More OPVs and NGPCs In the Future

Aselsan SMASH 30mm RWS on the NGPC. The same gun will also be installed on the OPVs.

SHAH ALAM: More OPVs and NGPCs in the future. The MMEA plans to acquire up to eight OPVs and 14 NGPCs as part of its capitalisation programme, Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin said today. However plans for the new ships will depend on the funding by the government, with the requirements to be discussed with the Finance Ministry and announced when it was appropriate.

The design and shipyards for the new OPVs and NGPCs will not necessarily be the current ones – THHE-Destini JV and Destini – he said without the explaining further.

KM Kota Kinabalu (right) and KM Tok Bali. Note the empty deck behind the 30mm RWS. These boats will not be equipped with the Thales Fulmar UAV

The two projects will be the main programmes for the MMEA in the near future apart from the three Multi Purpose Mission Ship (MPMS) already approved for funding for approval for the next RMK. Each MPSSs will act as mother ship for at least six interceptor boats and other MMEA assets from drones to helicopters, allowing them to stay at sea for a longer period of time.
A close up of the bridge of KM Kota Kinabalu.

Hamzah was speaking after witnessing the delivery of two New Generation Patrol Craft (NGPC) – KM Tok Bali (4544) and KM Kota Kinabalu (4545) – to MMEA at the Destination Marine Services shipyard at Port Klang. The two are part of the six NGPC order worth some RM400 in 2015. The first three ships – KM Bagan Datuk, KM Sri Aman and KM Kota Belud were delivered in late 2017 and early 2018. The last NGPC – KM Lahad Datu (4546) – is set to be delivered within one month time, according to Hamzah.
A closer view of the front deck.

Unlike the first three NGPC, the three patrol boats will not be equipped with the Thales Fulmar UAV.
The bridge of KM Kota Kinabalu.

The minister did not explained the delay in the delivery of the NGPC – work on Tok Bali, Kota Kinabalu and Lahad Datu were completed late 2018. It is understood that the contract and those of the OPV were placed under scrutiny by the previous government. It is also interesting to note that the current PM was the Home Minister during the last 22 months prior to his elevation to the current post.
The first OPV being built at the THHE Fabricators yard.

Hamzah and delegation also visited THHE Fabricators at Pulau Indah nearby to check on the progress of the OPV project. Hamzah said the first OPV is expected to be handed over to the MMEA this October with the other two ships expected next year. It is likely the first OPV will only be launch this October with commissioning expected in the first quarter of next year.
The stern of OPV Kota Bharu.

Like other projects, the work at the THHE yard was only resumed early this month after being shut down due to the lockdown ordered by the government to prevent the spread of Covid 19. Work also slowed down since mid-2018 as the then government put a brake on progress payment.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1512 Articles
Shah Alam

142 Comments

  1. It would only be logical for the next batch of OPVs to be the same as the present one. Design issues all ironed out and the JV showing good technical capability to execute the work. If the first ship is delivered in say Feb 2021, the delay would be exactly 1 year. Factoring in a 4 month COVID recovery period, this would mean 8 months delay. If the statement that there was a 12 month impact to the schedule due to payment issues, this would also suggest that THHE Destini JV would have recovered 4 months from that delay.

  2. @ api69

    Yes i agree that a 2nd batch of OPVs and NGPVs would be good if continue with the same design. After the 2nd batch then look for another design. For OPVs probably some larger design like these Tae Pyung Yang-class OPVs from South Korea. It has a length of 140m with a full displacement of about 4,000 tonnes. Each cost about usd37 million
    http://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2020/04/two-more-3000-tons-patrol-vessels-for-the-korea-coast-guard-fleet/

    From the Pelan Perancangan Strategik Maritim Malaysia 2040 (PPSMM 2040), we know that MMEA wants a total of 20 large patrol ships. So lets say 8 OPVs, 3 Multi-Purpose Mission Ship (MPMS, ornis it MPSS like marhalim wrote?), plus 6 kedah class transferred to MMEA, that would be 17 ships, with 3 more ships to complete the 20.

    i would prefer
    6x damen 1800 OPV
    6x ex kedah class OPV
    3x MPMS
    3x Tae Pyung Yang-class OPV
    2x something large after 2030

    My concern is the MPMS each costing rm350 million (usd81 million) each. The budget for 3 MPMS we could actually used to buy 6 of the large Tae Pyung Yang-class OPV. The MPMS could actually be converted from used surplus idle oil and gas Offshore Support Vessels for very little outlay. The current MPMS budget could then be used to actually get 3 Tae Pyung Yang-class OPV plus 3 MPMS converted from oil and gas OSVs, which is IMO a better proposition.

    http://img2.yna.co.kr/photo/yna/YH/2016/04/05/PYH2016040504130006500_P4.jpg

    http://image.chosun.com/sitedata/image/201611/10/2016111001565_11.jpg

    http://dvzpv6x5302g1.cloudfront.net/AcuCustom/Sitename/DAM/058/Southeast_Asia_MMA_Offshore_PinnacleWEB.jpg

    http://dvzpv6x5302g1.cloudfront.net/AcuCustom/Sitename/DAM/054/Southeast_Asia_MMA_Pinnacleweb.jpg

  3. “The design and shipyards for new OPVs and NGPCs will not necessarily be the current ones – THHE-Destini JV and Destini – he said without the explaining further.”

    please no to the new design or new class of ship. MMEA should prioritize common hull and fleet more.or i guess its more money for crony and more bad move/future for MMEA.

  4. Good news indeed. Hope the fleet of MMEA/Malaysian Coast Guard will be larger and modern. Also a good news for the program of the 3 new MPMS ships that already approved. Just recently we heard about the program to purchase about 3 – 4 new helicopter for the MMEA. Is this helicopter purchasing program for MMEA also approved or it is still in proposal?

  5. That’s good to hear. Hopefully they will go ahead with the plan…although I agree with some commenters that they should continue with the existing design and just add more.

    Here’s hoping that we will hear similar announcements for RMN and RMAF

  6. zack

    Ship design gets old. A 1970s OHP class ship is different than 2000s OHP class ship. Obviously there will be changes

  7. A brief question

    Does the PCU Kota Bharu the same class as Pakistan Navy’s PNS Yarmook?

    Reply
    Same design but the Yarmook has a higher tonnage of 2100.

  8. @ marhalim

    From the videos, seems that there is a vosper class PV at the shipyard, the KM Kukup 3135, ex KD Panah which was retired in 2018. Hopefully it can be saved and be restored to its former TLDM identity for the future TLDM Museum.

  9. Come to think about it, both Damen 1800 and Fassmer design look quite cool and futuristic. The superstructure has angular look resembling designs on more modern vessels.

    Perhaps the RMN should consider transferring Kedah class to MMEA, and then get more subs and Gowinds…

  10. Im maybe nitpicking here but if the last ngpc 4546 lahad datu will be completed within one month interval, why dont they wait until then and hand it all over in one go..and oh rumours has is it the U.S presumably approve sales of 8 osprey to indonesia for about usd 2 billion

  11. As for kedah i still wanna rmn to keep them and arm them accordingly..cuz the platform is there man what waste..

  12. @ ASM

    ” Perhaps the RMN should consider transferring Kedah class to MMEA, and then get more subs and Gowinds ”

    I have the same thoughts too. Consolidating OPVs with MMEA would free up resources at TLDM. Building Gowinds back to back would reduce inefficiencies. Getting at least 1 more scorpene by 2030 will add to our deterrence capability in south china sea.

  13. KEDAH class maintenance cost will cost a bomb. Each refit now costs nearly RM100 mil, excluding Navy supplied spares. I don’t think the MMEA can afford to operate the ship. Not to mention the equipment obsolescence, which further increases maintenance costs and extends refit time.

  14. @ Api69

    What is the main cost of the refit that makes it svo expensive? Lets say that the platform management system and combat management system is expensive due to high end naval specs, can we rip those off as we are just going to use it as pure OPVs anyway?

    Reply
    Of course those things can be taken off but it will have to be junked and its replacement will have to be bought for it.

  15. @ Api69

    Very2 off topic.

    http://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71ZRsIaCthL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

    How much do you think it would cost to refit the KD Hang Tuah to as new condition as possible so that it could have a 20 year service life (of very light service) as OPV/reserve training ship/ceremonial ship/floating museum? I think the best way to preserve KD Hang Tuah is to keep it as operational naval ship. Thailand did something similar with HTMS Pin Klao.

    As the ship has very simple machineries and systems, I believe the refitting KD Hang Tuah shouldnt be technically difficult. Its engines was new circa 1997, would that need replacing? Armament would either maintain the 57mm gun up front and reinstall all 4 40mm bofors, or the A position 57mm swapped with a Dardo with a new fiberglass dome/cupola mimicking the original 4inch Mk16 guns? The long unserviceable Plessey AWS1 air search radar replaced with used DA-05 radar (probabaly salvaged from retired ulsan class frigates), or if we want to know the capability of chinese radars, the SR2410C (supposedly SMART-S equivalent) AESA radar, which bangladesh is using on their refurbished chinese frigates.

    http://i1.wp.com/inews.gtimg.com/newsapp_match/0/2384857014/0

  16. @Marhalim
    Was the last 3 units originally planned without the Fulmars or was it a downgrade, cost reduction decision by the previous Government?

    Can the Fulmars be integrated later on for these 3 ships?

    Also can the OPVs be equipped with the Fulmars or ScanEagles? There don’t seemed to indicate if they will come with any form of UAVs, so I’m curious why NGPC could have a wider situational awareness vs the OPV.

    Reply
    Not sure really

  17. Its great to increase the assets of the MMEA to relief pressure off from the RMN. To quickly increase the size of the MMEA it can be considered to acquire second hand cargo, small oil tankers or even ocean going tug boats as a stop gap to quickly increase the MMEAs assets to do patrolling n refugee patrols.

  18. Lee Yoke Meng “Its great to increase the assets of the MMEA to relief pressure off from the RMN.”

    I agree, not just for the numbers but because the responsibility of facing foreign coast guard ships should be the MMEA’s.

    The NGPCs will replace the oldest vessels the MMEA inherited from other agencies. So we won’t see an increase in numbers, but there should be an improvement in availability.

    ASM “Perhaps the RMN should consider transferring Kedah class to MMEA, and then get more subs and Gowinds”

    The fact is the RMN is so short of hulls relative to its responsibilities, that it will need the Kedahs to fill wartime roles.

    We do need more frigates and subs -and MPAs, helicopters, garrison troops and berths for all the new hulls- but giving up the Kedahs won’t lead to the RMN being given the budget to acquire them.

  19. @ am

    ” but giving up the Kedahs won’t lead to the RMN being given the budget to acquire them ”

    it is not just about the current kedah class, but also about the abandonment of the plan for more OPVs for TLDM.

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Presentation1.jpg

    In the original 15 to 5 plan, TLDM wants 18 new OPVs. IMO malaysia does not need like a total of 40 OPVs in total across MMEA and TLDM. Abandoning the idea of more OPVs for TLDM will clear the budget to aquire additional gowinds and scorpenes before 2030. Having 20 OPV in MMEA plus around a dozen frigates in TLDM IMO would be enough to cover our maritime security requirements.

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/oz-prepares-for-post-covid-world/#comment-429849

    Without buying new OPVs, we will have the budget to continuously build gowinds up till the 9th ship. We actually have paid for 4 of the ships in RMK11. IMO building 1 design continuously is the right path rather than haphazardly building them in different points in time. After building 9 gowinds, attention post 2030 then could be moved to build Lekiu and kasturi class replacements, which personally i would prefer us building the Type 31e for that requirement.

  20. @…
    No way TLDM will even consider lowering their fleet size as it will affect their OPEX & CAPEX budgets later on.

  21. The high cost for repairs of the KEDAH class is largely due to the complexity of the ships. The systems fitted on board are ready for immediate integration to the FFBNW systems, i.e. SSM, SAM, TAS. All require maintenance. In addition, the platform systems are heavily automated. Add the issue of equipment obsolescence and the costs start snowballing.

    As to removing systems, note that the ship requires a FCS and CMS to operate the 76mm and 30mm guns. So it would not be possible to strip the ship of the CMS and FCS. Also, the TRS 3D surv radar would be overkill for the APMM.

