely to be hit simultaneously by large number of aircraft/missiles (like a Red Storm Rising scenario in the North Atlantic with dozens of Bears and Badgers attacking a CVBG) and they’re only 16 MICAs.

  14. Nalzar,

    On the SSMs in depends on the circumstances. Whether the target has jamming or countermeasures, whether the missiles seeker has got a full lock, doctrine, etc, etc. Obviously the more missiles one fires, the higher a chance of hitting something. The IN’s Kora class corvettes have 16 Urans because the class is intended to act as a picket. The idea being it launches its missiles and avoids further combat with more powerful enemy ships; so it depends.

  15. An interesting aspect of PASKAL – to me at least – is that although someone is part of PASKAL; he can be posted away from the unit, i.e. attached to FOC, serving as a ship’s XO, etc. Members of the unit have also been deployed on UN missions in places such as Darfur.

    Reply
    Yes, now at least one Paskal officer is the CO of a ship under an initiative by the former CN to give more leadership and flag opportunities to all navy officers after they raised the retirement age to 60s. Now they even have two Paskal admirals which was unheard of lets say five years ago. Note that this is not limited to Paskal officers only but through out the navy. Even trades which in the past will not get a higher rank than Commander can now go as high as a Captain or even in the future admirals.

  16. “I could wrong but I doubt the gun has to be hooked up to a fcs/tracker with anti-ship capability. Any tracker will do as long as the gun has a sufficient rate of fire and the needed type of ammo.”

    I think any sensor (EO tracker, radar or otherwise) would have performance limits in terms of the visual or radar cross section of the targets,the rate at which it refreshes or updates the data it supplies and factors like that.

    For that matter, the two fire control radars have their own blind spots caused by parts of the ship’s superstructure. There are angles where coverage is only provided by one or even no FCRs. And there will be situations when maneuvering the ship to maximise FCR coverage will clash with other tactical considerations such as the cross section presented by the ship relative to enemy platforms and weapons.

  17. “It would be great if the lcs will have more of the NSM than only 8 pieces as i think the lcs ability to do damages to other surface vessels and ground targets is not enough.”

    My answer to these endless statements is the analogy of using a tank destroyer or a light tank as a main battle tank.

    The ships will be fine as long as they are not used beyond the roles they were designed for. That said, I’m not too happy about the limited growth potential of the design.

  18. “That said, I’m not too happy about the limited growth potential of the design”

    That I would have to agreed but the thing I am glad is that actually they packed a lot of capability into the ship because otherwise you will never get the budget later on to have it.

    The angst I have is Mica, would have prefer a better SAM but all is not lost depending on which Sylver launchers they used. If it is the A-43 then got chance to use the Aster 15 later on if it is the A35 then will be stuck with Mica. But it is in the open that there is space to add VLS then the current 16 so there is still hope.

    A “Handsome” ship that somehow do not “shout out”

  19. Most probably using the Sylver A35. I think MBDA CAMM(M) or sea ceptor can be use in A35 vls.

    The interesting part of mica compared to others is that mica have both infrared and radar guided versions. Others are either semi-active radar or active radar version.

    I might be wrong. A question, will the CO of the LCS be a naval officer ranked as Captain or Commander?

    Reply
    Likely a Commander as most of the COs of RMN ships are of that rank. Even the senior CO afloat, KD Lekiu one is a commander.

  20. Any radar, tracker,etc, does indeed have limits based on technical issues specific to a particular radar or tracker; even Erye doesn’t provide 360 coverage. To answer your question as to whether we’re hooking it up with a fracker with a anti-missile capability per say; any fracker will be able to do the job i.e. “guiding” a gun of a missile to a target. Whether or not the target is actually hit is of course a different matter given that it’s dependent on several factors. As to a ship maneuvering to provide a smaller RCS it will really depend. If the seeker has reached terminal stage the priority of the CO would be to employ all means at his disposal to deal with the threat. Reducing the RCS will also be not very effective against modern SSMs which have seeker heads that are more “selective”.

  21. Mirsy,

    Adding a VLS cells will require below deck space that is not already utilised.

