Not Shocking or Worrying at All

The LCS major equipment detailed by RMN in 2016. RMN graphic

SHAH ALAM: Despite Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson Mas Emieyarti Samsudin statement last month that the committee was shocked and worried about the delays into the LCS, it appears that it was much ado about nothing.

The PAC report which was made public today revealed that the LCS project had incurred an 86-day delay. It is an accumulative delay which meant it covered the whole project and it is does not involved any critical or vital issues.

And despite the delays, the first ship – PCU Maharaja Lela – is expected to be put into water (downslip) on schedule this May. That said, it a slight delay might occur. The ministry, according to secretary-general DS Isham Ishak will ensure that the rest of the schedule from harbour trials (late 2024), sea acceptance (mid 2025) and commissioning (August 2026) will follow the 24 month schedule as contracted in the sixth supplementary contract (SSC).

Isham also said after several meetings with the Attorney General Chambers over the SSC, it was decided that the Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) has been dropped from the scope of the contract and will be included a separate deal instead. The SSC now include the progress payment plan, detailed design dan Liquidated Ascertained Damage (LAD). The ILS if included in the contract, meant that Lunas will get the MRO contract for the five ships, worth billions of ringgit. The AGC had made reservations over the SSC, as reported in the previous PAC reports.

During the proceedings, it was stressed that the cost of building the ships had been fixed at RM11.1 billion. And since the project had restarted the total amount of money paid is RM7.01 billion.

It must be said that the PAC still voiced it concerns:

Kelewatan pembinaan LCS selama 86 hari perlu dipandang serius MINDEF/TLDM/BNS dan PAC mahu tindakan segera diambil bagi memastikan pelaksanaan projek mengikut Jadual Garis Masa Baharu Projek LCS yang ditetapkan. Ia termasuk mematuhi piawaian antarabangsa seperti mendapatkan kelulusan penuh detailed design daripada pihak Naval Group Perancis.

In the proceeding on January 24, apart from Isham, Lumut Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd CEO Azhar Jumaat and RMN LCS project director First Admiral Franklin Jeyasekhar Joseph also testified.

During the proceedings, Joseph confirmed some of the delays were due to RMN itself not approved some design changes, one of which involved the lighting for the helicopter deck.

Yang dalam konteks design yang 216 ini, ini lebih kepada aktiviti design yang dilakukan oleh Limbungan sendiri. Ini bukannya aktiviti pengesahan design authority. So, the 216 ini adalah activities dalam jadual yang telah pun tersenarai tetapi Limbungan belum berjaya siapkan lagi. So, ini contoh… [Merujuk pada slaid pembentangan] Kita nak pasang lampu. So, sarung untuk lampu itu ada design dia. So, design untuk sarung lampu itu belum disiapkan. Contoh ya. So, these are the kind of activities yang kita track on the ground-lah.
Contoh-contoh aktiviti design yang masih lagi tidak boleh ditutup dan diselesaikan ini melibatkan beberapa aktiviti, sebagai contoh Yang Berbahagia Laksamana maklum tadi tentang contohnya kedudukan lampu untuk menerima pendaratan helikopter di mana masih lagi sedang dibincangkan dengan pengguna dan juga operator helikopter di Markas Udara TLDM. Ia dijangka tidak akan beri impak yang besar atau affecting the critical path of the project which kita now mengambil sedikit masa untuk memberikan isu-isu itu diperhalusi dengan lebih mendalam. Sebagai contoh yang lain juga ialah seperti kedudukan peralatan yang tidak vital di bilik-bilik, di kamar dan juga keluasan untuk melaksanakan senggaraan selanjutnya

LCS schedule based on the sixth supplemental contract. PAC

Unfortunately, this time around the PAC did not include the briefing slides (above, an old one) put up during the proceedings in the public report. If you want to read the report, please go to the Parlimen webpage here.

It is interesting to note that even after all this years that some of the changes being asked by the RMN team involved menial stuff – switches location and heights, carpet thickness and furniture – something which should have been taken care off by 2019, the actual date for the handing over and commissioning of the ship. It may be menial but goes to show that the Maharaja Lela was never supposed to be in service by 2019.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

55 Comments

  1. From this gantt chart

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/PAC4.jpeg

    if we do want the 6th LCS to be build, the latest decision-making window/gate would be by late 2026. This will allow smooth continuation between downslip of LCS4 and LCS5 (remember the shipyard could build 2 ships at a time, so downslipping LCS4 would allow the workforce to then switch to assembling the LCS6).

