India Offers Malaysia Ship-building Collaboration

L&T Shipbuilding Vikram class OPV.

SHAH ALAM: India offers Malaysia ship building collaboration. The New Straits Times is reporting that India is prepared to offer its fast-expanding ship-building technology to Malaysia and other countries.

It is also keen to collaborate on oceanic research concerning marine life, the weather, environment and natural disasters. Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia Mridul Kumar said that India had achieved tremendous sales of its indigenously built vessels to Africa, Middle-East and Asian countries.

L&T Shipbuilding Vikram class OPV.

From NST.

“We wish to share our technical and engineering expertise in the field of security, defence and maritime industries, for the mutual benefit of other nations.

“And Malaysia is most welcome to participate in possible joint-venture programmes in ship-building, just like we share technical knowledge and training in a lot of other aspects,” said Mridul, adding that India also wanted to collaborate on oceanic research.

He said this after hosting a reception on board the visiting oceanographic accoustic research vessel INS Sagardhwani at the National Hydrography Centre in Pulau Indah.

As you are probably aware, India is building most of its vessels at its own shipyards – some from its own design – for its navy and coast guards. It had also donated some of these vessels to other countries though based from the above it is likely want to sell them to Malaysia.

L&T first of class OPV, Vikram. Wikipedia.

With the APMM and even the RMN looking to augment their fleet – if and when the government wants to fund them – perhaps we could look at Indian shipyards for our future vessels. Unlike China, it is unlikely we will have problems putting military grade stuff from foreign vendors to these ships.
Vikram OPV of the Indian Coast Guard.

One of the most interesting vessels build by India is the L&T shipbuilding 98 meter OPV known as the Vikram class in Indian Coast Guard. L&T Defence was awarded a $210 million or $30 milllion per vessel contract to build seven Vikram class OPV for the Indian Coast Guard in 2015. Three of the ships are already in active service with the Indian Coast Guard.
A CGI of the MMEA OPV being built by THHE Destini.

I am aware the Damen OPV being built by THHE Destini JV is a much better looking ship though it is more expensive than the Indian ship. Perhaps if we built more of the OPV the price could get cheaper
— Malaysian Defence

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  1. The total cost of 6 DAMEN OPV1800 plus 6 Vikram class is only about USD500 million. That is about the same cost as 1 gowind plus 1 LMS68!

    If spread for 10 years we can more than afford those ships. So it is just a matter of political will. Investing the USD500 million will reap billions of ringgit worth of fishing, oil and gas, tourism income annually

  2. No need to reinvent the wheel or rather finding alternatives to what we already have. If we can build the Damen’s, then by all means we should just stick with it.

    The ones from India that interest me are MKI spares compatible to MKM, BrahMos too, T-72 spares compatible to Pendekar, and if they locally make 2A46 gun barrels we should consider it. As for non-military, its no rocket science to go learn about their rocket science. Not like we’re building an ICBM or anything like that.

  3. If we accept the offer from India to utilise its technology; several factors will be at play; in addition to the government agreeing to make the needed investment and committing to it. A lot will depend on the level of bilateral ties with India (whether we want to improve things) and the long term benefits that collaboration with the Indians will have on the local shipbuilding industry.

    Another factor is China. The Chinese will say they can offer us what India (a Chinese strategic competitor) is offering. They will say they can match the price; as well as share technology and shipbuilding techniques. Given that it’s China and that were very economically tied with China; we won’t be in a position to simply shrug off a Chinese proposal.

    It would be great if we bought stuff based on price and suitability but unfortunately there is always the political angle.

  4. Comparing the Vikram and the Damen, the Vikram doesn’t seem to have as much enclosed space and the gun is further back reducing its field of fire.

    Dont know how reliable Indian shipyards are either, given that they can sink their own submarine… and they were a fair choice as an independent 3rd party unconnected to any political problems, until recently. Who knows if the ZN issue might get in the way.

    Given my choice I’d pick to do something with SK. They’re dependable and cheap both.

  5. India is China strategic competitor? Nope.

    The bulk of chinese military might is situated in the east where real threat are (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and by extension, UN pacific fleet). Meanwhile, other than border garrison between india/china, most of the their western forces is geared towards domestic security to deal with xinjiang and tibet. This means that China already had india under control with its proxies (Pakistan) and it’s just a matter of time until bangladesh and sri lanka also fall into the fold and subsequently encircle and contain india’s influence

    That and considering that india manufacturing capacity is about 1/10 of China, there’s no way they can compete other than through direct deal with government, something previous government got flak for

  6. Of course there will always be a political and diplomatical aspect of this. Something as a nation that is in the middle of other larger nations we need to juggle.

    IMO buying or accepting defence equipment from regional powers is something we need to do. This will present us to them as a friendly and thrustworthy gesture. So things from china, india, japan and south korea must be taken into account for our defensive posture.