    As for KD HANG TUAH, need to assess the hull first as to its life expectancy. Could be major steelwork necessary depending on the hull UT thickness gauging and dye penetrant test of critical welds. Not sure of the support availability for the Wartsila engines and gensets but I believe the ship would need to be re-engined as I expect these equipment to already be obsolete. For defense, installing RCWS is the best bet. Let these armaments be self contained so as to remove any requirement for a CMS. In this scenario, the gun size will be limited to 30mm as 40mm guns already need a separate CMS. Maybe a 30mm up front and 2 12.7mm RCWS at the back? Enough for performing OPV/training functions. No surv radar needed. Remove all navigation equipment and replace with COTS INS. This may work…

  22. But somehow kedah class somehow included in navy’s 15 to 5 plan..so theres that..although i believed admiral said recently that they’ve already tweaked that plan to accomodate the scarce funds from the govt..im not saying u are wrong about no need for additional opv but it will better if rmn can buff existing kedahs with proper armament cuz we already short of combatant as it is.The delay of LCs only make it worse.Not only short of combatant hulls but in reality only two lekiu class that we have that got ‘proper’ armament, even that lekius also carried quite old missiles,cms and..

  23. @ joe

    Wow this is coming from someone who wants to lower our defence budget…

    How just by not getting 18 OPV be considered as lowering its fleet size??

    What is the current fleet size anyway? This is our current fleet size
    2 submarine
    2 frigate
    6 corvette
    6 opv
    2 MPCSS
    14 FAC
    4 MCMV
    2 Training vessel

    My planned tldm fleet size to 2040
    6 scorpene submarine
    6 DG350 submarine
    13 frigate (9 gowind, 4 type 31e)
    0 corvette
    0 OPV
    12 LMS68 as per tldm or 17 LMS new design
    2 MRSS
    4 sets of autonomous MCM system
    3 OSV
    2 replenishment tanker
    2 submersible floating base
    2 Training vessel

    along with MMEA to 2040 that looks something like this
    20 large patrol ships
    96 medium patrol ships (20-60m in length)
    228 boats less than 20m in length (95 interceptors, 133 RHIB)

    Actually planning for 18 OPVs would hinder TLDM from getting more potent platforms. OPVs are best bought and tasked under MMEA.

  24. AM. Numbers do matter especially to the MMEA. While the MMEA needs to confront other Coast guards, they are also required to enforce our rights in our EEZ n now with influx of refugees, they need the numbers. Firstly to have enough for patrolling n also to allow the old boats to be serviced n maintained n for crew rest.

  25. @ api69

    Thank you for your imput.

    For the Kedah class, the current refit could last them for how many years before the next refit? 10 years maybe? As for the current refits, it was already paid for by TLDM. Maybe when the next refit cycle is due, a latest low cost COTS IPMS system (that would not need to be of naval standards) could be used to replace the current IPMS, and a much more basic and modern CMS that would only control the guns, radar and EO systems. That would probably lower the cost significantly?

    IMO in a serious conflict scenario, the best way to kill other warships is by submarine and fighter aircrafts. Uparming the Kedah class IMO would not give much of an increase in our capability to kill other warships. Just use it for what it is best used, as an OPV.

  26. @…
    We are probably coming from 2 different directions. I am all for prudent spending which will have to be justified for every RM spent, to the rakyat & the Opposition now. The realities of today’s politics. You otoh are advocating us to have 12 subs which is overkill for a force deterrence imho.

    For me an extra 1 more Scorpene (with MESMA) should be bought only when we can spare money and I would propose to time the buy with 2nd SLEP of our Scorpenes to be fitted with MESMA as well. Frigate-wise, a 10-12 all-Maharajalela fleet with 2-3 units outfitted for AD (AESA radar, A-50 sylver, ASTER-15 & -30 mix). The Kedahs will be rerated to large OPVs as motherships to LMS ships which will form the bulk numbers in view of their flexibility and peacetime patrol duties.

  27. @…

    All the platform systems are integrated with the IPMS. Everything. So changing the IPMS is going to be very expensive (as all equipment-equipment, equipment-system and ship-system interfaces) need to be redone. Replacing with manual systems could be attempted but again, total ship systems design need to be relooked at as most of the systems are operating on an interlock system, e.g. to start the engine, the system checks if the exhaust valves are open, gearbox not engaged, etc. etc. before it sends a signal to start the engine. Unless this is done, safety of operations is compromised.

    In any case, the ship was designed for a 5-year refit lifecycle (or was it 4? Forgot already). Main issue was the delay in commencing refits due to lack of ships in the fleet to meet tasking requirements and refit delays at the repair yard. This further exacerbated the deterioration of equipment onboard, resulting in larger repair bills.

  28. @ joe

    While you keep on talking about prudent spending, you only question about my plan, while saying nothing about TLDMs original plan. Go through TLDM plans carefully
    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Presentation1.jpg
    Do you think TLDM plan to buy 18 OPVs in the future a prudent spending? TLDM had spent USD300 million on each Kedah class OPV, USD64 million on each LMS68 and you want to expect the 18 future OPVs if bought by TLDM to be a prudent spending? Say all new TLDM OPVs to cost half of the Kedah class, USD150 million times 18 ships would be USD2.7 billion!!! Damen 1800 OPV for MMEA costs only USD57 million each. The USD2.7 billion should be spent on fighting ships, not toothless OPVs. My plan for additional 4 Type 31e frigate, 3 Scorpenes and 6 DG350 would be for the 2031-2040 time period. By that time COVID-19 is a long past history (i hope it is not a new normal then). TLDM should to be a deterrent for any who thinks of colonizing our seas. It needs to be equipped as such, and even by maintaining our current levels of budget for TLDM (most of my request for increase would be for TUDM and army) it can be done, if we dont waste our budget on things like expensive naval spec OPVs. OPVs are more cost effective when bought for and sailed by MMEA.

    http://i.pinimg.com/originals/2a/f2/0b/2af20b69b92001049384b36ce32bc1ef.png

    MESMA?? That is so passe and obsolete. The future is in Li-Ion batteries. There is no need for AIP in the near future, going full Li-Ion will give more range. Gowinds is a stretched corvette design. No way it can be upgraded for air defence functions without serious drawbacks, and why there is a clean sheet new design called Belharra instead. Base Type 31e is even cheaper than the gowinds, and that difference in price can be used to arm it for air defence missions, and it is big enough to function as motherships to 4 RHIBs.
    http://news.usni.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Arrowhead-140.jpg

    @ Api 69

    Is the CAE IPMS on the Kedah class so expensive to maintain? It is probably one of the most widely used IPMS system. Even most korean ships use CAE IPMS. Would a new generation commercial IPMS should be much more advanced, less complicated and cheaper compared to the original IPMS on the Kedah class? The 5 year refit cycle is mostly periodic maintenance and IRAN (inspect and repair as required) right? Any major items need to be replaced in their next refit? A much less complicated CMS would be the major change IMO, with a basic one linking all sensors with probably 2 ASELSAN SMASH, one at the location reserved for the RAM, another replacing the manual 30mm on top of the hangar? The current 76mm oto melara then could be retrofitted to new Type 31e, as is the TMX/EO FCR, thus lowing the cost of the new frigate. BTW the rm100mil price tag is of the BNS refit or is the refit at those sarawakian slipways around the same?

  29. @…
    Sorry if I had to point out your plan has diverged much from TLDM’s. After, all they are they decision makers so they know best what they need. What I would suggest is a tweak of their current plans. Can they make do with less large OPVs? Yes, imho the 6 Kedahs are sufficient if used as supporting command ships to LMS boats that would perform the patrol duties, relieving the Kedahs. If each Kedahs can command 2-3 LMS, the 18 LMS needed could be far cheaper than 18 Kedahs. As for pricing, certainly the LMS should and can be made far cheaper than currently. Most certainly is far cheaper and far more acceptable to both sides of the Government than 12 subs.

    Li-ion power pack, while brand new tech, might not sit well with our uber-conservative top brasses. MESMA at least would have matured by then.

    The Belharra is basically a Gowind plus which does compete with your Type 31 but I’m not pushing for a do-it-all large frigate. Again I’m trying to avoid paying for another ToT, worse if its only a couple of ships. IMHO for the AD role, Maharajalela ships would have to sacrifice the ASW equipment and weaponry in order to boost the AD suite. It can be done as Belharra has all that plus Aster on a larger hull. We just have to sacrifice something and make compromises for 2-3 units dedicated for AD role.

  30. @ joe

    You have not answered my question, and not followed up about your statement of prudent spending. My plan uses the exact amount of budget as TLDM budget does, not a sen more.

    So TLDM wastes 2 billion dollars per RMK on OPVs is prudent, while I want to spend the same 2 billion dollars per RMK to 2040 on more potent frigates, more gowinds, more submarines is a not prudent?

    Kedah class has no additional space for command functions, while Type 31e has dedicated command spaces and dedicated additional accomodation to function as a command ship.

    belharra is not a variant of the gowind, it is a totally new ship design. each belharra frigate costs usd846 million (euro750 million).

    only dedicated asw equipment on gowinds is the TAS under the helipad, torpedo launchers and sonar under the hull. so where do you want to fit your asters? only way to go is for ESSM like UAE gowinds but even that could be cancelled…

    http://www.defenseworld.net/news/24914/Germany_May_Block_French_Corvette_Deal_with_UAE

  31. @…
    Well I hope you’re right that TLDM will get their USD $2Bil (RM 7.5Bil) per RMK or more regardless even when our country is wrecked with COVID still ongoing and our exchange rates doesn’t plummet for the next 20 years. Cross fingers.
    Oh BTW, next RMK is just next year (postponed from this year) so effectively your plan only has 3 RMKs to work with towards your dateline. From Destini’s AR: “The Government reduced its spending on the procurement of new assets within the defence sector.” It appears Destini do not expect the Government back then to be doing any significant buys in the foreseeable future so next RMK is a bust on defence procurement.

  32. I think the Kedah-class is superflous to the MMEA. It is is simply too advanced for the typical MMEA ‘grunt work’.

    People need to remember the fact that although the Kedah-class is right now only armed as an OPV, they are at heart a sophisticated front-line corvette class that is supposed to be fullly armed with guided missiles. That means all the hardware and software is already there, increasing the class’ complexity and operating costs (whether we actually them or not).

    Compare this to the relatively simple systems in coast guard ships.

  33. Yes that precisely more point cuz the platform is there..no more additional kedahs is debatable but rmn should consider to arm kedah accordingly cuz simple math is having 6 armed corvettes is always better than just having 6 unarmed opvs..

  34. Its not like it will take astronomical amount to arm all the kedahs..if we cant afford to arm them in one go then rearm them by batch of 2 per year..correct me if im wrong but im guessing to arm kedah into their supposedly configuration with rim and exocet will only take not more than usd 20 mil pership..

  35. I don’t think MESMA is matured enough as although the tech is available for more than a decade, it had not been installed in any subs. Even the Indians did not opt for them. So has lithium ions tech matured enough? Yes as some Japanese Soryu class subs are fitted with them to the point that they even removed the Stirling AIP engines.

    As for the Kedah. A newly built full spec Kedah would cost the same as Turkish Ada class MILGEM corvette, around usd250 million which for extra usd75 million could buy the larger Type31e. A usd150 million spec Kedah as reported by BNS would probably gun only equipped and could also be a lower spec than current Kedah. For that price, we could buy 2 LMS or almost 3 Damen OPV. Anyone could see here why more Kedah might not the best option of RMN

    For an enlarge LCS without TAS, with more Aster 15/30 and the same radar, the first batch would inherently cost around usd500 million. At usd100 million less, we could get the larger Type31e with better radar and same missiles (though I prefer ESSM and SM2, replace ESSM with CAMM is not a bad option too)

    Fitting Mk41/57 VLS onto future batch LCS is another option as ESSM & CAMM could be quad packed into the VLS allowing more missiles in quantity and more types of missiles to be carried. 8-cell Mk41/57 VLS width is slightly smaller than a Sylver VLS (2.2m vs 2.3m) and could fit 32x ESSM or CAMM thus saving weight and cost in terms of number canisters for the given number of missiles.

    I’m just stating the options here and anybody can also provide other options as well.

