LCS Cost Is Higher

PCU Maharaja Lela - LCS1 - picture taken on January 1, 2023. DSU Mohamad Hasan.

SHAH ALAM: IN the previous post on the nationalisation of Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS), Malaysian Defence speculated that the cost of the project is now RM12.4 billion. This is because Ocean Sunshine Bhd (OSB) – the government owned company set up to take over BNS will be paying the BHIC and LTAT (the previous owner of BNS) some RM1.2 billion in liabilities and debt.

Defence Minister DSU Mohamad Hasan (who did not say that the project cost is now RM12.4 billion) told Parliament on Monday (September 19) that the cost of the project had gone higher due to the change of specification of key systems. From FMT:

In his winding-up speech, Mohamad also said the increase in budget was primarily due to changes in the specifications of key systems, namely the surface-to-surface missile system (SSM), decoy launching system (DLS), and integrated platform management system (IPMS).

“Despite reducing the number of ships to five, this cost increase was unavoidable as it represents non-recurring costs for the construction of the entire ship,” he said.

The then Defence Ministry Secretary-general DS Muez Abd Aziz and Boustead Holding Bhd chairman Nazim Rahman signing the sixth LCS supplementary contract at MIEC on May 26. DSU Mohamad Hasan.

Do note that Malaysian Defence had already stated in the past that the cost of the project will go above the RM9.1 billion ceiling contract due to the changes to the items mentioned in bold, above. Malaysian Defence has also pointed out that the increase in cost had been pencilled in since 2017 but it was not fixed as the-then government thought it would do so after the 2018 general elections. Of course, that did not happened.

On May 26, BHIC and BNS announced that the cost of the project had went up to RM11.2 billion. As mentioned above with the payments for BHIC and LTAT, which need to be paid due to the nationalisation, the cost is now RM12.4 billion.

All Is Well. Picture at the signing ceremony of the sixth LCS supplemental contract. DSU Mohamad Hasan picture.

Do note that I am using the FMT story as the parliament official record – the Hansard – has not been published when this post goes live.

— Malaysian Defence

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79 Comments

  1. “surface-to-surface missile system (SSM), decoy launching system (DLS), and integrated platform management system (IPMS).”

    I thought SSM were already choose early on (NSM), is it actually SSM or SAM? If it was the SAM change, it could be ESSM block 2 with mk41 vls or mk56 vls. Why I said this? Well RMN did get the SSM that they wanted but not the SAM and this was mentioned in the PAC report

    The change of DLS is something that was also mentioned in the PAC report but not IPMS as far as I know. Correct me if I am wrong, IPMS is not CMS right?

  2. well the total cost in MYR should be higher now due to exchange rate

    USD to MYR in 2014 was around 3.3

    USD to MYR now in 2023 is 4.7

    So RM9.1 billion in 2014 is about USD2.76 billion for 6 ships

    Now say RM12.4 billion in 2023 is about USD2.64 billion for 5 ships.

    We lost money paying people for years to do nothing and to pay liabilities and debts not related at all to the building of the Gowinds.

    Yet most of the hardware to build the 6th ship is already paid for and included in the RM12.4 billion figure for 5 ships. To add manpower cost to build the 6th ship should not be a lot.

  3. This is more reason why RMN should consider not ordering LCS batch 2. LMS, if configured correctly could even do exactly what LCS can

    – 8-cell mk41 vls self-defence version
    – 16x ESSM block 2 quad packed into 4 cells + 4 SM2 Block3c
    – or 16x ESSM block 2 quad packed into 4 cells + 4 ASROC
    – or 32 ESSM block 2 quad packed into 8 cells
    – Thales NS100 AESA (Smart-s mk2 if really need to save money, change to 400km NS200 if can or)
    – Thales Kinglip mk2 and CAPTAS2/4C size sonar
    – 1x Millenium CIWS or GOKDENIZ (whichever that is cheaper) + 2x DS30
    – 8x NSM

    You can fit all of this in a 2000+ design with lower range at lower cost. But I still think better just go for Iver Huitfeldt/ Type31

  4. Never again we should allow local company to get shipbuilding contracts to build navy ship. All navy ships from now on should be and shall be made outside of the country.

  5. Mark my words, the true final cost will likely be higher than RM 12.4Bil. As it is, thanks to the change of Govt and the cost actualisation was not done by subsequent Govts, people are still fixated that it is a RM 9Bil project and the cost increase must have been due to corruption, leakages. Yes, these are present but not to the extent where you could get a new redesigned ship with all the bells & whistles for the same price elsewhere. But is it the Govt fault? Yes! It is still their fault for hiding the true costing.

    I am piqued by that statement on changes to SSM, wasn’t NSM already bought & delivered for LCS fleet? Are they going for another missile?

  6. Yes, chosen but not yet signed officially before the supplementary contract. IPMS is the integrated platform management system. Read my previous LCS stories.

  7. Akmal – ”Never again we should allow local company to get shipbuilding contracts to build navy ship. ”

    You playing Nostradamus now? Are you saying that if the yard is put through a learning curve; if there’s no external interference and other things; that it can’t deliver a hull on spec; within budget and on time? Is this written in stone?

    Luqman – ” LMS, if configured correctly could even do exactly what LCS can”

    [1] A LMS does not have the range, endurance or seakeeping of a LCS; nor will it have a helo
    [2] The LMS Batch 2s will be modestly armed [count your lucky stars if it has a 8 cell VLS and not a stabilised MANPADS mount] and has 4 not 2 SSMs
    [3] The RMN sees it’s LMS as performing secondary type duties; not a main combatant which is the LCS. Just like how for the RMAF the more serious stuff will be the responsibility of the MRCAs not the LCAs.
    [4] [4] From the 1970’s the RMN has seen the need for a high/low end mix. In the 1970’s and 1980’s the FACs were the Team B; as part of a fleet in being. in the 1990’s the plan was 6 Lekius and the NGOPVs [replacements for the FACs and PCs]. As of 2023 LCSs and LMSs.

  8. @Akmal
    “All navy ships shall be made outside of the country.”
    The Govt that does that will be the next to lose their seat of power. So which one will dare?

    @Luqman
    As I mentioned, a smaller hull (LMS2) will have limited potential for future upgrades and this is not what TLDM wants.

  9. There is no need to be a cheerleader or echo chamber of a lost cause. There simply aren’t enough long-term orders to justify supporting a local industry for large warships. In 22 years, the country has only built 6 warships, none of which are complex (no missiles). In 30 years (out to 2031), the country would if lucky, build only 10 warships (6 Kedah + 4 LCS) – none delivered on time or on budget. For a Navy with small budget, sometimes its ok to be a clairvoyant if the facts speak for itself. Especially since the approach for local production involves wasting money on buying the IP for custom design instead of proven design (e.g., DCNS does not offer 3100 Gowinds, nor does FNSS offer Gempitas). No need to hedge bets and take neither here nor there positions for fear of being wrong, when the facts speak for itself.

  10. kel – ”There is no need to be a cheerleader or echo chamber of a lost cause”

    Unlike you naturally? In your wisdom you have it all figured out haven’t you ….
    Instead of losing the plot make the effort to understand what others meant; it’s also easier because other use paragraphs instead of lumping all like a lump of turd.

    kel – ”none of which are complex (no missiles)”

    ”Complex” would mean a ship of large displacement; one with high spec DC standards; etc, etc.

    kel – ”No need to hedge bets and take neither here nor there positions for fear of being wrong, when the facts speak for itself.”

    By all means write to your MP; the Defence Minister and the MINDEF Secretary General. Also; who’s ”afraid of being wrong” – you?

    kel – ”or a Navy with small budget, sometimes its ok to be a clairvoyant if the facts speak for itself. ”

    More often than not making blanket sensationalist statements without taking things into context [the ”facts”] is a fools errand … Or do you want to play clairvoyant?

    Kel – ”none delivered on time or on budget.”

    Why? Were any of the companies actually qualified or in a sound financial position? Was BNS put through a learning curve? Was there the needed corrective mechanisms in place? Ultimately it’s not the companies at fault but the rotten system [national interests selected those companies – the patronage system] we have which enabled shite to erupt ….

  11. You playing Nostradamus now? Are you saying that if the yard is put through a learning curve; if there’s no external interference and other things; that it can’t deliver a hull on spec; within budget and on time? Is this written in stone?- Azlan

    Learning curve? Have our yard learn? I say no. I do know our yard are extremely good for maintenance, but finishing the ships? No.

  12. The Govt that does that will be the next to lose their seat of power. So which one will dare?- joe

    Are you sure that’s what the public are thinking? They don’t care where our warships are being built. All they care about is having food on the table. The party that can provide, got voted into power.

