SHAH ALAM: The Government remain keens over plans to procure at least two China made warships for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) although the service did not request for it,industry sources said.
The sources told Malaysian Defence that the plan to buy the two warships in the works for the last two years, was proposed by a group of businessmen from both countries supposedly to promote ties between Malaysia and China.
Senior defence ministry officials when contacted by Malaysian Defence confirmed the plan but declined further comment.
Sources told Malaysian Defence the deal for the two warships was supposed to be signed during the Prime Minister’s visit to China last year – the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries – but was cancelled at the last moment due to various issues, one of them was funding concerns.
Despite the last minute cancellation, sources indicated that the government remained keen on the plan and it might revived when funding is made available.
The sources disagreed the exact type of warship that was supposed to be procured. However it is likely that the warships will be a variant of the C28A corvettes bound for the Algerian Navy. A model of the C28A corvette was displayed at the China Shipbuilding Trading Co (CSTC) booth at the DSA 14 show in Kuala Lumpur, in April.
According to CSTC, the C28A is about 120 m in length, with a beam of 14.4 m, a draft of 3.87m, a standard displacement of about 2,880 tons, and a full-load displacement of more than 3,000 tons.
It must be noted that Algeria designated its ships as corvettes although the vessels have a similar displacement to the Pakistan F-22P ships which are designated as frigates, the Zulfiquar-class. RMN’s own French designed which has similar displacement to both, the C28A and F-22P ships, are designated as frigates.
Interestingly, CSTC and the PNS Zulfiquar are taking part in next week’s LIMA 15 though no China vessels are taking part in the show.
The three ships for Algeria are being built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Company in Shanghai. The contracts for the ships was signed in 2012 and the first ship was launched on Aug 15, 2014 and delivery is expected this year.
Janes had reported that the C28A was an evolution of Pakistan’s F-22P frigates on the basis that Algerian naval teams visited Pakistan to see that frigate’s operations first-hand. The report also said the C28A also appears to borrow design elements from the Type 054A frigate of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy.
Sources told Malaysian Defence that it was likely only the hull and related machineries will be sourced from China while the ship’s main combat systems will be procured from Western companies.
And despite the disagreements about the hull design, all of the sources noted that whatever design was chosen, the ships will be fitted with MTU or MTU-derived diesel engines.
According to the sources, it is likely that the ships will have the same systems and weapons like those on the LCS – being built by Boustead Naval Shipyard. Final fittings of the China frigates are expected to be done at the BNS facility in Lumut – the same place where the LCS is to be built and outfitted as it is unlikely the Western made electronics and sensors could be exported to China.
The same arrangement is being made for the Algerian corvettes with the Western made equipment to be install on the ships once they are delivered to the North African nation.
If the procurement is approved, it is expected that the ships will be funded during the 11th Malaysian Plan and delivered within four years of the contract signing.
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March 25, 2015 at 11:14 pm
My thought…….the businessman group should partially finance the procurement …
apart from this corvette… i still hoping that our gov reconsider the Global Combat ships program cooperation with BAE system in order to add several bigger tonnage hulls with wide area air defense capability & longer endurance.. after 2025 (rmk 12 or 13) hopefully several vintage assets could be replaced with 2 – 4 in numbers …. I wonder, are we still eligible for the program? Marhalim… any substantial statement on it, from our gov ?
For the GCS the early take from RMN was that it was too big for our current facilities. Unless there is a multibillionaire who wants to pay for them for NS I dont think it will be taken up. But probably a smaller version could be up for play for the Lekiur replacment programme circa 2025++= Unless they buy more LCS of course
March 17, 2015 at 11:16 am
Azlan, “Which Soviet design are these ships based on?”
The C28A is based on the F-22P which is a variant of the Type 053H3, which is based on the Soviet Riga class destroyer escort. Although the superstructure has been changed, the hull remains the same which is what keeps the price low.
Rosli Dhoby says:
March 16, 2015 at 9:01 am
I hope that navy will persuade gomen to bus LPD 071 instead…
March 15, 2015 at 8:18 pm
The ships will be built in a Chinese yard but fitted out in Lumut; as Marhalim already explained. If we insisted on the ships being “built” here then the price would be different but the ships are merely being “fitted” out here and there will be no offsets or transfers of technology.
