How Much is That AEW in The Window?

Saab 340 AEW aircraft. SAAB.

SHAH ALAM: Saab on July 25 announced that it has received an order for two Saab 340 Airborne Early Warning aircraft from Poland. The order value is SEK600 million or US$58 million or RM264 million. The contract period is from 2023 to 2025.

The release from Saab:

Saab has received an order from Poland’s Ministry of National Defence for two Saab 340 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft. The order value is approximately SEK 600 million and the contract period is 2023-2025.

These early warning systems comprise the Saab 340 aircraft equipped with Saab’s advanced Erieye radar. The contract also includes ground equipment as well as in-country logistics and support services.

“Saab has had a strong relationship with the Polish Ministry of National Defence for many years. We are proud to further strengthen Poland’s Armed Forces with our airborne early warning and network-based solutions,” says Carl-Johan Bergholm, head of Saab’s business area Surveillance.

Saab 340 AEW, together with associated ground equipment, provides a detailed situational picture that can be used for military and civilian tasks including air surveillance and rescue operations.

Different configurations of Saab’s Erieye AEW/AEW&C system have been sold to nine countries, making it one of the most widely used airborne surveillance systems in the world.

UAE Saab GlobalEye airborne surveillance system. Saab.

Based on the above order, one can assume if RMAF pushed forward its AEW requirement, we could have two AEW aircraft at a lower price than the two MPA. The only difference is of course that the Saab 340 aircraft will be second hand aircraft as they stopped building it some time back.

It must be noted that under the RMAF CAP 55 plan, the AEW will only be procured after 2030. It is unlikely that the Saab 340 airframes will no longer be available for AEW conversion by that time. That said I stand to be corrected of course.

Royal Thai Air Force Saab 340 AEW seen at Korat air base in June, 2015. Malaysian Defence

It is likely that the lower cost of the Saab 340 AEW is due to the airframe being an ex-Swedish or UAE airframes. Both air forces are now converting to the more expensive and newer, Saab GlobalEye AEW.
Saab AEW variants, the 2000 and 340. Saab picture

Saab had offered RMAF with the Gripen C/D and 340 AEW as part of their campaign for the now suspended MRCA programme. Even though it was the cheapest option for the MRCA, the Gripen never get past the initial assessment section of the MRCA programme. As I had reported before, the Dassault Rafale was to be the MRCA for RMAF.

— Malaysian Defence

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  1. It’s no problems IMHO if the RMAF wants to install the SAAB AEW on ATRs, so maybe that’s the way to go.

  2. “As I had reported before, the Dassault Rafale was to be the MRCA for RMAF.”

    Yes, it was. MY is the first in Asean who show the interest to aquire rafale. SG come later showing interest in rafale before they decide to go straight to F35 and upgrade their F16 to viper. Only ID can materialize to get rafale.

  3. Nolah, Singapore was the first to look at the Rafale as the plane was competing with the F15 for a fighter deal. Of course, Singapore chose the Eagles.

  4. Romeo – ”come later showing interest in rafale”

    No. Dassault mounted a very major PR campaign to meet the RSAF requirement . It even ran ads on buses and on TV on the ”omni role” fighter. I was at Asian Aerospace 2002.

  5. Romeo – ”MY is the first in Asean who show the interest to aquire rafale.”

    Malaysia was the amongst the first Dassault marketed Rafale to in the region. Note that during that period the French had a strong political lobby

    Romeo – ”come later showing interest in rafale”

    No. Dassault mounted a very major PR campaign to meet the RSAF requirement. . It even ran ads on buses and on TV on the ”omni role” fighter. I was at Asian Aerospace 2002; there was a strong Dassault presence. If I recall correctly Typhoon and Gripen were there in the form of mock ups.

    Romeo – ”Only ID can materialize to get rafale.”

    There is strong push by a political faction to get Rafale; whilst there is strong push by another faction to get F-15s. Great on paper and something to mesmorise the fanboys but as an Indonesian observer told me it’s a major logistical/training nightmare; if left to the TNI-AU it would get follow on F-16s and even amongst Indonesians in the industry the question is where the money’s coming from.

  6. With recent E2D Hawkeye and GlobalEye each cost more than usd500 million a piece, seems only the older Erieye 2000/erj145 can fit the budget. Next would be does the 450km range of the older Erieye can fit into RMAF requirements or do they need the Erieye ER capabilities?

    Also if RMAF wants interim AEW capabilities or additional airframes, then used Saab 340 Erieye could fit the bill as what Poland did

  7. A out of topic question, what’s the difference between LMS and Offshore patrol ship? as the new acquire ship is gonna be very similar specs

  8. If what someone said about TUDM’s disdain on used aircraft then Global/Erieye would stand a chance in hell of winning.
    With that said, if we have to integrate onto a new plane then make it a 737/A321 at least it will have the speed, range and airtime of an airliner.