  13. @hulubalang
    “well the total cost in MYR should be higher now due to exchange rate”

    I share this opinion too previously (and some people disagree, that’s fine) but not all the additional costs are due to exchange rate only. If RMN immediately follow with order of Batch 2 LCS, the price will be almost the same as current ones.

    @Azlan
    [1] – yes the trade offs are it wont have the same endurance and seakeeping as LCS but RMN can accept in for LMS Batch 2. Some shipbuilders showed they could provide hangar for a helo.
    [2] – I don’t think I have any lucky stars haha, but VLS is a possibility if RMN want the LMS to ‘replace’ LCS.
    [3&4] – RMN can opt for the same hulls but configured differently (much like the Itallian PPAs). If RMN really want a high end combatant, then they should configure current LCS differently.

    @joe
    “As I mentioned, a smaller hull (LMS2) will have limited potential for future upgrades and this is not what TLDM wants.”

    Yes I agree also. But what kind of upgrades TLDM are seeking? extra USVs/UUVs? 400km range radar/Anti ballistic missile radar? Sylver A70 cells/Strike length mk41 cells? 16x NSM? 32/48 cells vls? As of now we only see RMN removing/maintaining equiptments from ships even though electronics are getting smaller (of course we know why but the same thing can happen again and again)

    If hulls for future upgrades are what RMN are seeking, then 5000+ tones hulls are out there…

  14. Luqman “This is more reason why RMN should consider not ordering LCS batch 2. LMS, if configured correctly could even do exactly what LCS can”

    If you look at the original 1525 plan. The LCS batch 2 is to be ordered 25 years after the LCS batch 1 completion thus it’s a replacement rather than an addition.

    The LMS2 comes about as the mergers of the original 1525 plans for 18 LMS + 18 NGPV into 8 LMS2.

    Kel “There simply aren’t enough long-term orders to justify supporting a local industry for large warships.”

    ST engineering experience shown otherwise. There’s are enough orders but only for a single shipyards

  15. Luqman – ”RMN can accept in for LMS Batch 2. ”

    Because the Batch 2s are supposed to be secondary combatants; used for roles which do not require a LMS

    Luqman – ”f RMN really want a high end combatant, then they should configure current LCS differently.”

    As I’ve said : what we get is driven not only by funding about also threat perceptions – understand this pertinent fact.

    We don’t see the requirement for the MAF to be engaged in a high intensity industrial scale protracted war; that’s why the MAF is equipped/structured the way it is and why we spend the bare minimum.

  16. Akmal – ”You playing Nostradamus now?”

    No you are and by you’re assumptions and blanket generalised statements it’s shoew.. I’m saying that the reason the LCS programme went ratshit is due to various factors. If it had been put through a learning curve; if there were checks and balances; if there were effective mechanisms; in place; if priority was on th end user and taxpayer rather than national interests; would things have still gone ratshit??

    That’s the point I’m making …

    Akmal – ”Learning curve? Have our yard learn?”

    Do you even know your facts? BNS was not put through a learning curve. After not constructing anything for years; instead of having the first hull constructed abroad; BNS embarked on a very ambitious programme because that’s what the politicians who are interested in hubris rather than substance; wanted.

  17. Zaft – ”If you look at the original 1525 plan.”

    The 5/15 is as dead as a dodo an Elvis [same as the Kedahs which were originally included in the plan and the so called time lines for various things]. It was politically expedient and was never intended to be fully adhered to and from Day One the intention was always for LMS to supplement the LCSs. As the RMN itself said : the LMS can perform various roles the LCS can at fraction of the cost.

    Luqman – ”Yes I agree also. But what kind of upgrades TLDM are seeking? extra USVs/UUVs? 400km range radar/Anti ballistic missile radar? Sylver A70 cells/Strike length mk41 cells? ”

    Are you serious? Even getting a 16 cell VLS on the LCS was a challenge and the LMS Batch 2s might have a 8 cell VLS and as a costs cutting measure maybe a 30mm rather than a 57/76mm mount and you’re talking about ”400km range radar/Anti ballistic missile radar? Sylver A70 cells/Strike length mk41 cells?”?

    Luqman – ”If hulls for future upgrades are what RMN are seeking, then 5000+ tones hulls are out there…

    Been done to death with. We do not have a requirement for a 5,000 tonne hull because [1] Our threat perceptions don’t call for it [2] We don’t need the range and endurance a 5,000 tonne hull enables [as it stands wherever they are – in the EEZ or the periphery – RMN ships are never more than 2-3 days sailing time away to the nearest base/harbour and it’s not as if we deploy ships at sea for weeks[3] We can’t even afford to fully fit out the LCS and LMS they ay the RMN would like and you’re going on about a 5,000 tonne hull?

  18. Azlan “We do not have a requirement for a 5,000 tonne hull because [1] Our threat perceptions don’t call for it [2] We don’t need the range and endurance a 5,000 tonne hull enables”

    Deja vu really. Kinda remembered you also claimed sometime back that RMN has NO need for a 2000 tons LMS2.

  19. RMN doesn’t have a requirement for a 5000 tonne combat ship today. RMN wants more hulls and missiles to go around. Investing in a 5000 tonne combat ship today or in the next 10 years is basically saying buy 1×5000 ship instead of 2×2500 ship. That means an order for 3×5000 is equivalent to 6×2500 – 3 ships vs 6 ships. How can the RMN deal with attrition with just 3 ships? Longer-term, yes, RMN will have a need for 5000 tonne combat ships as part of the evolution from becoming a richer country – richer being the caveat. Until then, just focus on smaller ships – attrition is a real problem and is getting worst with no new ships joining the fleet for another 3 years.

  20. @Azlan
    “used for roles which do not require a LMS”
    – Roles that LMS can also do if it was configured properly.

    “Are you serious? Even getting a 16 cell VLS on the LCS was a challenge and the LMS Batch 2s might have…..”
    – Difficult? SG’s Formidables are same in size and have 32 Sylver cells (twice the LCS), Egypt Gowind (smaller than LCS) have 16 Sylver vls with deck space for more. So difficult indeed.

    “LMS Batch 2s might have a 8 cell VLS and as a costs cutting measure maybe a 30mm rather than a 57/76mm mount and you’re talking about ”400km range radar…”
    – joe was mentioning about LCS upgrades and I just merely asks what upgrades RMN desired on such small hulls, not about LMS batch 2s. Talking about costs cutting measures, a bigger Gowind LCS (3100t) built locally with ToT doesn’t looks like cost cutting to me, but maybe you are reffering to LMS batch 2, sorry if I am mistaken.

    “We do not have a requirement for a 5,000 tonne hull because [1] Our threat perceptions don’t call for it [2] We don’t need the range and endurance”
    – So we dont need such ships in an environment where PLAN ships are larger and also have quantity advantage plus neighboring countries build larger and larger ships, well that threat perception doesn’t call for it, is it. Range and endurance are not the only thing 5000t hulls offered.

  21. @Akmal
    “Are you sure that’s what the public are thinking?”
    Why did Lumut changed to PKR very early on when the shipbuilding was in the doldrums? People need to eat, agree, so when there is no jobs what will people do hmm? You think people still don’t care if politicians with an angle tells them these jobs are going overseas while they go hunger?

    @Luqman
    “But what kind of upgrades TLDM are seeking?”
    Am not a clairvoyant and neither is TLDM so what will come in future, nobody knows but one have to plan for it anyhow. Perhaps one coming soon is drones and LCS will have a hangar big enough to fit medium sized chopper plus a small UAV. A smaller LMS class hull COULD have a chopper hangar but it will be cramped and unlikely to fit anything else.

    “then 5000+ tones hulls are out there…”
    Which isn’t in TLDM’s doctrine or plan….

    @Zaft
    “RMN has NO need for a 2000 tons LMS2.”
    They don’t, actually, if the LCS plan was on track.
    The 2000ton LMS2 was their backup plan in view the LCS will take even longer to complete and might not be fully armed, an assumption that is gaining traction as per Marhalim’s last report.

  22. Kel “attrition is a real problem and is getting worst with no new ships joining the fleet for another 3 years.”

    China are not Russia.

    China like us,SG,JP,SK etc etc with it export base economy & high dependency on import for basic necessity like electricity & food does not have the capabilities nor interest in attritional warfare.

    All of these countries are investing in Naval fleet to primarily to keep their sea lines of communication open and not just going around their coast playing coast guard. Thought the ship could & wou5be used to patrol their water during peacetime but there’s no denying that all of these countries are investing in ship capable of forward deployment.

    Logically speaking if RMN just wanted to go around playing coast guard like they used to do then they won’t need a 2000 tons LMS nor a 3000 tons LCS nor a MRSS since as Azlan like to say, our bases is closed by.

