Mini CMS For FAC Fleet

KD Jerong, the lead ship of the 6th Squadron FAC (G). RMN

SHAH ALAM: Mini CMS for FAC fleet. The Defence Ministry has issued a request for bids for the procurement of “mini”Combat Management System (mini CMS) for RMN’s fleet of 14 fast attack craft. The RMN currently operates 14 FACs – six Jerong class, four Perdana class and four Handalan class boats. The FACs mostly purchased in early/late 1970s, the Perdanas from France, Handalans from Sweden and the Jerong were built locally by Hong Leong Lurrsen shipyard in Butterworth.

KD Gempita, a Handalan class FAC during operations in early 2016. RMN picture

The Jerong were classified as FAC-G (Skuadron 6 FAC) as it was not armed with missiles, only the 57mm (forward) and 40mm (aft) guns while the Perdana and Handalan(Skuadron 2) were classified as FAC-M as the boats were armed with the MBDA Exocet MM38 anti-surface missiles, apart from the 57mm (forward) and 40mm guns (aft).

KD Ganyang

KD Ganyang, the fourth boat of the Perdana class FAC. TLDM

An earlier story on the mini CMS from 2019.

KD Paus, one of the six Jerong class FAC. TLDM

The RMN had been trying to upgrade the FACs since four years ago as it was obvious that they were not getting any new vessels to replace them and most of the equipment on board are already obsolete. Work to replace the engines on board (described as repowering by RMN and tendered separately) on the FACs had already started with the first FAC to be equipped with new engines -three Cummins engines – (KD Baung) has already returned to service.

An undated picture of Handalan class FACs when they were still armed with the Exocets.

As the tender for the mini-CMS has only been issued in mid-July, it is likely Baung and KD Ganas (the second ship undergoing the change of engines) will have to go back into the yard to get the new equipment once the winning bidder have been selected.

KD Ganas, a Jerong class FAC. RMN

RMN had persisted in upgrading the FACs as the ships -as mentioned in the DWP 2019 – will remained in service for another 15 years. Based on the specification listed on the tender documents that I could accessed stated that the mini-CMS must be developed, especially the software, locally. The documents even specified that the EPF membership of the people involved in the developing the software for the CMS be listed in the bidding documents. This is likely in response to the locally-developed CMS on the Lekiu.

RMN and Stride will also work with the winning bidder for the development and integration of the mini CMS.

An undated picture of the Jerong class FACs.

The mini CMS must operate with three multi-function consoles – one for the commanding officer – and a large display for the operations room. The bidder can select the Electro Optical Tracking System (EOTS) and its controller from foreign manufacturers though RMN will have the final say in the selection of it.

KD Jerong, the lead ship of the 6th Squadron FAC (G). RMN

The EOTS will allow the remote control of the 57mm gun only. The mini-CMS will also need to be integrated with the legacy navigation radars and other equipment of the FACs.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

47 Comments

  1. Well as at least the Mk1s won’t have to be operated manually anymore – unless the ship is moving slowly and sea conditions are not rough it’s practically impossible to hit anything. It’s also very hot inside; there’s only a blower.

    The RMN – out of necessity – has no choice but to continue operating them but everything depends on the condition of the hulls.

  2. At least we have a good news for our FAC fleet.. (after the LCS things ~sigh~) thank god.

    If I’m not mistaken Laksamana-class also planned to receive new equipment right? Something like eletronic things (maybe eots or cms or tracking device, cmiiw) but I can’t recall.

  3. Before we discuss further on the mini-cms.

    The 4x GEM Eletronica EO FCS is installed in which ships? I heard that it will be installed on the Kedah’s, but from recent pictures of kedah class ships i have not seen the EO FCS.

    The repowering with cunmins engine. KD Ganas repowering is with 4x cummins engine, to be completed next month by Shin Yang Shipyard in Miri. KD Baung repowering with 3x cummins engine was done at Weldan Marine in Sandakan. Both ships are also fitted with 3x cummins gensets.