  36. @ Joe

    RMK12 is always planned for 2021-2025. This year is the final year for RMK11 2016-2020. As it is, quite a lot of things planned to be paid for in RMK12 has been paid in RMK11. For example right now although planned to pay for only 2 LCS in RMK11, we have actually paid rm6 billion out of the rm9 billion total cost for LCS. Yes it is delayed and probably need to add RM1 billion more, but still that means for RMK12 budget is available for other things other than for LCS. Destini statement contradicts with our defence budget and home ministry budget for the last 2 years. The money is there, but delays in approval due to all these politicking is what holding a lot of the things up.

    For RMK12 mostly its about completing the 6 LCS and batch 2 of LMS. My plan for 3 more LCS and 1 Scorpene is in RMK13 2026-2030, then all the 4 Type 31e, 3 more scorpenes and 6 DG350 in 2031-2040.

    For MMEA, my aim is to have USD500 million of development budget per RMK to 2040, which is about USD100 million per year. This is the amount of development budget that MMEA is getting these past few years. So it is just a matter of maintaining the current development budget for 20 more years. As OPVs for MMEA is a magnitude cheaper than for TLDM, we can actually get a lot of capability even with seemingly little budget.

    @ military madness

    Yes the kedahs are complicated piece of ship that is over specced for mere OPV task. But in our context, it adds little in our overall scheme of things if we fully arm them or not. By 2025 when all the LCS Gowinds are in service (with advanced stealth shape and even stealth NSM missiles), there would be less reason for the Kedahs to be fully armed.

    @ firdaus

    A fully armed corvette is no difference to a basic OPV in the eyes of illegal fishemens. A fully armed corvette would not be a problem to a Frigate with anti missile capabilities. Deterrence must be of something that can trouble and cause a substantial price to an agressor, which IMO uparming the Kedahs will do little to add to that effect. Daily peacetime taskings like OPVs does not need to be highly armed. You dont need to use Gempita for daily patrols in the neighbourhood, just Honda civics will do.

  37. @Luqman
    MESMA is just the French developed AIP. AIP system has /is reached maturity as more subs from various makers are equipping or retrofitting them. See Sodermanland class, Archer class, the new Blekinge-class, the Type 212, 214 & 218, the S-80 class, the Tridente-class, The Yuan &Qing classes & Soryu as you mentioned. The Indian Scorpene class didn’t get AIP as India are developing their own AIP system for their derivative Kalvari class and I’ll bet you when time to SLEP the Scopenes they will re-equip with that homegrown AIP system.

  38. @ luqman

    MESMA AIP was used in the pakistani Agosta 90 submarine, which is an upgraded version of our 1st training sub, the ouessant.

    What you wrote about frigates/corvettes is basically why i am against getting more kedah class ships and more OPVs for TLDM. I actually wrote here many years ago about a hypothetical upgraded kedah class, but I dont think it is a viable proposition anymore when you can get a ship like the type 31e. Basically why I would like a 2 type frigate fleet is to afford more mission capabilities for TLDM tu undertake. Both will have different things that they excel in. I see a need for a bigger frigate for TLDM in the future, and the Type 31e gives the best capability to cost ratio of similar frigate design out there. Even Singapore and Indonesia is anticipating a need for bigger frigates, and i see that their reason for them (longer endurance, more space for UAV and USV) is also a valid reason for TLDM too.

  39. @…,

    The near RM 100 mil per refit I believe is standard for the ship. From what I gather, the repair bill was around that figure not just at BNS but also at other yards.

    As to the IPMS, what I meant was the cost to integrate all the items controlled by the IPMS to any new IPMS. Data availability might be an issue as well. I believe the RMN faced this issue of the KASTURI-class SLEP when intending to integrate the main engines to the new IPMS. MTU was very very reluctant to release the data quoting proprietary info. It was only made available after the CN stepped in.

    Dumping the CMS and other sensors and replacing with standalone systems is possible but the cost for platform repairs is already prohibitive for an agency like the MMEA. Better get new ships that are designed with MMEA operations in mind, IMO.

  40. This article is an insight on how the chinese military look at the south china sea and countries around the south china sea.

    http://eng.chinamil.com.cn/view/2020-07/07/content_9848467.htm

    – The US is the biggest threat to stability in the South China Sea and the biggest black hand that provokes the “militarization of the South China Sea.”

    Nobody in South East Asia right now sees USA as a threat. No asean country ever complained of being harassed by US Navy or US Coast Guard vessel (well except vietnam during the vietnam war but that is a different context). China on the other hand…

    – The provocative and risky actions of the countries in the region against China are either instigated by the US or backed by the US.

    This is how china sees all the asian countries. Not as fellow countries but as lowly people that cannot decide things for their own country without being said so by uncle sam. Exactly how a neo-colonizer would act.

    – Chinese presence will will continue to be the anchor for maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea.

    That is the funniest statement in the article! China is intent on colonizing the whole of South China Sea without any regards to all the countries around it is considering itself to be maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea?

    – China will spare no effort to promote the rule-based development of a maritime order in the South China Sea.

    Yeah, China made rule, not international one. There is no precedent whatsoever for the crazy chinese 9-dash line.

    – aggressive law enforcement by Indonesia in the traditional Chinese fishery in Natuna Islands.

    Traditional fishing??? In the natuna islands thousands of miles from Chinese mainland?? Does anybody really really believe 100s of years ago chinese fishermen go to fish in Natuna?? Or to the shores of Sarawak?? A fiction that none of the people who has stayed on the coasts of South China Sea for thousands of years will believe.

  41. @…
    I like your thinking of trying breakthru new tech.
    *Meanwhile looking at reality that our top decision-making generals, admirals & politicians are old-fashioned grandfathers*

  42. @…
    Oh another thing. As long the Li-ion batteries aren’t made by Samsung or China, I guess there is no problem going with this tech.

  43. @…
    “MESMA AIP was used in the pakistani Agosta 90”

    Sorry my bad, did a research before that but couldn’t find any.

    “What you wrote about frigates/corvettes is basically why i am against getting more kedah class ships and more OPVs for TLDM.”

    Exactly

    ” I see a need for a bigger frigate for TLDM in the future”

    I think there is always a place for a bigger frigate in TLDM years before we even decided on LCS. Though some people may say 6000 tons is TOO BIG for TLDM, well i find that statement to be utter stupidity (im sorry) given that the price for capability and tonnage paid for a Type 31e as well as other advantages it offers is probably the best among other large frigates. For anyone who said that capabilities offered by larger frigates are not the current requirements of TLDM, well it’s actually a bonus (cherry?) on top of all the current existing requirements for LCS that also come together with the larger frigate, at more competitive price.

  44. BTW the Damen 1800 OPV looks beautiful…

    Reply
    It has been an honour to be involved in the OPV shipbuilding project

  45. @…

    I believe anyone with a sane mind who reads that article knows that’s a load of baloney. Typical rhetoric to portray itself as a victim and not an aggressor, where in reality it’s the other way around. If the descendants of the old Imperial Houses still exist maybe Imperial rule could be restored. Hopefully they are more reasonable than these arrogant Commies…

    On the Kedah-class, as we have acquired the designs we could modify them to MMEA needs instead going for a new one. Maybe the current 6 in RMN service are not worth the cost of conversion (according to some), but for future builds a simplified Kedah class should be considered.

  46. @ Api 69

    Engine data for IPMS is proprietary?? Isn’t the data output from engines are general anyway (speed, rpm, temperature, fuel consumption etc.). Ship engines does not have anything advanced like speed-load computer fuelling maps and whatnot like a car. IPMS is basically an automated control and monitoring for the engines, as a part of a larger centralized control of the whole ship right?

    I try to find costs of kedah class refits, most i can find is for BND refits, which is around RM9x million.

    Anyway any numbers for MMEA refits, like for the KM Langkawi/Banggi?

    Anyway i stumbled on an interesting tidbit on FAC repowering. They are no longer MTU powered!!!
    http://cummins.com.my/sites/msia/files/8003_CSP_Case_Study_Royal_Malaysian_Navy_01.pdf

  47. @ ASM

    The problem is that most chinese citizens believe this. Now they are thought in school that southern most chinese land is 80km off bintulu under at least 20m of water!!!

    On the problem of geman designs, is that they are simply over designed. Half of the kedah class (when it was just a module) could actually float by itself… From polish and israeli contracts, we know that even an empty meko 100 hull will cost around usd100 million.

    To compare korea builds 140m, 4000 tonne OPVs to naval specs for just usd37 million. Our locally build damen 1800 opv, which is almost the same size as the kedahs, costs usd57million each.

  48. @Luqman
    Sure everybody will like something larger, but does TLDM have a need for large frigates? From the 15-to-5 Plan, they don’t think so.
    If you have a need for a sedan car and Bezza fits your need, sure its nice to dream of getting a Camry instead. Both does the same job, but do we need the bigger size and extra cost?

  49. @…,

    The French overdesign their ships even more than the Germans! I have heard horror stories from subcons and people involved in the LCS build program on the ridiculously high standards being imposed by the French as the Design Authority on them. This was is one of the factors in cost and time escalation on the project.

  50. @ Api 69

    That is something new to me. Guess we learn something new everyday. I always thought that the frenchies does not overdesign their ships, looking at their designs such as the Floreal, Lafayette and D’Entrecasteaux. My only experience of high standards with the frenchies is their insistence of long lunch times lol !!

    Probably that explains why the FTI aka Belharra costs usd846 million each.

  51. Does high standards/over desinging
    of ships translates to more durability/survivability of the ships? If yes how? If no why? And why do they overdesign those ships? Sorry for asking alot.

  52. @ Luqman,

    One example that was told to me is the surface finish of pipe flange faces. The French it seems insist on surface finish and tolerances that rival submarine requirements, thus causing extra time and money to be spent to process standard flanges to meet these requirements. The Germans on the other hand just use standard naval standard flanges (VG standard), which can be bought off-the-shelf. Sounds minor but imagine the number of pipe joints onboard and you start to appreciate the extra effort needed to meet the standard.

    I think the psychology behind the French and German design philosophy is different. The Germans, being exact, try and design to be fit-for-purpose, i.e. if it is a frigate, why design to meet environments and situations that are suited for DDGs, while the French, similar to the US, look at worst-case scenarios. Thus the more stringent design. My thoughts anyway.

    Also, note that the detailed design for the LCS is being done by BNS, which then submits to the French for approval. I heard that numerous re-doing of drawings is the norm. Whether it is due to BNS lack of knowledge / experience or the French being difficult is beyond me! Maybe Marhalim can dig more info on this.

  53. @…
    Not bad going for Cummins as they are fast growing in the Asian market for commercial trucks, bus & power generation industries. Unlike the brand name tho, most of their engines for this side are made in China.

  54. “The French overdesign their ships even more than the Germans! I have heard horror stories from subcons and people involved in the LCS build program on the ridiculously high standards being imposed by the French as the Design Authority on them. This was is one of the factors in cost and time escalation on the project.”

    As the customer, it is up to us and not the French to specify the standards we want. We knew what we were doing when we specified the French standards, so we can’t claim that we are not aware of the cost or time involved, or attribute any overruns to the specs being “ridiculously high”.

    Reply
    Unfortunately we lacked the expertise or even experience in shipbuilding or standards to be able to work around such issues.

  55. @…,

    Modern marine engines have even more complexity as land-based engines as need to also consider the speed-power relationship with the CPP. I was informed that this was an issue on the KEDAH class where there are certain rpms and propeller pitch where the engine was overloaded. It could only be cured thru physical experimentation during sea trials. While the IPMS may be the tool to integrate, it still needs data from the engine to be able to map the relationship with other systems (especially the gearbox and propulsors). And this was the area where the issue lies as MTU then stated that the information for the 1163 engines was proprietary. We are not talking about data that may be available on google. We are talking about the hundreds of signals generated by each engine or required by the engine to be able to operate in its intended environment.

  56. @ joe

    Bigger does not really mean much more expensive, in the context of Type 31e. Bigger space means all the equipment inside the ship can use any available off the shelf items (for example cabinets, electrical systems etc) that can do the job, with no restriction on space and shape of the equipment. That will mean cheaper cost. Read through this again to see how it is done.
    http://www.ft.dk/samling/20141/almdel/fou/bilag/20/1417702.pdf
    Malaysia, we must remember is not Germany or France. If the concept is good enough for a NATO country like Denmark and UK, why it is not good enough for Malaysia?