    The budget to assemble the 6th LCS could then be paid for in RMK13 2026-2030 if there is no more budget for it in RMK12 2021-2025.

  2. Well that’s our local boys designing a warship for you (not doing job on time as per reported in the 1st PAC report)…sorry but not so sorry. What I meant is such things should be used back from the original Gowind design, if indeed need to be redesign, it should have been completed earlier.

  3. Why is the RMN having issues with such menial decisions? Change in RMN project team members, ego, nothing better to do, or not seeing the forest for the trees?

  4. Those menial items may be inconsequential but it is an important thing to do it right as the sailors need to spend their time on board the ships.

  5. Understand but how difficult is it to finalise the requirements? The process for finalising those menial items should be equally menial? If such menial design choices also cannot settle, what about the more important design choices?

  6. “some of the delays were due to RMN itself not approved some design changes”
    This is what happens when you do inhouse own design and let the user go crazy with what they want. If it were a off the shelf Gowind, nothing can be change and build would have proceeded far smoother.

    An 86 day delay is not insignificant as it is nearly 3 months backlog so how will it jive with launch timeline as said by the Admiral?

  7. It is expected when the rmn did not get what it wants it wilm throw a tantrum and this & that not right & not to their liking. It is politic. Yes they are the end user but since this project already got delayed many times, the rmn should ease some of their preferences. The priority is to get the ship completed asap. These all not good sign

  8. @Hulubalang
    “The budget to assemble the 6th LCS could then”

    Rather than spend money on the 6th LCS, we must use that money to buy 8-11x Korean HDP3000 OPV for MMEA. Then magically MMEA can operate up to 12-14 large OPV by 2030 *sarcastic. Then we can have 5x LCS, 3x LMS2 and MMEA have 14 OPV by 2030 *sarcastic, equipment bought for LCS6 can pass to 1 of the LMS2. As said by Hulubalang, MMEA need a lot more OPV, more important than RMN’s LMS2 to counter China’s coast guard. Instead of canceling 3x LMS2 lets just cancel LCS6 and transfer RMN sailors and RMN OPEX budget to MMEA + more recruits within 5 years

  9. The Gowind LCS will be much more capable and armed than anything we can fit those LMS Batch 2 Corvette with the small USD175 million budget per ship that is allocated.

    Malaysian Coast Guard aka APMM can perfectly buy OPVs like HDP-3000 with its own budget if only it can be put under a more proper ministry other than KDN.

    My ideal TLDM plan is this :

    My plan is to create a well rounded, balanced capability navy that could give a meaningful contribution to any mission that would involve Malaysian interests.

    So my proposed TLDM fleet by 2040
    – 6x Scorpene Evolved Li-Ion SSK
    – 6x Gowind 3100 Frigate
    – 4x Arrowhead 140 Frigate
    – 24x LMS-X FCS5009 with surface missile module of 12x Cakir SSM & 24x HELLFIRE MMR
    – 3x OSV 70-80m for MCM mothership, SF support, SUB tender/support, UAS support, pipeline undersea cable security/surveillance
    – 2x AOR based on the STM Fleet Tanker
    – 2x RORO (similar to SPS Ysabel)
    – 30x FIC

    roro
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GBSihKSaMAAu5lg.jpg

    LMS-X
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GHZAfHha8AAeuXH.jpg
    The concept :
    A multi-role low-cost modularly armed ship that has better speed, endurance, range than the Maharaja Lela Class Gowind LCS Frigate.

    In wartime situation, the LMS-X will mainly sail together and operate as a loyal wingman and distributed lethality node for the Gowind and Arrowhead 140 Frigates. It would mainly operate under a frigate air defence umbrella. As such it would have datalink of information from the Gowinds and Arrowhead 140 Radar, ESM and sonar. It would also have situational awareness from other inputs such as geospatial satellites, MPAs and MALE UAVs.