    It looks like the mini cms is to be based on the one fitted to the Jebat. It is said that the cms in the Jebat is uo to the job, but does not have a big growth potential.

    If the ships are to be repowered and fitted with a mini-cms, this will mean that all 14 will soldier on for quite sometime into the future.

    Then there is the fate of the laksamanas. I have heard conflicting stories on those ships. Some say that it is to be retired once the LMS are inducted, while others say that they are to be retained due to LCS delays. But from the ops benteng pictures, it can be seen that all 4 laksamana corvettes are operational.

    Reply
    Not it won’t be the CMS installed on the KD Lekiu will be fitted on the FACs. Even though the CMS on the Lekiu is said to be developed by a local company, the software is sourced from an Indian company.

  4. Hope this will not bring any delay. RMK12 will delay, all national development n defense plan go to unknown…

  5. … – “. Some say that it is to be retired once the LMS are inducted””

    Indeed. That was the original plan. Despite being younger than the FACs their hulls are not in great shape.

    …. – “while others say that they are to be retained due to LCS delays”

    Part of the reason to justify their purchase was delivery delays with the Lekius.

    …, – “res, it can be seen that all 4 laksamana corvettes are operational””

    All are operational. Their operational status was not the issue but the fact at one period; almost nothing on them was operational due to support/age issues; not the CMS, radar, directors, etc. The joke amongst crews was the class should be redesignated FAC (G) to signify that at one point only the GPMGs were operable.

  6. … ive seen one of the laksmana’s up close in the waters off kelanang, Selangor. Shes been operating there since a few weeks ago. My boat were inspected by paskal members operating rhibs. Using the laksamana’s as mother ships. The news going around ist hat they are guarding a group of cruise liners anchored near by. Ive counted 6 of them. Dont know which country they belong to.

  7. “though RMN will have the final say in the selection of it”

    Now this is the way that LCS (and any other procurement/tender) should go but sighhh…..

    Kudos to RMN on upgrading Jebat and FACs.

  8. If the locally developed CMS is good enough for Laksamanas, why can’t for the sake of commonality and support, these simpler FACs use the same CMS? Why is TLDM reinventing the wheel when the wheel is right in front of them? If the CMS in FACs can be adapted to ‘talk’ with the CMS in Laksamanas and on to Maharajalelas the situational awareness and potency of weapons at max ranges could make these FACs far more useful than they ever had been in their lives. TLDM must stop making things difficult for themselves.

    Reply
    What CMS is on the Laksamanas? There is no locally developed CMS fitted apart from KD Lekiu and even that locally developed CMS term is questioned by many

  9. @Marhalim
    Yeah sorry, I was referring KD Lekiu. IMHO there are no ‘nationality’ to software. Even with Windows 10 originated from USA(Microsoft) but it is coded by an international team of software developers.

    While the source code for Vibrant 1 CMS might have developed in India, it is up to our local boys to reprogram it to suit our needs. They still have to put in the hard effort and make it work so I don’t see why we should be ashamed of that. Or do you think having India mari software coders doing their work here is considered ‘local’ enough?

    Reply
    I think the issue with the Lekiu one was that it was touted to be a completely locally developed one.

  10. I also have doubt on the Indian make CMS. They have a lot IT expert but……. it will not well work on reality. Is good to build locally and build up the industry but if the local company do not put in necessary effort and the project management still so poor. It will only a disaster. Simple to say we can build a ship and we capable to build a ship but we do not know how to control and manage our resources and money. It will still the same.

  11. My 2 cents,like i posted before RMN personnel are not ready to man a highly sophisticated warship like LCS etc,the best ship that RMN can man is the size of the laksamana class,with the boat built around the CIC room, with simple CMS that controls the main gun.,.medium size missile and etc etc…RMN should be building 2 types of these boats….guns only that can have a helipad at the rear and missles and main gun that can launch a rhib from the rear of the boat.these boat at all times will sail either in pairs or in trio.RMN needs at least 20-30 of these boats in order to cover for short fall of the more complicated frigates or covette…

  12. IMO, no need for new CMS on old FACs. They are old enough to operator. Wait for LMS arrived and install the CMS on her so there are no double payment for installment fee.

