LCS Team Meets OPV

MMEA OPV
A CGI of the first of class MMEA OPV to be named KM Kota Bharu.

SHAH ALAM: LCS team meets OPV. RMN’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project team visited the THHE yard at Pulau Indah, Port Klang to see the progress of the construction of Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) project.

The visit according to a MMEA Facebook post on January 30 was led by RMN’s LCS project team director First Admiral Saiful Bahari Baharuddin. The post stated the visit was meant to share experiences, challenges and current development of both ships, being built locally.

The LCS, as you are aware are being built by Boustead Naval Shipyard in Lumut, with the first ship, Maharaja Lela expected to be in service in 2023. For more on the LCS and its delays go here.

Kota Bharu, MMEA first of class OPV at the THHE yard at Pulau Indah. APMM picture.

The MMEA post also stated that the agency’s new vessels being built at the THHE yard involved three OPVs equipped with various facilities and new technologies worth RM733 million and the first one is expected be completed this year.

OPV 1 at the slipway for the joining work. Based on the pictures, the ship is build on three large modules. via source.

The visit came shortly after a report in a Malaysian business newspaper, Focus Malaysia, that the OPV project will be delayed “due to financing issues”. Responding to the claims, Destini Bhd, which is the JV partner for THHE for the OPV stated that “THHE Destini Sdn Bhd is working closely with the government to deliver the OPVs as required by the contract. ”

OPV1 on the slipway ready for joining. Via source

Actually the first ship is already delayed as when the ship was launched the-then MMEA DG stated that the first OPV would be in service by this month. This has not happened of course.

Forward and aft CGI of the MMEA OPV

I was told recently that the first ship is only expected to be launched either this April or May. The delay was due to extra time needed to preparec the slipway to launch the first of class OPV, Kota Bharu. The ship is only expected to be commissioned into the MMEA by late this year or early next year.

A side view of the latest CGI of the MMEA OPV

The ship is expected to be fully painted in MMEA colours later this month. The delays into the project was reported previously here.

The project teams from MMEA and LCS posed for a picture with the first OPV in the background. APMM

Despite the setback, it appears that OPV project will be concluded by 2021, barring further hitches, as work on OPV 2 and 3 are continuing. I was told that the engines on the OPV 2 had been installed recently and the ship is expected to be joint together later this year.

LCS PCU. Maharaja Lela. Her name could be seen on the stern. Picture taken on Aug. 25. 2017.

As for the LCS, I have not much further to report apart that BNS is still waiting the word from the government on the extra allocation needed to complete the project. I was told that the government in principle had approved the extra RM1.4 billion allocation for the project but it had not been disbursed yet.

When is the billion ringgit question.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1187 Articles
Shah Alam

35 Comments

  1. IMO a little bit of delay is still not a big issue.

    All 3 MMEA OPV should be operational way before even the 1st LCS Gowind will be.

    Anyway all 6 NGPC has also been delivered to MMEA. Will there be a 2nd batch of the NGPC?

    I am also hoping that there will be a 2nd batch of Damen OPV 1800 in RMK12 2021-2025. Another batch of 6 NGPC plus 3 OPV would cost a total of around RM1.12 billion. That is like getting 9 ships for the price of 1 TLDM kedah class OPV. Can MMEA afford it? Yes even if the annual development expenditure (DE) is maintained at around RM410-460 million per year throughout the RMK12. For 2019 the MMEA DE was RM469 milion, while for 2020 the DE is RM414 million.

  2. Dengan delay nya LCS Maharaja Lela, semoga lebih bnyk LMS Keris diorder secepat mungkin utk mengatasi kekurangan kapal TLDM dalam operasi meronda.

    Ada sesiapa tahu bila LMS batch seterusnya akan diorder? Adakah tahun ini?

    Reply
    If its approved, likely 2021….

  3. Ah sh*t here we go again..Nothing right is happening in Malaysia..Nothing..To put it into perspective 2023 originally slated by rmn to comission at least the fourth lcs but bns cant even finish the first one yet..let alone sea trial and acceptance trial, firing trial

  4. All defence contracts seem to suffer cost blow outs and delays. Dunno why, but even in Aus. Recent reports indicate there are significant challenges and delays with the 12 subs. The 3 Hobart AWDS where delayed 3 years I think and so is the F35 Australian program. It seems a common trait.