    As for the cummins engine, i can see most of chinese vans and small trucks in malaysia are using cummins engine. Of course, like the iphone, the cummins truck engine although an american brand, most is made in china. But I have searched that the engine in our FACs is actually built in Daventry Engine Plant in Daventry, U.K! I have also heard that currently malaysian fishing vessel in selat melaka area is one of the worlds biggest concentration of cummins engine used in fishing vessels.

    @ Api 69

    Your story about the IPMS just didnt add up. Arent those ships fitted with CAT 3616 engines, not the MTU 1163?

  57. AM … “As the customer, it is up to us and not the French to specify the standards we want .. ”

    I think you are wrong here. The French surely wants to protect their brand. Other country will decide on Gowind design based on their observation of our ships. Hence they will not accept the ‘janji siap’ standard of ours.

  58. “ I have heard horror stories from subcons and people involved in the LCS build program on the ridiculously high standards being imposed by the French as the Design Authority on them. This was is one of the factors in cost and time escalation on the project.”

    The’s also the question of why the subcons signed up to produce components according to the specs and then complained about what they are supposed to deliver.

    It sounds like they were expecting an easy ride, as has happened all too often in the past.

    I’m grateful for the high specs. The LCS is a combat vessel, not an OPV, and battle damage must be accounted for. Sailors’ lives come first, the profits of those who lobbied for local construction and yet can’t deliver can come second. We paid top dollar to build the ship here and feed these subcons, so we better get what we paid for.

  59. @…
    In some context you are right. But in general, a larger ship requires more complex engineering design, more steel material, more plumbing, more wiring, more manhours to build which all adds up to more cost compared to a smaller, simpler ship. I won’t go into the costing for Type31 as even some Brit defence watchers are skeptic on the quoted price, so I will wait and see how it turns out. Its not uncommon for UK warships to result in massive cost overruns along the project even til today *looks at QE-class carriers*

  60. @ AM

    ” I’m grateful for the high specs ”

    Ditto. There is a lot of small2 details that is added to the maharajalela class that will make it stand out from other frigates or even other gowind class ships.

    It will actually have small sonars all round the hull for diver detection. it will be integrated into the NiDAR system which i found out and marhalim reportrd here before.
    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/more-stuff-for-lcs/

    It will also have the latest Sofresud IPD system to quickly point its guns to a target
    SOFRESUD Intuitive Pointing Device (IPD)
    http://www.sofresud.com/photo/img/optical-designators/SOFRESUD-Datasheet-IPD-2018.pdf

    It is optimised for stealth, with stealth bofors 57mm gun, and stealth NSM anti ship missiles. As for the gripe that it has “only” 57mm gun, even the RN Type 31e and USN FF(X) FREMM frigate will be armed with the bofors 57mm gun, albeit not the fully stealth version.
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/images/ffg-x-2019-fincantieri-image01.jpg

  61. @ joe

    ” compared to a smaller, simpler ship ”

    a smaller ship can be much more complex than a bigger ship due to all the special details you would need to cram in all the equipment into a much smaller space. I dont think all the engineering details that is put into the gowind for example, is much more simpler than what engineering details put into the bigger and more spacious iver huitfeldt and Type 31e.

  62. @AM
    “The LCS is a combat vessel, not an OPV, and battle damage must be accounted for.”
    It is fallacy to think we have sufficient combat ships to enable us to keep our OPVs in storage during wartime. In reality they too will be thrown into the maw when the time comes.

    @…
    Which is why I said; “In some context you are right. But in general…”
    If the Gowinds were built to nuke sub standards, it would be more costly per m3 vs other ships built to lower standards, and even these will cost more compared to ships built to commerce standards. So there are a lot of factors influencing cost, but if compared apple to apple, a larger unit would cost more, in general.

  63. Joe “It is fallacy to think we have sufficient combat ships to enable us to keep our OPVs in storage during wartime. In reality they too will be thrown into the maw when the time comes.”

    Yes, I made this clear when I said that the RMN cannot afford to give up the Kedahs to the MMEA. For that matter, this will apply to all our ships and not just the Kedahs. In time of need, for lack of anything better the LCS, LMS, FFGH, Kasturis and Kedahs will have to be pressed into roles and threat environments they are not equipped to take on.

  64. @ joe

    ‘ In reality they too will be thrown into the maw when the time comes ”

    That is like asking to send police patrol cars to the lahad datu standoff. They should stay at harbour. Sending them out wouldnt change the outcome and will only send them to the bottom of the sea. Read about repulse and prince of Wales. Read about the falklands war.

    Why i would like to have subs as our main deterrence.

  65. @…
    Face reality. In wartime every police, civil defence, rela, retired servicemen, heck even Boy Scouts will be called upon to defend our country when desperate. Its not like we got infinite number of warships for war so beggars can’t be choosers, even then they also would like to have an all-you-can-eat-buffet but reality is another story.

  66. Lcs is quite needed and good enough for our navy for now to somehow rejuvenate the aging combat fleet..but still slightly inferior compared to sg’s formidable and thai’ bhumibol and certainly slightly better than id’s martadinata..slightly is the keyword here..in terms of firepower and radar at least..I kinda agree now with no more additional kedahs but fgs please keep existing kedahs under rmn..

  67. ASM – Perhaps the RMN should consider transferring Kedah class to MMEA”

    On paper yes.

    In reality the RMN – as short of hulls as it is – can’t transfer anything until or unless replacements are actually delivered.

    There is also the question of how long the MMEA will need to acquire the manpower and shore support infrastructure to operate and support the Kedahs as well as the fact that a lot of the stuff on the Kedahs are an overkill for the MMEAs needs.

  68. Got some info from a source inside BNS regarding LCS.

    – Works on construction of the LCS was stopped for now
    – This is due to re-drawings still being done
    – Re-drawing in middle of construction because Navy requested to replace some components/subsystems from the orignaly planned ones
    – So you could imagine going back and forth between the French plus changes that is not compatible with current specs etc.
    – Hence the delay was not entirely BNS fault. It was also the Navy’s. When the construction had begun the navy should already confirmed what the wanted and not make any changes during construction.

    Reply
    Of course BNS people will blame others

  69. @ joe

    ” Face reality ”

    That is the reality. When you have the chinese aircraft carrier strike group at your doorstep, OPVs will stay at home. No use of sending them out, even if it is a fully armed kedah class with Exocet and RAM. Only viable way to hit them and give them the bloody nose is by airborne maritime strike with anti ship missiles, and our undersea attack submarines.

    If the action hits our shores, them it will be all hands on deck and everyone will need to defend our tanah air.

    @ azlan

    the timeline for any possible transfer of the kedah class to MMEA would be after all 6 gowinds is operational. That would be around 2026-2030. By that time MMEA would probably have 6 of its own OPVs plus the MPMS. When the time comes for their next round of refits, if it is under MMEA, probably all the fitted for equipment will be left to expire. combat systems to be just the radar, EO system, sonar and a new 30mm RCWS, most probably the aselsan smash. All the fitted for equipment, 76mm guns will probably be removed. It would probably cost a bit more than the damen opv to operate, but i dont think it is something MMEA cannot afford to operate. 6 kedah class transferred also means 6 less OPV for MMEA to buy.

    With 20 large patrol ships with MMEA, and 13 frigates with TLDM, that gives malaysia 33 large ships to patrol our seas, giving us the capability to always put 11 ships at sea. That could be 4 in sabah and sarawak south china sea, 2 in selat melaka, 2 in east coast, 2 in esscom and 1 on international mission overseas. There is no need for TLDM to get 18 more OPVs as that would be an overkill.

  70. Firdaus – “Lcs is quite needed and good enough for our navy for now to somehow rejuvenate the aging combat fleet..but still slightly inferior compared to sg’s formidable ””

    The LCS was designed for low/medium threat environments. Whether it’s “good enough” really remains to be seen – it is modestly equipped and might not be what we need in the coming years.

    Unlike the LCS the Fotmidables were intended to be operated in a different/higher threat environment in line with Singapore’s threat perceptions and operational requirements which differs from ours.

  71. IMO all of our OPVs should operate in low threat, peacetime situations only. All of our frigates, MRSS, LMS and and other surface ships of TLDM would be used to the maximum of medium threat environments. For high threat situations say involving carrier strike groups, hypersonic anti-ship missiles or similar, our surface ships would not stand much chance. Probably can if operating with a much stronger allies like japan, Australia or UK. But if it is on our own, for high threat situations the things we can safely rely on would be our undersea attack subs and our maritime strike fighters.

  72. …. – “t i dont think it is something MMEA cannot afford to operate””

    Provided that additional funds are provided for operating costs and upkeep. We have a history of buying new assets but failing to increase the operational budget needed for those new assets.

    …. – “ There is no need for TLDM to get 18 more OPVs as that would be an overkill””

    For me it’s not an overkill but possibly superfluous its needs.

    The inclusion of additional Kedahs in the 5/15 was for a lower end/spec platform to perform certain roles that don’t require a frigate for roles beyond the capacity of the MMEA – a role originally intended for the Kedahs from the very onset when plans called for a sizeable number to operate alongside 6 Lekius.

    Personally I don’t see place for additional Kedahs in the RMN’s force structure; not because it’s a “OPV” but for other reasons.

    As for the MMEA; anything can happen in the future but as it stands; for it to operate larger ships (even in small numbers) would also require corresponding investments to be made in manpower and a shore base support infrastructure (even if those ships lack the various complex systems found on RMN ships).

  73. … – “6 kedah class transferred also means 6 less OPV for MMEA to buy””

    So it seems but in the “ 2026-2030”.period you mentioned the Kedahs would have aged a bit and the MMEA would have its concerns as to wear and tear and the associated support costs.

    On paper it would mean 6 less OPVs to procure (as you stated) but in reality 6 new OPVs configured for the MMEA’s requirements could be a more suitable, cost efficient and practical option in the long run compared to 6 former RMN Kedahs which have been operated for a while and have a number of issues which were never resolved to full satisfaction.

  74. @ azlan

    ” So it seems but in the “ 2026-2030” period you mentioned the Kedahs would have aged a bit and the MMEA would have its concerns as to wear and tear and the associated support costs ”

    At that timeframe the kedah class would only be around 20 years old. Plenty of other ships that is passed on to MMEA that was older than that at the time of transfer, including the ex japan OPVs, ex Musytaris, Vospers, ex police PX and PZ boats etc. Complex systems supporting FFBNW weapons in the kedah class ships could be removed in future refits to lower the sustainment costs. I believe the FFBNW systems does not affect the operational costs much.

    Operational support should be similar to what is needed for the ex japan OPVs and new damen OPVs. Shore support needed should already be planned together with the planned future fleet of 20 large patrol ships as lined out in the PPSMM2040 plan.

  75. … – “our OPVs should operate in low threat, peacetime situations on””

    The whole rationale in having the Kedahs – in addition to its peacetime roles replacing the PCs – was also to conduct specific low threat wartime roles.

    … – “s we can safely rely on would be our undersea attack subs and our maritime strike fighters””

    We can’t “safely” assume that…

    If an opponent had control of the skies (with a numerical and qualitative superiority) and had surface units backed by airborne ASW assets and also subs; deploying or effectively operating and subs would be somewhat problematic. An opponent might not have to physically destroy our assets; preventing them from carrying out their tasks would be sufficient.

    The only hope we’d have would be if a Tier 1 military was involved and we operated on the sidelines or periphery. Which is why all the exercises and exchanges we do with Uncle Sam and Australia is important; to develop relationships and improve interoperability.

  76. …. – “For high threat situations say involving carrier strike groups, hypersonic anti-ship missiles or similar, our surface ships would not stand much chance””

    Most definitely.

    For one; air cover would be an issue.

    Secondly our ships are simply not equipped to defence themselves against multiple air, surface and sub surface threats. Neither do we have the load outs to be in a sustained engagement. Stuff like early warning and situational awareness would also be an issue. On top of that we’d be numerically inferior.

