Its the Ada Class, Which One?

RMN officers poring over the model of the ADA class at LIMA 2023. Malaysian Defence picture

SHAH ALAM: Its now confirmed, the LMS Batch II will be an Ada class corvette. Though which variant is selected and the equipment fit is currently being determined. Defence Minister DS Khaled Nordin in a written reply to a question in Parliament on March 13 stated that the government had determined the procurement of the ships will be conducted through the government-to-government approach with the Turkish government.

This will be conducted via direct negotiations with state-owned company Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik (STM), he added.

Turkish Navy TCG Kinaliada F-514, the fourth ship of the Ada class corvette. STM.

He said the Ministry of Finance on January 18 had approved of the procurement. “Following this the Defence Ministry has issued a letter of intent to the company – STM – on February 5 and the company had replied on February 8 for further negotiations.

The ministry via the Royal Malaysian Navy is currently undertaking the detail negotiations to determine the specifications and subsequently the cost before the procurement is concluded.”

Of course he did not say outright that the Ada class corvette will be LMS Batch 2 but since STM has offered the ship to meet the requirement, it is foolish to think otherwise. Khaled was responding to a question by Tanah Merah MP DS Ikmal Hisham Aziz on the procurement of LMS Batch 2.

The full answer here:

Kementerian Pertahanan akan melaksanakan perolehan Littoral Mission Ship Batch 2 (LMSB2) untuk Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia (TLDM) melalui pendekatan Government to Government (GtoG) dengan
syarikat berkaitan Kerajaan Turkiye secara rundingan terus iaitu Savunma
Teknolojieri Muhendislik (STM).
Kementerian Kewangan (MOF) pada 18 Januari 2024 telah memberi kelulusan terhadap perkara ini. Susulan itu, Kementerian Pertahanan telah mengeluarkan surat niat kepada pihak syarikat pada 5
Februari 2024 dan pihak syarikat telah memberikan maklum balas pada 8
Februari 2024 untuk berunding dengan Kementerian Pertahanan sebagai
wakil Kerajaan.
Pada masa ini, Kementerian Pertahanan melalui TLDM sedang di
peringkat rundingan terperinci berhubung spesifikasi yang ditawarkan dan
seterusnya akan melaksanakan rundingan harga sebelum perolehan ini
dimuktamadkan.

PNS Khaibar of the Pakistan Navy, a variant of the Ada class corvette/light frigate.

Malaysian Defence has reported previously that the Ada class corvette was the favourite for the LMS Batch 2 though the industry wanted RMN to look to other designs.

As previously reported there are currently three variants of the Ada class – Turkish, Pakistan and Ukrainian. All three relatively the same size – 99 metres and a displacement of 2,400 tonnes. The main weapons are the 76mm guns, eight surface to surface missiles and two torpedo launchers. They can carry two S-70 helicopters.

Albatros NG. MBDA

It is in the anti-aircraft weaponary the ships differed, the Turkish ones are fitted with a single RAM launcher while the Pakistan ones – four of them – are equipped with MBDA Albatross missiles (a longer range version of the CAAM ER/Sea Ceptor) while the Ukrainian ones are equipped for MBDA MICA VL missiles.
Mica VL shipboard container/launcher. MBDA

I hazard to guess we may well end up with a variant of the Ukrainian one as the same missiles are also hardwired for the LCS. I stand to be corrected of course. Defence News has reported the Ukrainian two Ada class corvettes will cost around US$256 million (RM1.2 billion) though this may well exclude the cost of the missiles and other weapons.
The Ada class corvette, the Turkish Navy variant.

With our luck we may end up without the SAM as RMN had envisaged the LMS Batch 2 without them, only fitted for but not equipped with.

— Malaysian Defence

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55 Comments

  1. What is the point of the ships to be fitted for when there is no intention of ever installing the SAM? Won’t it be cheaper to be just without? Savings in the system I would assume.

  2. I thinks it’s unfortunately going to be the dreaded Fitted For But Not With variant. That’s so often it’s now the official policy….

  3. The Ukrainian deal was for :

    The first vessel will be delivered to Ukraine by the end of 2023 unfinished, to then be completed in Ukraine. The deal was signed in December 2020 worth $256 million.

    Supposedly after the hull was launched, the ship is to bw towed to Ukraine and completed there. So that cost is hull+engines but without IPMS, radar, weapons, interior fitout.

    Now the plan has been changed and it will be completed in Turkiye (the shipyard of the build is in the Mediterranean area)

    As for the cost of the Pakistani ADA class corvettes – STM CEO Davut Yilma said in May 2017 that the cost will be $250 million per ship.