  5. If they do go on with LMS model, I’d rather if they do open tender and see if local company could design and build the ship. The current LMS is very underwhelming and the fact that it’s an all chinese system not only complicates rmn as a whole (and thus defeating the concept of 15 to 5) but also increased the risks of sigint and elint to the Chinese

  6. Tom Tom,

    The Aussies also faced major delays, overruns and other issues with the Collins, SeaSprite, Newport conversions and the Tiger.

    Elsewhere; there were major delays and cost overruns [some things just got cancelled] with the F-111 [The Aussies ordered when it was still on the drawing board], F-14 [Congress stopped funding at one point and the Shah of Iran put in funds to save the programme], F-16, B-1, M-1 [Germany, Britain and France were originally intended to be joint partners for a common NATO MBT], Trafalgar, Type 26s, A400M [formerly the ‘FLA’] Eurofighter, Commanche, Paladin, Copperhead, etc, etc.

    The thing is these were major highly ambitious and very technical programmes. Over here relatively simple things can go wrong; with both the government and industry being at fault. I have no idea what the issue with the LCS is and I won’t speculate but I know that various programmes [including upgrades] have faced issues due to late funding [not saying this is the case with the LCS].

  7. Dundun – ”but also increased the risks of sigint and elint to the Chinese”

    No …………..

    Whether the systems are from China, France, Jamaica or Pluto; the fact is that everything non passive can be detected. Just because its from China and Chinese ESMs may be listening in doesn’t necessarily mean they are compromised or easier to listen in to. With regards to radar; there are different frequencies used [training, peacetime and wartime – same goes with all types of radar] and for certain stuff; the codes are specified and loaded by the customer. If the Chinese or anyone else for that matter; wanted to ‘snoop’ they can and they will; irrespective of where the equipment is sourced from.

  8. @Firdaus
    “let alone sea trial and acceptance trial, firing trial”
    It is okay to delay right now as the VL MICA haven’t even been approved for buy yet, so I prefer if we defer the firing trials until we get the missiles. You can’t do a firing test without actually firing a missile right?

    Reply
    Even if the MICA missiles have been bought and delivered to Lumut they cannot install them on the ship at the moment as with the 57mm gun

  9. Just use the DAMEN OPV design as the next LMS. At the price paid for the Chinese LMS, I believe a 12.7mm RWS, 2D surveillance radar and simple CMS for control of the 30mm RWS and 12.7mm RWS can be installed. If the RMN can live with 20 knots, no platform changes necessary.

  10. Better for RMN to buy the MMEA ships but change the engines to more powerful ones for better speed . Specify a good weapons fit.

  11. @ Api 69

    I am of the opinion that the current LMS size (50-70m) is at its sweet spot. But i would like the LMS performance to be nearer to the laksamana class (more speed and range, plus heavier firepower), with the addition of the container capability. The LMS needs to be an agile ship for near shore missions.

    @ lee yoke meng

    IMO we should leave patrol-only ships to MMEA to free more budget for TLDM to buy more fighting ships (more gowinds and later type 31s) and submarines (more scorpenes).

  12. In 1997 when the Saktis delivered firemen to Sumatera; the ships were thoroughly inspected by the Indonesians.

    A few years ago one of the Saktis was loaded with aid for Myanmar. At the last minute we were told military ships were not allowed.

    Post Tsunami relief ops. After a while the Indonesians insisted on the withdrawal of all foreign military personnel and equipment.

  13. “ Nothing really, it was up to the PRC authorities to allow what aircraft can be used for the evacuation flights.”

    The point isn’t the aircraft per se. Air force airlifters are what any country has available at shortest notice, and they very pointedly chose to put an obstacle in our way and put people at risk. They gave Turkey permission and now their citizens are back home, while our next best option -from Air Asia- only just took off today.

  14. Nah i still think corvette are relevant for rmn cuz that tight budget..my suggestion just complete the armament for kedah class and walla u got a quite capable corvette there easily can replace the laksamanas n the kasturis..better yet build another batch of kedah, fully armed this time and redesignate them as corvette..if not that blueprint of meko 100 will become a total waste..

