Luck Is What You Make Of It

RMN chief Admiral TS Rahman Ayob (second from left) being briefed on the work done on one of the two PC. The 40mm Bofors main gun is under a canvas cover in the back. RMN

SHAH ALAM: Long time readers of Malaysian Defence will know that I had always said that the RMN is unlucky when it comes to getting its newly built ships on time. It had happened with the Lekiu, Kedah and Gagah Samudera classes.

The only exception was the Keris class ships which were delivered on schedule and on budget. The bad luck also appears to have rub on RMN’s effort to extend the service lives of the patrol craft and FAC fleets.

For the PC fleet, KD Sri Sabah and KD Sri Sarawak were supposed to return to service by October, last year. But it appears that their return into service was further delayed.

The then Mindef secretary-general DS Muez Abdul Muez visited MSET shipyard in early 2022. Note the ship in the background. Its either KD Sri Sabah or KD Sri Sarawak. The ship looked like to heavily workon modified KD Sri Perlis and KD Sri Johor. ATM

From RMN:


PULAU KAMBING, 5 Sep – Panglima Tentera Laut, Laksamana Tan Sri Abdul Rahman bin Ayob hari ini melaksanakan lawatan kerja bagi meninjau kemajuan akhir projek refit 2 Kapal Ronda (Patrol Craft – PC) TLDM di MSET Corporation Sdn Bhd, di mana sebuah PC telah selesai menjalani Ujian Penerimaan Di Laut (SAT).

Apabila diterima dalam tempoh terdekat ini, kedua-dua kapal tersebut akan ditauliah serta dinamakan KD SRI SABAH dan KD SRI SARAWAK. Selain itu, lawatan kerja turut meninjau status dan kemajuan Obsolescence Program KD GANYANG, atau lebih dikenali sebagi OP KD GANYANG.

Inisiatif lawatan kerja ulung ini melakar sejarah iaitu Panglima Tentera Laut pertama melawat Limbungan MSET Corporation sejak limbungan tersebut ditubuhkan pada tahun 1966. Justeru, lawatan kerja ini adalah amat bermakna bagi memperkasa industri pertahanan maritim tempatan. Inisiatif ini juga adalah manifestasi sokongan berterusan TLDM terhadap kelangsungan limbungan tempatan.

From the statement, we know that both PC are in their final stage of refit with their entry into service expected soon. Perhaps, next month, which is one year behind their planned return to service.

RMN chief Admiral TS Rahman Ayob (second from left) and delegation leaving the jetty after visiting the two patrol craft. Both PC seemed to be have number 13 on their smoke stack. RMN.

Anyhow, a quotation notice to tow a Pengawal 43 boat to the RMN base in Kuantan, Pahang has been published on Eperolehan. The boat was transferred to the RMN on January 19, 2022. I have no idea why it took so long to get the boat back to Kuantan for its new live in RMN service.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. I have no idea why ex-sundang and ex-panah OP took so long.

    Was it because of the very bad maintenance during their service in APMM?

    On the contrary, KD Sri Johor, which was taken very good care by TLDM crews, was also put through OP program recently. It was sent to Preston Shipyard in November 2022 , and was completed and handed over back to TLDM on 23rd July 2023. That is just about 8 months in total.

    ex-sundang and ex-panah was handed over back to TLDM on 10 Jun 2020
    So it has been more than 3 years in the making of the OP for both ships.

    Now their history will be very twisted.

    Both of the original KD Sri Sarawak (3144), and KD Sri Sabah (3145) was sunk as artificial reefs by APMM.

    KD Sundang (36) was renamed KM Segantang (3133), now ??

    KD Panah (42), was renamed KM Kukup (3135), now ??

    The OP in MSET has 2 pennant number, one is numbered 46 (used to be KD Rentaka pennant) & another 48. Still finding info on which one is which. For Comparison KD Sri Perlis is 47 & KD Sri Johor 49.

  2. Hi. Out of curiosity, id the 2 hulls on the last picture in this article is very similar to the 2 units of Gaya class troop transport vessels

  3. I think both were originally meant to be sunk as artificial reefs. KM Kukup was already in bad condition when I visited the ship a few years back.

