Nav Radars for LCS

An early model of the LCS displayed at LIMA 2011.

SHAH ALAM: The nav radars for the first LCS has been delivered to the Boustead Naval Dockyard in Lumut, recently. The radars are the Kelvin Hughes Sharpeye in the E/F-band (X &; S-Band), industry sources told Malaysian Defence.

The nav radars will be be installed on the DCNS-designed panoramic sensors and intelligence module (PSIM). The PSIM combines an integrated mast, complete with the main radar (Thales Smart-S Mark 2 3D radar) under the radome and all the other sensors, plus the ops rooms and the associated equipment compartments into a single module.

The location of the PSIM module as shown on the Egyptian Gowind. It will be the same location for the RMN's LCS. DCNS
The location of the PSIM module as shown on the Egyptian Gowind. It will be the same location for the RMN’s LCS. DCNS

It is likely that LCS’s PSIM module is already undergoing assembly and once completed, it will be used to conduct system and integration tests at the BNS facility. During the construction of the Kedah-class, the ship’s CMS also underwent assembly and testing on land in Lumut before they were installed on the intended vessels.

A CGI of the PSIM module undergoing testing on land prior to be being mated to the ship. DCNS.
A CGI of the PSIM module undergoing testing on land prior to be being mated to the ship. . DCNS.

Once the ship is launched, the PSIM module will be hoisted into its location amidships just behind the bridge.

A DCNS graphic explaining the PSIM module. DCNS.
A DCNS graphic explaining the PSIM module. DCNS.

For the first LCS, the mating of the PSIM module is likely to be conducted by the second half of 2017 as the ship is only expected to be launched by April.

Egypt first Gowind 2500 after her launching on Sept. 17, 2016.  Note that the PISM has not been installed. DCNS
Egypt first Gowind 2500 after her launching on Sept. 17, 2016. Note that the PSIM has not been installed. DCNS

With two Sharpeyes per ship, Kelvin Hughes will supply 12 radars for the LCS programme. And a dozen more will also be needed for second batch of the LCS as envisioned by the RMN’s 15 to 5 plan.

PCU Gagah Samudera, prior to her launch. in late 2012.
PCU Gagah Samudera, prior to her launch. in late 2012.

Apart from the LCS, the Sharpeyes were also selected for the two RMN training ships, Gagah Samudera and Teguh Samudera. Both ships have had these radars installed on them as they are prepared for commissioning. These nav radars were stored for some three years as the ships were left uncompleted after the shipyard went belly-up. The ships are fitted with a single Sharpeye radar each.

A CGI of the NGPC
A CGI of the NGPC

Industry sources also told Malaysian Defence that the same Sharpeye radars have been selected for the six New Generation Patrol Craft (NGPC) being built by Destini Bhd for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA). The first NGPC is expected to be launch by year end.

Kelvin Hughes on its product .

Launched in 2008, more than 25 navies now use SharpEye™ radars and displays, which deliver improvements in sub-clutter visibility by approximately 30dB, enabling targets with a low RCS (Radar Cross Section), typically 0.5m2, to be detected even in heavy rain and high sea states. Doppler processing enables clutter removal without picture degradation. This combined with a host of other unique and special features in the radar sensor and display provides an unprecedented level of situational awareness to naval and coastguard vessels from a navigation radar.

Sharpeye navigation radars on a mast of an OPV.
Sharpeye navigation radars on a mast of an OPV.

So if the nav radars for the first LCS had been delivered to BNS, what about the rest of the equipment? Apart from the nav radars, I have not been told of anything else but I am pretty sure that some other equipment would have been delivered to Lumut.

A Sharpeye nav radar on a patrol ship.
A Sharpeye nav radar on a patrol ship.

There are other items which I have been told would be shipped to Lumut, once BNS could confirmed the launch date of the first LCS. As the launch of the ship is tentative at the moment, some companies is on “holding mode”.

Some of the equipment are already manufactured and waiting to be shipped only while others are still being manufactured – the Just in Time – philosophy.

It will be shipped to Malaysia near to the date of the launch or shortly after it so the equipment could be install without spending much time in the warehouse.

The latest generation MSI DS30 30mm gun complete with EO sight and remote operator console. Two similar system will be installed on each LCS.
The latest generation MSI DS30 30mm gun complete with EO sight and remote operator console. Two similar system will be installed on each LCS.

As in any programme, the companies involved would also have to abide by the contract as when to deliver their equipment. Late deliveries could result in huge penalties.

The selection of the Sharpeyes is quite interesting, at least to me. I had been told that Kelvin Hughes will no longer be in the mix following the recent RMN tender exercise where its radars was not selected. But as usual, the more, the merrier!

The Terma 6000 nav radar installed on the US Navy test ship. Stilleto. Picture credit US Navy.
The Terma 6000 nav radar installed on the US Navy test ship. Stilleto. Picture credit US Navy.