    Old FACs can be operates for patrol duty untill they all expired and gunned with manned turret.

    Reply
    They need the CMS to fire the main gun properly to hit a target. At the moment it’s all spray and pray

  13. ” touted to be a completely locally developed one”
    Ya lah! They could put a marketing statement like that but does the user really cares. Much like Perodua touting Myvi is completely locally developed car but those in the know knows its chassis, powertrain, suspension, etc, everything except body is developed by Daihatsu and yet does it matter to people? No they still buy it knowingly even though it is marketed as a ‘national car’. What the user should concern is; does it work? If TLDM has no issues with Vibrant 1(I’m just guessing) why reinvent the wheel and search another CMS that possibly might not be networkeable with Lekiu’s CMS & Maharajalela’s CMS. Azlan kept stressing on effective networking and I agree, this is one area we can/should improve and this is the chance to get FACs & LMSs interlinked to our frigates and shore bases for better awareness.

  14. Need to think thoroughly tough as i understand that fac was no included in 15 to 5 or is it? That why im proposing our next batch of 8 lms ( hopefully finger crossed ) will be install with more powerful powerpack say to push the speed up to 26-28 knots..and hopefully come with some sort of armaments like basic ciws, 2-4 ashm and mini sam launcher ( all in one ship or seperate ship )

  15. – joe “…the chance to get FACs & LMSs interlinked to our frigates and shore bases for better awareness.” Then settle for Link 16

  16. Red Sot – “RMN personnel are not ready to man a highly sophisticated warship like LCS etc””

    I’m curious as to how you came to this conclusion …..

    When the Lekius entered service in the late 1990’s period they were the most capable ships not only in the region but within ASEAN; the RMN had no issues mastering the complexities of both ships. The issue with the LCS is that they are delayed; not because the RMN is not ready to man such sophisticated ships; as you put it.

    RedSot – “laksamana class,with the boat built around the CIC room, with simple CMS that controls the main gun”

    The CMS may have been 1980’s tech (2 were upgraded) but they were not “simple”.

    RedSot – “n order to cover for short fall of the more complicated frigates or covette”

    And that is precisely why the RMN sees a need for the smaller LMS’s; to perform certain roles; enabling the LCS, Lekius and Kasturis to perform other roles ….

  17. Romeo – “Old FACs can be operates for patrol duty untill they all expired”

    This is precisely what they have been doing and why the RMN is keeping them in service : for low threat routine type patrols. Same with the Laksamanas which only has its guns operational.

    Romeo – “and gunned with manned turret”

    As stated previously; unless the ship is moving slowly and sea conditions are stable; it’s practically impossible to hit anything manually with the Mk1.
    Which is why a decision has been made to enable them be fired via a CMS.

  18. @ Azlan.

    ” I’m curious as to how you came to this conclusion …..”

    Me too. Seems that he’s confusing Boustead with the RMN. Or he doesn’t understand the scope of the problem.

    If the RMN was that half-assed the subs would be already at the bottom of the sea from the very first year of operation.

    Our issue is never with operations but with management and politics.

  19. Firdaus – “Need to think thoroughly tough as i understand that fac was no included in 15 to 5 or is it”

    That’s right; they are not included.
    This iis mainly because of sea keeping issues (not originally designed for extended patrols but for sea denial in a purely littoral environment) as well as range and endurance.

    Something with better sea keeping and other improvements is desired; something similar in size/displacements to that 4 LMSs and the pair of Korean designed training ships.

    Whilst obviously the armament fit is important (as is the mission fit) funding is the issue and if these ships find themselves in a high threat environment then the idea is they will be escorted or working in conjunction with better armed frigates.