    Joe “The 2000ton LMS2 was their backup plan in view the LCS will take even longer to complete and might not be fully armed, an assumption that is gaining traction as per Marhalim’s last report.”

    Most modern navies nowdays employed 3 type of surface combatants while all of them are multirole each would have it specific specialization in AAW,ASW & general purpose + MCM. Our LMS2 isn’t that much different in concept compared to USN LCS, RSN LMV, PhN HHI 2000 OPV, RN type 31&32.

  23. @Zaft
    “RMN playing coast guard won’t need a 2000 tons LMS nor a 3000 tons LCS”
    You forget they also need to play coast guard at our EEZ, our off shore rigs, our hold on in Spratlys, all of them far away from our shores and sometimes they have to be out there for many days to shadow waiting CCG ships.

    “Most modern navies nowdays employed 3 type of surface combatants”
    Which we don’t have such luxuries. We have a main combatant (LCS) and a secondary one (LMS). The LMS was not originally envisioned to usurp the role of LCS but rather to replace the legacy boats while providing support to LCS taking part of their duties during peacetime as it supposed to be more economical to operate vs LCS. The heavily armed LMS2 only came about due to LCS delays. It has nothing to do with the concept of other navies rather its the circumstances TLDM found themselves in today without any firm date when LCS can complete plus the reduction of 1 boat.

  24. Zaft – I recommend checking the dictionary for the term attrition in the context of RMN’s needs, reread what the previous Chief of Navy said about the average age of the fleet, reread the reason why the Navy was forced to rehull (and repower) ships that they would prefer to retire 20 years ago, and revisit the purpose of the NGPV program (which continues today with the LCS). I believe you will have a better understanding of what is afflicting the Navy’s ability to do its job, and why no one except a few people, thinks RMN needs 5000 tonne ships, and also why MRSS is not on the agenda at least until the completion of LCS and LMS2. Once all the information is at hand, one should be able to generate the big picture.

  25. zaft – ”Deja vu really. Kinda remembered you also claimed sometime back that RMN has NO need for a 2000 tons LMS2.”

    It didn’t; not until about 2 years ago. Why don’t learn to look things up and do research before hitting the keyboard ….

    Zaft – ”China like us,SG,JP,SK etc etc with it export base economy & high dependency on import for basic necessity like electricity & food does not have the capabilities nor interest in attritional warfare.”

    Do you really read what you write or do you have voices in your head which dictate some of the nonsense which appears?

    Zaft – ”Logically speaking if RMN just wanted to go around playing coast guard like they used to do then they won’t need a 2000 tons LMS nor a 3000 tons LCS nor a MRSS since as Azlan like to say, our bases is closed by.”

    The RMN would like nothing better than divest itself of constabulary types duties but as it stands until the MMEA is better resourced there is no entity apart from the RMN which can prop up the MMEA. BTW the RMN has no plans to acquire any assets to be used as ”OPVs” or largely for the coiat guard role.

    If we operated our ships thousand of NM away for protracted periods and if operational requirements and policy dictated that we had more heavily armed ships then yes we would need a 5,000 tonne hul but as things stand we don’t.

    Luqman – ”– Roles that LMS can also do if it was configured properly.”

    No. ”Roles” in which a smaller less well armed platform with inferior seakeeping, range and endurance won’t be required to punch above its weight category.

    Luqman – ”– So we dont need such ships in an environment where PLAN ships are larger and also have quantity advantage plus neighboring countries build larger and larger ships, well that threat perception doesn’t call for it, is it.”

    Quite obviously we don’t try to reach parity with a country which spends much more than us and even if w had a dozen 12,000 tonne destroyers you seriously think it would make the PLA worry?

    As for threat perceptions and attitudes; understand that right or wrong; agree or disagree our policy is to have a minimum deterrent capability to meet possible low intensity non protracted threats…. A few days ago Anwar acknowledged the our defence capabilities are behind other countries but as things stand we do not intend to surpass or reach parity with others – this sums it up in a nutshell….

    Luqman – ”Range and endurance are not the only thing 5000t hulls offered.”

    Someone would only go for a 5,000 tonne hull if they have a need for it; i.e. range, seakeeping, endurance and the below and above deck space to accommodate things.

    We have no such requirement…. As it stands we have issue sustaining what we have yet you’re seriously suggesting [as … did in the past] we get 5,000 tonne combatants which are inherently more expensive to sustain. Also quite a bit of our operating areas are not conducive for the draught of a 5,000 tonne hull and not every RMN based has jetties deep enough ….

  26. Luqman – ”– Difficult? SG’s Formidables are same in size and have 32 Sylver cells (twice the LCS), Egypt Gowind (smaller than LCS) have 16 Sylver vls with deck space for more. So difficult indeed.”

    I was referring to funding; the willingness of the decision makers and bean counters to adequately fund things. Wasn’t referring to whether things were technically feasible or not … As I said; as things stand we’d be lucky if the LMSs don’t end up with a 8 cell VLS; a 30mm gun and 2 ASMs. We’ll also be lucky if various things which won’t be supportable soon will be replaced on time rather than leaving a capability gap. We even had to store a couple of Lynxs dur to the lack of sustainment funds.

    You ponder about that before thinking about ”2 Sylver cells ” and other stuff ….

    Luqman – ” just merely asks what upgrades RMN desired on such small hulls, not about LMS batch 2s”

    I ‘merely ‘ replied that the RMN is not thinking about ” extra USVs/UUVs? 400km range radar/Anti ballistic missile radar? Sylver A70 cells/Strike length mk41 cells? ”….
    It’s main worry at the moment is getting the actual ship and making sure they’re armed – yes things are that bad if you haven’t noticed. It simply is not at a point [due to funding and other reasons] where it can even contemplate ”extra USVs/UUVs? 400km range radar/Anti ballistic missile radar? Sylver A70 cells/Strike length mk41 cells”. The priority is getting the LCSs delivered; getting the 1st Batch of LMSs and other pressing things.

  27. zaft – ”while all of them are multirole each would have it specific specialization in AAW,ASW & general purpose + MCM.”

    On a generalised note yes but if you look deeper; no.

    zaft – ”Our LMS2 isn’t that much different in concept compared to USN LCS, RSN LMV, PhN HHI 2000 OPV, RN type 31&32.”

    It is actually very dissimilar given the RMN’s specific requirements and the various limitations it faces.

    zaft – ”All of these countries are investing in Naval fleet to primarily to keep their sea lines of communication open and not just going around their coast playing coast guard.”

    No…. They are intended to serve national objectives by deploying power; safeguarding SLOCs and yes; even to perform ”coast guard” roles; if the needs dictate. Tell me; when PLA ships were in the Gulf of Aden were they keeping their ”their sea lines of communication open” [to quote you] or going going ”around their coast playing coast guard” [to quote you again]? When a RN Type 23 is in the Caribbean on anti drug duuties; what’s it doing?

  28. “Anwar acknowledged the our defence capabilities are behind other countries”
    Acknowledge is one thing, what is he going to do about it? Or rather if that is the defence posture all these while why bring it up.

    For decades we have been behind a few big spending neighbours (Thai has more MBTS, Indo has more planes, SG has more of everything). But that didnt perturb us for so long or altered our procurement policy so perhaps our stance has always been to be slightly behind so as not create an arms race but rather to keep pace with the big boys. If so, why would PMX even need to say this Im perplexed.

  29. ”Acknowledge is one thing, what is he going to do about it? Or rather if that is the defence posture all these while why bring it up.”

    The reason I mentioned it was to show that policy has always been to spend the minimum on defence in the belief or hope that we’ll only encounter low intensity non protracted threats….

    ”If so, why would PMX even need to say this Im perplexed.”

    you ”perplexed”? Why? A politician is indulging in politics [which you’ve a lot to say on] and merely continuing longstanding policy.

  30. Luqman,

    This was taken from a very recent article out there –

    ”Asked about whether Malaysia is beefing up its defence capabilities, Anwar acknowledged that these are “probably a bit weak” in the region. I think there is a need to strengthen (the country’s defence) – but not go beyond that because our relations with our neighbours are excellent. There’s no reason to be unduly concerned about the possibility of tensions,” he said.”

    Does this sound like a country which would fund ”extra USVs/UUVs? 400km range radar/Anti ballistic missile radar? Sylver A70 cells/Strike length mk41 cells” [to quote you]? No, it sounds exactly like what I said – a country which wants to spend the minimum on defence in order to have a minimal deterrent capability to deal with non protracted non high intensity threats. To believe anything else is delusional wishful thinking and a misreading of the situation. Like I said; we’ll be lucky if the LMS Batch 2s have more than a 30mm main gun; a 4 or 8 cell VLS and 2 ASMs.