Malaysian Defence had previously written that RMN had selected the Terma Scanter 6000 nav radars to be installed on the KD Jebat and KD Lekiu as well as KD Mahawangsa and KD Sri Inderasakti.

The status of the installation is not known at the moment, however.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2201 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Another positive progress for our first LCS, which is the biggest, most well-armed and high-end naval ship ever being built locally for TLDM.

    All the best to Boustead Naval Shipyard.

  2. Any news on the SAMs for LCS? I tried looking for any of your post about the SAMs but couldn’t find any. Is the VL Mica or ESSM selected?

    VL Mica

  3. Another batch lcs seem like a wet dream to me but never say never.maybe rmn have their own reason for this.too bad yhose lcs only equipped with vl mica .if it get the green light from the gov our navy would become one of the most powerful navy in SEA.

  4. “if it get the green light from the gov our navy would become one of the most powerful navy in SEA.”

    Once the LCS are completed, we will be the second most “powerful” and technologically advanced battle force. But we still won’t have enough to guard our borders day to day. So “powerful” is a relative term and should not be our only objective.

  5. AM,

    We’ll never have enough main combatants which is why a smaller, cheaper to run and operate platform is needed to perform a variety of roles that don’t call for an LCS or Lekiu : the LMS.

  6. ujang,

    The ”most powerful” navy would not be one that has many well armed ships but one that has ships that are integrated to other sea assets as well as to land and air assets to form a common operating picture and to operate as one. The first steps have already been taken but we have a long way to go before we can acquire the network centric abilities that make the key difference. At the moment our key assets are integrated with one another but are not integrated with non RMN assets. Another issue is the ability for the RMN to work with the RMAF. If even Tier 1 NATO countries still have issues with operating ”jointly”, imagine the issues we have.

    Given that we are unlikely to be in a state on state conflict; a point defence system like MICA [we could have done worse] is sufficient for our needs at present. ASTER 15 would have been nice but this would significantly drive up the cost and a bigger hull would be needed.

  7. I assume the Sylver VLS installed can accept Asters too? Meaning a possible mix combo of VL MICA and Aster 15 ?

    AFAIK the MICA VLS containers are not the Sylver VLS containers.

  8. Aster 15 could theoretically be fitted on the Gowinds. The limiting factor is not the size of the ship, it is the performance of its main radar. the similarly sized formidable class frigates of singaporean navy are armed with aster 15/30 coupled with the herakles radar

    I have replied before that I was told by DCNS rep some years back that the ship need to be certain size of at least 3500 tonnes for it to be armed with Aster 15. I could be wrong of course. No worries the next time I meet the DCNS people I will try to get a definitive answer.

  9. The VLS cell for Aster 15 only has to be 80 cm taller, compared to the cell for Mica. Cost of the missile is certainly an issue, but I believe the size of the hull is not.

    Some sources say the Singapore frigates have Aster 30, the officers I spoke to say Aster 15 and I don’t think they were bluffing. But common sense says they have the cash and other networked assets to fully utilize the range of the missile, so should provide for Aster 30. The VLS for Aster 30 is only 70cm taller. Assuming they don’t already have it, I’m sure the planning for Aster 30 exists.

    The Aster 30 uses a longer VLS canister than the 15.

  10. Thanks for the info. But that revelation is both shocking and disappointing. IMHO, 15 years after the ship was launch when the French finally phased VL MICA, we will be scratching our heads to find funding to replace the SAMs. Like what is happening with the Lekius right now. And that is assuming the Government still wants to keep the anti air capabilities of the Lekius.

  11. ……,

    Yes the limiting factor is the radar but also if the hull is deep enough to accommodate Sylver. A radar with longer reach can be added; a deeper hull can’t. As such the hull is the limiting factor.


    In 15 years it’ll be the right time for the LCS to undergo a SLEP anyway. Whatever missile we buy now might have to be replaced in 15 years time. Seawolf as you’re aware is about 35 years old; the VLS version was launched in the late 1990’s.

  12. To me, the issue of whether we have a longer range missile is really secondary. Of far more importance is the level of networking we achieve and the ability for joint operations. Also, before going into the issue of long range missiles; first ask : what are our threat perceptions and what kind of roles are our ships likely to perform both in peacetime and in the likely conflicts we are likely to face?

    Unless we are faced with a threat from ballistics missiles or a scenario where we’ll be targeted at long range; the fact that MICA [rather than Aster 15 or 30] will go on the LCS does not mean that the LCS lacks a punch. Another issue to consider is that the ability to take a long range shot is highly dependent on input provided by other sources and not just the sensors on the ship that’s doing the launching.