    In peacetime, it could sail independently as a patrol vessel and as escort/shadow vessel of foreign naval ships.

    LMS-X main weapon would be the 150km range Roketsan Cakir multi-role cruise missie. This is a low cost missile that is a bit smaller than the NSM (which is already smaller than the Exocet). This will enable attacks to be conducted from multiple directions, saturating the enemy ship defence systems. Targeting can be acquired by the gowind, but the missile launched from the LMS-X, creating unpredictable attack patterns.

    Longbow Hellfire MMR with the direction from Giraffe 1X 4D AESA radar and SPYNEL-X IRST can do limited air defence of the LMS-X against drones, loitering missiles, Naval helicopters, UAVs and subsonic aircrafts. Hellfire is already used as air defence missile by US Army Strykers.

    A strike group of say 1x Gowind Frigate + 3x LMS-X will have at its disposal 8x NSM missiles + 36x Cakir missiles for surface strike; with 72x Hellfires to defend against fast boat swarms and FACs. Cakir missiles with datalink can use swarm tactics from multiple directions against a single target. It also can be used for land attack.

    LMS-X cost calculation – target cost USD33 million per ship including surface attack missile module.

    – FCS 5509 – USD9.5 mil (based on Ocean Warrior Euro 8.3 million)
    https://thesun.my/archive/1989167-NSARCH398439
    – 30mm ASELSAN SMASH – USD1 million
    – SAAB Giraffe 1X 4D AESA radar – USD2.33 million. Based on UK buy of 11 for USD25.6 million
    – Misc electronics, HGH Spynel-X IRST, FLIR turret, low cost ESM sensor (eg ESROE micro ESM) – USD3 million
    – Roketsan Cakir SSM (150km range) x12 – USD12 million
    – Hellfire MMR (8km range) x24 – USD3.6 million

    Total cost of USD31.43 million, spare of USD1.57 million to cover miscellaneous items.

    ASW module are budgeted separately, 6 systems for USD120 million (which i think probably can get more than just 6 systems) consisting of KraitSense or Sea Serpent low-cost lightweight towed array sonar to undertake multistatic sonar operations, and 1x B515 triple torpedo launcher on modular platform.

    LMS-X specification
    – length 55m
    – width 9m
    – crew 18-24 person, with accommodation for up to 30.
    – speed 30 knots
    – range more than 5,000 nautical miles (6000-8000 nm depending on cruising speed)
    – Endurance more than 4 weeks (extendable with containers on deck)
    – Sensor – Saab Giraffe 1X 4D AESA radar + HGH SPYNEL-X rotating IRST system + ESROE ESM
    – Gun – 30mm ASELSAN SMASH
    – Surface missile module – 12x Cakir SSM (150km) + 24x VL HELLFIRE MMR (8km)
    – ASW module – 1x B515 triple torpedo launcher + Kraitsense/Sea Serpent lightweight towed sonar module. ASW mode operating together with GOWIND CAPTAS 2 towed sonar in multistatic sonar operation concept.

    .
    .
    .
    .

    This is the plan on how to achieve it for both TLDM and APMM, all within the current afforded level of development expenditure.

    Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia

    RMK 12 2021-2025 (USD2.0 bil)
    LCS Gowind 1.15 Project continue (assume balance RM5.2bil need to be budgeted in RMK12)
    LCS Gowind 0.125 Assembly cost for 6th Gowind
    13 FIC batch 2 0.03
    12 LMS-X damen FCS5009 0.4 including surface attack missile module.
    3 70-80m OSV 0.1 (used) auxillary ship, MCM mothership, SF support, SUB support, UAS support, pipeline security/surveillance
    5 AW139 MUH batch 2 0.1
    4 RQ-21A Blackjack UAV (used) 0 – 4 systems of 5 airframe each. ex USMC retired. Free US EDA
    Total USD 1.905 Billion