  15. “A little bit delay”
    Its almost normal in shipbuilding.At first i thought the design of MMEA opv was similar to Pakistan Navy opv.
    And as i wrote to this blog before,RMN should seriously consider Damen opv as their LMS design.Can they do that?

  16. Firdaus -“ u got a quite capable corvette there easily can replace the laksamanas n the Kasturis”

    How is that possible? They don’t have enough deck space to carry the same amount of weapons as the Laksamanas and Kasturis.

    Lee – “IMO we should leave patrol-only ships to MMEA to free more budget for TLDM”

    Obviously ………..

    That has long been the intention and the very reason the MMEA was raised in the first place……. The RMN would like to wash its hands of the peacetime constabulary type business but until the MMEA is fully equipped: it can’t.

    Firrdaus – “ armed this time and redesignate them as corvette“

    Fully armed or not; they are to all intents and purposes already “corvettes” …..

  17. We should follow the indonesians way..they’ve just completed the installation of millenium gun on their second martadinata ship..ffbnw but they’ve complete/upgrade the armament for their ship step by step not fit for but never with like the kedahs.

  18. @Marhalim
    “cannot install them on the ship at the moment as with the 57mm gun”
    Curious. Live munitions could likely be omitted until firing trials but shouldn’t the weapons systems be onboard already?

    Reply
    Nope

  19. For the LMS.

    IMO probably the best thing to do now is to pass the 4 ships to MMEA and restart the LMS programme in RMK12 2021-2025.

    If it is to be restarted, I would prefer the LMS to be based on the DAMEN FCS 5509, divided into 3 subtypes of
    – 18x LMS-B1 – The baseline type, for general patrol duties
    – 3x LMS-B2 – Multipurpose logistics version, with reduced bunk area to accommodate 60 person in a ferry type seating arrangement. To patrol and support the Spratly bases.
    – 2x LMS-B3 – Specialized hydrographic survey version.

    With LMS-A and LMS-B version costing max USD20 million, LMS-C costing USD50 million.

    LMS-B specification
    Length : 55m
    Width : 10m
    Engine : 4x MTU 13,800bhp
    Speed : 30 knots
    Range : 3000nm @ 30knots, 5000nm @ 12knots
    Fuel : 160,000L
    Water : 190,000L
    Crew : LMS-B1 = 8+12VBSS (accommodation for 28)
    LMS-B2 = 8(accommodation for 14) + 60 passenger seatings
    LMS-B3 = 8+22 survey (accommodation for 32)
    Radar : Hendsoldt Sharpeye LPI + SR-47AG
    EO : JARI EO turret or similar + EOI Spynel-X
    EW : JARI ESM
    Sonar : commercial
    Main gun : 1x CS/AN3 30mm
    Secondary guns : 2-4x 0.50cal machine guns
    Non-lethal : 2x LRAD 500x or equivalent
    Missiles : 2x TEU Detachable Surface attack Modules with a total of 32x CM-501GA Vertical launch missiles + 4x C-705 AShM.
    Boats : 1x 6.5m RHIB with A frame davits (LMS-B1)
    Multi mission area : for 5-6 TEU containers, 15T crane. TEU modules for 1) Surface attack, 2) MCM, 3) Diving support, 4) HADR.

    http://www.malaysiandefence.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/LMS-concept-2.jpg

    Or if you need a more fighting ship, this is the South Korean Coast Guard version of South Korean Navy PK-X. The difference is the coast guard version uses all diesel CODAD powerplant (35 knots top speed) while the PK-X uses combined diesel and gas turnbine CODAG (44 knots top speed). This ship can be had for about USD20-30 million each. A version with slower engines was build by Peru for just USD16.5 million each.

