Malaysia to Sign Contract for China Made Warships.updated

RMN's 15 to 5 plan, graphic posted on the service official Facebook page, TLDM

SHAH ALAM: Its confirmed, Malaysia is buying China-made warships. Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein speaking at the ministry confirmed today that the contract will be signed on Nov 5.

“On November 5, 2016, the Defence Ministry will sign a contract for the procurement of Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) with SASTIND (The State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense of China), which is an important essence of the official visit of the Prime Minister to China by the end of the month,” Hishammuddin says at a gathering at the ministry.

PNS Azmat, a China built missile boat. Wikipedia.
PNS Azmat, a China built missile boat. Wikipedia.

He did not explained further about the contract but said later on social media that procurement of the LMS means that the RMN’s 15-to-5 plan was going ahead.

Industry sources told Malaysian Defence that the government-to-government deal will involved four ships. Malaysian Defence have reported about the proposal for the LMS previously, here.

A model of the C802A SSM on display at DSA 2016. The missile has been exported to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Algeria. Note the graphic of the family of missiles in the back.
A model of the C802A SSM on display at DSA 2016. The missile has been exported to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Algeria. Note the graphic of the family of missiles in the back.

It is likely that two of the LMS will be built in China, with the other being built locally by Boustead Naval Shipyard. It is likely the contract signing will include transfer of technology, whereas BNS could build more the LMS locally as the RMN had planned to have 18 of the vessels to replace a number of vessels currently serving with its fleet.

FL-3000 CIWS launcher displayed at DSA 2016.
FL-3000 CIWS launcher displayed at DSA 2016.

As reported previously, the four Laksamana class will be retired, most likely one after the other. As for the equipment it is likely that they will be equipped with guns only. It will be wired for missiles though.

A file picture of Edhaffer while undergoing testing in China.
A file picture of Edhaffer while undergoing testing in China.

A Google search revealed SASTIND is a civilian ministry within the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, responsible for setting policy for defense procurement.

It was previously called COSTIND. SASTIND reportedly administered various companies which produced military equipment for the China’s military including its two major shipyards, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) and the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC).

The contract signing is to take place in China as part of the official visit of the Prime Minister which starts tomorrow to November 6.

— Malaysian Defence

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40 Comments

  1. So basically the LMS is just a fancy name for a Chinese made FAC.

    Lets see what kind of ship it is, and how much does it cost.

    So far the closest chinese design to the target 70m size is the durjoy class of the Bangladesh navy, and the azmat class of Pakistan navy.

  2. “Equipped with guns only???”

    Isn’t this a good thing- we can avoid buying China made weapons which would otherwise undermine our cost saving initiative. Maybe this is the navy’s way of avoiding, and of getting more hulls quickly for patrol use.

    Hopefully the sensors and other plant are also Western.

  3. … says:
    October 25, 2016 at 6:09 pm
    So basically the LMS is just a fancy name for a Chinese made FAC.

    Lets see what kind of ship it is, and how much does it cost.

    I think the PRC government will foot the bill for us at this time.

    The defence budget is far too stretched.Too much hutang for the country or GST is making us poor or the economy is in stagflation due false income hike and no rain?

    70m is rather short for a heavy corvette.76m by DSHE of ROK, 80 m is OK, 89m is better length and 98m-100m is the most suitable of all like the Irish OPV.

    No helipad or hangar, UAV for recon duties,torpedoes and missiles or ASW sonars?
    Sad state of affairs for being poor and owing debts. I am sulking and sobbing right now,

  4. @ ahmad zaki

    Do realise that the LMS is not meant to be a substitute for an OPV or a frigate. It is meant to be a fighting ship suited to navigating the shallow waters near to shore. For the tasks that you mention, the navy is looking at building additional Kedah class NGPV OPV for that.