  9. Get ERIEYE ER + Bombardier Global 6000.

    Or basically a Globaleye “Lite”. Globaleye is ERIEYE ER + Global 6000 + Leonardo Seaspray 7500E maritime surveillance radar.

    It should come in at less than USD 100 million each.

    ERIEYE ER + Saab 340 is 30 mil.

    Brand new Global 6000 is 40 mil.

    Still 30 mil left for “integration”, or 90 mil for 3 aircraft.

    It is basically a Globaleye without complexity of the Leonardo Seaspray 7500E maritime surveillance radar on the same aircraft.

    RMAF should have no issues flying the Global 6000 as it is just a variant of RMAF own Global Express aircraft.

    The RMAF planned budget to get 12 new medium lift helicopters in 2026-2030 is better spent on getting ERIEYE ER + Global 6000 instead.

    RMAF spent about USD 600 million for the 12 EC725 helicopters. That kind of budget should be more than enough to get at least 3 ERIEYE ER + Global 6000 with lots of extra change.

    RMAF can afford to not buy 12 medium lift helicopters in 2026-2030, it can be offsetted by providing more Blackhawks (used is okay) to PUTD.

    USD 600 million medium helicopter budget can instead be used for

    USD 300 million for 3x ERIEYE ER + Global 6000.
    USD 100 million for sustainment

    12x Blackhawk used for USD 150 million (12.5 million each)
    USD 50 million for sustainment.

  10. Luqman, actually what about Saab 2000 Erieye. That could also be a possibility if they stop making the 340. If I am not mistaken, Pakistan has this version. I think don’t fear, the will still be low cost option even after 2030…

  11. Azlan:”Indonesian observer told me it’s a major logistical/training nightmare; if left to the TNI-AU it would get follow on F-16s”

    In the logistical point’ of view F16 is the right choice. But, in the others area such as ToT, user freedom, embargoed risk is a different story. As long as CAATSA is still applied then french made is the best option.

    Luqman:”seems only the older Erieye 2000/erj145 can fit the budget.”

    Before taking AEWC, the first problem RMAF has is there are not enough number of MRCA in the inventory. I hope you are not suggestung RMAF can combine it with LCA, dont you?

  12. The primary purpose of an AEW platform would be to perform battle space management; placing fighters in advantageous positions and early warning.

    The next step however would be to get the AEW platform to also work with assets from other services; i.e. informing a RMN LCS that an contact beyond the range of the LCSs SMART radar had been detected. In an ideal world the RMAF AEW platform would also have RMN people amongst the senior operators

    Sounds easy on paper and a logical step but challenging in practice given the need for mechanisms and prevalent service centric parochialism and infighting. There is an article out there about why the Indian military still faces jointness issues. For the MAF true jointness would be achieved when there is
    a joint theatre command; i.e. a RMAF or RMN commander in charge of all assets in East Malaysia.

    In case anyone comes with the nonsense [as they did previously] about the lack of numbers and that jointness is not needed until we have numbers; bollocks. Having jointness is the way to go; increases the efficacy of what we have and reduces redundancy. It’s 2023 not 1945 anymore

  13. “As I had reported before, the Dassault Rafale was to be the MRCA for RMAF”. RMAF not interested with Super Hornet?

  14. Gomen should start saving money monthly or weekly into a TABUNG MRCA from now on so that by 2030 RMAF could have what they wish for, maybe Super Rafale or F35 or even TFX/KFX will be just the right choice by then.

  15. Yes, they were/are interested, it was/is the logical choice. But SH does not come with TOT package and extensive offsets as offered by Rafale/Typhoon which is the important things to the politicians.

  16. If rmaf is looking to obtain them on the cheap replacing the platform kinda defeat the porpoise innit? Just buy them, induct them and use them until we can afford to get a brand new aew

  17. “If what someone said about TUDM’s disdain on used aircraft then Global/Erieye would stand a chance in hell of winning”

    No idea who that “someone” is and about “disdain” but the RMAF is extremely wary about getting used due to the high costs associated in maintaining something of a certain age. Costs savings are already great but counter productive if it leads to extra costs in long run; costs which can nullify whatever short term saving was gained by getting pre owned.

  18. It will be much more cheaper option.. to have the ANKA S with EW capability.. isn’t?

  19. Mr Hyde,

    A light tank and a LMG are respectively “cheaper” than a MBT and a GPMG but all are intended fir different things ..

    Yes a AEW platform will be fitted out for SIGINT but it performs various roles which an unmanned platform can’t.