    RMK 13 2026-2030 (USD2.0 bil)
    1 Scorpene SSK 0.6 assembled in Sepanggar
    12 LMS-X damen FCS5009 0.4 including surface attack missile module.
    2 Fast RORO (used) 0.04 replacement for MPCSS. Similar concept to Spanish Navy Ysabel
    1 Fleet tanker 0.09 replacement of BM5, BM6. STM Turkiye fleet tanker 17,000 ton. MMHE
    top up NSM and VL MICA NG missiles 0.3
    8 SH-60J Seahawk 0.2 ex-JMSDF airframe + new avionics, radar, ASW sonar
    2 MCM modular system set 0.15
    6 ASW module for LMMS 0.12 KraitSense system / Sea Serpent system
    Total USD 1.9 Billion

    RMK 14 2031-2035 (USD2.4 bil)
    1 Scorpene SSK 0.6 assembled in Sepanggar
    2 Arrowhead 140 Frigate 1 – KD Jebat and KD Lekir replacement
    1 Fleet tanker 0.09 replacement of BM5, BM6. STM Turkiye fleet tanker 17,000 ton. MMHE
    top up LMS-X surface attack module missiles 0.3
    2 MCM modular system set 0.15
    UAS, USV project 0.2
    Total USD 2.34 Billion

    RMK 15 2036-2040 (USD2.4 bil)
    2 Scorpene SSK 1.2 assembled in Sepanggar
    2 Arrowhead 140 Frigate 1 KD Lekiu and KD Kasturi replacement
    30 FIC replacement 0.1 For PASKAL SF support, replacement CB90
    Total USD 2.3 Billion

    ,
    ,
    ,

    Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia (Malaysia Coast Guard)

    RMK 12 2021-2025 (USD0.5 bil)
    2 additional budget for 2x DAMEN OPV 1800 0.06
    2 Ex JCG OPV 0.02 (used) sisterships of KM Pekan
    3 OSV AHT 70-80m used 0.04
    2 ex WMEC USCG transfer 0
    30 12.5m RHFB Perkasa 0.01
    10 Penggalang FIC 0.02
    30 various RIB 0.01
    4 AW189 0.07
    Total USD 0.23 Billion

    RMK 13 2026-2030 (USD0.8 bil)
    3 Hyundai HDP-3000 Tae Pyung Yang 115m OPV 0.2
    3 60m sail patrol vessel (based on Rainbow Warrior) 0.12
    12 DAMEN FCS 4008 Patrol NGPC2 0.18
    2 ex WMEC USCG transfer 0
    2 ex Ulsan transfer (to be retire 2036-40) 0 – offset Hyundai HDP-3000 buy
    6 ex Kedah Class OPV transfer 0.04
    15 25m PC 0.05
    60 12.5m RHFB Perkasa 0.02
    10 Penggalang FIC 0.02 FIC recapitalisation
    30 8m RIB 0.006 RIB recapitalisation
    4 CN-235 MSA 0.02 Transfer TUDM
    3 AS365N3 used 0.01
    3 AW139 used 0.02
    Total USD 0.686 Billion

    RMK 14 2031-2035 (USD0.8 bil)
    3 Hyundai HDP-3000 Tae Pyung Yang 115m OPV 0.2
    3 60m sail patrol vessel (based on Rainbow Warrior) 0.12
    4 ex Keris class LMS transfer 0
    12 DAMEN FCS 4008 Patrol NGPC2 0.18
    30 25m PC 0.1
    60 12.5m RHFB Perkasa 0.02
    10 Penggalang FIC 0.02 FIC recapitalisation
    30 8m RIB 0.006 RIB recapitalisation
    12 Diamond DA62 MPP Maritime Patrol 0.06
    Total USD 0.706 Billion

    RMK 15 2036-2040 (USD0.8 bil)
    3 New OSV rescue vessel 0.09
    2 ex Lekiu class OPV transfer 0
    6 60m sail patrol vessel (based on Rainbow Warrior) 0.24
    12 DAMEN FCS 4008 Patrol NGPC2 0.18
    15 25m PC 0.05
    30 12.5m RHFB Perkasa 0.02 RHFB recapitalisation
    10 Penggalang FIC 0.02 FIC recapitalisation
    30 8m RIB 0.006 RIB recapitalisation
    6 new helicopter AS365 replacement 0.1
    Total USD 0.706 Billion

  10. @Kel
    “process for finalising those menial items should be equally menial?”
    Oh you wouldnt believe it, but menial can be real pain in the buttsack when dealing with picky customers. They can say a light switch is out too left by 1cm and too low by 1 cm and you have choice but to reopen a new hole & rewire. Then the next person comes in and say that altered light switch is too right and too high by 1cm & demand to make the changes. Rinse and repeat. This is what typically happens when dealing with Govt personnel that has the power (or assumed they have the power) to decide.