  31. what is the point of our defence, our navy specifically in this topic?

    can it be a credible option to fight another navy (of which in a large possibility, not from an ASEAN country) if all diplomacy fails?

    What is the primary mission capability of our navy? How do we equip our navy to 100% fulfill its primary mission capability within our limited budget?

    what kind of pounding the navy should be able to take? what kind of force the navy should have to hit back at the agressor? What kind of long range precision effectors should the navy have? How could we disperse our lethal capability so that the enemy would have a difficult time to wipe out our navy? What kind of area denial capability do we need to defend our country from potential attacks?

    I believe even within our current budget allocation for TLDM, we can create a fleet than can be called upon to to defend our waters in the times of tension. The current TLDM problem is not the budget allocation, but it is the very bad execution of its main acquisition, the Gowind project that derails all the other plans.

    But for our day to day peacetime maritime security, we need to empower APMM to take this up as its primary task.

    This is TLDM 2023 allocation
    2023 OE – RM1.531 billion
    2023 DE – RM1.7009 billion

    APMM 2023 allocation
    2023 OE – RM0.6231 billion
    2023 DE – RM0.719 billion

    IMO a APMM OE of around RM1.2 billion, and DE 0f RM0.8 billion would be good to fulfil its operational obligations and to have its needed fleet of 20 large OPVs even by 2030. RM0.8 billion DE annually 2024-2030 (7 years) is about RM5.6 billion. Even if only half of DE is to buy OPVs, that is about USD600 million available. That is enough to buy 10-12 more brand new large OPVs by 2030. Add that to getting used OSVs, additional used OPVs from Japan etc. the target for 20 large OPV can be met by 2030.

    Current APMM large OPV fleet
    2 Ex Musytari OPV
    2 Ex japan OPV
    3 DAMEN 1800 OPV

    Selected new OPV costs

    DAMEN 1800 OPV (83m) – USD61 mil
    Vikram class OPV India (97m) – USD30 mil
    Tae Pyung Yang Class OPV Korea (115m) – USD55 mil (latest ship pennant no. 3016 cost)

  32. Anwar is saying what every previous Prime Ministers’ have been saying – that defence is not a national priority. Anwar is also repeating the same mantra as previous Prime Ministers’ so the government of the day doesn’t have to commit monies that doesn’t get votes. When the same “minimal deterrence” and “low-intensity” has been repeated for at least 20 years, voters accept it as the right strategy and policy. Yet, every country in the region that has ambitions and goals also increase their military spending because it signals to the rest of the world a country’s ambitions and ability to defend itself, enforce its claims, and being useful as a friend and ally – allies and friends won’t defend a weak country that has no hope of surviving long enough. The issue at hand is how successive governments, and the populace does not see military as an element of national power, believing only Diplomacy, Information and Economic elements as sufficient. “Minimal deterrence” paired with “low intensity” becomes “minimal deterrence against low-intensity” conflicts which can be defined as “bare bones”. If people insist on “minimal deterrence” stop using “low-intensity”. Minimal deterrence by itself simply means making it sufficiently painful for any adversary that they will not attack or challenge Malaysia’s rights – its not to win in a fight but to prevent the fight from happening. This changes the perspective and narrative on what constitutes minimum. When low-intensity is added to the mix, it simply says, if someone attacks we only plan to hold on for X amount of time, which by itself isn’t a deterrence because it means will only maintain a bare bones military. Doesn’t matter what the military leadership says. If the voters (including those commenting) continue to repeat the same “minimal deterrence” and “low intensity” mantra, nothing will change. Its the same with re-hulling and repowering FACs. The general narrative is these are essentially new ships. But these are still ships based on old design and are ships the Navy wants replaced with bigger ships. Yet there are people who buy into the fallacy that the rehulled ships are new ships and sufficient for certain tasks (the “minimal deterrence” and “low intensity” mindset creeping into the thought process). This becomes, why should we spend on new Navy ships when the Navy has gotten a new ship that is minimally effective.

  33. kel – ”’Anwar is saying what every previous Prime Ministers’ have been saying – that defence is not a national priority.”

    You’ve missed the plot because we’ve kind of figured out what you’re proclaiming. That was why I included the quote in the first place.

    kel – ”Yet there are people who buy into the fallacy that the rehulled ships are new ships and sufficient for certain tasks ”

    They’re those who still believe in Father Christmas.

    kel – ”believing only Diplomacy, Information and Economic elements as sufficient.”

    Incorrect. It’s diplomacy and having a minimal deterrent capability to deal with the threats we think we’ll face.

    … – ”Minimal deterrence by itself simply means making it sufficiently painful for any adversary that they will not attack or challenge Malaysia’s rights – its not to win in a fight but to prevent the fight from happening.”

    You sound like a preacher or a car salesman. It was meant to ”deter” yes but ”deter” the threats we thought we’d face and there is a difference between the types of threats we thought we face and the type we thought we could handle.

    kel – ” If people insist on “minimal deterrence” stop using “low-intensity”.”

    What nonsense .. Just like your claim that ”low intensity” warfare was only the in thing in the 70’s and 80’s [or something to that affect].

    ”A paragraph is a group of at least five sentences, a paragraph is half a page long, etc. In reality, though, the unity and coherence of ideas among sentences is what constitutes a paragraph.”

  34. kel – ”If the voters (including those commenting) continue to repeat the same “minimal deterrence” and “low intensity” mantra, nothing will change.”

    Which part of the fact that our policy of having a ”minimal deterrent” capability is institutionalised policy did you not understand? That’s been our policy for decades and drives what we do. Yo’re obviously unware of this pertinent fact …

  35. kel – ”If the voters (including those commenting) continue to repeat the same “minimal deterrence” and “low intensity” mantra, nothing will change.”

    Which part of the fact that our policy of having a ”minimal deterrent” capability is institutionalised policy did you not understand?

    That’s been our policy [not ”mantra”] for decades and drives what we do. You’re obviously unware of this pertinent fact … Perhaps ask around or indulge in some research? If having a ”minimal deterrent” capability is not the reason we do things in dribs and drabs and if you know better then educate those who are ignorant rather than present them a long pedantic post which is neither here nor there and which display as total misreading of the situation.

  36. “A politician is indulging in politics”
    He is a politician alright but as PM he wears a different hat and should representing all of Malaysia not just as ketum PH & PKR. His statement & actions should represent the best of Malaysia and not undermine & question her. Is a big disappointment that he was waiting for so long to be PM yet don’t act like one when given the chance. Sigh…

    @hulubalang
    “what is the point of our defence, our navy specifically in this topic?”
    It is to deter and enforce our sovereignty rights against peer contestant neighbours, that means Indo, Thai, Viet & Pinoy. No it is not to take on any form of superpower be they Eastern or Western.

    “The current TLDM problem is not the budget allocation”
    Nope the current problem is the budget allocated, and then how much gets pared down for other things ie part of LCS budget was used to upgrade BNS facilities, WTF!

  37. @ joe

    “It is to deter and enforce our sovereignty rights against peer contestant neighbours, that means Indo, Thai, Viet & Pinoy”

    We have overlap claims with those countries, ie. both us and that country can claim that area under 200nm UNCLOS. But none of them actively using their navy to encroach and constantly be in our waters.

    So i ask you, which country is currently constantly encroaching our EEZ, harassing our economic activities in our EEZ?
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E5t0hfKWYAU48r0.jpg

    What kind of things do we need to have and to use to deter that encroachment activity? Do we use LMS Batch 2 and shoot missiles at them?

  38. The whole thing is going back to threat vs. capability again. Define minimal deterrence and low-intensity. What constitutes minimal deterrence, and what is a low-intensity situation? Put both concepts together “minimal deterrence in low intensity” conflicts and then figure out does the country need big ships, fast jets, tanks, etc for such conflicts? Minimal deterrence is simply to deter someone from attacking (or taking action) – the level in which its minimal will evolve as the threat level changes. If our concern are neighbours, then in 2023, the level in which minimal deterrence is achieved is higher than 10 years ago – Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam have expanded their militaries while Malaysia has not. But we know the real threat is coming outside of the region. Against such a threat, the level that constitutes minimal deterrence is even higher. Minimal deterrence by itself evolves according to the threat. The meaning of low-intensity is fairly consistent over time because it involves defining situations based on specific assumptions and conditions. Is low-intensity guerilla warfare, Lahad Datu type incursions, the occasional ship ramming in SCS, no more than 48 hours of combat operations, no mass armour combat, small skirmishes, a battalion sized engagement, a company sized engagement, light arms only, a few ships shooting guns at each other? If yes, does the country need big ships, fast jets, main battle tanks, attack helicopters, etc?

  39. … – ”But none of them actively using their navy to encroach and constantly be in our waters.”

