No Bid List for KD Perak FCR Tender

Sailors on board KD Perak preparing to leave Kota Kinabalu naval base for an exercise, recently. Note the FCR on top of the bridge. RMN

SHAH ALAM: Back in early October, Malaysian Defence wrote that the Defence Ministry has issued a tender for the supply, delivery, installation, testing and commissioning of a fire control radar (FCR) KD Perak pennant number 173, the third ship of the Kedah class.

According to the tender publication, the RMN estimates that the cost of the FCR and services (installation, testing and commissioning) at RM15 million.

KD Perak launched ceremony in 2007. RMN

The tender was to close on November 11 but it was extended to November 19. However, five days after the closing, Eperolehan website has yet to specify the number of bidders and their bid prices. I hope it is just a glitch and Eperolehan will fix it soon.
A close up of Kedah class bridge. Note the EADS 3-D radar (top) and Rheinmetall Contraves TMX/EO FCR with electro-optic fire director and thermal imager (below the mast) taken by Malaysian Defence in 2002 when she was undergoing final fitting out at PSC-NDSB.

I suspect however that the bidders were not shortlisted as their bid prices were much higher than the RM15 million estimated by the RMN for the tender. I stand to be corrected of course.
Akrep FCR from Aselsan, used for illustration. Like most FCR in the market the Akrep can also control missiles. This was the same as the Contraves TMX/EO FCR fitted on the Kedah class ships. Aselsan.

Anyhow, five bidders has been shortlisted for the tender to supply, deliver, install, integrating and commissioning of a fire control system for corvette KD Laksamana Muhammad Amin – pennant number 136.
A graphic explaining the OP Plus for KD Laksamana Muhammad Amin. RMN

The lowest bid (rounded up for brevity) is RM12.6 million and the highest one is RM15.3 million. The highest bid is higher than the RM14 million estimate by RMN. The other bids are RM12.9 million; RM13.7 million and RM14.1 million (which is also higher than the estimate cost).

Muhammad Amin is undergoing a refit at the Grade One Marine Shipyard in Lumut. She is undergoing the refit as part of the RMN’s Obsolescence Programme where her machineries and engines are replaced with new ones. She is also getting a new hull during the refit work, which Malaysian Defence called the OP Plus.

Back in the water. KD Laksamana Muhammad Amin in the water at GOMS facility off Lumut in late 2022. GOMS

The FCS will be installed at the shipyard as the ship remained there.

— Malaysian Defence

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21 Comments

  1. I believe for KD Laksamana Muhammad Amin it would be just EO-based FCS, just like for FACs and rear gun control for Kedah-class ships
    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/kd-terengganu-sailing-the-waves-again/#comment-810442

    Just thinking out loud, can’t the original TMX/EO on the kedah class ships be upgraded to the latest TMX/EO Mk2 of the Gowinds? Also as most of the hardware has been bought, can’t the TMX/EO Mk2 that is bought for KD Mat Kilau (the 6th cancelled gowind) be transferred over to KD Perak and its sisterships instead?

    What we bought for Gowinds (ordered in 2013)
    12x TMX/EO Mk2 FCR
    6x TMEO Mk2 EO-FCS

  2. Any latest news on this?
    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/talks-on-upgrading-the-kedah-class/

    Actually the expensive items in refit is to maintain all the complex electronic fighting systems on board a naval ship. The CMS to be up to date, change the FCR if old, Radar systems, ESM systems, etc.

    All this complex systems is actually not needed for a purely OPV ship (DAMEN 1800 OPV for example). The Kedah class still have all these complex systems because it is designed to be able to be a corvette in 24-48 hours when 2 missile systems is plugged in, the Exocet and RAM. TLDM so far has never tried to plug in the exocet to the Kedah-class ships, even if theoretically it is already integrated from day 1.

    Moving forward, removing all these expensive items that needs to be maintained from the Kedah-class ships will simplify maintenance and reduce sustainment costs. But it will not be able to be converted into a corvette at a short notice like it can right now. But why retain and maintain such systems when we are not going to uparm the Kedahs anyway?

  3. … – “Actually the expensive items”

    Nothing is cheap” in a refit. Not changing the electricals; not servicing the shaft; not performing preventive maintenance on the hull; etc. Which is why even refits on ships which don’t have the “ expensive items” or “complex electronic fighting systems” you referred to can run into the millions …

    … – “in 24-48 hours when 2 missile systems is plugged in,”

    24 hours.

    … – “ But why retain and maintain such systems when

    Kel – “But it will not be able to be converted into a corvette at a short notice”

    You can convert it and call it a “frigate” if you’d like.

    ..: – “ But why retain and maintain such systems when we are not going to uparm the Kedahs anyway?”

    So? A director is still needed for the gun; a CMS to fuse everything together; a radar to detect things; a helo landing system to make it easier for the helo; a platform management; system; etc.

  4. changing the electricals; servicing the shaft; performing preventive maintenance on the hull; etc. is the cheap part.

    The expensive part is to get all the combat electronics (CMS/FCR/Radar etc) up to date.

    A reason a basic OPV (like the ex USCG boats) can be refitted almost indefinitely without breaking the bank.

    “So? A director is still needed for the gun; a CMS to fuse everything together; a radar to detect things; a helo landing system to make it easier for the helo; a platform management; system; etc.”

    It does not need to be. The DAMEN 1800 OPV does not have most of those. Commercial civilian radar/ipms system are good enough for normal patrol mission.

  5. @hulubalang
    “when we are not going to uparm the Kedahs anyway?”
    That is a wrong thinking as these are TLDM ships and they must have a war time function. Removing all those sensors & systems would cripple these ships and them unable to fire missiles & whatnot.