    Its the big ones they usually have less to decide on, as mostly they arent technical enough to know what can be changed.

  11. add to above comment

    To give a Malaysian Coast Guard (APMM) 2040 Fleet of :
    – Large OPV
    6x Hyundai HDP-3000 Tae Pyung Yang OPV
    2x ex Lekiu class OPV
    6x ex Kedah Class OPV
    3x DAMEN 1800 OPV
    3x OSV Rescue vessel/OPV
    2x ex JCG OPV (training)
    – PV/PC
    4x ex Keris LMS68 68m
    12x Sail Patrol Ship 60m (long endurance, very low operating cost for presence missions)
    6x NGPC 44m
    36x FCS 4008 Patrol 41m
    45x 25m PC
    – FIC/RHIB/RIB
    50x FIC
    150x 12.5m RHFB Perkasa – 48 knots
    18x Banggi SEALEGS
    60x Misc RIB

    @ marhalim

    ” There are others issues apart from the menial ones, one which cannot be said in an open forum… ”
    Yes there are, but i hope it can be settled concurrently and with as little delay affect to the project as possible. It is complicated, but we have gone through this with the Gagah Samuderas, but those technically are straightforward, just the legal issues. The Gowinds yes i understand are magnitudes more headache inducing.

  12. When the ships finally commissioned, it will be obsolete since most navies in our neighborhood are brand new and far more advanced. It’s akin to our navy getting a gunboat, and other navy is getting a destroyer.

  13. @Akmal
    Define how are the LCS will be obsolete compared to our neighbours new ships.

  14. Hi. From my understanding the 86-days delayed is for the whole project (all 5 LCS). Not for Maharaja Lela itself. Is it correct?

  15. @Aasyafiq
    These ships are on a production line. An 86day delay to push out LCS1 would mean LCS2 would come out 86days later than planned and so on for LCS3 & others. There is always a knock on effect when 1st in line is stuck.

  16. A really good article in understanding what is needed from a naval force for future conflicts

    https://time.com/6836406/naval-power-us-china-russia/

    ” war at sea is deeply attritional ”

    ” In a conflict, a warship is safe only when it is outside the range of a cannon shot. A combatant, especially a numerically inferior one, will seek to close the gap and this is an assumption that navies need to address or else find themselves without a fleet ”

    ” Naval power matters today more than ever because of how modern societies’ relationship with the sea has evolved. Today we live in a maritime century, one in which the very foundations of the prosperity that underwrites open economies rests upon maritime physical and digital connectivity. Sea-lanes feed us, keep us warm, and deliver the furniture of daily life. Some 97% of the internet, and a major portion of international energy use, relies on an undersea spaghetti bowl of cables and pipelines that closely mirror commercial shipping routes. This multilayered network of physical and digital connectivity is safe and reliable only until it is not. ”

    ” Chinese authorities understand that, in a maritime century, its ongoing naval build-up is a downpayment for maritime superiority, if not supremacy, in a potential major war in the China seas, in the strait of Taiwan, or beyond ”

    ” In a contested maritime century, we should start thinking about navies as the ultimate national security insurance policy. Like any insurance, they demand regular investments against risks that are unlikely but potentially grave. “

  17. China building navy is a well known thing, no need to specify. But their buildup isnt aimed at us/region. No they have bigger fish to fry.

  18. Maritime state become a maritime state because the only way for them to survive is by controlling the sea. China for 5000 years of her existence had never been a maritime power because She have others better safer options ie the silk route and thus while losing sea control is an existential threat to the US,SK & JP it’s not the case to china.

    Thus US ‘winning’ condition is not to hiroshima canton or xiamen but rather create a situation where the sea is ‘dangerous’ enough to the Chinese so china fall back into a continental power as they always were.