    That is the cost. But when can we get the ship?

    If based on PNS Babur :
    Keel laid – 5/6/2020
    launched – 15/8/2021
    Commissioned – 23/11/2023

    Let say if signed this year, at least a year to redesign to TLDM spec (Pakistani ship went from contract signing in 2017 to keel laid in 2020, nearly 3 years). That means keel laying in 2026. So an optimistic first commissioning of the LMS Batch 2 Corvette would be in 2029.

    That is a very big possibility that all 5 Gowinds will be commissioned (LCS5 planned handover April 2029) before the first Ada class LMS Batch 2 Corvette will be.

    And the main reason why we want LMS Batch 2 is because we need more hulls in the water right now.

    This is still not mentioning what kind of fitout/weapons we will get for our USD175 million per ship budget. Or what kind of reduced performance if we insist on not having the gas turbine that the ADA class ship is designed to have.

    Recently US Government presented their Fiscal Year 2025 (FY2025) budget. For the US Navy, they presented a 10 ship decommissioning list. Of that, there are 6 interesting (and young) ships to be decommissioned.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GIg-gOvaUAATfFw.jpg

    Most probably those ships will be declared as Excess Defence Articles (EDA) and will be available for transfer for free/at cost. In all probability it could also be done as a “hot transfer”, ie the ship can be transferred immediately after decommissioning (2024-2025).

    There is 2x independence class LCS
    LCS-6 USS Jackson
    LCS-8 (typo in pic lcs-7) USS Montgomery

    4x Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV)
    EPF-1 USNS Spearhead
    EPF-2 USNS Choctaw County Hall
    EPF-3 USNS Millinocket
    EPF-4 USNS Fall River

    The Independence class LCS is the same type of ship that protected Petronas West Capella from Chinese Coast Guard harrassment in 2020.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GIhBxYnbMAAHQ7z.jpg

  4. Hasnan “What is the point of the ships to be fitted for when there is no intention of ever installing the SAM”

    The ada is already integrated with the same Sam that’s in the gowind. So by being ‘missing’ it’s either
    1)RMN truly has no money for missile
    2)RMN want a different SAM systems and are willing to wait for their preferred SAM.

  5. Indonesian navy strategic plan (renstra) 2025-2029 plans for air warfare destroyers and large frigates.

    With Prabowo now the new President, it will be sure that military spendings will be one of the priorities of Indonesian Government for the next 5 years.

    Some of the ships being looked at includes FREMM Italy, PPA Italy, DAMEN Omega Netherlands, Navantia F110 Spain, Hyundai KDX3 South Korea, TKMS F126 Germany.

  6. With our luck we may end up without the SAM as RMN had envisaged the LMS Batch 2 without them, only fitted for but not equipped with.(malaysiandefence.com)
    If it happens yet again, I will call these entities ie. MinDef and RMN ‘STUPID AS’ as Standard. What else should I call the idiocracy… Just tell them to buy a tugboat instead, not a warship minus all its weaponry!

  7. Thr main issue right now is the current lack of ships to counter the encroachment by China Coast Guard.

    If we really need a ship now, just yesterday Japan Coast Guard retired its patrol ship PLH21. If we need a ship ASAP, that ship would be available immediately.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GIoP2FNbgAAL0pe.jpg

    The retirement ceremony
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GIsr13naMAAFKcK.jpg

    The PLH21 is a 130m 5,000 ton patrol ship, commissioned in 1986. It has 130 crew, can carry 2 helicopters and a max range of 8,500 nautical miles.

  8. These MILGEM for RMN will be weaponised..lock stock & barrel. Once LOA signed, the Turkish will start the steel cutting..meanwhile RMN & STM will discuss on FDR & CDR especially on the GT replacement in order to maintain the sp reqd..I believed it will only 3 yrs to commission ie well before LCS.

  9. Hey, do Hisar Class OPV still considered as ADA class? Or just derivative? Cuz Hisar Class used Combined Diesel electric or diesel (CODELOD) and the tonnage is below original ADA

  10. @ viper

    ” Once LOA signed, the Turkish will start the steel cutting..meanwhile RMN & STM will discuss on FDR & CDR especially on the GT replacement in order to maintain the sp reqd. ”

    PDR, CDR & FDR should be done before first steel cutting, especially on a major design change such as the GT replacement. A reason i feel there will be 1 year for all the design stages before the first steel is cut.

    IMO if LOA is signed this year, steel cutting would be Q4 2025/Q1 2026 at the earliest (after 1 year of design stages).

  11. @ marhalim

    Today there are mentions of AWD DDG and LHD for Indonesian Navy on top of the Merah Putih Frigate and FREMM/PPA buy.