  77. @ azlan

    The whole rationale for the kedahs was to do what the vospers was doing, much more better at the peripheral of our EEZ, with the option of uparming them for low/medium threat situation. The Kedahs was planned before MMEA was even set up, and nobody would have imagined at the time that china was going to be very serious in colonizing the south china sea with their 9-dash claim. Originally it was planned to be a joint buy with Australia, with Australia not agreeing to our high requirements and buying the Armidale class aluminium patrol boats instead. In the hindsight Australian requirements then was too low for their needs and now replacing them with the arafura class OPVs which is similar in specs to our MMEA Damen 1800 OPVs. Going against a fleet like the PLAN, an uparmed OPVs isnt going to contribute much to the outcome, so for our future OPVs, we should not go the way we go for our Kedah class in the past, but leave the OPV specs and costs to coast guard standards under MMEA. Operating OPVs painted white would also have a different outcome in policing tasks. Right now if the Kedah class catch any IUU fishing vessels, they would need to be transferred to MMEA before they can be charged. Having MMEA operating the Kedah class OPVs, the arrest s would be much more straightforward.

    ” We can’t “safely” assume that… ”

    That is IMO basically the best option that we have to bring the fight to a bigger more stronger opponent in the maritime domain. With bases placed on both west and east side of south china sea, maritime strike with long range missiles outside of the air defence missile range of frigates would be the main strike option from the air. Submarines operating in a busy waterway like the south china sea is not thr same as quiet open ocean of the atlantic, or even the lesser traffic of the baltics. Submarines will make any agressor think twice and devote major resources to find our subs instead of attacking our nation.

  78. You still dont get it do you? still believing that our navy have enough surface combatant like neighbouring countries..Its not an arm race sure but we must able to prepare for the worst case scenario..and theres delay in LCS delivery..yeah your suggestion was great and make sense but only if govt give enough fund to make it work..so many assumption not gonna expand our navy fleet..The term like “should cost”, “doable”, “govt should” not gonna solve problems at hand.Just admit it deep inside you also wanna our navy to uparming their kedahs..

  79. @…

    I was referring to the KASTURI SLEP program. Issue between BNS and MTU when the SLEP involved change of the MCS3 engine control system to a non-MTU make.

  80. @…,

    “Operational support should be similar to what is needed for the ex japan OPVs and new damen OPVs.”

    huhuhu…. not true. The technical and maintenance support required for the KEDAH class will always be significantly higher than the DAMEN OPVs. I always like to bring up the IPMS as a good example. The DAMEN OPVs operate a commercial standard IPMS with less than 2000 signals to manage, while the KEDAH operates a military standard IPMS with approximately 5000 signals. Most platform fittings and equipment are military standard on the KEDAH and need to comply to MIL-901 standards. Even the standard 3616 from CAT had to undergo modifications to meet this standard, including additional sealing rings on the turbochargers and stronger brackets and mountings. The DAMEN OPVs only have to comply to normal marine standards. Even if the CMS and other military sensors are removed and replaced by standalone systems, my bet is the refit will be in the region of RM 60 million, way beyond what the MMEA can afford.

    BTW, I was informed that the refit cost of KD KEDAH at LSE was around RM 95 million, similar to the KD PAHANG refit cost at BNS.

    Repl
    LCS I was told up to 15000 signals. The Damen OPV was originally 10000 signals but MMEA insisted it be be dumbed down as they not keen on automation

  81. @ Firdaus

    I am not sure who actually does not get it. I am actually preparing for the worse case scenario, and that does not involve uparming the Kedah Class. Sending out a fully armed Kedah Class ship into the mayhem will not affect the outcome much in a high threat worse case scenario.

    @ Api 69

    If future refits of the Kedah class dumbed down still costing RM60 million (usd15 million), then it is something that we need to pay for. At least the operational and sustainment costs would be lower than if it is operated under TLDM, overall it is still a cost saved for the government. As it is the OPVs are better used operationally painted white under MMEA. If you look at TLDM twitter posts, it is littered with remarks of Kedah Class ships catching illegal fishing vessels, but they need to pass them to MMEA for further action. This additional action, delay and time wasted would not happen if the Kedah Class is operated under MMEA.

    If It is to be passed to MMEA, the Kedah Class should be the vessels used to monitor the Chinese Coast Guard vessels, due to its high damage tolerance standards, and advanced sensors. Other OPVs such as the Damen 1800 OPV would be better deployed in the East Coast, Esscom or Selat Melaka areas.

  82. … – “That is IMO basically the best option that we have to bring the fight”

    It depends.

    Like I said : if an opponent brought strong surface ASW units; backed up by airborne ASW assets, airpower l and also subs; then the ability of our subs and aircraft to do their job will be severely restricted.

    We can’t “safely” assume anything. We won’t be the only ones with subs. Others will also have subs (as well as other assets – in numbers) and will be expecting us to deploy our subs.

    History has clearly shown what happens when subs are present but are unable to do what they’re supposed to do because they’re unable to get into the right position or are more focused on evading detection and destruction.. Also bear in mind a SSKs Achilles Heel : battery supply and the need to recharge its batteries.

    …. – “Going against a fleet like the PLAN, an uparmed OPVs isnt going to contribute much to the outcome, so for our future OPVs”

    Such a scenario should never arise. After all that’s not what any OPV is intended to do.

    The Kedahs indeed were planned at a time when there was no MMEA but they also had a wartime role; things such as convoy escort, patrols, etc. The fact that the 5/15 includes more Kedahs is interesting as it shows the RMN still desires a high/low end mix.

    That is fine but personally I feel that low end part should be performed by something else than a Kedah.

    … – “Originally it was planned to be a joint buy with Australia””

    No ….. The Australians “planned” and hoped but we were never serious about it.

    …. – “Submarines will make any agressor think twice and devote major resources to find our subs instead of attacking our nation””

    So you keep saying but it also depends on what opponent brings to the fight. The opponent will have a numerical and qualitative advantage and will have his own subs and ASW assets in place.

    …. – “ busy waterway like the south china sea is not thr same as quiet open ocean of the atlantic””

    Obviously but the core principles remain the same. Operating a sub in an open sea environment compared to a littoral one has its plus and minuses.

  83. P.S.

    Like everything else; operational circumstances dictate how we’ll deploy our subs. We’ll place them in a situation where we have some level of advantage and where they have a reasonably good chance of doing their job.
    The fact that we only have 2 boats will also loom large in our calculations and the level risk we’re willing to accept.

    What we won’t do is deploy them is a situation where they’ll be disadvantaged; whether because there are enemy subs in the area or because the enemy is expecting us and in addition to subs; has also other assets deployed – in numbers.

  84. … – “lenty of other ships that is passed on to MMEA that was older than that at the time of transfer, including the ex japan OPVs, ex Musytaris, Vospers, ex police PX and PZ boats””

    Yes and what kind of maintenance/ support and serviceability issues did the MMEA face with these aged assets?

    For a number of reasons; getting a new OPV tailored to the MMEA’s requirements would in a long term be a more practical and cost efficient solution …. Handing over the Kedahs on paper looks but in reality may not be such a great option.

  85. …. – “ If you look at TLDM twitter posts, it is littered with remarks of Kedah Class ships catching illegal fishing vessels, but they need to pass them to MMEA for further action””

    This is because a RMN ship chanced upon the trawler. Handing it over to the MMEA means the RMN ship can continue its patrol and the MMEA – as the proper agency – can take the next steps.

    Even if the MMEA has 10 OPVs in service chance are RMN will still occasionally bump into the odd trawler or boat of illegals.

  86. @ azlan

    ” This is because a RMN ship chanced upon the trawler ”
    What I meant is that if the Kedah Class was operated by the MMEA, there is no need of a “handover” protocol.

    ” For a number of reasons; getting a new OPV tailored to the MMEA’s requirements would in a long term be a more practical and cost efficient solution …. Handing over the Kedahs on paper looks but in reality may not be such a great option ”
    In a perfect world that would be the obvious solution. Whatever option is chosen, those Kedahs operationally should not be under TLDM, for practical and political reasons. Those Kedahs painted white would be politically seen as less escalatory, and the correct civilian enforcement response to foreign Coast Guard encroaching our EEZ. The higher operating cost of the Kedah Class ships is something we need to take up until the ships are retired and replaced, which would be quite far into the future.

  87. @ azlan

    ” History has clearly shown what happens when subs are present but are unable to do what they’re supposed to do because they’re unable to get into the right position or are more focused on evading detection and destruction.. Also bear in mind a SSKs Achilles Heel : battery supply and the need to recharge its batteries ”

    I know of plenty of tactics that our submariners have that cannot be replicated in the open atlantic ocean or the baltics, that should not be discussed in an open forum like this.

    Anyway even if our subs did not manage to sink a single enemy ship, the delay it causes, and the resources expended to search for the sub instead of attacking us would be worthwhile. Our surface fleet cannot give the same effect to the enemy like our submarine fleet.

    As for battery supply, in 10 years time, Li-Ion technology would have matured enough to be used in our submarines.Even if the enemy has the technologies, we would still have an upper hand, as we are playing in our turf, our subs attacking their surface ships while our own surface ships is not at play. An attacking enemy force needs to bring their surface fleet carrying their invasion forces to our shore.

  88. ….. – “ Kedahs operationally should not be under TLDM, for practical and political reasons””

    This we’re agreed upon but the fact is they are and that unless replacements are already ordered the RMN can’t and won’t transfer them.

    There is also the question whether the Kedahs are suitable for the MMEA from a maintenance/support and operational perspective.

  89. …. – “that should not be discussed in an open forum like this””

    Each navy will have its own way of doing things but I general the differences when it comes to operating boats in open waters and in littoral ones are well know. Granted specific tactics or way of doing certain things will not be openly shared but in general we can figure out how certain things will be done.

    …. “not manage to sink a single enemy ship, the delay it causes, and the resources expended to search for the sub instead of attacking us would be worthwhile”

    Maybe, maybe not.

    A side employing strong surface units backed by strong air and sub support may be able to keep
    an opposing sub at arms length and might only have to allocate minimal resources to keep that sub busy whilst other elements carry out their primary task.

    … – “As for battery supply, in 10 years time, Li-Ion technology would have matured enough to be used in our submarines””

    That’s great but I’m talking about the present and the foreseeable future. A SSK’s biggest problem is power supply and an enemy will take advantage of this. The worst that can happen to a SSK is being unable to recharge its batteries.

    ….. – “Our surface fleet cannot give the same effect to the enemy like our submarine fleet”

    Neither can we assume that our subs can …..

    Granted the subs will have – obviously – advantages over our surface units and AirPower but their effective use and deployments is dependent on a host of factors.

    Like everything else; operational circumstances dictate how we’ll deploy our subs. We’ll place them in a situation where we have some level of advantage and where they have a reasonably good chance of doing their job.
    The fact that we only have 2 boats will also loom large in our calculations and the level risk we’re willing to accept.

    What we won’t do is deploy them is a situation where they’ll be disadvantaged; whether because there are enemy subs in the area or because the enemy is expecting us and in addition to subs; has also other assets deployed – in numbers.

    Should a full scale conflict arise in the South China Sea it will be a crowded sub surface environment; many subs from various players will be there and ‘accidents” can happen. For this reason and others; we may choose to deploy our boats on the periphery or even deeper inside our waters to cater for various possibilities.

  90. …. – “. An attacking enemy force needs to bring their surface fleet carrying their invasion forces to our shore.”

    Obviously but such a fleet will have ASW, air power and other assets in support. Also a “surface fleet carrying invasion forces to our shores” is not the main worry for the simple reason that the enemy doesn’t have to land …..

    What it has to do is to deny us access to where we want to go (to international shipping lanes and to our reefs) and deny us the ability to effectively deploy our military assets.

  91. Take indonesia for example..their navy will acquire a certain number of opvs in the future and they are still operating 6 ‘modern’ corvettes at least with 3 diponegoros n 3 bung tomos..infact they are planning to upgrade their bung tomos with mica and exo block 3..

  92. @Marhalim

    The DAMEN OPVs were never planned for 10000 signals. From my sources, it was initially thought to require around 3000 signals (note that the KEDAH class has around 5000), but finally ended up with around 1500 signals only for the IPMS to control and manage. The IPMS on the 1800 is also COTS without any customisation. The ship platform control functionality is designed around the IPMS selected (which BTW is from Alewijnse of the Netherlands).