  5. @ ahmad zaki

    Do realise that the LMS is not meant to be a substitute for an OPV or a frigate. It is meant to be a fighting ship suited to navigating the shallow waters near to shore. For the tasks that you mention, the navy is looking at building additional Kedah class NGPV OPV for that.

  6. As I see it,this is a win-win situation. The RMN will get their vessels quickly. I suspect it will be a variant of the Type 56 corvette. By the way, a vessel armed with only a gun will be very adequate as these vessels are not meant to be major combatants. Even the LMS of the Singapore Navy has only guns, but added MICA for self-defense. The best option is for the Chinese built vessels to be brought home for finishing [like what happened to the Australian LHDs].

    The Laksamana class has probably been a good buy. I remember someone saying that the Navy did not want them in the first place. However, as the hulls are now worn out, it also meant that they were put to good use after all.

    This also means that the Kedah class can be finally upgraded to ASW and full combat capability as the next step for the Navy.

  7. As for me, I would like to wait and see first since this is just preliminary stage and it is too early to make assumptions that this ship is not capable, or other nasty remarks. Even though the length that requires by navy is 70m but the design have yet being finalized. So how come some of the readers can make such a bad conclusion that this ship is exactly the same like the pakistan one with no hangar for uav, and so on? Even though IF this ship being built according to the concept of FFBNW I think, still ok because we can sumbat the ship with western made weapon and sensors or we have the provision on that items, who knows? So just wait and see first as the detail design is not finalized yet.

  8. @ Tom Tom

    A variant of the Type 056 corvette is ideal not for the LMS requirement, but is designed to fulfilling the same function as the NGPV Kedah Class OPV.

    The Type 056 corvette was based on the design of the Pattani Class OPV that China built for Thailand. This is one example of how an export requirement was used as a base to build a ship design for the PLAN.

    A variant of the Pattani Class OPV was sold to Nigeria as the P18N OPV. Those ships cost Nigeria about USD50mil, which is TLDM’s target cost for the LMS.

    The P18/Type 056 is relatively big (90+m length, 1500+ displacement) and slow (25knots top speed). The difference betwwen the P18 and Type 056 is that the former has a hangar for a helicopter. They use engines of western design but made in china (SEMT Pielstick or MTU)

    As it is the P18/Type 056 is a great ship design on its own right, but not exactly the right one for LMS requirements. It would be an ideal design for the OPV requirements, but that would defeat the push for commonality of Kedah Class ships for the OPV requirements.

  9. Has it occurred to you that the hulls are worn out from floating in Italy for 10 years and from receiving little maintenance in our service because we don’t want them?

  10. Marhalim, are you flying over to Beijing to cover the above mentioned event?

    Reply
    The Nov.5 contract signing is to be done in KL, I am told.

  11. TomTom,
    Length of LMS about 70 meter, so expected 700-900 tonne range, so no likely is 056 which about 90m & 1300 tonne (just like kedah class).

  12. I did mean a smaller variant of the type 56 corvette. Anyhow, the hulls can be made in China while the equipment [hopefully Western or at least Korean] can be fitted here.

  13. So here we go…..let’s forget about the South China Sea then…..

    I had hoped the G would have bought something Korean or Turkish…

  14. I dont get it. Why buy “chinese” when theres other option out there. 4 example the Korean Gomduksuri class. With a price tag of about 40mil usd it is well within our budget. Just built them in Korea and believe me they will be delivered on time and on budget. Besides, BNS is already busy with the LCS program anyway. And please dont give me the “we wont be fighting the chinese anytime soon” talk.

  15. I know the ship is supposed to be less armed than LCS but it should at least have ASM and SAM, in addition to main gun and prolly a couple of HMG at the aft

  16. I feel the arrangement very funny, visit nx week but agreement sign at Malaysia. This consider biggest Malaysia China military deal.

    Reply
    The visit is more important than the deal.

  17. Around the same time is the zhuhai airshow. Usually the latest chinese ground and naval military equipment is also shown at the airshow. This year is notable as the RAF Red arrows is performing there and the expected first appearance of a production standard J20 stealth fighter.