  12. Is SSM still confirmed to be NSM? Cause i doubt we have money to pay for integration

  13. Technically yes but technically its another company (ASFAT) product so if going by the minister statement about GtoG with STM then no, its not part of the consideration.

  14. Wil these be fully done in Turkey? Already our politicians are making noise and this could be yet another vote loser for PMX.

  15. FFBNW to save budget. I sincerely hope it will not be like Kedah class. Kind of defeat the purpose when ex Def minister Mohammad Hassan said it will be better equipped

  16. In hindsight, perhaps it’s best to take design decisions for main systems away from RMN this time. Take an existing design – choose between Turkey, Ukraine or Pakistan versions. No more trying to custom a ship and alter the core design. Saves on the integration and design time and cost. Would RMN be opting for a smaller ship since LMS2 only required a aviation deck but not a hangar? The plan remains to fit the SAM launchers but not equip the missiles?

  17. @Hulubalang
    “It has 130 crew”
    Theres the rub. MMEA doesnt have 130 extra manpower to use that boat. And since their penned to get the ex USCG and another 2 more OPV, these are large ships in MMEA, they will be stretched too thin to man all of them.

  18. Yes sure.. FDR & CDR will be comoleted first before signing LOA ..I am optimistic the steel cutting will start this yr as there is no major design changes..& no integration issue as Atmaca is most likely SSM..the rest is lock stock & barrel..but there will be no ASW sonar..

  19. @Tekukur

    Sebab jiran dah ada frigate dgn korvet moden, kita masih sangkut dengan kapal lama. Biar lengkapkan jumlah kapal TLDM dengan kapal frigate/korvet moden…baru boleh fikir pasal destroyer bagai

  20. It is a good news to hear. I hope mo big idea to build it locally or my hope will fly away.

    Hasnan:
    “What is the point of the ships to be fitted for when there is no intention of ever installing the SAM? ”

    FFBNW sometimes means fit for but not with forever. It all depends on money and role RMN want it to be. If presence is the only role RMN wants then gun is the only weapon installed.

    KC Wong:
    “Today there are mentions of AWD DDG and LHD for Indonesian Navy on top of the Merah Putih Frigate and FREMM/PPA buy”

    Well, ID procurement strategy is a bit different. ID buy a small nunber unit in a batch just like 2 units sigma 10514 and again 2 units of frigate merah putih. My guess is ToT is the main goal of this procurement than the number of ship built. It shows how ID want to built new platforms locally including the next scorpene evolved which is again 2 units. So far the ToT is working well.

    As ToT is not easily given, building different platform locally is a way to understand the core of ship building.

  21. It has always been said that the first three units will be built overseas. Whether or not this will change, we will have to wait and see.

    Most TOT if it doesnt involve the US are usually easy to get if you are willing to pay for it.

  22. Kel “No more trying to custom a ship and alter the core design. Saves on the integration and design time and cost”

    So they are going to shoot 5 different type of SSM and 8 different type of SAM?

    There’s a good reason why military standardise their weapons, well the good one anyway. The lousy one have every type of missiles, jet and ammo under the sun

  23. Janji “Ada” daripada tiada terus. Fingers crossed the lms2 gets commissioned in 3 years with SSM and SAM intact

  24. Please lah, Get rid of ‘Fitted For But Not With’ concept as end user will never get the supposedly system. Just look at Kedah class. We should equip our wardhips with the best system that we can afford. The world is getting crazy and we don’t want to be left behind by our neighbours.

  25. How many missile systems does RMN have today? How many new ships has it gotten in the past 10 years and how many new ones it will be getting in the next 5 years? What is the real issue? The number of weapon systems or the number of new ships? Less people forget, RMN contributed its share to LCS design delays.

  26. @ joe

    ” And since their penned to get the ex USCG and another 2 more OPV ”

    Those ships don’t know when will arrive. As the 2 other DAMEN OPV is delayed indefinitely, So crews for the 2 DAMEN OPV can be used to man the PLH21.

    The USCG ship is almost 60 years old. The PLH21 is the same age as our KM Langkawi/Banggi and KD Kasturi/Lekir.

  27. To those folks that dont want to see anymore FFBNW its very easy, please tell your MP and ministers that you, your parents, your family, your future generations, will vote for those that will up defence budget to 2-3% and dont mind sacrificing other social benefits, for instance a lower Govt pension. When the Govt has more money to allocate to TLDM then they can better fit out their warships as according to plan. Otherwise right now TLDM are in need of ships in the water more than high tech weaponry and anything short of a war, they are willing to tradeoff with Kedah style of FFBNW boats.