  93. …. – “we would still have an upper hand, as we are playing in our turf, our subs attacking their surface ships””

    You could be right. As for me I tend to be more circumspect or pessimistic based on the operational challenges we may face. I will not assume we’ll have the “upper hand” – especially not against an opponent who has a pretty good idea of what we’re capable off and who has a advantage in numbers and possibly even in quality.

    My concern is our subs having major problems getting into position because of interference from strong surface and air ASW units; the possibility of enemy subs that are there for the purpose of protecting their surface units against enemy subs and the problems our subs face due to a lack of support from other assets.

  94. @ azlan

    ” My concern is our subs having major problems getting into position because of interference from strong surface and air ASW units; the possibility of enemy subs that are there for the purpose of protecting their surface units against enemy subs and the problems our subs face due to a lack of support from other assets ”

    Of course that would be the main challenges in operating our sub force, but when compared to raising and maintaining a credible surface force to confront our enemies, the submarine force would be much more survivable and a much more credible deterrence to field with the limited resources that we have. But that should not be our only focus. Daily peacetime missions would be the first thing that we need to have enough of, with MMEA to be fully equipped and able to fulfil all its operational missions. Then our naval surface force, that could undertake peacetime monitoring of foreign subs and surface ships, undertake medium threat missions on its own, and contribute to high threat missions along with our allies.

    Even australia is planning to double its submarine fleet starting around 2030. Vietnam navy comprises mainly their submarines and shore based anti-ship missiles as their main deterrence. Singapore is going to have 4 advanced submarines in the near future, while Indonesia is planning to have 12 probably by the end of 2030. While we probably cannot afford to have 12 conventional subs in our fleet, a compromise of 6 conventional and 6 minisubs would be an achievable plan, with future Li-ion tech enabling much more longer submerged range, long enough to play around the small South China Sea area.

  95. The Kedah class must remain wirh thw RMN until the RMN has the fund to replace them 1 for 1.
    Just for discussion purpose. Maybw we can look at the issue in thw SCS in a diffetent perspective.
    What we need is constant presence n to dominate the sea.
    The best solution may not be more ships. Mayne it can be old oil platforms thats armed with Radan missiles or even rocket batteries.
    May be we can examine other options like buying old oil freighters n converting them to be mobile missile n rocket platforms.

  96. …. – “Of course that would be the main challenges in operating our sub force””

    The “of course” not withstanding the impression I get is that you are looking at things from a best case scenario : that by virtue of being hard to detect (compared to surface units) that our subs will be able to do what you hope they can do. Call me a pessimist but I’m just looking at things from other angles.

    …. – “he submarine force would be much more survivable and a mlmuch more credible deterrence to field with the limited resources that we have””

    I’m not as confident that as you are; for the reasons given. I will not assume that they will indeed be more survivable or will be able to do what our surface and air units are unable to do.

    Like everything else there will be times and places which are conducive for the effective deployment of subs and times where they won’t.

    There is also the fact that being survivable is not sufficient; they have to be able to carry our their tasks. If they are unable to do that for whatever reason (including evading detection by numerically superior ASW surface and air units; then they’re not contributing much.

    Anyway, enough for me. Maybe you’re right, maybe you’re not – same goes for me. Won’t be the first nor the last time we have different opinions 🙂

    …. – “ Daily peacetime missions would be the first thing that we need to have enough of, with MMEA to be fully equipped and able to fulfil””

    This is something we both agree on.

  97. With the discussion so far centering on feasibility of having Kedah class ships operated by either RMN/ MMEA, what’s the role of the LMS in the overall scheme of things? As MMEA getting more ships (hopefully) in the future the function of the LMSes seems to be redundant. I see the Kedah-class as being the low-end of the mix while the Gowind or some other future frigate becoming the high end part.

    Or perhaps RMN should retain the Kedah-class, and give the LMS to MMEA? The LMSes are not that complex compared to the Kedah-class (I think).

    “May be we can examine other options like buying old oil freighters n converting them to be mobile missile n rocket platforms.”

    I previously suggested putting something like ASTROS batteries on auxiliary ships as makeshift fire support vessels. USMC had tested such a concept, albeit using a LST instead of auxiliary vessels.

  98. What’s the status of Laksamana-class corvettes? Could we use those as OPVs, albeit without the launchers and just retaining the main gun?

  99. Lee – “best solution may not be more ships””

    The most effective solution would be to have adequate numbers of ships, aircraft and other assets; including ISR; backed by land based surveillance systems – all networked.

  100. …. – “ attacking enemy force needs to bring their surface fleet carrying their invasion forces to our shore””

    Slim chance or little need for an invasion force” for the simple reason that it’s not needed. If there was fighting on our territory would be with neighbours who share a commons border with us.

    With regards to the Spratlys an opponent merely has to deny us access (whether to international shipping lanes or access to our reefs) and to deny us the ability to effectively deploy our military assets in the area.

    Even if there was an “invasion force” chances it would be adequately supported by strong air and surface assets and would be expecting us to deploy our subs to the area.

  101. ASM – “What’s the status of Laksamana-class corvettes””

    From what I was told the main issue with them (apart from non functioning systems due to age) was the state of their hulls. Of course the RMN will continue to employ them for routine patrols until replacements are available.

    Unless I’m mistaken they will be retired when all 4 LMSs enter service. There were feasibility studies done on upgrading them but it was decided that it wasn’t a good return of investment given their overall condition.

  102. @ firdaus

    Indonesian navy need to cover an area bigger than the whole width of the Mediterraneans. They need much more surface ship than we need. We still need OPVs, we still need Frigates, but i dont see us needing corvettes (in the conventional sense) as they are not surviable in high intensity scenarios. Our LMS should be a specialized corvette that is tailored to fighting insurgent boats (not other corvettes or frigates) and swarming type attacks, but we got is a glorified patrol boat instead.

    @ lee yoke meng

    ” The best solution may not be more ships. Mayne it can be old oil platforms thats armed with Radan missiles or even rocket batteries.
    May be we can examine other options like buying old oil freighters n converting them to be mobile missile n rocket platforms ”

    With the future filled with long range anti-ship missiles, anti-ship ballistic missiles, supersonic and hypersonic (mach 11++) anti-ship missiles, anything static, big and slow on the surface even armed with plenty of missiles and rockets would not fare much better than repulse and price of wales in ww2 when faced with a high intensity scenario.

    Constant presence in peacetime scenario would be by MMEA OPVs, MPMVs and what i propose the long endurance medium sail patrol vessels. These are not to deter other navies but to deter fising vessels and other illegal civilian activities.

    @ ASM

    Laksamana class without the missiles is basically similar to the capability to our new LMS68. Yes i would like to know what are the future plans for the laksamanas too, we know of the repowering and life extension plan for all the FACs but no announcement of the laksamanas fate in the recent tldm anniversary celebration. It was said to be reolaced one for one with the LMS, but plans changed so many times i am not sure if this is still the case.

    The LMS concept should be a multi-purpose warfighting ship that can bring the fight to small fast insurgent boats in a lahad datu like scenario, able to take up modular mine countermeasure systems, take on hydrographic survey tasks and do logistic support of our offshore stations. It was to be 1 design to replace multiple other vessel designs. Unfortunately due to our need for china to cover up our 1MDB losses, TLDM was saddled with a super expensive patrol boat instead for the LMS. The LMS68 cannot be considered a platform that could fulfill all the LMS requirements. Ideally those 4 should be passed on to MMEA and the LMS programme reset. But now most of the vessels the LMS is supposed to replace has been planned for repowering and life extension so lets see.

    @ azlan

    As i have said previously, of course TLDM cannot afford to transfer the Kedah class now, but in 2026-2030 the batch 1 Gowinds can basically be the 1 to 1 replacement for the Kedah class in TLDM fleet.

    As for the sub fleet, yes we have just 2 now, why i am advocating to get at least 1 more by 2030 (with the money saved by not buying more OPVs for TLDM as per the original 15 to 5 plan), and additional 3 subs plus 6 DG350s in 2031-2040 timeframe. Lets make TLDM the maritime deterrence force that it should be, with the MMEA being the main force to police our maritime area during peacetime.

  103. @ASM
    I presume the LMS role is to be a smaller yet more flexible OPV/multi-purpose ship configurable for various low end missions, which would be cheaper & faster to mass produced more, run & maintained than the Kedahs. Also as support to the main hitters with the right mission modules, ie. if armed with containerised VL Mica or NSM, it could launch missiles that would piggyback on the sensor guidance from LCS/land based radar.

  104. More fake news from china

    http://www.scspi.org/en/dtfx/1594638724

    The biggest elephant in the room that was not even addressed by the writer of the article is that most of the so called “islands” in the chinese make believe map, are not even islands!!! The southernmost chinese island that they call the zhengmu ansha (which is a direct translation of james shoal) isnt even an island. It is at least 20m underwater!!

    If chinese have been there for thousands of years, most of the islands around south china sea would have chinese names. But no islands in natuna, around sarawak and sabah has chinese names. Their map resorted to direct chinese translation of english names of the admiralty map. Another lie is that the area is the traditional fishing area of the chinese. James shoal is 1000 nautical miles from Hainan island, while just 45 nautical miles from bintulu. 200 years ago, without refrigeration system there is no way any fishermen venturing more than 1 day sailing distance from shore, as the fish would rot. So the premise of chinese fishermen fishing in james shoal thousands of years ago is just a big lie.

  105. ASM – “what’s the role of the LMS in the overall scheme of things”

    Out of necessity – not of preference or choice – the RMN planned to have a high/low end mix and also adopt the modular payload concept/practice for the LMSs. The LMSs (like the Kedahs) are intended to perform a variety of roles in a more practical/cost effective manner that won’t require a LCS or Lekiu.

    We are agreed on the need for the MMEA to take on a greater responsibility for constabulary types roles but until sufficient funds are allocated; the RMN will have to continue to shoulder the burden. On paper the Kedahs should go to the MMEA but in reality they – for various reasons – will not be practical for the MMEA.

    ASM – “ Kedah-class as being the low-end of the mix while the Gowind or some other future frigate becoming the high end part”

    That is precisely what there were intended to do when RMN planning called for a high end mix of 6 Lekius in the early to mid 2000 period. The RMN would like to move away from constabulary type roles (like how the RMAF wants to handover the troop carrying/logistics type role to the army) but it can’t until the time comes when the MMEA is sufficiently funded.

    Ultimately it all boils down to policy and mindset – defence is something we only spend on when times are good – not a priority. Which is why (like a broken record) I keep stressing the need for fundamental/deep changes to be made.

  106. ASM – “ASTROS batteries on auxiliary ships as makeshift fire support vessels”

    In the larger scheme of things we’d be better off with land based guided ASMs but we’d also need a strike/recce capability to be able to effectively operate it. It’s one thing having a ASM with “x” range; another thing being able to detect targets (land based ESM, radar, MPAs, etc) and being able to hit what we aim at. Not to mention effectively coordinating the use of ASMs with other assets.

  107. @ azlan

    ” The RMN would like to move away from constabulary type roles (like how the RMAF wants to handover the troop carrying/logistics type role to the army) but it can’t until the time comes when the MMEA is sufficiently funded ”

    I understand that right now TLDM needs to hold the line until MMEA has been sufficiently equipped and operational budget beefed up. IMO the development budget for MMEA is adequate given its function as a civilian enforcement unit not needing high end milspec equipments. What we need is just to have a confirmation of maintaining this level of development budget up to 2040, while increasing the operational budget to be on par with its enlarged size. PPSMM2040 is quite new, and the MMEA reequipment with new ships is just starting. Right now it is not a matter of not upgrading the MMEA, its just that we cannot get hold of new ships quickly enough. Maybe we still need to look at used ships to beef up the MMEA fleet up till 2030.

    There are quite a few used ships out there that can be quickly inducted into the MMEA fleet. There are proposals previously on used oil and gas supply ships and OSVs. Then there are the South Korean Pohang Class corvettes, which have been bought by quite a few foreign coast guards and navies. We could ask Australia for a few more of the Bay Class patrol boats, which 2 was donated to MMEA previously. New Zealand Navy just retired 2 of their 55m Lake Class inshore patrol vessels, which are used sparingly due to lack of manpower. Another 2 is due to be retired soon, and MMEA taking all 4 would be a good solution to increase the fleet numbers quickly.