  18. Marhalim,
    Any thoughts on the main purpose of our beloved PM’s visit to China? Sure the LMS contract is a new milestone in bilateral relations, but I doubt that’ll be the main issue to discuss in Beijing. Interestingly, Beijing has been busy receiving VVIPs from SEA; last week was Duterte, it was Vietnam’s prime minister a month prior, and in august Vietnam’s defence minister laid wreaths on Mao’s mausoleum (pun potential?). Seeing the list of Beijing’s recent guests, one could guess the topic at hand. Well I for one think diplomacy is the way to go, mayhaps if things turn out well enough, our beloved PM will come home with a fat cheque courtesy of Overlord Xi. God knows how our economy need those sweet, sweet renminbi.

  19. I say this is a bold move by our G to have a significant agreement with China, being the most powerful military presence in this region it is wise to use that to our advantage rather than looking at it as a threat. Our country’s military strength will never match them so it is better to avoid conflict with them. Maybe the boat deal is just a small part of a bigger deal that will remain unmentioned and highly classified. Anyhow, the bottom line is if they don’t sees us as enemy there is no reason for them to harm us, and perhaps they will agree to our little claim of the SCS.

  20. TomTom …
    i believe some equipment will be from mix euro and china, but no Korea. we i estimate is our navy common use hardware like
    – Engine from MTU
    – Surface/navigation radar form kelvin Hughes SharpEye radar
    – OSI Marine 3D chart & WECDIS
    – Surveillanceradar (possible use Thales, hope is NS100) or china 2D radar.
    – Comms from Thales
    – Main gun & navy machine-gun possible use china.
    – if have SAM, possible use FL-3000N
    – No ASM.

  21. Personally I believed it will be a version of Durjoy class, probably it will be extended to 70m to accommodate a UAV deck including hangar. The stern can easily accommodate different mission modules and I suspect a smoke stack might be added.

    The design will have no problem to accommodate medium SSM like the Matre ER or other like it. SAM well maybe it something like Mistral.

    Marhalim, I believe you already know the details but just could let the “cat out of the bag”. The way you are answering in Budget thread are pretty obvious… well be patient we know the details soon.

    For China, it is also about prestige… not often a traditional western equipped navy will chose one of its platform.

  22. “…mayhaps if things turn out well enough, our beloved PM will come home with a fat cheque courtesy of Overlord Xi.” I don’t like this, sounds familiar with news of monies received by PM from Saudi. If PRC investors does more to invest in our economy and make more busines with us, that I like. And since when we are vassal of Xi? (No worries I get the overlord joke)

  23. Yes, it is an issue now. We have to tread a fine line between China and the US.

    Neither is going away and we just have to be friendly to both. Even Australia being a staunch US ally and a Western country still has to finely balance its relationship with the 800 pound gorilla that is China.

    While the Aussies want Chinese investment, there have been recent sales of public assets to Chinese companies that have been rejected, namely the electricity company that supplies most of Sydney. Also, sales of large amounts of farmland have been of significant concern.

    I think Malaysia is on the right track, generally. Don’t make too much about any disagreement with the Chinese, so they don’t ‘lose face’. Losing face is such a big thing for the Chinese and once you back them into a corner, you can’t win.

  24. Marhalim,
    What type of ’70m 900 tons’ LMS kind of vessel is our G intend to purchase from China? I looked up Wiki but couldn’t find any.

    Anyway, since the deal is going to be made, hopefully ‘cheapness’ can be converted to more units.

    Just hoping the G knows what it’s buying and ‘not regret’ in the future just like happened to the Laksamana class.

  25. No bidding process?
    No money no bidding i guess, but project must keep going. China’s loan defeated all?

    China can make any ships from RM1 to RM 1B. Quality depend on price.