  20. Wouldn’t RMAF be better served from a cost and coverage perspective, with more land based Long Range radars for the Early Warning (EW) role? The reason why airborne (A) is advantageous is when there is an absence of ground assets (e.g., over water, enemy territory), protection (e.g. mobile vs. static, on ground vs. in the air), intelligence gathering (e.g. fly high and see further), or the need for the “C” for command capabilities. Even if RMAF did buy (or lease) the Erieye, can the Russian SU-30MKM “talk” to it to maximise the potential or having an AEWC?

  21. What we could have is

    1) Global 6000 + ERIEYE ER

    2) Global 6000 + Aselsan HAVA-SOJ (Stand Off Jammer)

    One is for long range detection, another is for stand-off non-kinetic (electronic) attack capability. Both capabilities complementing each other.

    With the non-kinetic attack capability something that can be used in MOOTW.

  22. @hulubalang
    TUDM will still be tasked to take up the slack of heliborne lifting jobs if PUTD isnt ready and right now their much lacking in the equipment dept with a dozen light utilities and 4 leased blackhawks only. Unless PUTD were to significantly increase their fleet count, the bulk of hauling will still fall back onto TUDM and with that responsibility of course TUDM chiefs have to plan their equipment purchases for such eventualities.

    “costs which can nullify whatever short term saving was gained by getting pre owned.”
    Which is why if we have to get new, its unaffordable with the currently allocated budget unless we go for a cheaper platform which don’t tick more of the boxes (like how we went with ATR72 MPA). Or else TUDM will just have to save up more for proper AEW on brand new planes.

  23. AEW erieye radar can be fits on others aircraft right, etc cn235/295 or ATR 72..

  24. Most likely it can but so far apart from the Saab 2000 and 340, Embraer E99 and the Global 6000 aircraft, it has not been done yet.

  25. @TomTom
    Actually I did mentioned the Saab 2000, and yup it would be the suitable candidate if Saab 340 is not available.

    “Or basically a Globaleye “Lite””
    My version of GlovalEye Lite would be Global 6000 + Erieye (non ER version). The Erieye ER would cost more than normal Erieye, so the total cost probably still more than usd100 million. Pakistan bought their Saab 2000 Erieye for almost usd100 million

    “I hope you are not suggestung RMAF can combine it with LCA, dont you?”
    No I am not. KAI don’t make AEW.

  26. … – “CN-235 ERIEYE combo had been proposed in the 90s”

    It was. We also were offered it on a C-130.

    The Erieye/CN offer was in the late 1990’s and one barrier was that IPTN was struggling with certification; that was why our CNs were delayed.


    Long range radars and AEW platforms are intended to supprnry each other; having more ground based radarscdoes not do away with the with the need for a AEW platform which also performs battle space management.

  27. Sam – “ what’s the difference between LMS and Offshore patrol ship”

    The RMN has chosen to designate it corvette sized vessels the
    “LMS”. A “OPV” is a designation applies to ships intended primarily for EEZ patrol/fisheries protection or non military roles.
    The distinction is blurred however as one can have a “OPV” intended for other roles; the Marikhs were “OPV” but had a 109mm gun, air search radar and ESM. The Kedahs ate “OPV” but have a high end radar and various other things one sorbet normally find on a “OPV”.

    Unlike the Kedahs the LMS Batch 2s will be fully fitted out even if modestly. They are intended to perform roles not needed by a LCS or to operate alongside the LCS. Some have raised the issue of survivability but this is utter nonsense as the LMS is not intended to punch above its weight category and in certain operational conditions even a Ticonderoga or a Kirov might not be survivable.

  28. @ azlan

    So what should the LMS Batch 2 corvette must be capable to “punch”?

  29. Look at the specs, ignore the nomenclature and look at the big picture. The RMN originally planned for 27 fully equipped NGPV in the 1990s modernisation. RMN wants big warships – point 1 on what role LMS intended to perform. But of the 27 NGPV, only 6 gun only ships were made. The 6 batch 2 (aka LCS) is over budget and delayed – point 2 on why LMS ended up being designed as a smaller LCS, cost and delivery risk. Lastly LMS Batch 1 was a significant deviation from the RMN’s big ship plans and is closer to a MMEA ship than RMN – which is to say ignore the LMS nomenclature since it is a pointless term for RMN’s big ship plans which they have been sticking to since 1990s.

  30. … – “So what should the LMS Batch 2 corvette must be capable to “punch”?”

    Surely you mean in what operational circumstance would a LMS be able to punch within its weight ….We’ve been through this before.

    Like everything else it should not be placed in an operational setting I’ll suited for it. Just like how one would not use a AMX-10 against a T-64, a Hawk against a Mirage 5; a section of men armed with Glocks against a section armed with assault rifles or a corps against an army group… Or a welter weight fighter against a heavyweight one.