I suspect that the RMN is not too bothered about buying “Made in the PRC” – given how overstretched it is – as long as certain standards and requirements are met and the ships are fitted with a Western weapons, sensors and propulsion fit.
Personally, based on the pics posted, I see the design sharing no similarities with any legacy Soviet design. I like the high free board.
March 15, 2015 at 7:21 pm
If the ships were fitted with a Chinese made radar; CMS, navigation and comms fit, weapons, generators and engines than it would be indeed “foolhardy” (risky is more accurate) but this is not the case. As Marhalim has pointed out the intention is to fit the ships along the lines of the LCS; thus we will not face the problem of operating gear that we are not familiar with or gear that offers no commonality.
Only the hulls will be Chinese built: everything from the main gun, right to the NBC system and gears will be sourced from elsewhere. The same thing would happen if we got the South Koreans to build us a frigate. In fact, on the 2 training ships, the only things South Korean is the FCS (from Thales Samsung), the AC, ventilation systems, generator, the shaft and props.
March 15, 2015 at 7:17 pm
And again. The phone thing was just a joke la. Haiya.. chill la bro
Let say we buy these ships. Built it locally. Using western made sensors and weapons. Would it be cheaper? Surely not. (As been pointed out by one of our friend).
The issue of using western equipment on chinese hulls. Is it not another attempt at ‘rojak’ equipment which so many people is strongly against? (Im not one of them’ if rojak makes a better product then why not).
March 15, 2015 at 5:12 pm
Which Soviet design are these ships based on? Granted, first generation Chinese designs like the Luda and Jianghu were based on Soviet designs but later designs like the Shenzens and newer ones were based on other designs. The Jianghus were notorious for having low grade steel but are still in active RTN service. A couple of years ago I saw one at sea off Sattahip.
I totally agree that just because something is operated by another country that this doesn’t automatically means it also suits the MAF. With regards to the ships however, until I have firm facts to indicate that Chinese shipbuilding is still sub-standard and that these ships will have short operating spans due to being of “inferior” make or design; I won’t make any judgements. I know of several examples in which ships built by European yards to Western “standards” proved to be less than satisfactory.
The RTN’s Chao Prayas were certified by the Chinese yard based on Chinese build and operating standards of that period. The design and quality was the limit of what they could do 🙂 In our case, if we do indeed buy these ships and are not happy with certain aspects, we will or can ask these to be rectified to meet our requirements/standards. It goes without saying off course that we would have to pay for stuff like more watertight compartments, better ventilation, etc. Even with the MEKO A-100s we did ask for certain modifications (shock standards for one) to meet our requirements.
Assuming the electronics, sensors and weapons fit are similar to the LCS; no integration costs would be required by virtue of already having been done for the LCS (e.g. SMART with SETIS). The problem would be if we decided to retain certain Chinese equipment to be used with other equipment.
March 15, 2015 at 4:52 pm
Those problematic thai ships were built to chinese specs with some western equipments. The thais learnt from experience and specified their own requirements for the pattani class opv, which later the chinese themselves use as a base for their type 56 jingdao corvettes abd also the export p18n opv/corvettes. So don’t compare old Chinese ship designs with their latest exports.
March 15, 2015 at 3:47 pm
Certification is not as important as the customer’s experience. If certification was foolproof, how did those problematic Thai ships get certified?
Commercial shippers make commercial decisions and battle survivability doesn’t come into the picture. Buying war ships is a different animal.
Design is as important as construction quality when it comes to durability and survivability. As you know, China is still searching for an optimal warship design. They are building ship classes in small numbers before they move on to the next class. These ships are not built with the expectation of combat in their lifetime, nor are they engineered to serve a long life. We in Malaysia have historically operated our ships for very long lives.
Finally, I did mention that this is a 65 year old Soviet gun destroyer design and is obviously maxed out. There is nothing anti-China in my analysis. Just that the right ship for others may not be the right ship for Malaysia.
March 15, 2015 at 3:12 pm
Some people choose to have convenient memory. A few years ago they where so against purchase by strategic interest, but now the same people are trying to hard sell the idea.
