New Picture of PCU Maharaja Lela

Lunas infographic on PCU Maharaja Lela

SHAH ALAM: Lumut Naval Shipyard (Lunas) has issued an infographic on PCU Maharaja Lela on the company’s social media accounts, about two weeks after she was launched. The infographic showed in detail the top side of Maharaja Lela, which was not available since the launch. The infographic was posted on the same day that DS Khaled Nordin told Parliament on the progress of the project, though it was based on information collated in May. Khaled said LCS 1 progress as off May was 75 per cent.

What the Defence Minister said in Parliament:

Sehingga Mei 2024, kemajuan pembinaan LCS 2 adalah sebanyak 64.66% dan saya turut mengambil kesempatan untuk memaklumkan status kemajuan LCS yang lain iaitu LCS1 sebanyak 75%, LCS2 sebanyak 64.66%, LCS 3 sebanyak 56.58%, LCS 4 sebanyak 51.10% dan LCS 5 adalah sebanyak 42.33%.

Menjelang 2027, selain daripada memiliki 2 buah LCS yang telah siap dibina, kita juga akan memiliki 3 buah Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) Batch 2 yang sedang dibina di Republik Turkiye, bagi mengukuhkan lagi kesiagaan TLDM kita.

Lunas infographic on PCU Maharaja Lela


The top of the bridge and radar mast.

Anyhow from the picture of the PCU Maharaja Lela in the infographic, one could see none of the items on the main deck has been installed from the VLS to the main gun. The foredeck for the NSM launchers is also not completed. On top of the bridge and the helicopter hangar, none of the equipment has been installed.
The front end of PCU Maharaja Lela. Note the air-condition compressors on the VLS part of the deck.

On the deck where the VLS is to be installed, it looked like they have put three or four air condition compressors for cooling units fitted inside the ship. This may also mean that the engines and generators of the ship have yet to be powered on. This is evident from the funnel which looked clean. I stand to be corrected of course.
The rear part of the PCU Maharaja Lela. Note the brackets on the missile foredeck. The clean smoke stack and helicopter hangar.

One also has to wonder whether the LCS 2 will be downslip once it passed the 75 percent of its construction.

— Malaysian Defence

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31 Comments

  1. Beautiful ship. She looks bigger than I thought. May the 6th LCS will be completed also.

  2. I only hope LCS 6, Mat Kilau is eventually funded and finished. 6 LCSs is a ‘nicer’ number than 5. If you are superstitious, 5 LCS and 8 LMS batch 2 will give you the unlucky number 13!
    Whatever you think, the LCS is a nice looking ship. Is that the final colour Marhalim? it looks too pale IMHO.

  3. Tom Tom – “If you are superstitious, 5 LCS and 8 LMS batch 2 will give you the unlucky number 13”

    That’s a Anglo thing; 13. If one wants to go down the oriental route; adding 1 and 3 gets you 4 and we know what’s the word for 4 in Cantonese.

    More on numbers; unless I’m mistaken the LMS Batch 2s are the 1st time we’ve bought ships in 3s.

    Yes she’s good looking but then most naval ships – to me – are.
    Looking at the pics from this angle gives us an idea as to how little to no free deck space there is for future growth. Then again it’s important to note that how our ships are fitted out is driven not just by finances but threat perceptions. A 16 cell VLS can get empty pretty fast; if we go on the basis that the rule of thumb is 1-2 missiles at minimum for every incoming threat to increase the PK but if a navy does not see itself being a a high end threat environment then having only 16 cells Is something it can live with.

  4. Still long way to go..looks as empty as gobi desert to me..they better not mess it up this time..lets see if they can deliver lcs1 by this nov to navy for harbor trial n what not.i dont know about you guys but my gut feeling said sam will become ffbnw

  5. Nice and elegance in shape.

    Once I always followed the LCS project twitter pages

    abruptly it stopped arround 2018 after PRU14

    Thankfully it is back now, though under LUNAS..