    Get it? A fairly obvious question deserves and equally obvious answer but you knew the answer; just being pedantic for the sake of it …

  31. A concern with getting the Global 6000 as the base for an AWACS is that the cost to operate it is more than twice as compared to operating the saab 2000. Though I am not sure what is the overall operating costs if including the Erieye radar. If RMAF have the budget to operate Global 6000 AWACS as it requires/wanted to (plus getting the advantage of longer endurance, faster cruising speed and fit RMAF’s requirements), then it’s a no brainer.

    There is a limit on how far the ground based radar can detect lower altitude objects especially sea skimming ones and surface objects due to radar horizon. The gaps of air surveillance can be partially covered by RMN’s warships but still not enough for surface objects.

    Hence to overcome this, RMAF needs MPAs, UAVs and AWACs to fill in the gaps. These assets are also potentially can relay tracking information for over the horizon targetting. RMAF have/will have 5 MPAs and 3 MALE UAVs for total of 8 aircrafts for maritime surveillance with the 5 MPAs having 350+km X-band maritime surveillance radars. Do not that the Anka-S MALE UAV will also have maritime surveillance radars. Having a dedicated AWACS that also can do maritime surveillance will give RMAF even more flexibility

  32. I don’t get it.

    Well you know that I am not a fan of LMS Batch 2 corvette.

    If you have elaborated on it before, I would not have asked this question.

    So in what operational circumstance would a LMS batch 2 corvette be able to punch within its weight?

    If possible please elaborate
    1) if against PLAN
    2) if against neighboring navies
    3) if against non-state actors

  33. … – ”I don’t get it.”

    Of course you don’ because you are unwilling as it doesn’t fit in your narrative. If I ranted on about all the on paper advantages of various things [nice and neat like a P/L sheet or a PowertPoint brief]; no doubt you’ll ”get it” …

    … – ”Well you know that I am not a fan of LMS Batch 2 corvette.”

    What has that got to do with the price of beans? I don’t have a personal liking for various things but doesn’t mean I see don’t the value in them.
    – A LCA would not be ”survivable” if pitted against a MRCA [apply the same twisted logic and claim a LCA is not survivable then]; doesn’t mean there’s no value in a LCA.
    – A rifle battalion would be decimated if employed wrongly and pitted against a brigade but who’s daft to say a rifle battalion isn’t ”survivable”.
    – A Ro Ro can never be a substitute for a MRSS because it’s largely a lift platform and has inherent design issues which lead to poor DC and has poor seakeeping but nobody’s saying it doesn’t have utility.

    … – ”If you have elaborated on it before,”

    Oh but I have – unless you have a congenital inability. There is a place for everything; depending on the operational circumstances. The idea that a corvette is not ”survivable” is hogwash. Placed in the wrong operational environment even the Yamato or the Bunker Hill might not be survivable. Just like how your subs [despite being more survivable] than surface assets might not be survivable if placed in a operational setting where the odds are against it; i.e. against an opponent who has his subs in the area; has surface and air ASW units and has laid minefields.

    Quite obviously the RMN will strive not ensure that the LMS is not placed in a position where it has to punch above its weight; i.e. against more heavily armed opponent … Contrary to the false and self serving impression you give the RMN does not intend to place the LMS in a position where it’s severely disadvantaged.

  34. @hulubalang
    “I am not a fan of LMS Batch 2 corvette”

    What are your reasons for not being a fan of LMS Batch 2 corvette? Is it because you prefer a civilian OPV hull armed with ASM and SHORADS (ie missile armed Tun Fatimah/Darussalam)? Or is it something else? Please enlighten us

    Now that 27 big ships had became 42 big ships

  35. As usual, Azlan wrote a long rant that does not answer my question.

    @ luqman

    My reason?

    1) it is expensive for what it is. Current proposed budget is USD 530 million for just 3 LMS Batch 2 corvette.

    2) Now is the time for systems centric, not platform centric. We need something that works with everything to achieve our goals.

    3) “punch within its weight”. Why? So TLDM corvette can only be used to fight other corvettes? I don’t agree on this.

    4) I want a LMS (put it as LMS-X) that could enhance the lethality of TLDM Gowind Frigates. I want a LMS that have the exact same performance and endurance of the Gowind. I want A group of 1 Gowind plus 2-3 LMS-X to be able to go up against 1 destroyer. To use missile saturation and multiple direction as concept of attack. If Gowind is attacked by the destroyer and sunk, the LMS-X can counterattack instead.

    5) It should be cheap, low manning, can be operated as low cost patrol vessel, and capable of sailing offshore.

    6) to have – 30+ knots top speed, range of 5000-7000 nautical miles, range of 3000 nautical miles at full top speed, crew of 20+, with modules of low cost anti-ship missiles (Roketsan Cakir 150km range) and short range multi-role missile (vertical launch Hellfire-longbow 11km range), 30mm RCWS Gun, chaff/decoy for anti-ship missile avoidance.