    Displacement standard, t: 500

    Displacement full, t: 630

    Length, m: 62.2

    Breadth, m: 9.00

    Draught, m: 2.60

    No of shafts: 2 waterjets

    Machinery CODAD: 2 MTU 12V1163 TB93 diesels + 2 MTU 16V4000 M90 diesels

    Power, h. p.: 11910 + 7300 = 19210

    Max speed: 35 kts

    Armament: 1 x 2 – 40/70 Breda-Bofors Compact Twin 40, 1 x 3 – 20/76 Sea Vulcan

    Sensors: 2x radars, e/o system

    http://external-preview.redd.it/j2d0BL9EFhtm_3by8pOuMXrY7PyPsXRkaDipmREkWgU.jpg?auto=webp&s=c0f8f4a8234fb5b73962b97a8b25f423dde58f74

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CpsioezUkAI24Rs.jpg

  20. @Marhalim
    I see I see. So at which phase do you think the LCS will get the weapons fitted out and loaded? If the VL Mica are delivered post-firing trial stage and there are hiccups, can the OEM put the blame on us conducting missile testing way too late stage?

    Reply
    No idea on when the tests would begin. The government has said the first LCS will be in service by 2023. The firing trials therefore should have been concluded before the ship is commissioned.

  21. Still wanna rmn to utilise that meko100 blueprint though for corvette..as for future LMS maybe RMN should turn to gagah samudera platform as someone once suggest here..If the price is okay than can be considered as gagah samudera even got the landing deck for helos

  22. @ firdaus

    So tell me what do you think the LMS should be? What is the difference between LMS and OPV? What is the difference between LMS and a traditional corvette? Why LMS need a helicopter landing deck? What is that helicopter need to be used for?

    Meko 100 costs a bomb, and that is without armaments. Why do you still want to build them when you can build gowind frigates? Remember 1 kedah class meko 100 cost the same as 5 damen OPV 1800.

    On the gagah samudra, same question, what is the difference between LMS and OPV? If you need OPV, both the damen 1800 and gagah samudra are good ships, and i would be happy with any of them. But they are OPVs, and IMO TLDM should not buy OPVs, MMEA should buy them instead.

  23. @Marhalim
    “The firing trials therefore should have been concluded before the ship is commissioned.”
    Understood. Hopefully the missile deal can be concluded by DSA2020(were they waiting for this??) and production could begin and deliveries + installation done by 2022.

    @Firdaus
    The Samudera design is proprietary and The Government & TLDM had to literally rescue both Samuderas from their troubled builders. Going back for the IP is just wadding back into troubled waters. Whatsmore Samudera design isn’t catered for Containerised Module System, so the ships capabilities are limited.

  24. Well our LMS should be better or at least on par with Singapore LMV..be it design wise, armament or overall functionality..Well if indeed Meko100/ngpv is costbomb..so why did rmn include them in their 15 to 5 plan.A full 18 of them including existing 6 units..curious..

  25. @ firdaus

    There is a “search” box somewhere in this page. Use it to school yourself on the topic of kedah class and LMS. Read all the past articles and comments on Kedah class and LMS. Malaysian Defence is a treasure trove of information. Use it to empower your own knowledge about defence.

    It is difficult to talk to you when you dont even know what you are talking about.

  26. @Firdaus
    Our LMS & SG LMV performs different functions hence they aren’t directly comparable. Don’t confuse yourself with the ‘Littoral’ naming, you have to see the ships purpose here. Even the US LCS Independence & Freedom class aren’t direct comparison to our LCS Maharajalela class as both are for different purposes.

    The NGPV while expensive as it is outfitted currently, is still much cheaper than a fully fitted Gowind. I am guessing the hull cost for Meko is cheaper than Gowind. While TLDM would want an all Gowind fleet it is just not cost efficient, so the NGPV could be use to augment and support the smaller Gowind numbers in a battlefleet.

  27. @ joe

    let me put it like this

    Functionally NGPV is just equal to Damen OPV 1800. It is just a big gun-only patrol ship.

    NGPV price – USD300 million
    OPV 1800 price – USD59 million

    Compare to

    LCS Gowind frigate price – USD466 million
    Type 31 frigate price – USD330 million
    Larsen & toubro OPV price – USD32 million

    So why do you need Kedah class OPVs in TLDM fleet to “augument” the gowinds? Isnt it more practical for APMM to buy dedicated OPVs that is way cheaper but perform similarly to the Kedah class? Isnt the best way to face the chinese coast guard is with our own malaysian coast guard?