    Not really…. Like I have said before quite a bit has happened which did not make the headlines. Let’s just say there have been incidents which were much more ”tense” compared to what was/is faced with the Chinese and that certain actors acted ”provocatively” …

    kel – ”the whole thing is going back to threat vs. capability again.”

    The ” whole thing” is understanding the pertinent fact that what we do is driven by policy and threat perceptions as we view it.

    A paragraph is a series of sentences that are organized and coherent, and are all related to a single topic.

    … – ”What kind of things do we need to have and to use to deter that encroachment activity? Do we use LMS Batch 2 and shoot missiles at them?”

    Just like anything else; the LMS Batch 2 [as has been explained countless times] is intended to be used in the right way; i.e. not punch above its weight category. BTW the rhetorical question you asked about the Batch 2s is something I can ask about our subs. If an opponent had subs in the area; strong surface and air ASW units; underwater sensors and UUVs and understood the limitations of subs; would the pair of Scorpenes be able to accomplish anything or would they be too busy trying to evade detection [and the destruction that comes with detection] rather than perform their roles [look up the WW1/2 experince; as well as othe onflicts].

  40. @hulubalang
    “which country is currently constantly encroaching our EEZ”
    Vietnam those days, with their fishing boats. The same today are Chinese deep sea fishing boats. Hence the enforcement of EEZ primarily is on MMEA laps but while they are around the area, TLDM too has the role to play in the enforcement as well. That is their peacetime duties.
    When the shooting starts, their role & responsibility changes.

    “But none of them actively using their navy to encroach and constantly be in our waters.”
    Are you so sure about that?

    “use to deter that encroachment activity”
    Standard protocol of shadowing, hailing, & informing, and use sufficient nonthreatening force if necessary. Then the diplomatic back channels if things are that serious. We aren’t at war, just because we have a gun doesnt mean we must shoot at something.

  41. What is minimal deterrence in low intensity conflicts? Or minimal deterrence against low intensity conflicts? Or just low intensity conflicts?

  42. kel – ”What is minimal deterrence in low intensity conflicts? Or minimal deterrence against low intensity conflicts? Or just low intensity conflicts?”

    – A ”minimal deterrence” refers to the level of resources a country is willing or able to invest in its military in relation to the threats a country feels it might face based on the strategic calculus as seen by the country in question.
    – Threat assessment is traditionally based not on intentions but actual capabilities because unlike intentions; capabilities can’t evolve overnight.
    – A low intensity conflict refers to a conflict which is limited in scope and intensity but not necessarily in duration.
    – We – for the past few decades [I know you have issues fathoming this so maybe do your own research] – have discounted the possibility of an all out state on state war to be unlikely; in contrast to a limited or low intensity war or clash [i.e. The clash between Thailand and Laos in the 1980’s; the clast between Thailand and Cambodia some years ago and the clash between Thailand and Myanmar at the turn of the millennium].
    – People can assume and insist all they want but the MAF [like most regional armies] is not equipped, trained or structured to handle a protracted high intensity war; insisting otherwise is a fool’s errand.

  43. – In the 1970’s and right up till the elections in Kampuchea; we were worried about Vietnam [then in Kampuchea]. The worry that Vietnam would move westwards into Thailand and further south [that was why the SAF trained to come north; why the FPDA gained relevance; why we were involved in the UN supervised elections in Kampuchea; why bought what we did under PERISTA and why we contributed to a massive ammo reserve in Thailand]. Another area which worried us very much [way before people started worrying about China] was the EEZ; potential trouble with Vietnam and the Philippines [over the Peta Baru which we released in 1979]; way before China entered the equation.

    – From the 1980’s onwards as it became clear the insurgency issue would be eventually over soon and it became clear that unresolved overlapping claims with certain neighbours might be a source for trouble we started focusing more on external security which started actually years prior under PERISTA. The worry was not a full scale war but a short limited one over an overlapping claim.

    – Today, potential trouble with certain neighbours is still a cause for worry [albeit les so compared to previous times] but what really worries us is trouble over the Spratlys between other countries and how this might affect us. We are realistic in that we could enlarge the budget 10 times over but we still would not be able to face – either heads on or with asymmetric warfare [which others too can practise] against a country which spends much much more on defence; has a much larger economy; a much larger population; a more extensive and advanced industrial base and a much much lager military.

    As it stands it’s not holy writ that if trouble breaks out in the Spratlys that we’ll by default be involved – not necessarily. If we are; it’ll be part of a coalition and lets not fool ourselves; our lack of capability means we’ll be operating on the periphery.

    As such the MAF we have is catered [right or wrong – disagree or not] with the limited types of conflicts we think we’ll face. Can we face off with an opponent who has a qualitative and numerical edge? No… Obviously not… Do we need a major fundamental rethink in policy? Yes … Just like how we need deep rooted changes in how we view and approach defence; to get the prerequisites in place rather than staying the same rotten and self defeating course.

  44. Good history lesson. Now that we have eatablished planning is based on threat or “threat calculus” rather than just capability, what is the threat calculus? What is minimal deterrence against that threat calculus? And what is the definition of low intensity for Malaysia?

  45. kel – ”Good history lesson”

    Wasn’t a history lesson per see but you quite obviously needed it.

    kel – ”What is minimal deterrence against that threat calculus?”

    ”Minimal” is what we are able to afford based on what we are willing to afford spend which is turn driven by policy… Need sources; ask.

    kel – ”Now that we have eatablished planning is based on threat or “threat calculus” rather than just capability”

    Not really and don’t assume or see things which aren’t there [we have enough of it here as it is]. We do what we do because of the strategic calculus as we see it and yes our policy for years [which you were seemingly oblivious to] was to have some level or minimal deterrent capability against various threats as we perceive them.
    At times acquisition is threat not capability driven but it has mostly been capability driven.

    kel – ”And what is the definition of low intensity for Malaysia?”

    Being flippant; asking a question which I’ve already answered in this post and in others or just being pedantic?

    For your benefit; conflicts/clashes of limited duration/scope which remain contained; i.e. the clash between Thailand and Laos in the 1980’s; the clast between Thailand and Cambodia some years ago and the clash between Thailand and Myanmar at the turn of the millennium]. For us; for quite a period tensions with Indonesia were a cause of concern; at other times certain issues with the Philippines related to the issue of Sabah and alleged support for the MNLF and later the MILF; etc; and of course various times when tensions were really hot with Singapore [do your own research]. At other times [i.e. Op Petaling and Ops Tugu] we were worried about Vietnam.

    Today of course we are worried about China; not so much as us being in conflict with China but us being caught in the middle of a war involving China and other countries.

  46. – There are pro and cons of having such big of a ship (5000t class). Pros are ability to carry more/larger sensors and weapons, longer range and more space for any future upgrades. Cons are more expensive to operate and have limited ports that could accommodate it.

    – Threats are also changing. Yes we are preparing for low threat intensity conflict, but the environment are also different when compare 2010 (around the time when LCS concept was conceived) with 2023. In 2010 PLAN didn’t have Type55 cruisers, Type51c and Type52c destroyers and Type54a frigates were still in small numbers, SG have their Formidable, while Indonesia had various 2000t class corvettes. Currently PLAN is the largest Navy in terms of ship numbers with a lot more Type 52c/d, Type55, and type54b (which is larger than Type54a) also entering service, SG is getting the MRCV and Indonesia getting the Type31 and also possibly FREMM all are above 5000t. RMN will be left behind with lesser capable combatant. So can is LCS even enough for low intensity conflict? Is the LCS overkill for low intensity conflict?

    – When talking about money and the political willingness to pay for such equipment, saying that we spend minimally is not complete. I think we spend minimally and over spend at the same time (in the LCS, Kedah and LMS batch 1 case). This is because one could spend the same money for LCS on certain 5000t design and spend lesser money on smaller LMS batch 2 for the same capability as LCS or also spend lesser money for same sized Damen 105m LCS (as Indonesia did) just as what RMN preferred back then. So from the beginning did we spend minimally for RMN? Urmmmm I guess so.

  47. Luqman – ”There are pro and cons of having such big of a ship (5000t class).”

    You also missed out the part where operational requirements [in addition to funding] determines what we get. We have no operational need for a 5,000 tonne combatant for reasons I’ve alluded to.

    Luqman -”Cons are more expensive to operate and have limited ports that could accommodate it.”

    Steel is cheap but what goes under and on the steel is not cheap. A 5,000 tonne combatant is also more inherently expensive to maintain than a 2,500 tonne combatant and requires sligthly more manpower.

    Luqman – ”Threats are also changing. Yes we are preparing for low threat intensity conflict, but the environment are also different ”

    So? The question is are our threat perceptions changing? Yes how e view the strategic calculus differs from how we viewed it a decade ago but has it changed to the extent that we are now gong to spend more to enable the MAF to deal with non state high intensity threats? Are we going to implement the needed deep rooted changes needed to our highly flawed defence policy?