    7) to cost about USD 25 million with missile module. With LMS Batch 2 budget, we could get 21 LMS-X ships instead of just 3.

    8) Similar concept now being done by Royal Netherlands Navy – Project TRIFIC

  36. You cant pack plenty of weapons & equipment on a small warship because it’s small. And the small size vessel because it is small is unable to operate effectively in the EEZ as it is designed for near shore operation And the area of concern for us is the EEZ not near shore.

  37. @ Darthzaft

    That “small ship” is 55m in length and larger than FAC that TLDM has

    It has sailed non stop without refueling for 45 days from Netherlands to Australia. The ship is full of fuel tanks. How much range do you really need?

    “Amsterdam is the only scheduled stop for the maiden voyage, the ship will not be visiting any other ports before its arrival at the Southern Ocean campaign operations base in Perth, Australia”—october-2,c2081739

    This ship has operated in harsh Antarctic waters before. It spent 93 days non stop chasing poacher ships in Antarctic waters. How much offshore capability do you need?

    The ship has 225m2 clear deck area, and 250 ton load capacity to fit any missile you want. If each ship have 16 Cakir SSM (5 ton) and 12 Hellfire (550kg); a flotilla of 1 Gowind and 3 LMS-X will have a total of 8 NSM SSM, 48 Cakir SSM and 36 Hellfire.

    This is not your grandfather’s FAC.

  38. @hulubalang
    – A nice concept indeed that can carry at most 4-6 ASM but this seems to also be a compliment to the LMS (actual 1500 tones+ LMS) not just a compliment to the LCS.
    – Can this Damen FCS5009 have same sea keeping, stability and survive at sea state 6 and higher like Damen OPV 1800 and Kedah (maybe up to state 9)? What would be the point of having an LCS companion that cannot constantly operate with an LCS
    – Small hull leads to limited space for more performance radar, no helicopter landing pads, no sonar (maybe could be a modular payload)
    – Seem need to operate relatively close to an LMS and LCS to be effective.
    – RMN still needs 1500+ tones ship (essentially a mini LCS like the Kedahs) due to the above reasons

  39. Civvie RORO should never be a substitute for naval MRSS as the ship needs to have a far better damage & fire containment control design. As clearly demonstrated by MV Fremantle Highway, even an internal fire have seriously crippled that vessel and substantially damaged its cargo.

  40. Luqman
    “What would be the point of having an LCS companion that cannot constantly operate with an LCS”

    Not only it won’t be able to accompany LCS in some missions but also unable to operate independently of LCS in some other missions.

    “That “small ship” is 55m in length and larger than FAC that TLDM has”

    The FAC currently is utilized as a near shore patrol ship to mostly counter non state actors. You don’t need hellfire for that ( not to mention shooting NSM on land vehicle is far most operationally & cost effective way of deploying it rather on a FAC size vessel) nor there is a high risk of a seaborne invasion force coming our way that we need plenty of near shore limited sea denial capable FAC. But there’s is a high risk of a state actors trying to squeeze us out of our own EEZ and with it the oil revenue coming from it which the whole LMS-X can’t do anything about because it’s seakeeping capabilities is not sufficient to operate in the EEZ. Nor it would contribute to securing our sea lanes of communication (with or without a partner military) because it’s a costal combatants.

  41. TRIFIC is not the ship but the technology. The Dutch Navy has been developing modular payloads to better suit its small Navy – think Absalon class and Stanflex. Stanflex is expensive to make and requires a ship designed for Stanflex – which are Navy warships. TRIFIC (despite being presented as TRIFIC ships) aims to create modules that can be deployed on any ship having the deck space and displacement (including civilian ships), with command and control technology that allows a mothership to take control of the modules. This will allow the Dutch Navy to quickly augment its small fleet during times of conflict. RMN wants ocean going ships that can operate independently, far from shore, and survive first contact. Stanflex not TRIFIC is more suitable for RMN if it is still pursuing modular payloads. But the reason why RMN probably doesn’t like modular payloads, is the risk of FFBNW – modules we buy later. OPV Kedah class is an example of plug and play in name only, LMS Keris class still hasn’t seen any modules developed or bought, and who knows what the final decision will be for the LCS Gowind’s MICA missiles.

  42. @ luqman

    The stan patrol 5009 version :

    Evaluating the SPa 5009

    The SPa 5009 was then in service only with the Cabo Verde Coast Guard and the NAAIT was somewhat wary of its performance characteristics. Arrangements were made for the NAAIT to visit Cabo Verde to evaluate the Guardiao SPa 5009. Operating in the Atlantic in Sea State 5, the Guardiao handled the waves remarkably well even at its maximum speed.