    Lets see this Larsen & toubro OPV. It is actually longer and heavier than even the Kedah class, and for the price of 1 Kedah class NGPV, we can actually buy 9 of this Larsen & toubro OPV!

    The vessels are approximately 97 meters long, displace 2,140 tons and have a range of 5,000 nautical miles. They can attain a sustained speed of up to 26 knots. It is equipped with a helicopter hangar and sailed with a crew of 102 persons.

    http://www.iastoppers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/OPV-Vikram-iastoppers.jpg

    And I havent talked about the indonesian BAKAMLA 80m OPVs made in Batam that costs just USD16 million each!

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VVrTlj078Vg/XamuvHvQHEI/AAAAAAABILA/SGMZ5BV3LRoXzEOaewruWUvoK5jTOV1rQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Bakamla%2BKN321-3.jpg

  28. @ joe

    let me put it like this

    Functionally NGPV is just equal to Damen OPV 1800. It is just a big gun-only patrol ship.

    NGPV price – USD300 million
    OPV 1800 price – USD59 million

    Compare to

    LCS Gowind frigate price – USD466 million
    Type 31 frigate price – USD330 million
    Larsen & toubro OPV price – USD32 million

    So why do you need Kedah class OPVs in TLDM fleet to “augument” the gowinds? Isnt it more practical for APMM to buy dedicated OPVs that is way cheaper but perform similarly to the Kedah class? Isnt the best way to face the chinese coast guard is with our own malaysian coast guard?

    Lets see this Larsen & toubro OPV. It is actually longer and heavier than even the Kedah class, and for the price of 1 Kedah class NGPV, we can actually buy 9 of this Larsen & toubro OPV!

    The vessels are approximately 97 meters long, displace 2,140 tons and have a range of 5,000 nautical miles. They can attain a sustained speed of up to 26 knots. It is equipped with a helicopter hangar and sailed with a crew of 102 persons.

    http://www.iastoppers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/OPV-Vikram-iastoppers.jpg

    And I havent talked about the indonesian BAKAMLA 80m OPVs made in Batam that costs just USD16 million each!

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VVrTlj078Vg/XamuvHvQHEI/AAAAAAABILA/SGMZ5BV3LRoXzEOaewruWUvoK5jTOV1rQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Bakamla%2BKN321-3.jpg

  29. @…

    You being a long time contributor here shouldn’t respond with what you just written above. Being well versed in defense topics doesn’t give you the right to reply in such manner be it to a senior or junior member. Everyone come here due to their interest of the topic, and I believe most of us here care for the development of defense matters in our country.

    I believe Firdaus has a point here in that Meko-100 is not a bad design, despite the issues, mainly financial, of the project. Now, can we just think of it in such a way that if this project is properly run without all the brouhaha, is it still going to cost 1.2 Billion per ship? I’m one of the strongest protester for this project. I believe I posted several replies to the Kedah class issue, but it’s all about the $$$. In fact I think we can get a 6000 tonnes Iver Huitfeldt for that price. Can the 1.2 Billion be reduced if it is free of undertable $$$?

  30. @…
    I am basing on TLDM’s needs for a finally fully fitted out NGPV, it probably would be cheaper as whole compared to Gowinds as right now. I do agree with your assessment that Kedahs as right now are simply overpriced gunboats.

  31. All have been said….but the most important thing is if every big company that supplies or build for the military have this patriotism in them prices will not ballon up like what it is now.everybody in the military line have that feeling of up holding the countrys soverignty will whole heartedly support one another and not killing each other,then only the military will be mighty.

  32. “ Post Tsunami relief ops. After a while the Indonesians insisted on the withdrawal of all foreign military personnel and equipment.”

    The army had done all kinds of bad things and there was a motivation to prevent locals from telling the stories to foreigners. All foreigners, civilian or military, engaged in aid delivery were escorted by the TNI. Singapore was the sole exception, as a small country they wouldn’t have provoked Indonesia by talking about human rights abuses.

    I can’t see any reason in Wuhan for China to have obstructed our purposes on such a transparent excuses as not allowing military airlifters. They didn’t say anything about Turkey’s A400M.

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