SHAH ALAM: New FCS for FAC fleet. Back in August 4, 2020, Malaysian Defence posted a story on a tender for the supply of mini Combat Management System (MCMS) for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) 14-strong fast attack craft fleet.
It appears that the tender had gone nowhere – likely the result of the pandemic and also probably the unsuitability of the bids offered. With this the FAC fleet continued with its time tested spray and pray capabilities. The mini CMS would have gone into the FACs – six Jerong class, four Perdana class and four Handalan class boats. The FACs mostly purchased in early/late 1970s, the Perdanas from France and Handalans from Sweden while the Jerongs were built locally by Hong Leong Lurrsen shipyard in Butterworth.
Both the Perdana and Handalan FACs were at their time, RMN’s most potent warships as they were equipped with missiles (Exocets Block 1) and guns, a 57mm forward and a 40mm gun aft. The two classes are now basically the same as the Jerong class (a 57mm gun, forward and a 40mm gun, aft) as the missiles have been withdrawn.
For the mini-CMS tender, the Defence Ministry in trying to ensure that the products were locally sourced or at least the personnel doing them were locals, even asked the worker’s EPF details be listed in the tender documents.
Why I am talking about this now? The Defence Ministry has on July 26 issued a RFB for the supply and installation of three Fire Control System for RMN FAC. The tender closes on August 23 which seemed to suggest that a winning bid will be selected this time around.
As the title of the tender said three FCS, it meant that only three FACs will be fitted with the new equipment, likely for the time being. And from the site visit requirements, the FACs are likely those which are based with the RMN Eastern Fleet (either in Kota Kinabalu or Sandakan). It is likely the FACs are those which had undergone the repowering programme in which the boats received new propulsion systems from the engines and generators. RMN had announced previously that KD Jerong and KD Ganas (both Jerong class) and KD Ganas (Perdana class) had completed the repowering programme. So its likely that three FACs above will get the new FCS.
Like the mini-CMS, the FCS will allow the FACs to fire their forward guns (the 57mm Bofors Mk I) remotely – likely from the control room (though emergency manual firings will be available). Toward this, the gun will be directed/controlled by an electro-optical turret through the FCS together with the flare launchers (fitted on both sides of the guns). The specifications for the FCS RFB is basically the same as the mini-CMS though with some differences.
One important difference is that the FCS tender is designated as an imported product. This designation allows an agent or marketing company to bid for the RFB, with the correct Ministry of Finance registration, of course. This in turn will allow more companies to bid, negating the much shouted/proclaimed self reliance mantra of the Defence Ministry. Oh, well.
— Malaysian DefenceIf you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment