How Much Is That LMS Batch 2 in the Window?

Model of the LMS Batch 2 at the RMN booth at DSA 2024. Malaysian Defence picture.

SHAH ALAM: As Malaysian Defence reported previously, the plan for the LMS Batch 2 was for eight ships to be built within two RMK with a budget of RM2.5 billion. That plan was tweaked in 2022 – as it was apparent that the government will continue funding the LCS and the RMN need for a more potent surface combatant.

The ships will still be built in two RMK but the budget gets bigger as ships to be selected will be bigger and better armed. In the report Et Tu LMS Batch II, Part II, Malaysian Defence reported that the budget for the three ships was supposed to be RM2.5 billion to be paid for during this RMK.

Infographic of the LMS Batch 2 specifications and other details. STM.

The other five are expected to be built in RMK13 with an expected cost of RM4.1 billion. That is the reason the ship’s specifications have been tweaked so it will be a hull from 85 meter to 100 meters, a beam from 11 meters to 14 meters and a top speed of 28 knots.The armament is similar to previous smaller design – a 57 mm main gun, two SSMs, a VL SAM or VSHORAD (Fitted For But Not Equipped) and twin 30mm guns (could be a CIWS type).

And with the LOA issued to STM Defence of Turkiye, Malaysian Ada class variant will be fitted with SSM and SAMs from the start, the plan has been tweaked again. RMN do not want any of the Fitted for but Not Equipped With (nonsense). Despite the issuance of the LOA, the Defence Ministry has not announced the cost of the LOA/contract for the three ships.

Defence Minister DS Khaled Nordin and Turkish Defence Industry Secretariat secretary Prof. Dr. Haluk Görgün with the LOA at the ceremony.

Malaysian Defence has been told that the three ships will cost some RM2.76 billion or RM920 million per ship. This is an increase of some RM87 million compared to the original budget of RM2.5 billion or RM833 million per ship. That said one must add around RM20 million to RM30 million per LMS Batch 2 for the SAMs which are government furnished equipment (likely to be from South Korea).

As most of the equipment and weapons will come direct from Turkiye, I believed the cost of the three ships are quite fair. I had expected the ships to cost RM1 billion each. It must be noted that the LCS will cost some RM2.2 billion each. The LCS was originally supposed to cost some RM1 billion each but then it crept up to around RM1.5 billion before the current cost.

This will also mean that the five LMS Batch 2 to be paid for in the next RMK should cost some RM4.6 billion if they are built in Turkiye and if the government approved it, of course. If they are locally assembled – Lumut Naval Shipyard of course – the cost might go higher to RM5.5 billion. If it is done the LCS way, the sky is the limit.

— Malaysian Defence

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26 Comments

  1. below 1 billion pership for almost full fledge is quite fair at least my POV..or is it?.The corcern now is about commonality in RM’s Arsenal..SAM Seawolf,Mica?..SSM atmaca,NSM,Exocet

  2. USD194 million per ship, imho the cheapest Ada.

    For the other 5, maybe USD200 million per ship, inflation adjust.

  3. If it is done in Turkiye, your figure would be correct. But for local assembly it will be higher and higher still for local building…

  4. Firdaus – ”The corcern now is about commonality in RM’s Arsenal..SAM Seawolf,Mica?..SSM atmaca,NSM,Exocet”

    VLS systems require little upkeep; the main or regular one is checking nitrogen levels. As for the actual missile it require little upkeep apart from regular checks. The main challenge is to train the people to maintain them; the test equipment and the literally dozens of manuals which have to be mastered.

    Also, in a few years the plan is to retire the Kasturis and Lekius and the MM-40’s are getting a bit long in the tooth already. As for Seawolf if you’ve been paying attention you’ll know its status. Thus the RMN’s in the near future will operate 2 types of ASMs and 2 types of SAMs; not too much of s train on the support infrastructure.

  5. zaft,

    Yes, such good mates/pals/buddies/chums/kawan that Erdogan might even help pay off 1MDB debts an a street in Ankara might be named after the our esteemed PM>

  6. @Dundun
    What effect? Are we getting these ship on the cheap? Nope. If its buying from Turkey, we have been doing since PM Najib era with Gempita so what changed?

    @Nimitz
    The official budget is unrealistically too low for such a ship w/ the equipment. I expect there will be supplementary budgets silently out to cover the shortfall which might be stalled if the next Govt dont play ball to release extra money, as what PH Govt did to LCS when they took over.

  7. “Yes, such good mates/pals/buddies/chums/kawan that Erdogan might even help pay off 1MDB debts an a street in Ankara might be named after the our esteemed PM>” ..good one !!

  8. STM said all 3 ships will be built in Istanbul shipyard in three & a half years. That means 1 year per ship including testing, commisioning & delivery. That’s quite fast. I wonder for 2500 tonnes it is confirmed without sonar & torps? If that’s true i guess you’re right it must be because of the 16 vls taking the space around the hangar & it will require some redesign if rmn wanted to add the asw suite. What is the price tag of a hull mounted sonar today? 50-60M dollars?

  9. We will save a lot of money using our ‘Fitted For But Never With’ concept.

  10. I hope we name all new ships after Malaysian warriors instead of pre-merdeka warriors.

    We have enough PGB recipients or former admirals or former PAT

  11. Maybe another 4 in the future will be configured as asw corvette lite with asw mortar/rocketlauncher,torpedo,and hull mounted sonar and asw countermeasure suite..The primary asw ships for RMN should be LCS right with hull mounted sonar and towed array sonar..8 ships as dual role tier 2 combatant like this 3 ship and another five in the future if any..and another 4 as a lite asw corvette..total 12 lms batch 2 + 6 kedahs that will make opv/corv squadron

  12. I believe Turkiye would rather we buy another LMS Batch 2 and then moved on to a bigger design, the Istanbul class frigate…

  13. Based on what’s written above the plan is to have a total of 8 ships 3 now and 5 later on. Will all of them have the same specifications? Is it feasible/possible to have different config for some ships in that batch?
    For ex, 8 ships –> 4 for general purpose combatants, 2xAA 2x ASW?

  14. Encik,
    The RMN will save even more money if the ships are fitted for but not with 4 CODAD diesel engines..

  15. I See could be but then that Istanbul Class is also an enlarged version of Ada/Milgem right? Much like our LCS, an enlarged version of gowind.If that so, we better just stick with LCS right? Almost identical in dimension and what not.Unless that I class frigate cost less than our LCS, which now like you said yourself priced at 2.2 billion perunit

  16. Encik,

    That point is moot since they will. be “ fitted with”. What’s the point of saving money if you have something which can’t do what it’s supposed to do and “fitted for” sounds good on paper but it can’t be done overnight. RAM supposedly can be fitted to the Kedahs in 24 hours but how long will it take to arrive here?

  17. ASM,

    Anything is possible as long as there is deck space and as long as adding something does not lead to any issues; e.g. the design becoming top heavy, etc. As for the follow batch which is years away; you’re asking a question which nobody can answer; not even the RMN. The ink in the LOA isn’t even dry yet.

  18. Firdaus – “ The primary asw ships for RMN should be LCS right with hull mounted sonar and towed array sonar

    You left out the helo which is the main means of engaging a contact.A helo with the needed range, endurance and space to carry torps, a sonar and sonobuoys.

  19. “the Istanbul class frigate…”
    If that is the push might as well build more Gowind LCS batch2. There is little merit to go with another ship class that is nearly similar to LCS.

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