    How to juggle this? My opinion
    China – LMS68, MR SAM, 155mm lightweight howitzers.
    India – OPV, naval systems
    South Korea – ATGM, MANPADs, LCA/LIFT
    Japan – submarine lithium-ion battery technology, ground based radar, ships.

    Back to the OPV. Lets compare prices.

    Damen OPV1800 – USD53 million
    L&T Vikram class – USD31 million
    China P18N OPV – USD48 million

    The P18N is based on the thailand Pattani class OPV

    So for MMEA OPV, no issue to get both damen and L&T OPVs. The L&T OPV gets us cost effective ships plus diplomatic points with India.

    As for ZN. He really has stepped too far and has dishonoured our hospitality to him. Time to show him the door before his toxic ways poison our unity.

  7. @Azlan
    Working with India is just going to anger Pakistan, whom we have deeper defence relations having bought many hardware from them. I’ll bet you that India’s offering is just another powerplay between them since the latest Kashmir conflict exploded. We should consider their offer with caution and lots of salt.

  8. @ joe

    We have deep defence relations with both pakistan and india.

    Buying coast guard ships from india? No reason for pakistan to be annoyed by this.

    Pakistan will be annoyed due to the current situation.

  9. @dundun
    They do have border dispute with China actually, the last in 2017.

    India constantly maintains that its military requirements includes the patrolling of a 2-front border, although they probably don’t expect to fight a 2-front war, they are cognizant of the fact that in “peacetime” they are operating in 2 theatres, just like we are (Peninsular and East Malaysia).

    Possible. As we all know, military trade is about buying allies too; they could be sucking up to us so we abandon the Pakistanis. And Malaysian money going to their MIC would be money not going to Pakistani MIC.

    Or possibly they are looking at fulfilling dock capacity…. or maybe, bulatkan jawapan yang sesuai:

    A) I, II and III
    B) I, II and IV
    C) III and IV
    D) Semua di atas

  10. @…
    On normal circumstances, maybe not but you should look at the context right now, what’s happening between the two atm. Just by appearing to side with either will give the other a hissy fit. You can bet if one of their head of state comes visit, you will soon hear the other leader going to come next month or even the week after! Right now is not the best time to take this bait and switch.

    AFAIK, we haven’t made significant purchases of Indian weaponry or defence hardware unlike from Pakistan, but let me know if I’m mistaken.

  11. “I’ll bet you that India’s offering is just another powerplay between them ”

    From past experience with any item of ordnance and the sheer variety of vendors who have pitched us and/or paired up with local agents, I would say any and all comers try their luck with us. They know that practical merits are low on our list of priorities and that we have have a record of screwing the services.

    If China could get us with the LMS, why can’t they? Their offer is less compelling as they aren’t helping us with hiding any scandals though.

  12. Also buying a ship is not like buying a car, that you can order today and get it next week.

    To build a ship takes multiple years. For now there is no urgent need to confirm other types of OPV as we can still build more of the Damen OPV1800 for MMEA. Any new OPV type for MMEA can be decided like 5 more years from now.

  13. joe,

    If you go back over the decades of bilateral relations with India and Pakistan; it is clear we’ve always had a closer relationship with India. Sure, we’ll strive to be close to Pakistan for Islamic solidarity and because we both have common interests but in the larger scheme of things India is far more important for us.

    Back in 1971 when East Pakistan fell, a number of PN ships escaped but were unable to make it back to West Pakistan. They arrived at Penang seeking refuge but we only allowed them a limited time to dock in order to replenish. Yes we’ve bought stuff from Pakistan but overall; we’ve had a closer defence relationship with India.

    India is offering us what it’s offering because it seeks exports and seeks to improve ties; not because of any “power play”. India over the years has always offered us various things: from Brahmos to Akash to Druv. We’ve also sent more people over the years for training and courses to India rather than Pakistan.

    Dundun – “India is China strategic competitor? Nope”

    – Both have fought a war before and have unresolved territorial disputes.

    – Why do you think the PLA has so much assets on the Tibetan Platea and why India in recent years has bolstered its military presence up north?

    – Do you think the billions the Indians are spending is aimed solely or mainly at Pakistan? Indians planners are acutely aware that in event of a war with Pakistan, they also have to factor in Chinese involvement.

    – It is because of India that China has gone to great extent to support Pakistan in various ways; militarily (the Pakistani ballistic missiles are “Chinese” BTW). financially and diplomatically. China also vocally supported Pakistan over recent events in Kashmir. For the Chinese; Pakistan is way more than a “proxy” (as you mentioned), it’s a “strategic ally”.

    – India a few years ago announced it would conduct naval patrols in the South China Sea,

    – Have you considered why the U.S. has gone to such great efforts to cultivate India? It’s aimed at China.

    Yes, China and India are “strategic competitors” and have been for decades …..

  14. “overall; we’ve had a closer defence relationship with India”
    Well if you say so. Somehow that didn’t put off Pakistan from dealing with us, so perhaps that level of cooperation with India was just skin deep? Personally, I don’t mind getting BrahMos, that would give Singapore and Indonesia some food for thought. But don’t you think the timing of their current offer is too ‘convenient’? We can agree to disagree of course.