  6. FFBNW = Suwey. Our gomen must do away with this concept. 11 Billion LCSs without air defence is a joke

  7. Abuyane – ”Our gomen must do away with this concept”

    Why do you think the RMN was insistent that the Batch2 will be fully fitted out?

    Abuyane – ” 11 Billion LCSs without air defence is a joke”

    Has there been confirmation that the LCSs will have no ”air defence”?

  8. “good looking ship to me XD”
    With all that rust on the surface, are you sure?

    “If one wants to go down the oriental route”
    Actually 13 is considered lucky too. Normally the 2 digits do not added.

    Some concerns I observed,
    1)The VLS launchers havent yet installed. Since the plumbing are baked in, Id assume at least the VLS box would be installed along the build, only the yet-to-procure Mica in their self containers would be needed to install during fitting. Or is it wrong?

    2)It doesnt look like main gun will be deck penetrating. Where is the barbette? So how will it get ammo?

  9. The 57mm gun has two version – the deck penetrating version or not. The deck penetratin version has additional ammo magazine under the deck – deck penetrating – which can feed the turret magazine automatically. Though the ammo magazine under the deck need to be fed manually and under armour. This is the solution used by the US LCS.

    I am not 100 sure but I believed our LCS will have the non penetrating version with the ammo magazine inside the turret itself with 100 round of ammo. The ammo magazine need to be top up manually out in the open. It is a cheaper solution I believed, though not practical to reload the ammo magazine in bad weather or in combat.

    This is the same with 76mm gun there are two versions, deck penetrating and non deck penetrating one. Our Kedah and Laksamana class are both the non-penetrating one.

  10. “Normally the 2 digits do not added”

    In Indian numerology digits are added. That’s why I made reference to the 13 being associated with bad luck being a Anglo [or Western] thing and the oriental adding; 1 plus 3.

    Marhalim,

    Interesting. Had no idea there was a non deck protecting version of the Bofors and Super Rapid. Is that the case with us or is the compartment/hole judo covered or the barbette not added until the gun is added.

    On the Super Rapid; it shot down its 1st UAS in the Red Sea. Technically it has seen combat before; the Israelis have used it for NGFS on a number of occasions. Sea Viper; Aster 15 and Phalanx also scored their 1st live kills.

    On another topic but in guns. I remember a discussion years ago saying that for modern naval guns; the gun is placed in what’s referred to as a “cupola” and not a “turret”. Forgot the reason behind this.

  11. Joe – With all that rust on the surface, are you sure?

    The egyptian gowind also looked the same when it was in sea trial. Before delivery & commissioning it will be painted. No problem with that. My question is does the Lcs will have its own organic helos?

  12. Any idea how much the programme will costs and will it be cheaper and more practical (and yes forfeit the local industry benefits) to just get the Koreans to build it for us?

  13. “LCS will have the non penetrating version with the ammo magazine inside the turret itself”
    IF this is the case, I would prefer we mount and use the 57mm for LCS while start of service, then when the LMS2 comes in to build, we swap their intended 76mm gun to the LCS and for the 57mm to be used on LMS2.

  14. There are four Super Lynx which will be available when the first LCS is to be commissioned, in 2026. We have yet to buy ASW helos though.

  15. I was told at DSA 2024 as off then, the gun mounting on the LCS has not been installed yet.

    The non penetrating versions are mostly meant for smaller ships like FACs. Yes its the correct naval term is cupola, the turret is mostly for land stuff. As usual I mixed things up.

  16. I don’t know why there’s this obsession about rust on the LCS. Marine steel is the same grade as surgical steel and steel on most Swiss watches. It’s only superficial rust. Nothing to worry about lah. Even USN ships have occasional surface rust if you look at the pictures…

  17. Qamarul – “organic helo?”

    That has been the intention since Day One. Without a helo how will it engage sub surface contacts. The triple tubes are a short range self defence means.

    TIV – “Any idea how much the programme will costs and will it be cheaper and more practical”

    At this stage it’s a bit late for that and since when does “cheaper and more practical” been the priority? If it was we wouldn’t have done various things we did over the years at great cost to the taxpayer and armed services.