  4. “Luck Is What You Make Of It” yes but when TLDM has this much of bad luck wherever they turned to, I wouldnt want to bring them as my gambling partner to Genting! Not only them but MMEA as well!

    Rather than going all over the place, TLDM should just focus to push their current plate of things pending and get it done.

  5. Apart from this 2 in service and 2 in OP program, it is possible for RMN to revive other ships in this class?

  6. Got a out of topic question here, actually what is the difference of LMS and Offshore Patrol Vessel while the Def Minstry trying procure similar vessel for both?

  7. @ Sam

    LMS requirement now is basically a mini gowind with no ASW capability and FFBNW anti-air missiles. How survivable and how much fight the LMS can contribute in future conflict, i hope TLDM could convince me. As personally i think the future would be very tough on traditional corvettes.

    OPV? TLDM wants 18 of those in 15 to 5. But personally i hope that they will not get them.

  8. OPV mainly focus on endurance rather than firepower. Whilst it’s not uncommon to see OPV with anti ship missile and short range anti air capability, in general OPV tend to lack the sophistication as a proper frigate or even a light frigate/corvette;

    Keep in mind that some countries would use their frigate for dedicated anti air capability with 3D Aesa radar and long range anti air capability, whilst other would focus their frigate for anti surface and/or anti submarine mission.

  9. Sam – ”LMS and Offshore Patrol Vessel ”

    The ‘LMS” is a designation the RMN came up with to describe a class of corvette sized vessels intended to be its Team B so to speak.

    … – ”OPV? TLDM wants 18 of those in 15 to 5.”

    As mentioned several times before; the Kedahs were included in the 15/5 but things evolve. As of 2023 there is no likelihood of any follow on Kedahs – dead as Elvis or Houdini. Also, a pertinent point but which you tend to ignore or overlook is that the Kedahs included in the 15/5 were not and never were intended to be ”OPVs” per see but fully fitted out secondary combatants- note the nuance/distinction?

    … – ”How survivable and how much fight the LMS can contribute in future conflict,”

    A question you keep spinning but one that is fairly obvious. Going by your line of reasoning anything won’t be survivable if placed in the wrong operational circumstances; just like how the LCAs [which you have a penchant for] would not be survivable if pitted against MRCAs; thus just like the LCA the LMS is not expected to be placed in a position where it’s expected to punch above it’s weight category. You seem to understand why the RMAF has a need for LCAs as part of it’s high/low end mix but seem to be unable [or are just by nature pedantic?] or unwilling to fathom why the RMN [foe operational and political reasons] have a need for LMSs …

    … – ”As personally i think the future would be very tough on traditional corvettes.”

    Irrespective of your personal opinion; you don’t have an oracle or a crystal ball you cam consult a[if you do please share] and are merely making a blanket generalised erroneous sensationalist claims. Akin to me waking up one morning and saying I don’t think the MBT has a bright future given events in the Ukraine and the advent of the ”drone”; yet the Ukrainians asked for them; that prophets of doom have written the MBT off before and there there is no alternative to the MBT when it comes to delivering mobile protected firepower.

    A ”traditional corvettes” doesn’t have a bright future you say but in what context? In a future Leyte Gulf or Jutland conflict? In a setting suited for it’s limitations? What? Placed in the wrong operational circumstances even the Yamato or Peter The Great might struggle. Placed in the the wrong operational circumstances even a ”stealthy” sub might be severely disadvantaged…..

    dundun – ”Whilst it’s not uncommon to see OPV with anti ship missile and short range anti air capability, in general OPV tend to lack the sophistication as a proper frigate or even a light frigate/corvette;”

    The Kedahs are an anomaly; a ”OPV” with a 3D radar; obstacle avoidance sonar; etc, etc and intended to be armed with 4 MM-40s and a 16 round RAM launcher – some ”OPV”. The Marikhs too; a 100mm gun; ESM, etc. In both cases ”OPVs” were their main role but with secondary functions

    dundun – ”Keep in mind that some countries would use their frigate”

    Different navies have different requirements. Traditionally a ”frigate” is a multi purpose hull; intended to perform certain roles by itself or operate in conjunction with heavier units.

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