    – It can still maintain full speed in sea state 5 (4m waves). That is probably the worst case scenario in South China Sea.

    Other citations of the range of these things.

    ” Following the works in Singapore, she sailed 7,000 nm non-stop across the Indian Ocean to Damen Shipyards Cape Town on her own hull in 20 days ”

    Well it safely crossed the whole of indian ocean non-stop, surely just sailing in the south china sea is nothing.

    Even the gowinds have a max range of only 5,000 nm.

    The Keris class? Just 2,000 nm.

    Ada-class corvette? 3,500 nm

    This, unlike purpose-built FAC or corvette, can be multi tasked. With range at full speed of more than 3,000 nm, it can repeat the KRI Naggala rescue incident in just 24 hours (malaysia to java). It also means within one night it can be at many possible locations, making it harder to keep track of. It can do HADR (carrying food/relief items on deck), it can do minelaying. It can do replenishment of remote islands with its huge fuel tankage. So in peacetime it would be much more useful than a purpose built corvette.

    Ship designs has come a long way since 40-50 years old design of TLDM FAC. Similar sized ships now can sail offshore with no issues.

  43. 1)Jeremy Clarkson one said, a vehicle that can do everything also mean it’s isn’t particularly good at doing anything.

    While navies due to budget issues seek multi-purpose vessel but it’s shouldn’t be too multi purpose that’s it’s isn’t particularly good at doing its primary jobs.

    2) All ship even small canoe can sail from A to B (asked the Polynesian who sail from here to as far as Madagascar & Hawaii) under Ideal conditions. But being able to sustain operation in an area or go somewhere under all conditions is a bit harder. If a small FAC can sail all over them USN & PLAN are being idiots in building cruiser & destroyer. But the reality is even a cruiser do struggle in the open Ocean in non Ideal conditions.

    RMN by experience ( not just on paper) had identified that FAC & laksamana size vessel are ill suited from operations in the EEZ.

  44. Like seriously though do RMN need that much ships though..27 OPV ofcourse not..Our navy will never be a blue water navy to demand that much ships ( they dont even dream it lol )..My civilian POV is simple..12 main combatantants.LCS batch 1 6 units + LCS batch 2 4 units preferably different design than LCS 1 for airwarfare/air defense roles and 2 flagships heavy frigate/light destroyers (biggest of them all say 5000+ tonnes) that can do all kind of task.Followed by 12 opv/ngpvs/lms whatever they want to call them that have enough weaponry,sensors,radars to complement that main/tier one combatants.Sure we are not really into arm races with our neigbouring country but when your closest neighbours started to build/buy 5000+tonnes ship ( ID’s merah putih frigates and SG’s future mrcv ships ) you whether like it or not need to follow suit

  45. @ Firdaus

    by 2040 I am okay with

    6x Gowinds ASW Frigate
    4x Type 31e/Arrowhead 140 variant (replacing Lekiu and kasturi classes)
    24x LMS-X
    6x Scorpenes
    various support ships including OSVs as MCM motherships (same as Royal Navy concept)

    With APMM of
    6x Kedah Class
    6x DAMEN OPV 1800
    6x large OPV (koreans, japanese)
    4x large OSV for rescue/tow/patrol
    4x Keris Class
    various medium and small ships + FIC

    all can be achieved using our current OPEX budget.

  46. More on naval innovation using similar boats to my proposed LMS-X

    XV Patrick Blackett (X01) sailing past Royal Navy destroyer, HMS Defender

    XV Patrick Blacknett is a Damen FCS 4008 experimental ship used by the Royal Navy as a testbed for new technologies, including unmanned underwater vehicles, unmanned surface vehicles and quantum navigation.

    More info of the ship

  47. Rather than just sailing from Point A to B which even a speedboat could do in SCS, imho a ship for SCS has to be sized enough for loitering and be on station to patrol no matter what seastates. An FAC sized vessel will have to come into port during rough seas while an opponent corvette could remain at the time hence our enforcement would be lacking in such situations. A new built FAC fleet could still have purpose as nearshore littoral patrol craft for MMEA/Polis Marin/SarawakCG, ones like the indigenous designed rehull of the FACs.

  48. If such ships are truly that effective as warships, every Navy in the world would have a fleet of 1,000 “warships”.

  49. @ Kel

    The tech to effectively share common situational awareness picture (radar, ISR, ESM) between ships is very new. The FCS 5009 design is also quite new. Now navies like USN and RN are pursuing similar concept but looking at totally unmanned “loyal wingmans” to a frigate/destroyer. My proposal (which actually predates even what USN, RN or Royal Netherlands Navy is doing) is a similar concept, but the “loyal wingmans” are a small ship + small crew with performance same or more than the lead frigate, carrying additional effectors (missile, torpedoes etc), sharing the bigger picture with the lead frigate (which is also partially what TRIFIC is).