    Luqman – ”So from the beginning did we spend minimally for RMN? Urmmmm I guess so.”

    A former PM introduced the policy we have now. To him the country would never face an existential threat; we only needed to maintain a minimal defence [look at the statements he made over the years] and as far as possible purchases were intended to benefit national interests rather than ensure the MAF got the capability it needed and the tax payer’s their money’s worth. Under him defence procurement became part of the patronage system.

  48. Luqman – “So can is LCS even enough for low intensity conflict? Is the LCS overkill for low intensity conflict?”

    As I said many moons ago; the LCS is driven not only by financial constraints but by operational needs as set by policy makers. It is modestly armed and lacks space for future growth but it is what it is. Countries buy things to do what they think need doing in operational circumstances they need think they’ll fsce . As I said previously; right or wrong; disagree or not; we do not see the possibility of being involved in a high intensity war; whether in the South China Sea or anywhere else – this is a pertinent and simple fact which is apparently not widely grasped.

    What we buy; the numbers we buy and the way we approach defence is driven by this …. period/full stop. Count ourselves lucky that the LCS even has a 16 cell VLS and if the LMS Batch 2s aren’t fitted with a 30mm in the A position; a 8 cell BLA in the B and 2 ASMs amidships. I would also like to add that it’s not given that we’d be involved in any conflict in the South China Sea and don’t assume so. Not only that but if we were involved and faced a much better resourced opponent; would having a 5,000 tonne frigate armed with a 96 cell VLS really make a difference in the larger scheme of things?

    Back to the previous post; if we look at the various occasions where we did spend quite a bit under Dr. M the facts speak for themselves; as do the actual numbers; yet some would question whether we actually have a longstanding policy of having a minimal deterrent capability. We also have to look at various statements Dr. M made; including during his 2nd period in office [i.e. LIMA should focus more on civil aviation; Malaysia does not need to expensive MRCAs; Malaysia is peaceful; etc] to show his attitude towards defence and his reluctance to spend more than the minimum and even that with national interests taking precedence.

    – PERISTA we can rule out as the various things bought were planned before he became PM.
    – The 1988 MOU with Britain. It had an impressive list but insufficient funding; the Tornados [replaced later by Hawks], Javelins, Rapier and a pair of ex RN Oberons were dropped [a blessing in disguise].
    – In terms of actual value DSA 2002 was impressive but it was a one off. I remember reading all the contracts in the show daily; impressive.
    – The Fulcrums and Hornets. It was something which could not have been put off and even then Dr. M initially only wanted to buy Fulcrums. The small numbers speak for themselves.
    – The approval to buy SSKs came in the 1980’s during Dr.M’s time and the numbers bought was because we wanted a minimal nascent capability; nothing more.
    – To improve ties with Italy and help the Iraqis; against the advice of the RMN we bought the Laksamanas and over the years spent quite a bit on them [new CMS: new jammers, etc] but by the 1990’s were already showing their age and were never suitable for our requirements.
    – The MKMs; because the Russians agreed to train a local astronaut. Again, in small numbers; against the advice of the RMAF and something ill suited for our requirements.

    Quite obviously if anyone asks blanket questions like ‘X’ has done that; can the RMAF do the same; what do we expect from the RMN; can the army defend our territory: etc, it depends on the context but as obvious as day eventually turning into night; given the resources it has the MAF can only realistically deal with non protracted non high intensity threats; irrespective of what can be done on paper.

    To change things would require a change in policy and how we view the strategic calculus. That change is nowhere in sight; we don’t see the need and we don’t have the urgency or the political will; irrespective of who is the current or next PM.

  49. Until someone defines what constitutes low intensity for Malaysia, in 2023, those two words add little value to any discussion and only serve to suppress military spending / give reason not to spend. Low intensity based on Malaysia’s own experience is very different from low intensity against ASEAN countries, which is very different from low intensity against bigger powers. Repeating the mantra of low intensity that is based on references to small conflicts from the past rather than the realities of today and the future is just propogating the idea that Malaysia doesnt need to spend on its military. Then diverting blame on the current state to the politicians, when voters accepted the low intensity idea and therefore expect a policy of limited military spending. All because low intensity based on outdated examples is being pushed or propogated as the key assumption when planning for Malaysia’s military.

  50. Kel – “Until someone defines what constitutes low intensity for Malaysia, in 2023, those two words add little value to any discussion and only serve to suppress military spending / give reason not to spend”

    In simple unequivocal English it has been explained to you. Maybe if you insist that others are not providing you with the answers you seek; do your own research.

    Kel – “add little value to any discussion”

    That’s very self serving. What value do you add? Does making nonsensical claims like how low intensity conflicts had value only in the 70’s and 80’s add any value? Or coming up with the claim that ATGWs are mainly to work with motorised and mechanised formations? I could go on …

    Kel – “low intensity based on Malaysia’s own experience is very different from low intensity against ASEAN countries, which is very different from low intensity against bigger powers”

    You sound like a pedantic preacher. Of course the circumstance can vary but quite obviously “low intensity” means a conflicts of limited scope and duration which remains contained. BTW the examples have been given to you on actual low intensity conflicts within ASEAN.

    Kel – All because low intensity based on outdated examples is being pushed or propogated as the key assumption when planning for Malaysia’s military”

    Sorry chum. Like I said, agree or not; right or wrong; our policy has long been to spend the bare minimum on defence in order to acquire a minimal deterrent capability in order to deal with the limited or low intensity threats we foresee. The facts and evidence are all there; do your own research instead of peddling untruths based on ignorance.

    Kel – “Repeating the mantra of low intensity that is based on references to small conflicts from the past rather than the realities of today and the future is just propogating the idea that Malaysia doesnt need to spend on its military”

    Why? Just because you’re unable to understand a simple fact? What about some of the tosh you repeat? Like I said; do your own research and ask around.

    BTW discover the joys of “paragraphs” which make it easier for others to read rather than presenting things in a large clump.

  51. The idea that fir the past few decades; prescribed policy has not been to spend the minimal on defence is to display a gross misunderstanding of the subject matter. Must as well argue that the world is flat is that Elviis still breathes.

    You keep repeating the tosh about voters and other things, well why not do something about it? Write to the Defence Minster, your MP and others; show that you have the “added value’ which you arrogantly claim others lack. Whilst you’re at it, learn the be joys of using paragraphs and some reading of your own rather than sounding like a pedantic preacher.

  52. The idea that fir the past few decades; prescribed policy has not been to spend the minimal on defence in order to meet the low intensity threats we foresee is to display a gross misunderstanding of the subject matter. Must as well argue that the world is flat is that Elviis still breathes. BTW with the exception of Singapore and Thailand [for a brief period] all ASEAN countries have long geared their militaries for “low intensity” threats. Can you actually name a single military with the driver devotion of the SAF which is trained, structured and equipped for protracted high intensity multi domain ops? Tell me.

    You keep repeating the tosh about voters and other things, well why not do something about it? Write to the Defence Minster, your MP and others; show that you have the “added value’ which you arrogantly claim others lack. Show that you’re capable.

    Whilst you’re at it, learn the joys of using paragraphs and indulge in some reading of your own rather than sounding like a pedantic preacher.

  53. “we have no operational need of a 5,000 ton ship”

    Future employment of unmanned systems, UAS, USV, UUV will require more spaces on board a frigate. As is, even the 3,100 ton Gowind does not have the space to embark the Scaneagle system. One of the reason why currently both Indonesia and Singapore have chosen the Iver Huitfeldt/Arrowhead 140 design for their next generation Frigate.
    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/navy.jpg
    https://pictr.com/images/2023/08/06/EfwTQV.jpg

    While currently we are busy talking about Gowind and LMS batch 2, something equally important have not been discussed. The replacement of Kasturi-class (39 years old) and Lekiu-class (23 years old). Currently the Kasturi-class with its TACTICOS CMS is the most operationally ready ships in TLDM fleet. The Lekius has not launched any missiles for more than 5 years now. Is that due to the CMS? Indonesia is currently embarking on a major modernisation of its F2000 corvettes (sister ships to the Lekius) with TACTICOS CMS, SMART-S radar (same as Gowind) and VL-MICA missiles.

    What we can do is to replace those 4 ships with a Iver Huitfeldt/Arrowhead 140 design starting from 2031-2040. I believe the cost of a Iver Huitfeldt/Arrowhead 140 based frigate will be similar to the Gowind, considering all the cost overruns.

    On corvettes for naval duties.