  13. The fitting of weapons n fixtures at the topside is not just a matter of length n breath. It has more to do with the centre of gravity of the ships. Still remember the two opv we bought from Korea n manufactured in JB?.
    RMN fitted these two ships with a huge gun relative to the weight of the ship. End result is that these two ships are top heavy n that affects its sea keeping capabilities n stability.
    So whatever weapons or combination that we opt yo arm the ship must always take into consideration the distribution of weight n not make the ship unstable

  14. VL Mica with a range of 20km is adequate. The new British CAMM for their frigates only have a range of 25km. I’d prefer an accurate and dependable system rather than a long range one.

    20km is a long distance as it is. When I drive every Friday, I am amazed how far and small Melbourne looks from 20km as the crow flies.

    20km is adequate for a sea skimming high subsonic missile. That is 45 seconds from impact. If the Mica has an average speed of lets say M2.5. It will hit the missile at about the 13km mark. If it misses, it will have another chance at the 9km mark and yet another at the 6km mark theoretically.

    Where Mica may have a problem is the supersonic Mach 2+ missile, but nobody in the region have them yet, apart from China (soon).

  15. The best thing about LCS is not weapon or sensor. The indon’s sigma 10514 has a lot better ciws. Even the Damen has offered sigma 10514 same type as indon’s with aster 15.
    “If ordered, the HQVN 10514 Sigma will bring the most modern configuration, with 8 Exocet subsonic anti-ship missile with range 80km block III, Oto Melara 76mm gunboats, torpedo system 324mm, and 2x20mm fast artillery.

    VLS systems simultaneously on Sigma 10514 12 tubes will also equip close range air defense missile Aster-15 (maximum range of 30 kilometers) instead of MICA missiles, to make it a non-real ship. Or even medium-range air defense missile Aster 30 can destroy air targets at distances up to 120km.”[/quote]

    For 111 metres long hull, it is very unfortunate if LCS can not be equipt with aster 15.

    The best thing of LCS is it can be launched as schedule with specification written on paper.
    I heard RMN want the sigma over gowind due to TACTICOS system offered on sigma. Maybe the capability of sigma to carry aster 15 is an add.

    Not sure about Damen offering the Sylver VLS on their ship as the system is DCNS designed and manufactured.

  16. The sigma with vls aster 15 capability was offered to vietnam navy.

    Sigma to Vietnam, really?

  17. I don’t see how we are limited by the depth of the hull.

    The VLS cell for Aster 15 is only 80cm taller than for Mica, and for Aster 30, only 70cm beyond that. Even if the missile deck has to be raised, as on the Type 23s, Darings, Lekius and many other classes, it will be little extra height.

  18. Also, remember that while the LCS has a displacement of 3100t compared to 3200t for the RSN Formidable, it has a much shallower draught, 3-4m.

    That means the hull has to be broader and thinner. Therefore, perhaps the Aster 15 would not have fitted anyway.

  19. Ah yes, the Formidable…. I just wonder why our LCS is lesser armed.

    Well, from a layman’s point of view, it’s better 12 units of MEKO 200 and 20 units of Baynunah class plus 5 units of MRSS from Korea or Turkey.

  20. Marhalim,
    I just noticed it’s easier now to leave a reply now than before.

    On a different note, can you recommend us a website as excellent as military was?

    TBH I dont know why.

  21. Many peoples a bit frustrated about selection of VL mica for LCS, many expected ESSM initially. But VL mica isn’t too bad for point defense because it has similar capacity as aster 15 BUT without its booster and PIF-PAF control. So, I hope the next batch of LCS (as per 15-5 plan, navy will acquire 12 LCS) will be focusing on AAW with bigger displacement around 4500t to 5000t (relative size for light destroyer comparative to T26 frigates GCS). If possible we can join the development of T26 frigates.

    T26 unlikely, it has been offered but declined, too big and too expensive were the reasons. The T31 is a possibility even if its a small one.

  22. How come still many people think of Aster 15/30, the main issue not the VLS. Is the LCS main radar Thales Smart-S 3D only support Mica & Essm missile, Aster 15/30 only support by Thales Herakles radar..

  23. Petronas have deployed Floating LNG vsl offshore Sarawak, maybe 2017 another vsl will go to western Sabah waters. Another 2 high value target in SCS that needs security attention.

  24. Lee – ” Still remember the two opv we bought from Korea n manufactured in JB?.”

    The first was constructed in Pusan, followed by the 2nd in Pasir Gudang. The seakeeping of the former Marikh and Mystari also have a lot to do with their hull design.

    zainal – ”I just wonder why our LCS is lesser armed.”

    it’s plainly obvious : different threat perceptions, different operational requirements and a smaller procurement budget.

    AM – ”I don’t see how we are limited by the depth of the hull.”

    I don’t have the full technical details but let me assure you that a deeper hull is needed. As Marhalim did, I’ve also asked DCNS people.

  25. Hi. Any info if the deal with China for LMS would affect the current deal using DCNS-designed ship for LCS?

    They would need to combine the technology know-how so there will be a smooth transition from LCS programme to LMS.

    It got nothing to do with the LCS, different project team and probably even the yard.

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