    RMN plan for LMS Batch 2 spreads across 2 RMK, or 10 years. This RMK, RMN looking at 3 LMS Batch 2 for USD 530 Million. The next RMK, RMN is looking at 5 more LMS Batch 2 for a total of 8. Even for just the first 3 ships, you can get 21 LMS-X, then the budget for 5 more LMS Batch 2 you can easily used instead to pay for 2 Scorpenes. Rather than just 8 LMS Batch 2, you can get 21 LMS-X and 2 Scorpenes instead.

    The LMS-X is not intended a cure all for the navy. In addition to LMS-X, I also has for long proposed the replacement of Lekiu and Kasturi classes 1 to 1 with a bigger frigate than even the Gowind, preferably the ARROWHEAD 140. This would enable a bigger quantity of anti-air missile fit, and also space for future unmanned air (or even our current scaneagles), sea and underwater systems.

    Seems both Indonesia and Singapore also thinks the same, Indonesia building them as the Hitam Putih Frigate, and Singapore as the Multi Role Combat Vessel (MRCV). Below are pictures of Singaporean MRCV

  50. If you wanna arrowhead 140 then might as well cancelled all LMS-X and get more arrowheads 140.

    At least the arrowheads can operate at the EEZ rather then having hundreds of LMS-X that cant even operate there.

  51. @ zaft

    FCS 5009 has operated in the harsh Antarctic Southern Ocean thousand of nautical miles away from civilization, patrolling and chasing illegal whale catchers for 93 days straight. If it can patrol in Antarctic Southern Ocean, it can patrol anywhere.

  52. 93 days patrol in Southern Ocean? That thing can be anywhere in the SCS given that time.

    The Keris-class LMS is designed only for 15 days endurance and 2,000 nautical miles range.

  53. A side effect of flotilla with many small boats; we might not have enough manpower to crew them all.

    And while unmanned loyal wingman drone vessels are considered expendable, no human-crewed ships would agree to such a high risk tactic.

  54. Historically speaking we had relied & continues to relied on foreign power for our security need and economics progress. foreign power relatively are happy to provide such a service to us as it give them a say in a ‘strategically important’ real estates.

    So our whole gov mechanism (unlike for ID for example) be it the military,pen pusher, taxpayer’s, politicians do not seek or are impressed by the idea of quantities over quality. Because for most of us the quantities would arrive when the foreign partner arrived and we need quality hardware to work with them.

    Like it or not MY like SG works in an alliance structure despite both not signing any NATO like articles 5 or mutual defense treaty because both are convinced that foreign help will arrive due to our strategic location.

  55. @ zaft

    Our whole gov mechanism sees military spending as not a primary importance, and spending decisions are skewered by how much % of the spending can be funneled into own/crony/party pockets. Hopefully this could change in the near future.

    We need to have a defence that can really hold the line before others are willing to help. The same situation in Ukraine. Ukrainians prove that they are willing to fight and hold off the russians, which is why the world, which initially reluctant to help, are now pouring military hardware into Ukraine.

    @ joe

    Where to get crew?

    Let see the TLDM plan for LMS Batch 2.

    8 ships. 3 ships in RMK12 2021-2025 for RM2.5 billion. 5 ships in RMK13 2026-2030 for RM4.1 billion.

    Take SIGMA 9113 LMS Batch 2 offer as an example
    Each ship = 80 crew. 8 ships = 640 crew.

    LMS-X. Say the fleet consists of 24 ships. Each ship has 20 crew. 24 ships = 480 crew.

    24 LMS-X has less crew than 8 LMS Batch 2 ships, at an overall acquisition cost of less than half of the planned LMS Batch 2.

    3 LMS-X will also have 3x-6x the amount of missile carried by 1 LMS Batch 2, allowing for distributed lethality (missiles divided on 3 ships instead of just 1). Rather than just 4 missiles from a single ship of LMS Batch 2, it could be a rain of 24-36 missiles from 3 LMS-X, saturating the missile defence of the attacked ship and ensuring some of the missiles hit.

  56. It must be noted that your LMS-X crew is based on the one designed by the shipyard. RMN and MMEA are not yet comfortable with automation and reduced manning. Add some 10 to 20 people to the calculation. Even the Damen proposal will likely see an additional 10 to 20 people if its selected.

  57. The FCS 5009 can go far because spaces usually for 40+ crew is reduced to 20 and the rest is filled with fuel tanks. It actually needs a minimum crew of 5. There are the stan patrol 5009 versions with 30-40 crew, but the range and endurance is much shorter (although is still similar to the Gowind), and it has smaller rear clear deck spaces.

