KD Kedah 15th Anniversary

On The Way. The main cannon of a Kedah class ship, a Leonardo 76mm gun firing. RMN

SHAH ALAM: KD Kedah 15th anniversary. KD Kedah, the lead ship of the RMN class of ships bearing its name celebrated its 15th anniversary which falls on June 5. The ship was built at the Blohm and Voss shipyard in Germany in 2001 and launched in 2003 but the commissioning was delayed until June 5, 2006 due to the financial malfeasance of PSC-NDSB.

A close up of Kedah class bridge. Note the EADS 3-D radar (top) and Oerlikon Contraves TMX/EO X-band with electro-optic fire director and thermal imager (below the mast) taken by Malaysian Defence in 2002 when she was undergoing final fitting out at PSC-NDSB.

The troubles forced the government to turn to Boustead Naval Shipyard, a subsidiary of Boustead Berhad, a state owned company to complete Kedah, its sister ship KD Pahang and four others of the class. Pahang was commissioned in August, 2006 while the rest from June 2009 to December 2010.

Kedah, while she was still call Business Focus One back in 2002.

And despite all the talk since then for the ships to get their fitted for not equipped with equipment – surface to air and surface to surface missiles – this has never materialised. With the class now already in their mid-life there is still no firm commitment to equip them with these weapons.

KD Kedah as seen in January 2021. RMN.

Infact, Kedah has already lost its fire control radar – the Oerlikon Contraves TMX/EO X-band with electro-optic fire director – after its last refit in 2020. I had noticed the fire control radar missing from top of the bridge of Kedah since May, last year but opted not to write anything about it as I thought it might be taken off for repairs.
KD Kedah 15th anniversary graphic. Note the missing FCR antenna. KD Kedah

But as off this post was written, Kedah is still missing the FCR as shown by the picture above from its official social media.
A screengrab from KD Kedah video about its refit in 2020. Note the missing FCR antenna above the bridge.

I am unsure whether the second of class, KD Pahang, which is currently undergoing refit, will also have its FCR removed as well. Anyhow, industry sources told me that the RMN is preparing for a Kedah class obsolescence programme (OP) which will be somewhat similar to the ones undertaken for the FAC craft fleet.
KD Selangor seen in the South China Sea in April, 2021. RMN

The Kedah class OP envisaged the replacement of most of the electronic equipment including the FCR, the main radar and also the CMS which were designed some 20 years ago. The OP will likely involved Kedah and Pahang – which have been commissioned for 15 years.
An undated picture of KD Selangor which clearly showed her FCR

The OP for the rest four ships – KD Perak, KD Terengganu, KD Kelantan and KD Selangor – will commenced once they reached 15 years, in three years time for the first two and four years for the last two. Based on the above these could be done in RMK13 for the first two and RMK13 for the last two, around 2030.
The operation room of Braunschwieg corvette of the German navy. The CMS of the corvette is supplied by Atlas Eletronik and Thales. Atlas was the supplier of the COSYs CMS of the Kedah class. German Navy. BRAUNSCHWEIG

Let’s hope the Kedah Class OP will be funded soon so the lead ship of the class could be refitted with new equipment.

— Malaysian Defence

If you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment

About Marhalim Abas 2188 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Interesting..If indeed we cant fit them with that ffbnw stuff at least upgrade their radar,fcr and CMS to make them somewhat relevant..So Mr M..what is your prefered radar,fcr and CMS for this Kedah OP Programme?..Terma Scanter Like on the Lekius? That indian-sourced CMS?

    The Terma Scanter is a navigation radar, it may well be a choice for the OP programme. On the CMS I don’t think it will be the Indian derived one though I have no idea which one they want

  2. Mention of the TRS-3D is interesting. Yes it was first produced in the 1990’s but it’s still on offer by the OEM, various upgrades are available and still widely operated. Similarly; we got the DA-08 in the early 1980’s for the Kasturis and 1 1/2 decades (when it was not considered “obsolete”) chose it for the Lekius.

    As mentioned by Marhalim in the past; an issue with TRS-3D is the many modes it has and the complexity of choosing the right mode in time. The Danes discovered this many years ago when they were trialing it; in comparison to SMART which they found less complex to use.

    On arming the Kedahs I doubt it’s a priority for the RMN at this juncture for the simple reason that doing so would divert resources away from areas of more immediate importance; namely the follow on LMSs. A major problem also is that the B position was designed (space and integration wise) from Day One for RAM.