    Its easy to talk and have high expectations from TLDM when money is not enough and what little available is shrinking by the day thanks to inflation & Madani. And whats left got spanar to feed projects that do not add to the boat ie upgrading BNS.

  28. So TNI-AL ideal striking force fleet is

    12x Submarines
    4x Destroyers
    36x Frigates
    18x Corvettes (down from current 25)
    27x FAC

    I won’t comment on the Patrol fleet as I feel that should rightly be under BAKAMLA, as is all opv for malaysia should be under APMM.

    Compare to my proposed TLDM 2040 fleet
    6x Scorpene Evolved spec
    4x Arrowhead 140 Frigate 6800 ton
    6x Gowind Frigate 3100 ton
    24x LMS-X FCS5009 (modular long range offshore-capable FAC)

    The mix is almost similar in ratio, but for TNI-AL it is understandable for the large planned fleet as it has to cover a sea area as big as the Mediterranean in width.

    To get TNI-AL required frigate numbers, it needs to go from current 9 to 36, a 3 fold increase. So it is not shocking that Indonesia currently looks like it wants to buy any available frigates in the market.

  29. Malaysia in general needs more ships in the water ASAP. It can be APMM ships instead of TLDM as the challenge is to counter Chinese Coast Guard harassment of malaysian economic activities in our EEZ.

    If the ADA class LOA is this year, at best it will be 3-4 years from now. By my calculations, it will be 2029 at the earliest. By that time probably 4 of the 5 gowinds already in the water. So why the big tradeoffs to get these ships?

  30. @Hulubalang
    “Those ships don’t know when will arrive.”
    That exUSCG is basically a shoo in being a geopolitical donation to their main man in Asean so its certain to get, that already suckin 75 crewmen. And even combining 2x OPV crewmen (46pax each) would not be sufficient to man PLH21 (that needs 130 men), even if we had the manpower around which we dont, as it takes time to build up a cadre of crew. Not to mention they will seriously need to up the OPEX budget to refurb 2 old ships which will put a huge strain on their running budget. So nope, financially & manning, they would not be able to absorb and use 2 big old boats.

  31. Hulubalang:
    “To get TNI-AL required frigate numbers, it needs to go from current 9 to 36″

    The existing TNI frigate for future is only 2 units which are their sigma 10514 Martadinata class, the rest area very old. So they need 34 units of new frigate.
    Looking at their trail in LPD which they already can export to pinoy navy. Buying all frigate type model available (maybe 2 atau 3 types) is possible as a learning process to design their own frigate.

    ‘No infos but i really wish that the Lead Acid batteries will be replaced with Li-Ion batterries to the Scorpene Evolved specification”

    Ours is a basic scorpene (short variant 62m CM-2000) although upgraded it to Li-on batteries, it only can increase only a few days which is not cost-effective. The evolved is using S-BR varian (70+m), which a bit longer than the AM variant with AIP mesma.

  32. @ Romeo

    The S-BR is not the scorpene evolved

    This is

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GCu0TjiaQAAuZvP.jpg

    No AIP. Just the Lead Acid batteries changed into Lithium Ion batteries. Even if it needs additional length, just cut, put in the additional hull plug, and weld back.

    Current Li-Ion batteries have 2x the energy density of Lead Acid in the same volume. Even if the same amount/volume of batteries, there is a possibility of extended endurance up to 2x the current battery-only endurance. The Scorpene Evolved is designed for a 80 days mission endurance.

  33. Hulubalang’
    “No AIP. Just the Lead Acid batteries changed into Lithium Ion batteries. Even if it needs additional length, just cut, put in the additional hull plug, and weld back.

    Yes no AIP, what i mean is the scorpene evolved is using almost the same platform as S-BR not CM2000 like RMN’s.

    You can not lenghten a sub just by adding a modul and weld it back. It will effect all part of the sub. It will change the center of gravity and unballance the sub.

    The Li-on battery is better than AIP but the most advantages are the sub can carry more fuel and food so the mission duratiom is longer than AIP sub because they took away the AIP and change it with just a generator and make a room for bigger storage of fuel and food.
    Even the storage is bigger but still the sub must emerge to surface to resupply food and fuel not because the battery.

  34. Does our subs need to stay underwater for so long that it needs such costly upgrades? SCS isnt that big or deep that would require such endurances as a conventional one could hide amongst the scattered islands while recharging its batteries. Also LiIon is very reactive to seawater if so happens.

  35. No costly upgrades lah. Most likely things which were not replaced during the last refit will be replaced this time around.

  36. As far as I know the Li-Ion and AIP for the scorpene and shortfin barracudas exists as a proposal or prototypes and not as a finish product yet. Though it may change with the Dutch orders. At the same time we don’t need to make any decisions before 2030s.