    RNZN Lake Class IPV
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/45/HMNZS_Rotoiti_and_HMNZS_Pukaki_in_2010.jpg

    Ex Bay Class MMEA
    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/IMG_5544-1.jpg

    Ex Pohang Class Peru Coast Guard
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/be/BAP_Ferr%C3%A9_%28PM-211%29.jpg/1280px-BAP_Ferr%C3%A9_%28PM-211%29.jpg

    So this should mean that TLDM doesnt need to plan for constabulary duties in the future. No need to buy more ships just for constabulary duties like OPVs. That is one of my big gripes about the 15 to 5 plan, which seems to assume that the MMEA does not exist. The LMS originally not meant to be just a patrol boat. The LMS should be a potent multi role fighting ship for the littorals, but politics ruined it and it came out to be just a glorified hyper expensive patrol boat.

  108. ….. – “ No need to buy more ships just for constabulary duties like OPVs””

    There is such plan. The Kedahs are intended to perform such roles (until the MMEA can fully take over) but also certain wartime roles.

    …. – “my big gripes about the 15 to 5 plan, which seems to assume that the MMEA does not exist””

    Actually it doesn’t.

    It takes into account the reality that the MMEA will be unable to fully carry out all its tasks until sufficient funding is available and that will be a long time in coming.

  109. …. – “8. Yes i would like to know what are the future plans for the laksamanas too””

    Simple – to the scrap yard or as a target.

    They are in such bad condition that nobody will want them. Like the FACs the intention is to spend the bare minimum in order to keep them operational until they can be replaced.

    …. – “in 2026-2030 the batch 1 Gowinds can basically be the 1 to 1 replacement for the Kedah class in TLDM fleet.””

    The RMN can’t and won’t retire/sell/transfer/dispose of them until immediate replacements are available; even after the LCS Batch 1s have all been delivered.

    ….. – “why i am advocating to get at least 1 more by 2030””

    The danger is the possibility of the 3rd boat sharing little commonality with the first 2. Logically a 3td boat will have improvements over the first 2.
    If we wait too long DCNS might not be marketing Scoripenes anymore

    Just like how if we get pre owned Flankers they have to be equipped to a higher and newer standard than the MKMs which are equipped with stuff designed in the 1990’s. Ideally the 1st Batch would be upgraded similar to the 2nd batch; not doing so would be a regressive move.

    As for the present with the subs; I made it a point to emphasis why (your future plans aside) we’d be very careful in ensuring that both are deployed in operational conditions where they wouldn’t be severely disadvantaged – for whatever reason – because we only have 2.

  110. …. – “ But now most of the vessels the LMS is supposed to replace has been planned for repowering and life extension so lets see””

    Because only 4 LMSs have been ordered and others could come in 5, 8 or 15 years (nobody knows when or even if) so the RMN has no choice but to keep into service aged and maintenance extensive ships that should have been retired years ago. Further delays will mean than in the coming years some of the FACs and the Laksamanas will have to be retired.

  111. …. – “TLDM the maritime deterrence force that”

    “Deterrence” is relative. Dependent on whom we want to “deter” and the ability of others to counter our “deterrence”. The type or level of “deterrence” we can acquire and sustain (based on finances and other resources) might deter sone but won’t deter others; especially those with a far larger numerical and qualitative advantage over us.

    I would like a well balanced RMN; one that is equipped to deal with the types of threats likely to be faced and the types of threats we can realistically handle: whether on our own or in cooperation with others. An RMN we can also afford to sustain and one that has its operations well integrated and managed with its sister services.

  112. @ azlan

    ” The danger is the possibility of the 3rd boat sharing little commonality with the first 2. Logically a 3td boat will have improvements over the first 2 ”

    The 3rd sub would of course have the latest upgrades. Next refit for the 1st 2 ships (around 2028-2030 after the 3rd sub is build) would upgrade them to the same specs of the 3rd sub, which is actually just a nice time window to have all 3 subs to the same standards.

    ” The RMN can’t and won’t retire/sell/transfer/dispose of them until immediate replacements are available; even after the LCS Batch 1s have all been delivered ”

    TLDM has transferred ships to MMEA and retired ships without replacements plenty of times before.

    ” Because only 4 LMSs have been ordered and others could come in 5, 8 or 15 years (nobody knows when or even if) so the RMN has no choice but to keep into service aged and maintenance extensive ships that should have been retired years ago. Further delays will mean than in the coming years some of the FACs and the Laksamanas will have to be retired ”

    RMK12 plans for TLDM already rolled out.
    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/back-into-the-future/
    8 more LMS. Also 12 more FACs to be repowered (2 already completed repowering)

  113. @ azlan

    ” I would like a well balanced RMN; one that is equipped to deal with the types of threats likely to be faced and the types of threats we can realistically handle: whether on our own or in cooperation with others ”

    I would want a well balanced RMN too. But probably what i consider balanced is different to what you think.

    RMN now is too “light” for my liking, and doing and planning to do to much of what the MMEA is supposed to do. I want the RMN to be much more potent and feared force compared to what it is right now, that could confidently fight our enemies (able to sink a destroyer or two before being forced to the negotiating table) and contribute to an allied force. A force that our leaders can depend when the difficult time comes. I would like most of the peacetime missions done by MMEA, with RMN taking more of the warlike taskings. I would also want a RMN that can sustain its operational tasks. What i planned would have in overall, lower sustainment costs and manpower needs than the original 15 to 5 plan. This would include all submarines having 2 operational crews (gold and blue). Not having to buy 18 naval spec OPVs, their crews and operational costs is more than enough to cover the additional 1 frigate, 2 sub and 6 minisubs that is different in my plan when compared to the original 15 to 5 plan.

  114. …. – “TLDM has transferred ships to MMEA and retired ships without replacements plenty of times before””

    The Marikhs and PCs were transferred at a time when the Kedahs were already entering service and the RMN was happy to get rid of them …..

    …. – “S. Also 12 more FACs to be repowered (2 already completed repowering)””

    Like I said : only the bare minimum will be spent on them in order to keep them operational until they can be retired ……

  115. …. – “The 3rd sub would of course have the latest upgrades””

    Notwithstanding your “of courses”; I’m not as sanguine as you are, given our history of doing things. Which is why a deep and fundamental rethink is needed to undo years of flawed policy. Unless that happens we will repeat and keep in repeating the same mistakes.

  116. …. – “RMN now is too “light” for my liking, and doing and planning to do to much of what the MMEA is supposed to do””

    It’s a reflection of the MAF as a whole and the impotence than defence plays in the order of things …… Under resourced and overstretched.

    …, – “. I would like most of the peacetime missions done by MMEA”

    The RMN would like that too …

    …. – “o. I want the RMN to be much more potent and feared force compared to what it is right now””

    I would settle for it to be a more balanced force; one we can sustain financially and one that can in conjunction with its sister services be able to handle the types of threats we are likely or able to face.

    I would also like to see a corresponding improvement in shore support and training infrastructure as well as operational funding to go along with whatever new assets we acquire in the coming years.

  117. What i am proposing is to transfer the Kedahs at a time when all the Maharajalela SGPV LCS Gowinds has entered service 2026-2030.

  118. ….

    We all know what you’re proposing but as has discussed on several occasions there may be reasons why this won’t be a practical solution for the MMEA as far as operational suitability goes and issues related to running/upkeep costs.

    Also – as has been discussed previously – unless immediate replacements are available the under resourced RMN is unlikely to give up the Kedahs because they also have a role to play in times of conflict; irrespective of the fact that they are lightly armed. A lot will also depend on whether follow on LMSs are ordered.

  119. …. – “undisputable fact that they did plan to buy 18 opvs””

    Did anyone say otherwise or dispute this?

    The follow on Kedahs are intended to perform roles during times of conflict but like the first batch are also intended to perform constabulary type roles until a time when the MMEA can fully take over – the claim that the 5/15 doesn’t take into account the MMEA is simply untrue ….

    You want to ask a pertinent question; why in the 5/15 is there a need for both the LMS and follow on Kedahs to perform roles not needed by frigates? Both are intended to perform secondary type roles but cant such roles be performed by a single class? Id so should be the size of a Kedah or a smaller LMS?

  120. @ azlan

    “Why in the 5/15 is there a need for both the LMS and follow on Kedahs to perform roles not needed by frigates? Both are intended to perform secondary type roles but cant such roles be performed by a single class? Id so should be the size of a Kedah or a smaller LMS? ”

    Both LMS and follow on Kedahs are to perform roles not to be done by frigates, yes. But that is where the similarities end.

    Follow on Kedahs are to basically function as OPVs for peacetime constabulary duties. The functions are probably secondary to a platform like the frigates, but a primary one for the Kedah class, the follow on Kedahs and even the MMEA Damen 1800 OPVs. The exact reason why the numbers (18 ships) are about the same as the numbers of large patrol ships required by MMEA in Pelan Perancangan Strategik Maritim Malaysia 2040 (PPSMM 2040) (20 ships). Also a big reason why the duplication is not needed.

    The LMS was supposed to be a multi role fighting ship optimized to excel in the littoral zone. Able to :
    – Take the fight to non-state actors and insurgents in heavily armed fast small boats, even in swarms. With multiple guns and small missiles to easily take them out.
    – able to deploy unmanned mine hunting and countermeasure systems as the replacement of dedicated MCMV ships.
    – able to undertake hydrographic survey missions.
    – able to do HADR and offshore station logistic support.
    – able to do patrol missions done by FAC and laksamana corvettes.

    But what we got currently with the LMS68 in its current configuration is just a glorified patrol ship. What we do know that for RMK12 2021-2025, another 8 LMS is going to be ordered, for a current confirmed total of 12 LMS. Would it be the same ship as batch 1? Probably.

    If it is going to be additional LMS68s, what we could to to enhance its fighting capability by upgrading its guns (bofors 57mm salvaged from the FACs and twin 30mm RCWS on the location of the 0.50cal machine guns), and to put a modular pallet that houses vertical launchers for CM-501GA missiles. Mine countermeasures and mine hunting would probably need another platform, which surplus offshore OSV ships could fulfill under TLDM auxiliary fleet, similar to BM5 and BM6.

  121. “You want to ask a pertinent question; why in the 5/15 is there a need for both the LMS and follow on Kedahs to perform roles not needed by frigates? Both are intended to perform secondary type roles but cant such roles be performed by a single class? ”

    I think the presence of two classes in 15/5 reflects a few things. One being that the Kedah’s greater size, endurance and the capability to embark a helicopter are worth paying the marginal amount over the LMS’s price. The Kedah is probably wanted for longer endurance missions at greater distances from bases and in rougher seas.

    The Kedahs have not been fitted with the intended system, and despite the talk of the LMS’s mission loads these have not materialized either, nor is the RMN keen on the choice of LMS it was forced to accept. It is possible that the RMN is at least open to the possibility of equipping the Kedahs for various roles that the LMS is ostensibly supposed to handle. Pending the allocation of funds of course. The Kedah’s size, endurance and other qualities mean that it can perform some of the LMS’s stated roles more effective than the LMS under certain conditions.

    I would not assume that the RMN simply intends to continue operating the Kedahs as OPVs, in the manner that it has for the past decade or so.

  122. AM – “”The Kedah’s size, endurance and other qualities mean that it can perform some of the LMS’s stated roles”

    Certainly. We can also argue that it’s more expensive to operate/support and that if fittrd with modular payloads (remains to be seen for widely adopted or even effective it will be for the RMN); certain conditions don’t call for a vessel the size/displacement of a Kedah.

    Depends on the trade offs/ compromises and penalties the RMN is willing to make and incur.

    AM – “I would not assume that the RMN simply intends to continue operating the Kedahs as OPVs”

    And why would you?

    The Kedahs were always intended to perform secondary roles in times of conflict and is why a few years ago there were feasibility studies done on arming them.

    I also don’t put too much into the “OPV” designation as one man’s “OPV” can be another man’s “corvette” or even “frigate”. I would also argue that the Kedahs are “patrol vessels” or “even general purpose vessels” (in a certain context) in the way they are employed.

    Given the way they are fitted (the sensors fit) they can also be called “mini frigates” if one desired. Then again we can also have a “OPV” or “corvette” armed with a 16 cell VLS, 8 SSMs other things. What would in the past be a “destroyer” can and often called a “frigate” these days.