    Not sure what criteria you place on what constitutes a “better” missile but if it’s range – which by itself does not make a “better” missile – then a longer range radar would also be needed.

  22. Certainly exciting times for RMN to come
    a) Has a helicopter model / type been identified to be based on the vessel? Or will existing RMN helicopters such as the Lynx be used?
    b) what anti submarine weapon capabilities would the vessel have? anti Submarine torpedoes?

    Thank you

    Reply
    Nothing official but its likely the AW159. However funding remain difficult as such the Lynx will have to make do for the time being. As for torpedoes yes the ships will have them though the exact version remain under wraps

  23. “As to a ship maneuvering to provide a smaller RCS it will really depend. If the seeker has reached terminal stage the priority of the CO would be to employ all means at his disposal to deal with the threat.”

    I wasn’t clear earlier but I meant the CO might try to present the cross section of the ship that is most survivable of an incoming missile or missiles. As for which part of the ship- I’ve no idea.

    I have no idea if this tactic works in reality- in Red Storm Rising, the
    captain of the Soviet amphib made a sharp turn to artificially lower the side that was taking the missile hit. The missile was programmed to hit just above the waterline. Once he came out of the turn, the hole was high above the waterline.

    Reply
    This was a tactic used during the Falklands War in attempt to reduce the RCS of the ships by turning the front end or stern of the ship towards the incoming missiles. In one instance, one of the ship I think it was HMS Glamorgan was still hit but the damage was less severe.

  24. “Adding a VLS cells will require below deck space that is not already utilised.”

    100% agreed. i made the statement because there was a statement made by Boustead that there will be space for additional VLS. Whether it is a mere statement or a reality…. I just leave it at that.

    Yes…. I would love the Aster 15 but the Smart-s may not be compatible but ESSM who knows in the next iteration.

  25. AM,

    An old tactic but one that only works against older generation missiles is to maneuver the ship to provide a small target or RCS. Yes I suppose in some circumstances one might maneuver a ship so the the part which is most “survivable” would be hit; like how a tank under fire would prefer to be hit frontally rather than the flank.

    It’s scary when you think of it, from the time one’s ESM picks up a search radar to the time radar detects a target and ESM tells you that a missile’s seeker has gone active or terminal; a ship might have seconds to respond. It makes things worse if the ship is doing something else when attacked. What’s also scary is being hit by a harder to detect (compared to missiles) mine or a heavyweight torp that will break the keel. Or for that matter a opponent who shuts down a ship’s CMS and sensors with a virus.

  26. Mirsy
    Azlan

    If you cant go down, just go up
    This solution was actually used in the formidable frigate and type 45 destroyer which they literally raised their bow deck to accommodate the larger A50 sylver cell

  27. Akmal,

    On paper yes but you really think they’ll do the same with the LCS? Not only does it involve quite a bit of redesign work but raising the superstructure might also affect the ship’s handling. Not saying it can’t be done; just that there will be issues involved. Quite clearly the priority for the RMN is to get the ship’s into service as soon as possible without uneccesary delays.

  28. Azlan

    No doubt there will be design issue that must be studied, then again the rmn lcs is already a heavily modified and a larger version of its base design of the gowind 2500

  29. Azlan,
    In normal launching, the dry alignment of the shafting is completed, i.e. the stern tube would be bored and the gearbox is fixed as the datum. The shaft and propeller is installed and the main engines put in place. Once the ship is in the water, we would proceed with the wet alignment, where the engine is aligned to the gearbox. Bearing load measurements and adjustments would be taken so as to ensure the shaft and gearbox bearings are in accordance to the design loads. Once all is done, the flexible coupling between the engine and gearbox is installed and the plummer blocks secured.

    With no shaft and CP prop in place, this would indicate the above is not yet completed and the ship will be upslipped sometime in the future.

    In addition, the shaft alignment will also require the weights on the ship, especially in the aft part to be close to the design weight. This will ensure that the bending moment transmitted to the shafting by the ship flexing is as close to the design as possible. So, another possibility is that the loads on the ship are insufficient for the dry alignment to be carried out.

    Hope the above clarifies my earlier comment.

    Reply
    I will try to take picture of the stern next week, hopefully this will confirm everything.

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