  37. So NSm for LMS batch 2 is a no go then? Atmaca instead? So we can expect a fully turkish ships then for LMSB2? With Havelsan CMS? Akrep,Ares radar and whatnot? does RMN happy with that though

  38. What is you guys take at turkiye’s inhouse searam/rim replacement like havelsan levent and aselsan goksur? Experts said that goksur could be the most effective system among its peers

  39. Its all about the money whether its in the current use or future use.
    If want ADA to use current missiles & sensors, just pay upfront for integration. Otherwise we go with OEM recommend but long run will pay more for spares, storage, service, replacement.

    So its very simple, do we have the money now or can we hock the problem to our future selves in hopes we will then have the money to solve the future cost problems?

  40. At the moment, the SSM which have been integrated with the ADA class are the Harpoon, ATMACA and the Neptune from Ukraine. SAM are the VL MICA and Albatross SAM. It is not just money, its about whether we want to something of the shelf or we want to spend more time to integrate a different missile, either the SSM and SAM.

  41. … – ”The main issue right now is the current lack of ships to counter the encroachment by China Coast Guard.”

    So you keep saying but it’s one of several issues. Plus the main agency to deal with intrusions is the MMEA but as is well known the MMEA is ill equipped and the only entity which can back it up is the RMN and even if the MMEA had 100 OPVs the RMN would still have a role to play safeguarding the EEZ.

    Back to brass tacks. Although long delayed it’s great news that the Batch 2s are approved for immediate funding. Not only does the RMN need more hulls in the water it needs smaller hulls to complement the LCSs and to at times perform roles which don’t require a LCS. Lest it be overlooked – as it routinely is – neither the LMSs or LCSs or anything else for that matter are intended in this day and age to work alone but in tandem with other assets. The trick also is to operate the ships at a systems and not platform level. As predicted the LMSs will be modestly armed but it’s expected based on finances and out operational requirements; including the types of conflicts we foresee ourselves getting into.

    zoe daft – ”It’s just a corvette!”

    So what? Do you understand the types of roles a corvette is intended to perform and that at times a corvette can be better armed than a frigate?

    zoe daft – ”Iran’s Moudge class destroyer.”

    I believe it’s a ”frigate” …

  42. Marhalim “its about whether we want to something of the shelf or we want to spend more time to integrate a different missile, either the SSM and SAM.”

    It would be easier if thr platform are choosen by RMN and thus they can get something off the shelf that fit their requirement but Unfortunately the ada like the gowind are picked by politicians rather than the services.

    If procurement continues beings driven by politicians then RMN would end up with 5 different effector to 5 different classes of we go with off the shelf methods

  43. … – “So why the big tradeoffs to get these “

    What “trade offs”? You’re seeing things which aren’t there. As has been explained previously even if the LCSs had been delivered on time the RMN would still have a need for LMSs as detailed in the 5/15 which you have a penchant to referring to. It’s not as if the RMN at the spur of the moment decided on LMSs due to issues with the LCSs. As the RMN has publicly made clear the LMSs will perform certain roles which don’t call for a LCS and in a cheaper way too.

    Taib – “I will call these entities ie. MinDef and RMN ‘STUPID AS’ as Standard. What else should I call the idiocracy… “

    Decorum. You’ll do no such thing as you very well know the RMN did not make the decision.

    Taib – “Just tell them to buy a tugboat instead, not a warship minus all its weaponry!”

    Do tugboats have comparable capabilities to LMS Batch 2s which lack a surface to air missile capability?

    Hasnan – “What is the point of the ships to be fitted for when there is no intention of ever installing the SAM?”

    The issue of whether the class will ever be fitted with such a capability is different to claiming that neither the RMN or the government has no intention. Note also that had the Kedah programme not incurred massive cost overruns they would have received their RAM and MM-40s.

  44. I believe that Kedah overruns are now water under the bridge, with the many admirals & Menhans & beancounters changing hands, that issue is no longer a bugbear if TLDM insist to buy the missiles are fully arm them. However TLDM would seem to rather prefer saving that money and use for buying new ships instead.

    After all if the Kedahs could perform all their peacetime duties perfectly for nearly 20 years without RAMS & Exocets, then there is no urgency to spend money & fully arm them, right?

  45. Just for info

    Naval ship construction timeline aka notional contract award to delivery timeline

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GJKeibcbEAAQ9yK.jpg

    It can be seen after the ship award / LOA, there will be a need for construction planning, including any new design/design changes; material procurement & initial manufacturing / fabrication. Then there will be the start of construction / keel laying.

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