    Currently PLA Navy is divesting 22 of their Type 056 corvettes (which is brand new with the oldest only about 10 years old), removing all the missiles and transferring them to the Coast Guard.

    https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2021/12/china-transferring-navy-type-056-corvettes-to-the-coast-guard/

    I am of the opinion of TLDM not really needing the expensive LMS Batch 2 corvettes (instead going with cheaper ship concepts like Project TRIFIC), and transferring the Kedah-class and Keris-class ships to APMM.

  54. … – ”I am of the opinion of TLDM not really needing the expensive LMS Batch 2 corvettes (instead going with cheaper ship concepts like Project TRIFIC), and transferring the Kedah-class and Keris-class ships to APMM.”

    I understand why the RMN has a need for LMS’s; as part of its high/low end mix; both types complementing each other; like the RMAF and it’s MRCAs and LCAs [which you agree with]. For one it can’t afford all the LCS’s it needs and secondly; not all roles require a LCS. The RMN BTW is on record as saying that a LMs can perform various roles at a fraction of the price of using a LCS… but hey; we’ve gone through all this probably a few dozen times already. As for the actual design; water under the bridge because it has been selected and approved.

    … – ”transferring the Kedah-class and Keris-class ships to APMM.”

    Yes you’ve mentioned [repetitive aren’t we] but as things stand the MMEA would say a big ”’no thank you” on any possible transfers of Kedahs. We have discussed this before; just like how nobody would even contemplate buying the Laksamanas [which you proposed years ago] even if paid to do so and even if they’re as ”good as new”.

    Also, we can talk about paper possibilities till the pigs fly but the RMN is not and won’t be in a position to transfer any Kedahs or LMS’s anytime soon. It needs every hull it has and this is why it resorted to the highly desperate exercise of rehulling/re-working hulls aged several decades and which are long overdue for replacement.

    … – ”Future employment of unmanned systems, UAS, USV, UUV will require more spaces on board a frigate. As is, even the 3,100 ton Gowind does not have the space to embark the Scaneagle system.”

    We’ve gone through this before. One does not need a 5,000 tonne hull; yes; the Scaneagle can be operated from a LCS but not- obviously – simultaneously with the embarked helo given the deck is not a large one. In fact; there were such plans in the early days of the programme [it was scrapped because it was felt that it was not needed – look up the statement made by a previous service chief]. Scaneagle has even been operated from smaller ships; i.e, the RSN’s Victory class.

    As I’ve pointed out; if we get a 5,000 tonne hull in the near future; it will be due to a host of reasons; not due to one primary one. So yes; at present and for the foreseeable future we do not have an operational need for a 5,000 tonne hull; nor do out threat perceptions call for it; anymore than we need or will get 5 MBT regiments; a fighter wing comprising 3 squadrons or a stockpile of munitions to last us for 60 days of high intensity combat …

    … – ” something equally important have not been discussed. ”

    There are various things which can be discussed with regards to kit that needs replacing or will soon by unsupportable [some not talked about or factored in by ‘joe public’] but given that this is a public forum. Also; like it or not; the Kasturis and Lekius [as part of the 5/15 which you often fall back on] are intended to be replaced by the LCS’ That’s the paper plan. What really happens is still way early days.

    … – ”Currently the Kasturi-class with its TACTICOS CMS is the most operationally ready ships in TLDM fleet. The Lekius has not launched any missiles for more than 5 years now”

    Sorry. What are you basing your claim on; that the ” Kasturi-class with its TACTICOS CMS is the most operationally ready ships in TLDM fleet”?

  55. @ azlan

    “as part of its high/low end mix; both types complementing each other; like the RMAF and it’s MRCAs and LCAs [which you agree with]”

    Yes

    I agree with Hi-Low mix

    But LMS B2 Corvette is not “Low”. It is about 80% size and armament of the Gowinds.

    It is like when ppl want the Gripen for LCA, which i don’t agree. To me “low” is low cost (should be even cheaper than the chinese LMS 68), but with speed, range, endurance to run with the Gowinds. Corvettes don’t have the same range and endurance of the Gowinds.
    .
    .
    .
    “So yes; at present and for the foreseeable future we do not have an operational need for a 5,000 tonne hull”

    You also repeatedly say that TUDM does not have a requirement for LCA when I pushed the idea of FA-50 replacing Hawks, MB-339 and MiG-29N. Current LCS Gowind does not have the space to employ UAS, USV and UUV without having to delete/reduce helicopter or RIB capability.
    .
    .
    .
    ” Sorry. What are you basing your claim on; that the ” Kasturi-class with its TACTICOS CMS is the most operationally ready ships in TLDM fleet”? ”

    The Lekius currently are not 100% operationally capable. Not sure the CMS replacement can even use the Exocets and Seawolfs. We have not seen any missile firings from Lekiu and Jebat for more than 5 years now.

    Only Lekir and Kasturi, with TACTICOS CMS can fully utilise all the weapons mounted on the ship. Which is why lately they are being sent (instead of the Lekius) for missile firing exercises.

  56. I Kel – “Low intensity is the plan. We dont need all those ships”

    You would know wouldn’t you?

    Also “low intensity” is not the “plan”; it’s the threat perceptions we have. In other words the types of conflicts we foresee we’d face based on an assessment of the strategic calculus as we view it and this is clearly reflected in the way we go about things; as well as statements made by various politicians over the decades : “low intensity”non protracted conflicts/clashes which remain contained as opposed to a full state on state conflict which is widespread.

    Get it right.

    Also, even if we had a 12,000 cruiser with a 96 VLS cell and various other things which are required for it to operate in a non permissive environment; do we have all the other enablers such as airpower?

    Can we operate jointly in a fully integrated environment? BTW jointness enables is to maximise the pyritise of what we have and avoids redundancy. It’s not something we should focus on only after we have all the needed hardware [sonetbi no you previously alluded to].

  57. … – “But LMS B2 Corvette is not “Low”.”

    To you and in line with your biasness but to the RMN it does constitute the “low end” element …

    …. – “You also repeatedly say that TUDM does not have a requirement for LCA when I pushed the idea of FA-50 replacing Hawks, MB-339 and MiG-29N”

    Repetitive aren’t we? As explained many times I said that a LCA is not and never will be a substitute for a MRCA.

    Also, do you suffer from selective amnesia? At at time when you were pushing the LCA the RMAF was not pushing for it; the requirement then was for a MRCA not a LCA. Approval for a LCA only came years after the MRCA programme was shelved .. Yet you mention me “repeatedly” saying things?

    …. – LCS Gowind does not have the space to employ UAS, USV and UUV without having to delete/reduce helicopter or RIB capability.”

    As has been explained to you there were plans to operate a UAS from it and a UAS can be operated from it but obviously not simultaneously with the help. As has been also been a explained to you; the RSN operates a UAS from its corvettes.

    Also, if the RMN is ever gets a 5,000 tonne hull it will be for a host of compelling reasons; not primarily because they’re is space for USVs and UASs.

    … – “The Lekius currently are not 100% operationally capable”

    You’d be surprised at how many things at various tines are not
    “100% operationally capable” and there’s nothing to say that the Kasturis are “100% operationally capable” …

  58. .. -“Corvettes don’t have the same range and endurance of the Gowinds”

    You missed the part where corvettes don’t need the “same range and endurance” as a LCS because [as has been pointed out to you multiple times] they are expected to perform different roles in different operational settings. Your statement is like me saying a UH-1 doesn’t have the “range and endurance” of a S-92 or a Comet doesn’t have the same protection level as a Churchill.

  59. Lekiu did a exocet firing in 2021. I believe it still has the original CMS unlike Jebat which underwent upgrading to Vibrant CMS. If Jebat now can’t fire any missile, its a downgrade, not upgrade.

  60. All ships at various times have parts/components which are inoperable for whatever reason; even new ships. At times the users cannibalise things.

    ‘…’ could be right but if he is I’d like to know how. Or is he merely speculating that ”the Lekius currently are not 100% operationally capable” and that ”the Kasturi-class with its TACTICOS CMS is the most operationally ready ships in TLDM” – those are quite tall claims to make.

  61. Don wori kawan. SG MRCV not 10000 ton la. It about 7000 ton plus only.

    Sg RSN really busy decade. 6 MRCV,6 mid life Formidable class upgred, 4-6 new OPV or light friget and 2 JMMS ( i keep hearing italian cavour or triste)

    St enginering yards full!

  62. Tomahawk,

    I’m sure we’re all gratified to hear. What would we do without your timely and insightful updates. BTW, who’s your “kawan “?

  63. I guess Singapore isnt planning for low intensity conflicts.. or maybe they have a different definition of low intensity… or maybe their level of minimal detereence is different.