So, the hull is dirt cheap alright. Who’s going to integrate the system? Or rephrase the question in their word, who pays for it? Algerian and Pakistani took the whole package minus the main sensors and countermeasures, but our (public servants’) buying habit is to not buy OTS,
Main search radar 30mil
2xAux Gun 2mil
Torpedo 2×3 15mil
SSM 4×4 35mil
SAM shorad 12pc 25mil
intergration and counsultant 10m
Unless we put one step to “the other side”, I am not seeing how the Chinese can cut us a sub 3k tonne hull for less than 100mil with engines without the aid package.
For a glorified patrol boat we have the Mekos, for main combatant and capable of oversea deployment we have the Gowinds. Both we have invested heavily in local manufacturing. And now OTS makes the economics? Someones head must be taken for the responsibility.
Being a working party vs being an OEM is totally different. The people below might not be able to express what they really trying to say since they are not in the field. But they mean the industrial design is one step behind. Which is true.
They are many things from china that makes both the economic and diplomatic impact. Trains, bullet ones or not, infrastructures, power station management, telco, windmill, mega constructions, you name it. But definitely not asset that are meant for state of the arts.
March 15, 2015 at 1:26 pm
I really amazed how most of people would reject china build ship by comparing it witj handphone. Even iphone is made in china, what to say. China advance tech cant be compared by 10 years ago. The only good thing in china is you got option, come with 100 mil u can get 052d with all advance missile, with 10 mil also can get 052 d but the steel is more thin etc etc. but still can get a hull. Hehe. But i strongly recommend we getting lpd from cstc but fitted with france equipment
March 15, 2015 at 11:28 am
The algerian c28a frigates are the 1st warship hull built in china to western Lloyd’s register naval classification rules. It uses mtu engines and a mixture of Chinese and western equipments and weapons.
On its own, it is a pretty impressive ship. It is one of the best value for money ships, along with the sigmas in my opinion.
But taking into consideration tldm’s current plans (with 6 gowind frigates), I am not sure if tldm needs more frigates. We have not seen a concrete plan from the navy (what is the ideal fleet make up, how many frigates, corvettes, opv, LPD etc needed). Untuk rakyat memahami keperluan pertahanan negara, at least be transparent on what you really need to defend the country. Kalau boleh tunjuk lat rakyat, kami tidak cukup kapal untuk pertahanankan negara. Kami perlukan sekurang2nya x frigat, tentu rakyat lebih memahami dan menyokong pembelian aset pertahanan…
Ideally the best Chinese hull to add to the tldm fleet is the p18n opv/corvette to replace the FACs. But that will spoil the plans of some people with DSME products…
March 15, 2015 at 10:13 am
Realy? Is it that stupid? People cant take a joke these days… yes even i know that the chinese ship building standard had improve along the years. Such as the case with the the algerian type c28a corvette which abide with all the international regulation. Butt still the pricing is what make them so competative. Im not going 4 a tit 4 tat response 4 u my friend. If u agree with the purchase by all means go ahead. But buying something that the rmn had no prior experience seems a bit foolhardy.
March 15, 2015 at 10:06 am
The Chinese have been trying their best to sell us stuff, we just haven’t responded. They even offered to set up an assembly line for FN-6s if we bought KS-1. The same local agent who arranged the FN-6 deal signed an MOU with Norinco to sell us AFVs back in the 1990’s. SME last DSA signed an MOU with a Chinese company [blacklisted by the U.S.] to supply components for use in 5.56mm manufacturing. And as we speak local individuals are trying hard to sell GAPU a Chinese medium range SAM.
Way before they started courting Indonesia, the South Koreans had identified us as a major market and they offered us various things under various arrangements, including joint development but apart from KD Mystari, KD Mahawangsa, Claymore mines and KIFV/MIFVs they haven’t had much success.
Jabb – ”Wow.. so much negativity on chinese ship”
Its all based on prejudice and common belief in that the Chinese churn out, copies of cheap, sub standard stuff. It is not based on actual facts.
There is some truth in these claims but the fact remains that just like the South Koreans; Chinese shipyards have significantly improved since the 1980’s and 1990’s – gone are the days when ships were built with poor quality steel and have very bad DC standards, like the RTN found out to its cost when operated its Chao Prayas. Like other countries, over time and from experience, the Chinese have made inroads in various fields; they have improved and whether or not they have actually reached ”Western standards” [as people keep saying] is actually not the issue as long as what they sell us meets our specs and requirements.
