New FCS For FAC Fleet

KD Jerong. RMN

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.

KD Pendekar
KD Pendekar, one of the four Handalan class boats at LIMA 19. The Handalan class FAC is among the boats to undergo the OP.

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are now basically the same as the Jerong class (a 57mm gun, forward and a 40mm gun, aft) as the missiles have been withdrawn.
KD Ganas, a Jerong class FAC. RMN

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.
The latest picture of KD Jerong. RMN.

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.
KD Ganyang shortly after her refit in 2017. Note the Thomson CSF FCR on top of her bridge. KD Ganyang.

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.
KD Pendekar though posted for LIMA 19, it is likely that the picture was taken earlier, like in 2013. LIMA

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.
KD Ganyang photograph in June, 2019. Note the lack of FCR or EO on top of her bridge

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 Defence

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6 Comments

  1. I know someone who has fired a MK1 from inside. With only a blower for ventilation and wearing a thick non breathable Action Working Dress; it’s not a pleasant experience. It was the same with the Emerlecs and it has no door but a canopy like cover which had to remain closed.

    The Saktis also rely on “spray and pray”. Their Naja directors were retired ages ago.

  2. Did you know for how long the RMN plan to use this boat? Is it still in good condition or in dire need of an upgrade? By the looks of it, idk why we still using it

  3. Qamarul,

    The question is not “how long the RMN plan to use this boat” but how long it is forced to keep the fleet operational. As per original plans they should have been retired some years ago but the RMN is left with no choice but to keep them running.

    Qamarul – “Is it still in good condition or in dire need of an upgrade?”

    Marhalim has covered this extensively. They are not being “upgraded” per see but receiving certain new components and certain rectifications in order to keep them operational for at least a decade more or so. There was plans to upgrade them in the 1990’s but funding was never allocated.

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