    I have no idea what the RMN’s preferences are in this regard but a top speed will only be useful when a ship is in a rush to get from Point A to B. At normal times it will be moving at average cruise speed.

  20. @nimitz
    Choosing CMS is like choosing which computer OS to use, selecting Link 16 is like deciding to use WIFI or LAN to connect the computers. Ideally to ensure max network compatibility and ease support, they should use the same CMS or ones that are compatible with each other and same datalink protocol.

  21. @ azlan

    ” This iis mainly because of sea keeping issues (not originally designed for extended patrols but for sea denial in a purely littoral environment) ”

    Sea keeping can be improved by adding active stabilisation systems. TNI-AL KCR 60 uses Humphree active stabilisation system.

    This system can be easily retrofitted to the FACs if needed.

    http://www.marinelink.com/news/humphree-retrofits-ft-mangusta-superyacht-472289

    http://www.marinelink.com/news/keep-steady-479581

  22. …. – “Sea keeping can be improved by adding active stabilisation systems””

    No doubt but i was just pointing out why FACs have no future place in the RMN’s force structure.

    The key traditional issues of FACs or similar ships( in addition to sea keeping, range and endurance are limited range of their sensors (the low freeboard doesn’t help); their vulnerabilities when faced against air power (we saw this with the
    S-Boots in WW2 and the Bubiyan straits); the vibration issues with comprises sensor performance.

    In my view we got our money’s worth (at a time when our threat perceptions called for a different type of force structure) with our FACs. Although designed for sea denial and other roles of short durations in a littoral environment; we used them for roles they were never intended for.

    On of the modifications made to the Vospers when we ordered them was the addition of stabilisers.

  23. Sigh…. the state of the nation when we can’t even locally manufacture fourteen bloody patrol boats

  24. The engines need to be replaced as they are old n unreliable by now. Even during the Vietnamese refugee period many of the Fac are operating with one engine or gen set.
    Its time to replace them with new engines. This will resolve the issues of worn out engines
    FAC has a role in warfare too. They are able to operate in confined waters like the straits of Malacca, more manouverable, able to use land clutter to hide.
    But I suppose none of them now mount missiles n are all only gun armed.
    Maybe arm them with better missiles . New search and targetting radars may be required. The old missile boats have ESSM systems. Maybe can upgrade that too to bring them back up to modern standard

  25. @ Chua

    6 of those bloody patrol boats was actually build in Malaysia 44 years ago.

    The issue is that all these small ships are supposed to be replaced by larger more capable ships. We can more that able to build similar ships to the FACs.

    The LMS, because of political expediency (to provide one of the various reasons to pay china to cover for 1MDB losses), was built in China.

  26. Lee – “FAC has a role in warfare too. They are able to operate in confined waters like the straits of Malacca, more manouverable, able to use land clutter to hide.””

    Of course they have a role. Most major navies however have done away with them because of the overall limitations inherent. Their small size also brings out several issues.

    Chua – “Maybe arm them with better missiles . New search and targetting radars may be required”

    As has been discussed; the intention is to spare the bare minimum on them (new engine, CMS for the main gun, refits when needed, etc) in order to keep them operational (to perform certain roles) until a time they can be retired. Spending anything beyond that is not seen as a good return of investment given their age. Same goes for the Laksamanas.

  27. Off topic but who operates Mil-7s-17s apart from Bomba? Saw one in white flying around.

    Reply
    Its one of those helicopters being serviced at Subang, not sure of the operator nor service centre

  28. @…
    “LMS, because of political expediency”
    But wasn’t it also political expediency in shifting to build all of them in China as supposedly 2 units here? We paid for the rights but in the end didn’t even benefit one bit when all are built there, in the end we didn’t get to learn how to build them here and to build more of them. That is the real waste.

  29. @ azlan

    AIROD has overhauled Mi-17 from other users before. From memory one of the countries are Cambodia.

  30. Firdaus,

    The first pair of Mil-8s/17s were formerly operated by Kazakhstan.
    These were bought outright via a 3rd party.