Steelshot – ”What I meant was, if overseas manufacturer (for example the Chinese) can build products then meet our need + at a lower price, then we should go for it.”
Problem is it won’t be cheap if we insist on local assembly, local content and transfers of technology; which we will.
Nalzar – ”I’m not against China or it’s people but the quality of it’s product is long way up par to other countries in the Asia such as Korea or Japan.”
Can’t make a broad statement like as it depends on the product.
Like I mentioned before, there are also Western yards that deliver stuff that fail to meet set specifications ………..
Zul – ”worst case, you can still throw it at a dog..yes? ”
I cant think of certain people I’d like to throw things at; I’m quite fond of dogs. The Lenevo: depends on the model, individual preference and not the brand. I have a friend who has chucked his I Phone for a Lenovo which he’s happier with.
March 15, 2015 at 3:41 am
If RMN dont want it why buy? Someone nak commission fees ke?
Although the RMN did not request for it, I never said the service is against the project.
March 15, 2015 at 12:43 am
Shipbuilding industry is totally different than phone industry. Ship need to pass strict certification from classification society (such as ABS, BV and DNV) so the shipper could insure their goods. These certification body will do strict inspection from material receiving to weldment quality and various testing. So, using lenovo as an example is really stupid. All chinese commercial vessel have these certification.
March 15, 2015 at 12:11 am
If I remember correctly from WikLeaks the Chinese ambassador has been frustrated by Malaysia rejection of Chinese weapons. Selling Malaysia Chinese made weaponary seems like an important psychological barrier in Chinese diplomacy in addition to building train lines and ports in targeted countries
Despite Chinese nine dash line threat, Malaysia relations with China is seen as too benigh that The Diplomat, a pro Japanese online mag have commentators who surreptitiously accuse Malaysia as a Chinese vassalbstate.
But IMO, becoming a client of the Chinese military is pragmatic for diplomatic and economic reasons. China is essentially the nearest superpower(nuke armed) regardless of its undemocratic and human rights issues and its imperative we have long term cordial relationship that improves gradually. And I hope that if Malaysia does buy these Chinese corvete, maritime and geopolitical.security would ne part of the offset package.
March 15, 2015 at 12:00 am
So you think half of shipper of the entire world has no money so they opted chinese vessel? I’m talking about a near total domination of shipbuilding industry.
March 14, 2015 at 10:36 pm
I have no grunge on Made-in-China products. My hope that with proper planning, oversight and TLDM input being taken care of, those 2 warship is good to go.
March 14, 2015 at 10:21 pm
If the requirement is only 2 ships then it is foolish to build them in Malaysia.
Buy from the foreign yard that is building the ships in numbers. Otherwise the set up costs will be exorbitant on a per unit basis. Even if you build 10 in Malaysia the set up costs are unavoidable.
March 14, 2015 at 9:48 pm
I am fine with it as long as it is fitted with the best sensors and weapons aka western system.
The THAI Naresuan from China with ESSM seems more sexier than the toothless Kedah NGPV.
Naresuan was only fitted with the ESSM during its recent SLEP
March 14, 2015 at 9:43 pm
I think bcoz the chinese made ships are pretty damn cheap. When u got no money its either lease or the chinese.
I own a lennovo smartphone. It have broken down on me twice. And no u cant kill a dog with one.
March 14, 2015 at 9:25 pm
Typing on my mobile on the move 🙂
I sent 2 comments but it did not show up so I assumed you deleted the whole comment. I assume wrongly, my appology.
March 14, 2015 at 8:25 pm
It is like you booked a Porsche and then looking for a Geely car for own use…
March 14, 2015 at 8:23 pm
If this deal materialised, TLDM will have a fleet of 12 frigates at one time (2 jebat, 2 kasturi, 6 gowind, 2 c28a).
March 14, 2015 at 6:50 pm
Wow.. so much negativity on chinese ship. Does anyone here know that China is the largest shipbuilder in the world? Almost half of total global ship order goes to China. If their design quality is so bad then how do they get all those order?
Zamri jaafar says:
March 14, 2015 at 5:25 pm
A long time ago during the earlier LIMA there plans to procure 3 LST from China and its from the same constructor that might be supplying the ” corvette” but nothing came out of it.