    Marhalim,

    No. Wasn’t you that got things mixed up. I wasn’t sure which was the correct term. It becomes tricky if the gun has the ability to be manually fired; e.g. older generation Bofors mounts. When that’s the case is it a turret or a cupola?

  18. “In Indian numerology digits are added”
    Chinese culture usually takes the digits at face value, which is why the term ‘lucky numbers’ came up and why license plates with particular sequence of numbers are only biddable or very fast taken as soon as JPJ opens to buy. This also extends to 4D, 3D, etc.

    “referred to as a “cupola” and not a “turret”.”
    Cupola is a more modern term, ‘turret’ was used back in days of battleships & battlecruisers (ie gun turret, another lesser term is gun house). So while both are true, cupola is the more accurate description today.

  19. Azlan

    At this stage it’s a bit late for that and since when does “cheaper and more practical” been the priority? If it was we wouldn’t have done various things we did over the years at great cost to the taxpayer and armed services.

    Yea based on wikipedia the cost/ LCS is at US$980M based on some measure. We are paying through the roof when we claim we have no money for military. It is absolutely toxic to support local industry when this is the price we pay and yet there’s still delay.

  20. The question of whether a 57mm or 76mm gun is more suitable is really academic and depends on user preferences. The 57mm has a slightly higher ROF and that can make a difference when 1-2 ASMs are seconds away from hitting a ship and the only thing in its way is are a few shells exploding and creating a curtain of steel. The Bofors also has a slightly higher maximum elevation.

    The 76mm has slightly more range and being a larger round is more suitable for NGFS. Ultimately of course it also all boils down to early warning and how fast the crew react. Not to mention how many ASMs are heading the ship’s way.

  21. ”Cupola is a more modern term”

    When the Fallshirmjager landed by gliders on surprise attack on the Eban Emael fort in 1940; they attached charges to round domes containing weapons; the domes were called ”cupolas”. Early M-60 variants which appeared in the 1960’s had a ”cupola” above the commanders station; containing a HMG.

  22. ”cupola is the more accurate description today.”

    I have zero idea. Depends on the nuance I guess. On MBTs main guns are fitted in what are called ”turrets”; whether unmanned or not. A naval correspondent I was speaking to years ago made the point that naval guns are fitted in ”cupolas” not ”turrets” but I forget the reason he gave.

  23. TIV – ”We are paying through the roof when we claim we have no money for military. ”

    Correction, we have ”money for military”. Problem is we don’t get the best value for what we spend because of certain issues with policy. The result is a MAF whose capabilities don’t reflect what we’ve spent on it and one we can’t afford to equip the way we’d like to; which is still ”minimalist” in line with our threat perceptions.

  24. “The Bofors 57 mm gun will be mounted in a stealth cupola similar…”
    This is the description in wiki for LCS. If i were to be picky I would term ‘cupola’ referring to the housing cover of the main gun, while the whole gun assembly itself would be the ‘turret’. But as a layman it doesnt really matter. Whatever works.

    ”money for military”
    Not exactly true either. I would say both are correct. We have sufficient money but only enough to maintain our capability gap and have some nascent new abilities. Certainly its not enough if we want to implement the full 15to5, CAP55, & NEXT4G plans to a satisfactory level on top of the TOTS involved. As I said before we need to either up budget to 3% GDP or else strengthen 3X ringgit to USD (on par with strong SGD) for us to afford all that nice imported Western stuff, no Russki or Chinese gear.

  25. I don’t know what parameters or standards is used to measure progress but this does NOT look like 75%. Close to 60% maybe, but unless the way progress is measured is known, we have no way of assessing the claim. Usually, a ship is put in the water because it is ready to begin final hook up and STW activities as it is less efficient to perform installation works while a ship is afloat compared to when she is on land.
    From the pictures, IMHO ship is not ready for a technical launch.

    Political launching perhaps?

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