    “It maybe a derivative of the Ada class though.”
    Orz.. more customisation, leading more potential issues that had doomed the LCS. Why we never learn our lesson & buy off the shelf designs, and if we cannot afford for a standard Ada then stop dreaming and get a lower end ship? Sigh…

  6. It will be a derivative as Turkey will not sell THEIR version of the ADA class. It will be similar to the Pakistani and Ukrainian versions. It will be an export version but build by a Turkish yard.

  7. … – “The expensive part is to get all the combat electronics (CMS/FCR/Radar etc) up to date”

    Almost nothing associated with a refit is “cheap”.
    Which is why even refits on ships which don’t have the “ expensive items” or “complex electronic fighting systems” you referred to can run into the millions .

    The bulk of our refits don’t involve getting “all the combat electronics (CMS/FCR/Radar etc) up to date” [your quote]. Difference between a refit and an upgrade :..

    …. – “It does not need to be”

    Many things do not have to be on paper but I wasn’t talking about things on paper …

  8. The ADA class costs USD250 million each. Our budget is only USD178 million per ship. That is a delta of USD71 million.

    I am of the opinion that we don’t need a corvette for our maritime security needs.

  9. “if we cannot afford for a standard Ada then stop dreaming and get a lower end ship? Sigh…”.

    If we get a ‘standard’ ada then the LMS would have a different E&O,CMS & effectors to that of LCS thus increasing training & sustainment cost while reducing operational effectiveness.

    In general the LMS2 seems going the same way as the LCS. The politicians want to buy a ship that doesn’t really fit RMN operational needs & to make the ship fit RMN needs would require substantial amount of bag of money’s.

  10. From the latest reply from MENHAN in parliament, it is very clear why TLDM wants a corvette for LMS Batch 2. Because TLDM needs ships now to offset the delays of LCS Gowind. They even looked at ships that is already built to get one ASAP but none (what the menhan says) is available. In the end if need to build from scratch, those LMS Batch 2 will not arrive before the 1st LCS Gowind is completed.

    That is what TLDM WANT, but is it what malaysian maritime security needs right now?

    Until our politicians really include APMM (and not just TLDM) in their maritime security plans, we will have big issues to secure our waters. Our main challenge right now is the blatant encroachment by Chinese Coast Guard in Malaysian maritime zones. We cannot tend to this issue just by using TLDM and buying TLDM ships. Solving this issue using resources given to APMM will be much better option in the overall scheme of things.

  11. “Turkey will not sell THEIR version of the ADA class.”
    We cant afford for their Ada, so of course they wont be giving the full fledge boat.

    “some of the equipment will be fitted for and not equipped with”
    We can do that but once we have pared down the weapons & systems to the bone it still have a huge gap, USD $71mil as pointed by hulubalang, and what next will be cutting into the hull design. If there is a ready made smaller design then thats great, if not it will be another costly affair just to redesign Ada into a smaller ship.

    @hulubalang
    “opinion that we don’t need a corvette”
    However what TLDM wants from LMS2 points toward a corvette type vessel.

    @Zaft
    “In general the LMS2 seems going the same way as the LCS.”
    Yes, my point is we are getting a frigate and trying to squeeze it into a corvette sized vessel. Ada is too high end and too expensive to be selected for LMS2. Its like trying to modify and cutting down a Toyota Camry just to fit a Vios price, you would spend more time & effort just to make it work but wont offer anything tangible for the enduser nor the taxpayer. If we give it to the Turks to do everything (design, construction & integration) no doubts they will make it work but if there is going to be local involvement again, it treads the same road as LCS. Will the politicians leave it all to the Turks, we can already see that Lumut MP is starting to make noise. More will follow. Sigh…

  12. What is a LMS2? It definitely isnt the Littoral Mission Ship definition used in 15to5. It is just a cheaper and less armed version of the LCS. I dont believe anyone is suggesting trying to fit a frigate into corvette. Its just a cheaper and less armed version of the LCS. I dont believe anyone still thinks LMS2 is supposed to be a LMS ship under the 15to5 definition. The same as conceptually LCS is Batch 2 of NGPV not a new class of ships as per 15to5, and LMS2 looks very much like the NGPV “class” in the 15to5. Meaning is best to avoid getting stuck in nomenclature way of thinking.

  13. “There is other version of the Ada class…”
    Like I said, if these other versions of Ada fits the class size and the smaller hull & simpler systems enable it to fit our super tight budget with minimal changes & not needing a redesign, then thats great. Otherwise…

  14. This what happened when politician love to give free money yet we don’t have anything to buy for defense purchase.

  15. Kel – “What is a LMS2? I”

    Have a habit of asking rhetorical questions don’t we.

    Kel – “The same as conceptually LCS is Batch 2 of NGPV not a new class of ships”

    Yes and no …. The LCS is a primary combatant not a secondary one like the NGOPV.

    Kel – “ I dont believe anyone still thinks LMS2 is supposed to be a LMS ship under the 15to5 definition”

    If they still do they must as well believe in Father Christmas. As laid out in the 5/15 the LMS was supposed to be a class of ships fires with modular payloads to perform a variety of roles: That plan is as dead as Elvis.

    Kel – “Meaning is best to avoid getting stuck in nomenclature way of thinking”

    Glad to hear it because if memory serves you had issue with this some time back. Alas it’s often forgotten or overlooked that a “frigate” can also be a “destroyer” and that a “corvette” doesn’t always imply a very lightly armed combatant

    jabot – “This what happened when politician love to give free money”

    It has got zero to do with “free money”. It has all to do with mindset; priorities; etc. Note that even when the economy was good we bought things in dribs and drabs.

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