At the time the lst was being decommissioned and there was a need for amphibians ship.stil after a lot of dilly daliying the project was call off .i wonder if it will go the same way as most of the planned procurement.delayed or shelved…..
Well it depends on who is batting for the project….
March 14, 2015 at 5:17 pm
Thanks for commenting on my reply.
I might not have written it correctly so pls allow me to correct myself.
What I meant was, if overseas manufacturer (for example the Chinese) can build products then meet our need + at a lower price, then we should go for it.
Also I have no doubt that their price would be much lower for the reason that you have mentioned.
Sorry Marhalim, did you censor my reply below?
Please let me know
“Sources told Malaysian Defence the deal for the two warships was supposed to be signed during the Prime Minister’s visit to China last year.
Our PM nearly bought the 2 warship!.. so I can safely say TUDM already send a team of specialists to evaluate this ship to & they confirmed it meet certain standard plus is suitable for the Navy need. ”
No I did not censor it, its TLDM not TUDM but since you want it that way….
March 14, 2015 at 4:52 pm
I think u build ur own warship better. By now, u have the skill i think cuz quiet a number build in my.
March 14, 2015 at 4:30 pm
I’m not against China or it’s people but the quality of it’s product is long way up par to other countries in the Asia such as Korea or Japan.Yes they’re very cheap which very interesting for budget strapped countries. If we have to buy from them, make sure we inspect and check the merchandise and the after sales support carefully. Make sure it will benefit us in long time. Not just because of diplomatic sake or for the benefit of some cronies we buy it. I would prefer Korean or Japan products as we have experience with them.
March 14, 2015 at 2:33 pm
I think we should get LPD from China compare to C28A, that better for our RMN logistic between Penisular and Sarawak/Sabah.
Hopefully LPD as option too.
March 14, 2015 at 2:18 pm
Shed…Lenovo phones ok apa…worst case, you can still throw it at a dog..yes? Like the china made ship…maybe we can still use it to conduct decoy suicidal mission as a last resort in war…
March 14, 2015 at 2:06 pm
What? The Goverment don’t want to wait Gowind-class SGPV in 2018-2019? Somebody throw me some frag grenade here…..
No the China warship project is separate from the LCS. The LCS has already been approved and funded, the China warship, technically its approved but not funded yet.
Plz just no says:
March 14, 2015 at 10:41 am
Why China??? Plz just why. Why dont we just buy from France just like we always do. Or German or America or Japan or S.Korea or UK. Any country beside China
Some people think it will better for us to be in good relations with soon to be the world biggest economy.
March 14, 2015 at 9:46 am
Micheal – ”but it you cannot deny that problem is still there..”
The USS Gerald Ford has serious teething problems. So what? Does it mean that U.S. yards also have problems? A Trafalgar was standed in Gibraltar years ago. Does this mean U.K. yards have issues? I’m not denying anything; I just don’t have the firm facts at hand to indicate that Chinese ship build standards are still low and I won’t rely on external sources picked off the net to base my conclusion.
It will be up to the RMN to specify what kind of steel, build standards and damage control standards it wants and it will be up to contractual/technical teams to ensure that the yard meets those standards. There have also been Western yards delivering ships that were below spec; leading to cash having to be spent to rectify issues.
The handphone anology is a poor one. My Blackberry and I Phone has issues from time to time; does it mean we should never buy anything made from Bath Iron Works or Ingalls? Based on your arguement I find it strange how you claim that buying LPDs from China is sound but not combatants.
Steelshot – ”if reasonable – needed – quality military hardware can be purchased for cheap then can what be made locally, I say why not! Go for it!!”
You mean like the Kedahs, AV-8 and LCS? If I recall correctly, it would have been cheaper to have the OEMs build them rather than set up assembly facilities here and pay for the transfer of tecnology [which BTW doesn’t come free]. And since we don’t have economics of scale and the MAF won’t order enought to recoup the production and set costs; who pays for it and how can it be cheaper than buying off the shelf from abroad?
March 14, 2015 at 9:11 am
Imo why bother with the gowind if the chinese design is cheaper. We gan get a larger numbre of hull 4 the same cost. But somewhere deep down the gov must admit that the chinese desgn is not up to par with western design. But as azlan had pointed out theres going to be objections regarding the scs issue. 2 frigates? Ala jebat style? The gov will a get proper bashing if the national interest thing is played again here. The money could be use 4 our mrca programla. Every cents counts.