  26. Why is there an impression that China will give us money or a cheap ship filled with free goodies? Don’t start to sound like the Philippines, blaming the US for not giving him top line weapons free of charge (and thinking the FA-50 comes from USA). That takes the beggar mentality a little too far.

  27. Tom Tom – ”The Laksamana class has probably been a good buy. I remember someone saying that the Navy did not want them in the first place. However, as the hulls are now worn out, it also meant that they were put to good use after all.”

    It was not a good but. Look at a previous post. I gave at the reasons why it wasn’t a good buy; it was nothing but a huge drain on resources. Even when the hulls were not worn out; a lot of stuff on these ships never really worked and when they did it was not to our operational requirements as the ships were designed with the requirements of countries like Iraq, Tunisia and Morocco in mind.

    AM – ”Why is there an impression that China will give us money or a cheap ship filled with free goodies?”

    The prophets of doom are at work again. People like to speculate before knowing all the facts. We don’t even know what the final design is but some apparently already know how the ship will be fitted out.

    What remains for sure is that the RMN will insist that as little as possible Chinese sensors and weapons will be selected [for commonality reasons and issues relating to integration] but the politicians will have the last say.

  28. AM – ”Has it occurred to you that the hulls are worn out from floating in Italy for 10 years and from receiving little maintenance in our service because we don’t want them?”

    They were actually kept in good condition by Fincantieri at La Spezia. A pair was kept ready at short notice to put to sea in case a customer wanted a demonstration. Components like the radar were taken off to protect them from the elements. The key reason why they were such a cockup is because the way they were designed was not in line with our operational requirements and because when they entered RMN service all the stuff onboard was more than a decade old. Fincantieri tried very hard to find buyers but nobody was interested until we came along ….

    They first offered us a pair of Lupos [also originally constructed by Iraq] and this was announced publicly but we eventually shifted focus to the Lakamanas. If I remember correctly, 6 were built. At around the same time someone also thought of selling the RMN a pair of uncompleted Mekos that were in Argentina. In our service they received regular overhauls and in the early to mid 2000’s we spent millions upgrading 2 of the CMS and installing a new ESM and active jammer. The previous RMN Chief was the first CO of one of the Laksamanas. At a Sea Malphi exercise, the departure of 2 Laksamanas from Cebu to Labuan was delayed because the AC broke down; a wee bit of an embarassing situation.
    At the very first live firing, issues were found with the Aspide/director combination : the directors had difficulty keeping the missiles ”painted”. As early as 2001/2002 I heard a Lt. saying that everyone on his ship has more confidence in the guns than the Aspide in dealing wit air threats. The top tubes on the Kasturis were taken from the Laksamanas and even as far back as 4 years ago the ships were jokingly referred to as ”FAC GPMG”; by then the CMS, directors and a lot of other stuff had ceased working.

  29. Shed – ” And please dont give me the “we wont be fighting the chinese anytime soon” talk.”

    Understand that all procurement is driven by political factors. Why do you think we bought the FN-6s and why did we look at the KS-1s? For that matter, why did we buy MKMs, Lekius, Fulcrums, CN-235s, Baktar Shikan, PT-91s, Adnans and Jernas? Why did we buy 125mm HE and training rounds from Bosnia of all places?

  30. Dave,

    Before being a premature prophet of doom lets wait for all the full facts to appear. Some navies have bought Chinese and haven’t complained; yet some navies have bought Western and have had cause to complain. How the ship turn out will really depend not on the fact that it’s built in China but how much we’re willing to spend and what we specify …..

  31. I notice that the Navy did not explicitly say the LMS will take over the MCM mission from the Lericis.

    So if our understanding/guess is correct and the LMS indeed will take over, we can expect it to have a sizeable multi mission area. The ships aren’t going to be that small.

    They might also have increased shock tolerance.

  32. As in the news tonight PM was emphasize that for initial stage only 4 so called corvette has been ordered all those ship being built in Malaysia. Further more PM said that 4 ships first and if navy satisfied the number will be increased.

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