    A ship hit by a missile is rarely survivable. Just look at the Moskova Cruiser. The LMS-X is designed to be cheap, and if hit, to be abandoned rather than do damage control. It is designed to be survivable by deploying in multiple numbers, high speed, long endurance, small size and the use of decoys/chaff/flare. If the unmanned tech is mature enough in the near future (looking at TRIFIC or USN and RN experiments), then it can be converted to USV for wartime use, while remaining manned for peacetime patrol or shadowing missions.

    A swarm of 3 LMS-X + 1 Gowind, will make attacking and defending complicated to an enemy frigate/destroyer. Can it defend itself from multiple directions at once?

    Well I am putting out this suggestion so that the LMS mission can be done by 24 LMS-X at less than half of the budgeted cost of 8 LMS Batch 2 Corvettes. 24 ships with way more endurance and range than even the Gowinds could be in many more locations rather than just 8 corvettes, making our EEZ much more secure. Those extra budget can instead be used to buy more Scorpenes or Type 31 for Lekiu/kasturi class replacements. Or we could even use the extra money to build the 6th Gowind, of which all the hardware & steel already paid for.

  58. @Zaft
    Historically speaking we had been a colony and right up to the 1970s had relied on foreign powers for external protection, one of the key concessions we got as part of our independence. But as these powers withdrew support (part of the East of Suez policy) we have begun to gain footing in defending ourselves.

    Thus here we are today where these powers have token force stationed insitu but more often conduct their own agendas which might be incongruous to us, & regularly coming to pay a visit and doing joint exercises. How does that translate to them come running to save us, I cannot brain as we don’t have a legal binding obligation for them to do so.

    If talk about strategic asset, I want to ask strategic for whom? If its for trading with China, then them going to war with China for control over SCS & Straights is kinda stupid isn’t it? Even if they were willing, do we have the strategic advantage to hold a superpower invasion long enough for the West to start delivering war materiel?

    Some like to take Ukraine as an example, but Ukraine had a much larger armed forces; did have a preinvasion inkling with the takeover of Crimea, so they were at a better state of readiness; a large geography suited for defence in depth strategy, absorbing territorial losses while grinding down the Russian warmachine in an attrition battle; able to quickly raise a patriotic citizen volunteer army; a well adept regular force able to quickly adapt & use Western equipment & tactics. Do we even have all these to our advantage?

  59. ” Do we even have all these to our advantage? ”

    Firstly, we need to be clear on what kind of challenges we are going to face.

    – China. Is China claiming our land area? Not that i know of. Our challenge is to deny China the de-facto control of the imaginary 9-dash line area in the South China Sea, which is what China explicitly wants. An area which we as a country highly depends economically.

    So what we need to prepare for our defences is probably different to other countries, such as Ukraine.

    We need to prepare for 2 scenario

    1) Pushing back Chinese Coast Guard attempt to show absolute control of the 9-dash area on daily basis. This “grey-zone” is our biggest challenge. How? We need to be there in the area more than what Chinese Coast Guard can. Does it involve missiles or frigates? No, but we need more Coast Guard ships to be enduringly out there 365days/24hours each year. What is the outcome we must get? For us to freely conduct economic activities (oil&gas, fishing, mining, tourism, shipping our products) in our EEZ.

    2) Having a navy that is capable to fight back when the sh!t hits the fan. It could be a small force, but equipped with capable tools. More Submarines, fully armed Frigates, missile-laden LMS-X that could disperse to multiple locations in SCS to avoid first attack and capable of attacking the enemy from myriads of directions. Does TLDM need a fleet of 12 Frigate, 18 OPV, 18 LMS Corvettes like in 15 to 5? Probably not, but we need a navy that have all its ships capable of facing off another navy with confidence (and not just ships that can only survive peacetime missions).

    This, IMO something that is just “right sized” in regards to our security challenges and also our capability to acquire and sustain it.

  60. “Not that i know of.”
    Nonsense. Unless you blockade the whole SCS there is no way to effectively stake sea control without a land presence, which is why China kept demanding Pinoy to remove BRP Sierra Madre. They need the land presence, and for ASEAN nations to scoot off our respective islet holds, to gain legitimacy over the SCS. And if Malaysia moves toward actively denying China, an invasion to safeguard their claims isn’t a crazy idea.

    1) The only way is thru diplomacy. There is no way to outmuscle the CCG, nor constant present will be effective as MMEA will need boats of certain sizes to be at SCS constantly thru long patrols & any seastates, and that meant a huge intake in crews and auxiliary manpower, and basing support.

    2) They have 3 and soon 4 or more carrier fleets backed by a network of support ships and defenders. Airpower still rules no matter how nimble or innovative your asymmetric force may be.

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