  3. If indeed the radar need to be replaced, I would suspect the Thales NS100 as used by SG’s LMV would be choose. They aquired it for USD8 million each based on what SIPRI. But I would suspect RMN will kept the TRS-3D and do overhaul/upgrade on it. For fire control, assuming that the Kedah wont ever get any RAMs, GEM Elettronica EOFCS115A would likely to be the choice as Laksamana’s were upgraded with them. For CMS, that would definitely be Vibrant 01 currently installed on KD Jebat as it was to eqiupe next batch LMS too. Its a bummer RMN didnt fully equipt the Kedahs. Hopefully the newer LMS would be fully fitted out from the start.

  4. As the first two ships have reached its mid life upgrade line , its good time to update it eith all the weapins its supposed to be equipped with. Its the cheapest n fastest means to strengthen the TLDM

  5. Lee – “Its the cheapest n fastest means to strengthen the TLDM”

    That’s one school of thought. Another is that arming the Kedahs means diverting resources which can be used for other more critical areas including replacing some other stuff (on other platforms) which will time expire soon.

    Luqman – “a bummer RMN didnt fully equipt the Kedahs”

    For a number of years the RMN did seek to but failed to convince the bean counters. Now it simply isn’t an immediate priority as the cash can be put to better use elsewhere.

  6. Correct me if i am wrong. Without the FCR, how do they guide the 76mm gun to its targets? Especially for last ditch anti air role since they are not equipped with anti air missiles to begin with or surface target

    I believe the main radar has that capability

  7. New Generation Patrol Vessel….a sad story of Malaysia local military industry development.

  8. csl – “Especially for last ditch anti air role”

    Whether it’s for a “last ditch” engagement or otherwise; all main naval guns need some form of fire control; as you alluded to.

    Without a director or some other form of control; it simply can’t be operated; unlike the Bofors Mk1s which have provision for it to be manually operated.

  9. Just I want to know, it’s RMN is costal navy or blue water navy?

    Why? Is

  10. Far – “costal navy or blue water navy”

    Strictly speaking; neither.

    A “blue water” navy is not only one which has large ships which can operate for extended and prolonged periods because of range and endurance but also one which has a fleet train in the form of oilers and replenishment ships. So in essence there are no “blue water” navies in ASEAN.

    A “coastal” or “brown water” navy by the strictest sense of the term is one which has ships of limited range, displacement and endurance; one which can’t operate or project power beyond the littoral domain and only for limited durations. It can be argued that the RMN was a “coastal navy” up until the
    mid-1980’s when certain assets bought under PERISTA entered service.

  11. All electronic things are fast becoming obsolete…..just like the handphone…eveey 2-3 month there will be new models n faster CPU or better broadband like 5G n later 6G and anything that is built around 3G…4G…technology is considered obsolete…that is ELECTRONICS world…the equipments that are so called hi end now will be obsolete in 4-5 years time….so there is no surprise whenever that LCS touches water lots of electronics equipments need to be upgraded sooner or later….some software upgrades comes with hardware upgrades as well…..

  12. @RedSot
    “there is no surprise whenever that LCS touches water lots of electronics equipments need to be upgraded sooner or later”

    I think a few commenters already explained here before. Electronics on LCS does not need immediate upgrades. Even IF some of the electronics on LCS are indeed “obsolete” at launch does not necessarily meant its useless, does not meant that its not competitive unless its wayyyy behind of times. You cannot build a ship today with the technology of tomorrow as its still not exist yet. If building the LCS was using lots of money, then how about upgrading them “sooner”? Its not only having the latest and greatest tech but also using the tech appropriately and efficiently in a network environment. Even the US Navy with the latest and greatest sonar tech still “lost” its aircraft carrier to an “obsolete” and relatively noisy French submarine. What we need right now is not LCS with the latest and greatest electronics, but sufficient numbers of LCS.

    “All electronic things are fast becoming obsolete”
    The rate of which military electronics becoming obsolete today are not the same as consumer electronics today.

  13. Luqman – “The rate of which military electronics becoming obsolete”

    Indeed. The key is constant upgrades and coordinating their use with other assets to maximise strengths and mitigate
    weaknesses . Saying that electronics are fast becoming obsolete is inaccurate cliche. The TRS-3D came out in the 1990’s; still widely used, marketed and upgradable – doesn’t mean its obsolete. Same goes with SMART and many other things. Also depends on the level of opposition.