  64. @ Tomahawk

    Yes the Sg MRCV is less than 7,000 ton as it is based on the same design as the Iver Huitfeldt/Arrowhead 140

    Those Trieste’s are a great multipurpose ship design, a fully equipped aircraft carrier capable of hosting F-35B while having a flooded well dock for amphibious operations.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E9QB8eyXEAQjxNi.jpg

  65. Kel – “I guess Singapore isnt planning for low intensity conflicts”

    Perhaps you’re in your own world since you missed the part about Singapore [as has been explained to you] being the only regional country which has a military equipped, trained and structured for a state on state protected conflict. You would also need reminding that unlike Singapore; until fairly recently the other regional countries were more focused on internal not external defence.

    BTW you arrogantly claimed that others were not providing “added value”. By your coy comments and displays of ignorance; are you presenting “added value”? Also; try better at your attempts at sarcasm. It behooves you.

    Kel – “or maybe they have a different definition of low intensity

    I doubt you’re autistic or a troll so “maybe” I’ll try to again point out in as simple as possible unequivocal English to avoid any further obfuscation or confusion on your part.

    A. “Low Intensity” warfare simply means a limited war in terms of scale and duration; one which is localised.
    B. Take a look on a map of the tiny island of Singapore; how it’s surrounded by much larger nelghbours and it’s vulnerable SLOCs and perhaps then you’d understand [or not] why the SAF has long geared for high intensity fights; in short contrast to its neighbours.

  66. I dont think Singapore has settled on the JMMS design yet. It can be a LHA or LHD ship. But it is definitely a mini carrier. If they have plans to create a dedicated marine type unit, then LHD makes sense. LHA makes more sense given the size of their air assets and their curent rapid or ready response unit are the air assault Guards units. If we take the Endurance (8k tonnage) to Formidable class (3k tonnage) tonnage rario of 2.67x, and use the MRCV’s estimated low end 5k tonnage, the JMSS may well be at least a 13.4k tonnage ship.

  67. Azlan, you do realise you’re the only one always correcting people, telling others they are wrong, always insisting on rebutting every thing everyone writes, using retorts when unable to rebut, and must even go as far as commenting on old posts just for the sake of telling others they are wrong and you are right? Everyone adds value by providing a view point that enriches the discussion. Even if they are wrong they provide valuable information. Its ok to be wrong. Its more important to see all sides to a point to figure out what works and what doesnt, what is wrong and what isnt, generate new ideas, then to stay in an echo chamber repeating things that people generally know as not working. When asked to define what low intensity is, instead of adding value by defining low intensity in the context of 2023 Malaysia, there is a long list of examples from the 60s,70s,80s. Is that what low intensity is in 2023? When everyone else agrees SCS is the key flashpoint for Malaysia and China which has a stated intent to take territory from Malaysia as the number 1 threat, for some reason it is ASEAN neighbours that should be the main threat. When people point out that LMS2 is less a littoral mission ship in the context of 15to5, and is in fact a smaller and cheaper version of the LCS to compensate for the LCS delay and the significant lack of missiles, apparently people are wrong because ship nomenclature dictates they are different. When suggested that the Army ought to consider retiring MBTs for many reasons and explore other strategies and tactics, those people including myself is wrong. No one disputes tanks have value. But when challenged on the point of unsufficient numbers to make its use doctrine, no response, or rely on retorts. Despite having issues with the lack of paragraphs, still go through every point and more retort than rebut. Again, perhaps state clearly what high and low intensity is for Malaysia, and the threat calculus is for a start so people know and understand your positions on why Malaysia should continue to underinvest in defence. Remember, no one here actually uses low intensity to describe how the Armed Forces should be structured. Instead most use the concept of threat.

  68. @ hulu

    Info on this iver/arrowhead 140
    Sg version is slightly larger for mision bay for uuv usv uas and heli.

    https://www.arrowhead140.com/

    Formidabel mid life upgred it tonnage to hit 4000 ton i hear as some struktur change. Maybe new mast with Seafire radar.

    The sg jmms can operet like carrier but sg will no do tat but will still train for it. It jus lilypad for f35b. But it is carrier for uas or uav and will carry uuv and maybe usv. Sg may do away with well dock…you wait and see.

  69. Kel – “you do realise you’re the only one always correcting people, telling others they are wrong”

    – A paragraph is a series of sentences that are organized and coherent, and are all related.
    – If anything I said is/was factually wrong then kindly show facts instead of moaning and making ludicrous/erroneous statements; backtracking and obfuscating in a repetitive pedantic manner.

    I tend to keep mum about things I know but if I do speak out it’s a usually over something I know. Never said I was infallible though. Just because you’re unwilling or unable to understand things doesn’t mean you have to go an a rant and display innate frustrations. I been debating with people who know it all here long before there even was a “kel”.

    Kel – “But when challenged on the point of unsufficient numbers to make its use doctrine

    Cherry picking? Blanket/generalised statements I’ll leave to you and fan boys. Your question of what’s “sufficient” is silly because what’s “sufficient” would depend on the operational context. If going against a tank corps then obviously a single regiment of MBTs won’t suffice but if used in a more limited context it would.

    Kel – “no one here actually uses low intensity to describe how the Armed Forces should be structured.”

    How any military is structured depends on not only funding but what planners think the operational threat is. In other worlds it depends on the overall threat assessment as they see it; in simple English the type of wars one expects to fight. And, is procurement threat or capability driven? Again, despite your apparent ignorance the MAF is structured, trained and equipped for low intensity threats.

    Kel – “When suggested that the Army ought to consider retiring MBTs for many reasons and explore other strategies and tactics”

    Because it’s wrong” and downright silly. What nonsensical “strategies and tactics” you referring to? Any alternative to MBTs when it comes to delivering mobile, protected firepower in both offence/defence? Done any reading apart from what you can Google? The notion that we should retire the MBTs because we don’t have enough is silly. Should we retire our SSKs because we only have a mere pair?

    Kel – people point out that LMS2 is less a littoral mission ship in the context of 15to5, and is in fact a smaller and cheaper version of the LCS to compensate for the LCS”

    Never mind what “people” think. The LMS is intended to supplement the LCS and was never intended to be as capable; no more so than the LCA was ever intended to be as capable as a MRCA. Also, like others you are conflating things – seeing things which aren’t there. The connection between the LCS and the LMS and is not as clearcut as you/others assume. Even if the LCS’s had all been delivered on time the RMN would still have a requirement for fully fitted out LMS’s.. Not only that but what’s prescribed in the 5/15 which you and others refer to as holy writ was only intended to set a political sense of direction; it was something which wasn’t sacrosanct; could be tweaked.

    Kel – “perhaps state clearly what high and low intensity is for Malaysia”

    I assume you aren’t autistic or a troll because I’ve explained multiple times. Like me to teach you how to suck eggs?

    Kel – “When everyone else agrees SCS is the key flashpoint for Malaysia and China which has a stated intent to take”

    I have no idea who “everyone” is and I’m not bothered. The Spratlys is a major cause of concern but it’s not given that a war between others would automatically mean we’re in it and even if we were; we’d be part of a coalition but would play a peripheral role on account of our lack of capabilities. And no; even if we raise the budget by tenfold and adopted all the asymmetric tactics we wanted; we can’t tangle with China.

    There are threats we can handle and those we can’t because the MAF is not structured, equipped or trained for a protected high intensity conflict; anymore than Father Christmas will be visiting you .

    Kel – “instead of adding value by defining low intensity in the context of 2023 Malaysia, there is a long list of examples from the 60s,70s,80s”

    Did it not occur to you that the MAF we have now and the policy we have is to a large extent because of what happened in the past? What bullocks “added value” do you present? It never occurred to why I gave historical examples did it? It’s rich that you’re the one whining about “added value” or are you arrogant and self serving enough to think that you actually present “added value”?

    Kel – “Is that what low intensity is in 2023”

    Whether in 2023, 1979 or 1815; low intensity usually means a conflict which might not be protracted and in which the players – for whatever reason – keep limited rather than have it spiral. Need examples, ask.

    Kel – “for some reason it is ASEAN neighbours that should be the main threat”

    Silly you. I clearly said that lingering distrust tensions with certain countries over longstanding overlapping claims still linger and at times nearly went “hot” – which you obviously are oblivious to. Chinese ships have never rammed us, pointed guns at us or cane close to shooting at a ship had it not changed course. I never said anything about “ASEAN countries being the main threat”. Want to cherry pick or score points; at least get it right. Behooves you.

  70. It is unlikely that they will build the JMMS like carrier but do not operate it that way. It cannot be used a lily-pad for F-35B without the ship being operated like a carrier (yes, I know you said they will train for it). They will operate it as a carrier but will not publicise it for the first five years or so. It was the same with the Apache and F-15 and other stuff.

  71. Like the JMSDF with their Izumo class. Officially a helicopter carrier. But organised, equipped, staffed and trained to operate the F35B.

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