    And in general geography are kind to the US caused as the Chinese are trapped behind the 1st islands chain just as Russia was trapped behind the north & marmara sea. Thus the same strategies to china would be no different to the strategy US applied during the cold war.

    In local contexts, MY & ID are the 21st century version of mid 20th centuries turkeye and Greece. Not a part of western alliances (yet) but both want to be one but are holding out because both know they can be bribe and thus want to be bribe and in general are dragging their feet because are unsatisfied with with the current amount of bribe.

    Thus war at sea is deeply attritional is true but the answer to such challenges is not asymmetric. The answer is good old teamwork though interoperability and interchangeability. (After we are satisfied with the amount of bribe of cause)

  19. War isnt an RPG game where you take down the little ones while the big boss waits for you, if China start taking out the little guys it will fully alert the big dude. In war, your best advantage against equal peer is element of surprise so you strike the big dude first before going for the little ones that no longer has protection (see Pearl Harbour then invasions of SEA). A well timed total blockade of Taiwan, with or w/o invasion, just might draw US Fleet into a well planned trap and once they are gone China can bide their time to finish the rest of us.

  20. @ marhalim

    Yes, I agree 100% with your statement.

    They will fry the small fish 1st in their buildup to fry bigger fishes. Especially those that clearly don’t intend to fight back.

    We need to prepare our defence for the eventuality that one day, war will come to us, and we have no say about that. When that time comes, we need to fight back, and if we can’t fight, well that will be the end of a country called Malaysia.

    We cannot have a navy that is only aiming to handle coast guard encroachment issues. We need a navy that can hit back at another navy that made their 1st attack on us. A navy that can hold the line before any help that comes our way.

    Our Malaysian Maritime Zone contributes 30% of our GDP annually, or nearly USD130 billion in value. Isn’t that something tangible that we need to protect and cannot afford to lose?

  21. @ darthzaft

    As a small country it will always be an asymmetric fight against a bigger military.

    You cannot fight a 10,000 ton Renhai Destroyer/Cruiser with our own 10,000 ton Destroyer/Cruiser.

    You cannot fight an Aircraft Carrier with our own aircraft carrier.

    You cannot fight Hypersonic anti-ship missiles with our own hypersonic anti-ship missiles.

    So tell me how do you fight them symmetrically?

    Fighting a 10,000 ton Renhai Destroyer/Cruiser with a 2,000 ton LMS Batch 2 Corvette is symmetrical is it?

    Did Ukraine sink the Moskova Cruiser with symmetrical means aka by using Ukrainian Cruisers?

  22. “So tell me how do you fight them symmetrically?”
    So is Hamas winning the war against IDF or is a one way slaughter of civilians part of their tactics to win?

  23. Malaysia is not Hamas.

    Hamas is virtually bloackaded/embargoed with zero support going their way.

    Our strategic predicament vis a vis china is no different to Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam. If they did not give up and say their territories can be negotiated, why should us? Even so are we seeing Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam building symmetric military capability (destroyers, aircraft carriers) against China?

  24. Hulubalang “Even so are we seeing Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam building symmetric military capability”

    They kinda did. They pretty much are building a cookie cutter military.

    Because unless you found yourselves in a situation where no one want to befriend you like Finland did for a century. Then one would resort to interchangeability and interoperability. Find Safely in numbers on a pretext of multilateralism

  25. West Msia, at least where the seat of power is, is 90% water bound by Selat Melaka & SCS. If China meant serious business they could maritime blockade us just like their ‘exercise’ encircling Taiwan back in Apr 2023. But beforehand you can bet that China will turn off any economic & trade relations. This is what PMX is afraid of when earlier this week he went on record to assuage that Msia is friendly to all.

    If we want to give up territory why bother to nego when we can go to World Court and lose the case?

    “Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam”
    Does have conventional military force. The former needs to show some willingness to defend themselves or else China would walk over them long ago. The other 2 have an army for different reasons not specifically to counter China.

  26. I brought up the Gaza war as counterpoint to those who trumping the Ukraine war as an example of asymmetric warfare.

    IDF is showing how a conventional armed force can beat down and defeat all sorts of guerilla tactics short of turning Gaza city into a Stalingrad/Grozny battleground which if they did, IDAF would gladly turn each building into flattened rubble and continue pounding until Hamas tunnels collapse.