    Luqman – “What we need right now is not LCS”

    What we need is a fleet in sufficient numbers that we can sustain; upgraded periodically and fitted out to meet current peacetime commitments; as well as the likely wartime threats that might be faced.

  14. @Luqman
    I disagree. The LCS will be TLDM mainstay fleet in the next 10-20 years, so a certain level of high tech must be there from the hull form all the way to electronics & weapons onboard, the reason why I’m not supportive of going for HDF2600 as the hull form isn’t as low-observable as LCS. at the same time, we also need sufficient quantities for the fleet to be ever present and ably to perform. So IMHO we need both qualitative and quantitative elements for LCS.

  15. I think not many of us understand what is going on.. or still trying to argue for the sake of arguing….when the first LCS suppose to be comissioned n operational…?
    Its 4-5 years ago…yes during that time all i can say TLDM have a hi-end war ship.. but 5 years down the road not even the Maharajalela touches water n in operational condition.
    So by the time it touches water,TLDM needs more money to upgrade the obsolete software n hardware ( eg CPU board…etc etc that u dont see physically outside,that is under the console n inside the mainframe cabinets )…. the electronics thing that makes the SMART radar functions…do TLDM have the money to do the upgrades…it does not come cheap….its business after all.

  16. RedSot,

    Take a good look at yourself and please speak for yourself only. Maybe you’re the one who doesn’t understand what’s being said.

    As Azlan mentioned in the above comment, electronics system in military applications have a longer lifespan than just 5-10 years. Designing a radar or FCS will take at least a good 2 years , and that’s not taking account testing and certification.

  17. @RedSot
    I doubt they need any hardware upgrades by the time they touch water, at most would require software updates.

  18. RefSot – “understand what is going on.. or still trying to argue for the sake of arguing”

    I presume that you are one (naturally) who “understands” and that those who don’t go with your narrative fail to “understand” and are merely “trying to argue for the sake of arguing” ….

    RedSot – “needs more money to upgrade the obsolete software n hardware”

    Newsflash ……

    Even if the class had entered service as originally scheduled; various electronics and other components would still have needed various forms of upgrading after a certain period. As stated previously; all electronics are intended to be progressively upgraded …

    Also; in case you haven’t noticed; the RMN does have a history of progressively upgrading or replacing various electronics/components (irrespective of whether late) on all or most of its ships – from the frigates to the FACs to the MRSS right down to survey ships .. until a time when it’s decided to retire then or spend no more than the minimum needed to keep them in service until replacements are available …

    RedSot – “does not come cheap”

    Pray tell … As of 2021 what actually comes “cheap” and how do you define “cheap” and in relation to what exactly? Now I won’t be so condescending to say “prove me wrong” (to quote your good self) but there is a point I’m making ..

  19. ASM,

    There is also a key difference between “obsolete” and “obsolescent”; just because something is “obsolete” doesn’t necessarily mean it has zero utility as it all depends on the operational context it’s deployed in including the opposition.

    Whilst the time gap between the time the LCS actually enters service and when it was supposed to means certain things might have to br replaced; this doesn’t apply to the sensors/electrons as nothing we bought were at the end of their period of development or were getting close to being “obsolete” on account.

    The extra cash needed will mainly go towards getting the ships commissioned; any upgrades electronic wise (if needed( will be minimal – not as if the ships are a decade late or are fitted with stuff designed in the 1990’s!

    If we want to talk about things becoming “obsolete” in the strictest sense of the word; even USN and RN ships have stuff that was designed decades ago. The trick is progressive upgrades.

  20. Azlan,

    I get what you meant. I have worked with these “obsolete” (or more precisely, no longer supported) systems myself, even did some dev work on them (They are still running in the production line as we speak). Some of them just lasted a 2-3 years (the earlier Raspberry pie boards and OSes, for ex) but they worked fine.

    Although I was never involved in military systems dev work, I have some experience in the industrial field, the systems would last at least 10-15 years before starting replacement studies.

  21. thales ns100 for search/main radar,scanter 4000 for navi radar (if needed),cms kinda tricky but should standardise across all lower tier fleet but must be compatible with that intended new radars and fc radar..something like terma c flex is kinda too light or maybe go for tacticos or genesis from turkey or if upgrades are available for atlas just go with them

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.