  31. @ dewasmg

    Thanks for the info. that is quite a convoluted way to hire a Mi-8. Probably because our CAAM does not want to register mi-8 as a civilian aircraft but indonesia does.

  32. dewasang,

    Interesting. The one i saw was also in white.

    Reply
    I saw it too several days ago, its white. When I visited Boustead Aviation a few years back, there were also an Mi 8/17 in a hangar opposite the one owned by Boustead. Probably that’s the place where the Mi 8/17 is being serviced or prepared. The large apron outside the Leonardo centre is usually where they parked the Russian helicopters whenever they are in town for service. Both Boustead and Leonardo kept theirs in their hangars until flying time

  33. Talking about helis there were apparently discussions between the government and Weststar (I was told) about providing a lease service. Wonder how that’s professing.

    Back in the 1990’s there was a Mil-26 in East Malaysia leases to a logging company. Did you know about this Marhalim?

    Reply
    Yes I am aware of the logging by the Russian helicopters. A number of Kamovs were also seen at the Subang helicopter park several years back. Probably the Hips we saw are their replacements.
    The lease thing is still under discussions

  34. “https://www.airspace-review.com/2020/07/24/pt-komala-indonesia-terima-dua-heli-mi-8-untuk-digunakan-di-malaysia/”

    Delivery was to Subang. You can see Weststar charter jet in the background.

    Reply
    Yes both of them are flying around the peninsula, one spotter got them landing and taking off from Penang last weekend. I think the helicopters are for Jabatan Kaji Cuaca airborne firefighting contract which tender came out early this year or late last year. The winning bidder must have leased them from the Indonesian company or JVed with them

  35. @ marhalim

    ” Jabatan Kaji Cuaca airborne firefighting contract ”

    why on earth is jabatan kaji cuaca is putting out airborne firefighting contract??

    Reply
    No idea really

  36. @…
    Assembled you mean. And no institutional knowledge survives 44 years of interregnum. Or if not then why can’t we build more boats locally?

    @AM
    Haha hi. I’ve been lurking. Stopped posting because had enough of rehashing old ground. Not gonna post much either now.

  37. @ chua

    ” Or if not then why can’t we build more boats locally? ”

    We have. Look at the NGPCs. Its just that TLDM does not need more of the FACs. If say the LMS programme is to be reset, and a new design to be used instead of the chinese LMS68, I dont see any reason any competent shipyard in malaysia ubable to build them.

  38. Last year there were an estimated RM 9 billion of unclaimed money in Malaysia kept by d gov. If there is a will there’s a way. I say we should start a petition to pressure d gov to spend the money on MMEA. We cannot expect change to happen by themselves. We should work for that’s change to happen, n this include informing n educating our fellow Malaysian about d important of strong military. If not I’m afraid we going 2 continue to be in dis spot forever . Just my 2 kupang

    Reply
    Unclaimed monies are funds that are unclaimed but have rightful owners. It will remained in the safe keeping of the agency concerned until the owners claimed it or returned to the government under the law. The government cannot simply take money from a source without the rights to do so even in dire time.

  39. Last year there were an estimated RM 9 billion of unclaimed money in Malaysia kept by d gov. If there is a will there’s a way. I say we should start a petition to pressure d gov to spend the money on MMEA. We cannot expect change to happen by themselves. We should work for that’s change to happen, n this include informing n educating our fellow Malaysian about d important of strong military. If not I’m afraid we going 2 continue to be in dis spot forever . Just my 2 kupang

  40. Actually they can if they amended the law. The money have been there for ages yet nobody is claiming them. Going forward money is going to be scarce so I believe this is one of d option that can be considered.

  41. Still no news on the made in Bengaluru, Vibrant CMS on Lekiu?

    Reply
    I’m looking into it but nothing on it for now

  42. The local cms is installed on Jebat first. No info if it is already installed on Lekiu, but that seems to be the plan.

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