  27. @joe/hulubalang

    Malaysian core is usually defined as the corridor between penang to JB. This is where the industry, power, money and population are. And in general are relatively secure as it is flank by a narrow waterway at the west, titiwangsa range on it east, with Oz & US bases on it northern and southern approaches.

    This is a whole lot different to tw,Vn,PH where the Chinese are threatening their core directly. The Chinese are doing so because their core is threatened by uncle Sam who positions himself on the 1st island chain.

    As far as we are concerned, the Chinese cannot solve their Malacca dilemma and threaten our core not until they kick Uncle Sam out of the 1st island chain and control the SCS. And it’s in our interest that uncle Sam able to remain here to maintained the balance of power.

    If war ever broke out it would happen either in tw or PH or less likely Vn. But never us. Uncle Sam is prepositioning himself in the PH. Thus unless uncle Sam close one eye and doesn’t want to lift a finger , the PLAN invasion fleet ain’t gonna tiba tiba arrived In Our shore because their supplies line goes through the PH.

    As Joe stated before, unlike SG we are not beholden to Uncle Sam. So if a war do broke out we can always choose not to get involved. But we would acquire the capability to be involved because as blinken said, ‘if you are not on the table then you are the menu.’

    But Even if we do get involved we aren’t likely going to the front line unlike SG, PH or OZ.

    Mr I don’t have a problem with China PM-X is quite correct really. The EEZ is under international law a international water. What we have is the exclusive rights to extract resources and the Chinese the right under international law to be there and for as long as the Chinese do not blockage our rig. thus denying our right for exclusive resource extraction then We really have no problem with them.

    How we would deal with the Chinese too would be different. Economically speaking the Chinese and pinoy are fighting over fishes. No one really want a hot war over some fishes. Thus the measures respond with OPV on OPV violence. We however would be fighting for oil. Prolonged OPV on OPV violence ain’t gonna make the oil flow and the kaching in our piggy bank. With oil making up 30% of our GDP we ain’t gonna go for a OPV on OPV violence. We had demonstrated before that we are willing to escalate. They send opv we send warship, they send transport plane we send fighters jet.

    We can afford to escalate because
    1)the Chinese do not directly threatened our core
    2)uncle Sam is in the Philippines between us and them.
    3)the Chinese do not want to escalate a situation into a shootout. That’s just give a lot of people a lot of excuses from blockage to sanctioned.
    4) as long as the Chinese do not solve their Malacca dilemma, they don’t possess the capability for protracted conflicts. They don’t have oil and food for their citizens.

  28. As I said above, if war were to start it will be a different flashpoint where the US Fleet will be committed to act and that is where China will seek to take it out. Once the US carriers have been neutralised, they can take their time to pick us off as even a unified ASEAN navy would be hard to stop the Chinese battlefleets.

    The pursued of a truce & surrender may not necessarily need a land invasion (IJA in 1942-43) rather a blockade could simply starve our people into giving up.

    A counter sanction against China might work in the past, but China has been prudent in stocking up energy essentials (they have built vast fields of storage tanks lately) and sought to lay more pipelines into Russia. Thanks to various REs they have begun to reduce dependency on oil & gas too which is why their pushing the technological lead into RE tech.

    Their also prepare for a future AI warfare where each side would leverage the power of AI as a tool. The one with the better tool will win out. These are all kinds of future that China is preparing for thats inconceivable to us.

  29. ” We can afford to escalate because ”

    That statement in itself is enough for me to not engage in replying.

    Currently our leaders now does not even want to be seen as hurting chinese leaders feelings, what more wanting to escalate any south china sea issues with china.

    We need to develop a strong military not to escalate anything, or to say that China is our enemy. But it is for us to have a valid reason, strength and choice to say no and explicitly say what we have (our EEZ) is ours and is non negotiable. We need a strong military so that any country who thinks they can bully and just push malaysia aside with the use of force will think twice and will face an expensive consequence if they dare to attack us and take what is ours. We need to clearly show that the option to attack malaysia will be an expensive endeavour and not worthwhile to an attacker/agressor. We need a military that can at least hold the ground for the first few weeks of conflict, before friendly countries comes to help. or the international community forces the agressor to stop.