  15. This isn’t zero sum game. We’re not exactly india’s lackey that we shouldn’t deal with Pakistan. Bangladesh, which is even closer with india both geographically, politically and even economically, also source military equipment from Pakistan

  16. joe – “Well if you say so”.

    It’s not about me saying so but based on factors like the number of people who have attended training courses in India over the years compared to Pakistan; assistance the Indians have provided over the years (not only for the MKMs and Fulcrums),
    the level of defences exchanges we’ve have with India, as well as bilateral exercises, etc. How close a defence relationship one has with another country is also based on other factors apart from defence.

    Just because we may have bought more hardware from Pakistan doesn’t necessarily mean we are closer to Pakistan.
    If you feel that we have a stronger or closer defence relationship with Pakistan; I’d be very interested in finding out how this is so.

    joe – “Somehow that didn’t put off Pakistan from dealing with us, so perhaps that level of cooperation with India was just skin deep”

    Why in earth would Pakistan be “put off” from “dealing” with us just because we have dealings with India? This doesn’t make sense. Given that we are neutral in whatever dispute both have and that we have official relations (including trade and investment) with both countries; none of them expect us to take sides or to decline buying from one of them merely to curry favour with the other.

    joe – “But don’t you think the timing of their current offer is too ‘convenient”

    I have no idea about the “timing” but India and Pakistan have been offering us various things for years. They both seek export markets for their products and both use arms exports as an extension of their foreign policy to improve overall relations.

    Dundun -“We’re not exactly india’s lackey that we shouldn’t deal with Pakistan”

    Nobody here implied anything about us being a “lackey” and anyone and nobody suggested we shouldn’t buy from Pakistan ….

  17. @Joe
    Brahmos is brute force.

    If we shop for maritime strike, I would buy a sea-skimmer with terminal manoeuvring capability.

    Bangladesh is closer to Pakistan I believe; both are muslim-indian breakaway states. Also China has cultivated them, perhaps thinking they can be a dagger in India’s back; they bought lots of chinese equipment such as the Durjoy class corvettes – which you will remember is the big brother of our LMS.

  18. @Dundun
    “This isn’t zero sum game.”
    On the surface it isn’t, not by a long shot. But in the political atmosphere of today, anything can be turned into a zero sum game.

    If things could be looked at objectively and wouldn’t be turned into a zero sum game, I would have preferred we consider Singaporean & Israeli hardware as well.

    As it is, we cannot afford to be drawn into a powerplay and seen to be taking sides even if that is not our intention.

  19. “Personally, I don’t mind getting BrahMos, that would give Singapore and Indonesia some food for thought.”

    Some people have learned nothing from the time they suggested we get S400 to give our neighbours “food for thought.”

  20. Eh Bangladesh is actually separated from Pakistan (they were called East pakistan prior to its independence in which India has major roles in)

    Still, india had overstayed their welcome by meddling too much in Bangladesh domestic issue. In comes China and their typically hands off (in most cases), throwing money on the table approach

  21. The latest news is that India is cooperating wirh Vietnam to build Vietnams patrol vessels

  22. Chua – “Bangladesh is closer to Pakistan I believe; both are muslim-indian breakaway states”

    East Pakistan was treated like occupied territory by the Pakistani Punjabis who treated the Bengalis very badly. When the Indians invaded they were welcomed by the locals who later executed scores of Pakistanis for human rights abuses, in Dhaka’s stadium.

    The country is next to Myanmar, which is why PN ships that escaped the fall of East Pakistan; made it to Penang. They wanted to stay indefinitely but we only allowed them time to replenish.


    I get what you mean.

    To really exploit Brahmos to its full potential, we’ll need ISR assets.’

    What will really make our neighbours or anyone for that matter take notice is not us buying Brahmos or 200 MBTs or 36 MRCAs but when or if we change our defence procurement policy and start adopting a more serious approach towards defence.

  23. Chua – “If we shop for maritime strike, I would buy a sea-skimmer with terminal manoeuvring capability”

    The actual missile is only one part of the equation. The other parts being MPAs, UASs and coastal radars to aid the missive carrying platforms in detecting targets. At times, to utilise the long range afforded by a missile; an OTHT platform will also be needed. This is a role the Link Y equipped Lynxs perform for the Exocets and previously the Otomats.

  24. OTHT can be done by both fennec and lynx. The reason the fennec has a large search radar under its chin is to undertake the OTHT mission. In the future, advanced ESM systems and real time high resolution satellite imaging can also be used for OTHT.

    But lets not escalate this primarily OPV topic into missile shooting shall we?

  25. Please no dealings with India military complex. Enough with Su30MKM already. I’d rather prefer if we choose to do business with East-Asia region like Japan/South Korea or European countries such as Sweden etc.

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