  123. AM – “ RMN keen on the choice of LMS it was forced to accept ”

    I’ll go further and state that the RMN also wasn’t keen on LMSs equipped with modular payloads. This was a compromise due to a lack of funds.

    This topic has been done to death with but the key fact remains that the modular payload approach has been a success for some but not for others. Some navies are sold on the idea; some aren’t.

    A major problem with the 4 LMSs is that the modular payloads we desire are not widely available from Chinese suppliers. Getting Western ones would require integration/certification.

    Follow on batches of LMSs will be from a different source. Unfortunately I was correct when i states that the 5/15 (which in glossy Power Point format was a PR success which bedazzled many) was subject to changes beyond the RMN’s control and would die a natural death….

  124. AM – “possibility of equipping the Kedahs for various roles that the LMS is ostensibly supposed to handle””

    The only way would be to do away with the heli-deck and utilise it to place the modular payload. Naturally a host of other modifications would also be required.The plus point is that various payloads from Western suppliers (including Atlas) are available.

    We can safely assume that follow on ones (if indeed ordered) will have some longstanding issues rectified. For the LCS requirement Thyssen offered an enlarged:lengthened A-100 with a stack.

  125. @ azlan

    “Why in the 5/15 is there a need for both the LMS and follow on Kedahs to perform roles not needed by frigates? Both are intended to perform secondary type roles but cant such roles be performed by a single class? Id so should be the size of a Kedah or a smaller LMS? ”

    Both LMS and follow on Kedahs are to perform roles not to be done by frigates, yes. But that is where the similarities end.

    Follow on Kedahs are to basically function as OPVs for peacetime constabulary duties. The functions are probably secondary to a platform like the frigates, but a primary one for the Kedah class, the follow on Kedahs and even the MMEA Damen 1800 OPVs. The exact reason why the numbers of required follow on Kedahs (18 ships) are about the same as the numbers of large patrol ships required by MMEA in Pelan Perancangan Strategik Maritim Malaysia 2040 (PPSMM 2040) (20 ships). This a big reason why IMO the duplication is not needed, and RMN should not have planned for 18 follow on Kedahs if they actually coordinated with MMEA when they wrote their 15 to 5 plan.

    The LMS was not planned to be just a smaller copy of the Kedah class OPV. It was supposed to be a multi role fighting ship optimized to excel in the littoral zone, replacing several different types of ships. Able to :
    – Take the fight to non-state actors and insurgents in heavily armed fast small boats, even in swarms. With multiple guns and small missiles to easily take them out.
    – able to deploy unmanned mine hunting and countermeasure systems as the replacement of dedicated MCMV ships.
    – able to undertake hydrographic survey missions.
    – able to do HADR and offshore station logistic support.
    – As a secondary task able to do patrol missions done by FAC and laksamana corvettes.

    But what we got currently with the LMS68 in its current configuration is just a glorified patrol ship. What we do know that for RMK12 2021-2025, another 8 LMS is going to be ordered, for a current confirmed total of 12 LMS. Would it be the same ship as batch 1? Probably.

    If it is going to be additional LMS68s, what could be done to to enhance its fighting capability is by upgrading its guns (bofors 57mm salvaged from the FACs and two 30mm RCWS on the location of the 0.50cal machine guns), and to put a modular pallet that houses vertical launchers for CM-501GA missiles. Mine countermeasures and mine hunting would probably need to be done by another platform, which surplus offshore OSV ships could fulfill under TLDM auxiliary fleet, similar to BM5 and BM6.

  126. …. – “Follow on Kedahs are to basically function as OPVs for peacetime constabulary duties”

    This is not the only reason they are needed – this is the point I keep making.

    My question was about their wartime roles. The RMN sees a need for the Kedahs to not only have a peacetime constabulary role but also to conduct certain wartime roles.

    Thus my question as to the need for both Kedahs and LMSs; given that both are to conduct certain roles enabling the LCSs and Lekius to perform other things. The question really is whether a single type of vessel can perform these roles.

    …. – “if they actually coordinated with MMEA when they wrote their 15 to 5 plan.”

    Coordination is one thing. The plain fact remains that for the foreseeable future the MMEA will not get the number of assets its needs and it is the RMN and only the RMN that can fill the gap. Thus the RMN having to take into account the MMEA’s limitations.

    …. – “pgrading its guns (bofors 57mm salvaged from the FACs””

    You can “refurbish” them (as has been done) but the plan fact is these guns are on average 35-40 years old and should be retired soon. Pairing them with newer FCS is one thing but they are aged and are showing their age.

    …. – “The LMS was not planned to be just a smaller copy of the Kedah class OPV”

    And nobody said it was …..

    ….. – “But that is where the similarities end”

    It doesn’t actually. Like the Kedahs; peacetime roles of the LMSs (regardless of whether fully fitted out or not) will also include other types performed by a variety of other RMN assets.

  127. …. – “. Would it be the same ship as batch 1? Probably””

    Highly doubt it.

    For one, the political element has changed. Secondly; the RMN has made it a priority to reduce its logistical footprint – adding Chinese stuff enlarges the footprint. Thirdly; if a Chinese ship with a Chinese CMS was acquired; this would necessitate the need for integration/certification for Western source modular payloads. As it stands Chinese companies are unable to offer the range of modular payloads that Western companies are able to offer.

  128. AM – “I would not assume that the RMN simply intends to continue operating the Kedahs as OPVs”

    Absolutely and why would you?

    People tend to emphasise on the Kedahs being lightly armed “OPVs” but from the time they were ordered they were designed to be armed with RAM and 4 Exocets; wouldn’t have been the case if they were just intended to perform as “OPVs”.

    They were intended to replace the Vospers PCs but also to perform wartime roles beyond the ability of the PCs.

    Some years ago there were also plans to fully arm them; including a number into ASW configured platforms. This is because the RMN sees other uses for them other than as traditional “OPVs”.

    All surface assists (the Sakthis excluded but the Mahamirus included) perform routine patrolling tasks which at times included law enforcement work (for which the MMEA is the lead agency); this will remain unchanged even if the MMEA has 25 OPVs.

  129. Azlan “ The only way would be to do away with the heli-deck and utilise it to place the modular payload. Naturally a host of other modifications would also be required.”

    As removable and modular payloads, yes, but it isn’t what I meant nor is it as simple in practice as it is in theory.

    The equipment can be installed conventionally in the spaces reserved for it.

    My main point, in answer to your question, was that due to size, endurance and sea keeping the Kedahs have advantages over the LMS and those are why the RMN is open to having more. And that despite the talk of the LMS‘s roles, the RMN might have a view to equipping them as more than OPVs.

  130. AM – “or is it as simple in practice as it is in theory.””

    Yes most things aren’t . Similarly a most things look great on paper but in reality might not be so great.

    AM -!”the RMN might have a view to equipping them as more than OPVs”

    Of course. Only a few years ago they were such plans and it’s safe to assume that follow batches (if they ever come) are intended to be fully fitted out.

    AM – “The equipment can be installed conventionally in the spaces reserved for it””

    Unless significant changes are made to the design the places are amidship (originally intended for the Exocets) and the helli deck.

  131. ” People tend to emphasise on the Kedahs being lightly armed “OPVs” but from the time they were ordered they were designed to be armed with RAM and 4 Exocets; wouldn’t have been the case if they were just intended to perform as “OPVs”.”

    Right now even if the Kedah Class ships are fully armed as intended, becoming a corvette, it would not become a survivable asset in a medium or high intensity conflict.

    For our maritime needs, we cannot afford to have as planned in 15 to 5 and PPSMM 2040 a combined large ship fleet of 38 OPVs and 12 Frigates. That is a total of 50 large ships! That is IMO an overkill and something we cannot afford to operate.

  132. P.S.

    AM,

    Personally I’m not convinced that they ever will be follow on Kedahs or even a few other things for that matter (despite whatever has been allocated or planned for).

    Things are so fluid from a political and geopolitical perspective, nothing is written in stone and we’ve been known to make apparently firm plans only to shift focus at a later date.

  133. to add another point…

    In the early millenium, when the NGPV was thought of, our challenges although not explicitly stated was always our neighboring countries. There was no MMEA at the time. We plan for at the time, to have 4 Frigates, 4 corvettes (laksamana class), and 27 NGPVs.

    Now our main challenge is the threat of China colonizing our vast EEZ. Lightly armed corvettes like a fully armed Kedah Class isnt going to give much challenge against a fleet like the PLAN. That is why now we are planning for 12 Frigates instead. But the 18 follow on Kedah Class should not be needed as it justs duplicates what the 20 large patrol ships will perform in the MMEA PPSMM 2040 plan.

    We do not need and cannot afford to deploy 18 follow on Kedahs, 20 large patrol ships and 12 Frigates in total to protect our maritime interests. A total of 33 large ships would be what we need, enabling us to deploy 11 large ships at sea at all times. As the audit mentions, the main service that should be protecting our seas should be the MMEA. More reasons for those 18 follow on Kedahs not to be there in the plans.

  134. …. – “e, it would not become a survivable asset in a medium or high intensity conflict””

    Why even bring this up when in the first place nobody suggested that they operate “in a medium or high intensity conflict” ……

    The reason they were supposed to be armed was for self defence and so they could perform certain roles in times of conflict (this has been mentioned many times). Roles that don’t require a frigate and roles that are within the ability of the class.

    Also, if indeed they were deployed on a high intensity environment then obviously they would not be operating alone but along with better equipped assets. For that matter even the best equipped assets we have are not intended to operate alone in a high intensity environment.

  135. …. – “ “Lightly armed corvettes like a fully armed Kedah Class isnt going to give much challenge against a fleet like the PLAN”

    The Kedahs aren’t and never were intended to “give a challenge against a fleet like the PLAN”. or even the likes of the TNI-AL for that matter. They are not capital or primary combatants.

    Their wartime roles – as originally envisaged – called for them to perform secondary tasks like convoy protection, coastal surveillance against foreign navies; as part of a multi tiered fleet at sea, etc – which it was it was decided they didn’t need more than a RAM launcher and 4 Exocets. In short, roles that don’t require them to punch above their weight.

    Now we can debate the usefulness and utility of the Kedahs but at this stage of the discussion; we’d at least have a common understanding or understanding of the rationale behind the class; the fact that they were to do more than just replace the Vosper PCs.

    They are not and we’re never intended for high threat scenarios or to operate alone against better armed enemy ships.

  136. …. – “ But the 18 follow on Kedah Class should not be needed as it justs duplicates what the 20 large patrol ships””

    Again – the RMN included then for the reason that they are intended to perform certain types of secondary roles in times of conflict in a non high intensity scenario. You keep looking at it merely from the “OPV” angle despite us having discussed this to death; here and on previous occasions.

    Now I’m not suggesting we do get follow on Kedahs but the fact remains that peacetime constabulary roles are not the main driving force behind the plan for follow on Kedahs: as you insist on claiming and insisting.

  137. …. – “, our challenges although not explicitly stated was always our neighboring countries””

    The Spratlys and the possibility of things heating up was always on our minds. Even in the 1990’s Chinese ships were there and we knew that China would eventually get more assertive/aggressive and would devote more attention to the Spratlys.

    As far back as the early 1980’s during a trip to the U.S. Mahathir spoke to State Secretary Shultz about the coming threat from
    China.

    …. – “. There was no MMEA at the time””

    By the late 1990’s we already knew the formation of the MMEA was a few years away and that the RMN for many years would have to still shoulder a large part of the burden for many years.

    Plans for the MMEA were announced years earlier but the RMN objected; knowing that funds would be diverted.

    …. – “. We plan for at the time, to have 4 Frigates, 4 corvettes (laksamana class), and 27 NGPVs””

    The plan was for 6 Leikus, 2 Kasturis and 2 subs to be our Team A and the FACs and NGOPVs to be Team B. That was the desired force structure at that time.

    As it turned out the RMN was forced to get the Laksamanas and years earlier instead of a pair of Kockums boats; an order was made for the Lekius with later plans for 4 more.

  138. Wait, we bought 6 Thales Fulmar right. Why first three of the ship only have the UAV. Why another Three Ship will not equip with the UAV..

    Reply
    There was an incident with one of the UAV causing serious injuries to one of the personnel. Apart from that there other operational issues as well

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