March 13, 2015 at 11:57 pm
China product is cheap even like handphone now days.. but it you cannot deny that problem is still there..
According to Kanwa, the ship surface work quality is bad and not smooth enough + internal safety feature still far behind than western 1. China ASM also cheap but there are number of cases it fail to hit the target due to being jam by electronic jammer…
i ok to get LPD from China but patrol/convert/frigate..NO
March 13, 2015 at 11:25 pm
Worst case, we get Chinese hulls AND systems. Pray it doesn’t happen for logistics sake.
This is actually a hull design that dates back to the 1950s. As ships have grown heavier, the Soviet gun destroyer hull became a Chinese frigate hull and finally the corvette we are looking at now. I am not against it because of age. But you can tell from the last graphic that the design has been maxed out.
And the radar cross section is through the roof. A handicap when operating with our cleaner SGPVs and Kedahs.
March 13, 2015 at 10:59 pm
Today Singapore reported that Malaysia external debt has tripled and stood at RM740 billion which is about 54.5 percent of the Country’s GDP.
Also stated was 1MDB had a accumulated debt amounting to RM42 Billion.
Plus with the negative sentiment now facing Malaysia, if reasonable – needed – quality military hardware can be purchased for cheap then can what be made locally, I say why not! Go for it!!
The Chinese I am sure will be willing to grant us favorable payment terms.
Same for the mrca program, the Airforce might need to consider cheaper alternative such as the Gripen or even the Korean made FA50 which is being adopted by the Indonesian to replace it Hawk and the Philippine for it LIFT program.
March 13, 2015 at 10:33 pm
Please explain how is not up to “western standard”? How is that so? In terms of actual design or build quality? Do you know this for a fact or is it just a hunch?
I admit, I’d rather have a hull built by DCNS or Damen but this is me being bias, not me being objective.
The chances of us going for a Chinese weapons fit is slim which is good as we maintain commonality with the LCS.
If we want to look at things from a wider perspective, as opposed to debating whether we should buy this or that design or whether it’s “up” to Western standards; we can ask if this deal (if it goes through) will lead to more orders for other kinds of equipment. The Chinese have been very aggressive since the 90’s and have made various offers; but we haven’t reciprocated, apart from the token FN-6 buy. From a political angle buying from China provides certain benefits. No doubt some wise souls will question whether we should buy “Made in China” given the Spratlys issue. My answer would be that it makes zero difference. Our economy is already so dependent on China.
March 13, 2015 at 7:14 pm
dont under estimate china product. some is cheap and value for money， specially for us which always not enough defense budget.
If willing to paid, china got better and powerful frigate for sale too,
071 too big，
should buy this one， about 13000 tons.
March 13, 2015 at 7:06 pm
Algerian C28A frigate Smart-S 3D radar also install in shanghai shipyard, but by Thales china worker. and C28A have Mix China and Western system onboard both integrated together. no issue with that, china shipyard design newest warship now using international protocol and standard, so compatible not the issue now.
other than that, cost C28A only about usd 100 million，1/5 of RMN Gowind price, 50% cheaper than nmel DSME corvette.
Final if we get C28A， the front FM80 (HHQ7, 12km range) defense missile should upgrade to better one like HHQ-16 (40km range).
March 13, 2015 at 6:40 pm
the ship design is not up to western standard.
I think the 2 ships are LPD 071 and not this.
March 13, 2015 at 6:05 pm
The days when Chinese yards churned out ships with poor built quality and poor damage control standards (e.g the RTN’s Chao Praya class) are long gone. As the South Koreans have done, Chinese shipbuilding has significantly improved. The RTN did the same with its Narusan class frigates and Pattani class OPVs: Chinese hull but Western weapons and sensors. Even till today a number of PLAN hulls are powered by Ukrainian engines!
Now the question is whether there is still a plan to go along with the South Korean corvettes.
Thats the two billion ringgit question!
March 13, 2015 at 5:46 pm
Chinese made ships? With the same standard and quality of lenovo smartphones? was it cnfirmed marhalim? I surely hope not…