  30. @joe “Once the US carriers have been neutralised, they can take their time to pick us off as even a unified ASEAN navy would be hard to stop the Chinese battlefleets.”

    The problem is the US ‘carrier’ in question is the Philippines and okinawa islands itself. The Chinese have to gaza the heck out of the okinawa and the Philippines to kick uncle Sam out.

    Also if the asean states are next in the menu why do they let the US operate alone and be decimated? If anything it’s make more sense to collectively work with the US to confront the Chinese. As an added bonuses its the Philippines and Taiwan that going to be flattened not our own individuals country.

    Joe “rather a blockade could simply starve our people into giving up” .

    To do a blockage on us they would need to kick uncle Sam out of Philippines and SG, kick India’s out off Indian andaman island And decimated the joint oz/us military installations in northern Australia. Only then they could blockade the straits of Malacca, Sunda and lombok and threatened us.

    Until and unless they do that it’s the Quad that do the blockages threat.

    Joe “sought to lay more pipelines into Russia”

    If they manage to secure supplies & trade through land route away from the sea. Then their navy is redundant. Which is exactly what uncle Sam wants. Which is to continue ruling the high sea.

    @joe “These are all kinds of future that China is preparing for thats inconceivable to us.”

    You make it sound like they are gods.

    @Hulubalang “Currently our leaders now does not even want to be seen as hurting chinese leaders feelings”

    Never heard of a little innovation called two-faced is it? Maybe you should learn it because it’s exactly what the Chinese FM & ID netizen calls us.

    @Hulubalang “We need a military that can at least hold the ground for the first few weeks of conflict, before friendly countries comes to help. or the international community forces the agressor to stop.”

    Uncle Sam is already in the PH. How the heck the Chinese invasion fleet and it supplies lines get past them?

    Not to mention in your scenarios, Uncle Sam didn’t want to a lift a finger doing a relatively low risk high reward task of sabotaging the Chinese supplies chain in the Philippines seas but somehow are committed to endangering American live and send out troops here?

  31. @ darthzaft

    China wants our sea as their territorial waters, against all the rules written in UNCLOS. The sea where 30% of Malaysian annual GDP is coming from.

    We/us must be committed 1st to defend our own country. Which is what all the countries around us are trying to do. Nobody will come to the rescue of a country that concedes defeat without a fight.

    Phillipines with its coast guard are doing most of the work pushing back China Coast Guard. Phillipines Navy, Army. Marines and Air Force all are preparing themselves by getting Frigates, Submarines, Brahmos Supersonic Anti-ship missiles, Spyder anti air missiles, MRCAs etc. They are not the one saying they have no problems with China.

    Singapore has started steel cutting of their MRCV, which is now confirmed based on Iver Huitfeldt/Absalon with a displacement of around 8,000 tons.
    ” The forthcoming MRCVs are set to replace the aging Victory-class missile corvettes, a necessary evolution given the stark contrast between the threat landscapes of the 1980s and those anticipated in 2040. Unlike their predecessors, the MRCVs are engineered to transcend conventional roles, serving as force multipliers equipped to orchestrate unmanned systems. These systems will encompass an array of capabilities ranging from surveillance to combat, bolstering the RSN’s operational reach and effectiveness. In a strategic shift, the RSN is pivoting away from type-specific platforms toward modular systems and vessels. This approach ensures adaptability to evolving threats and operational requirements. The MRCVs, designed as modular platforms, will empower the RSN to confront emerging challenges while engaging in both conventional and unconventional warfare scenarios ”

    Threat anticipated in 2040. What does TLDM anticipate the threat like in 2040?

  32. @Zaft
    “it’s make more sense to collectively work with the US to confront the Chinese.”
    A conflict in Taiwan would not necessarily meant ASEAN would come aid them. More often than not we tend to stay out of the way when things escalate there.

    Just as in WW2, land bases do not carry much weight when it is cut off from support & isolated.

    “kick uncle Sam out of Philippines and SG, kick India’s”
    If Pinoy is isolated, the US forces will retreat to SG, and if SG decides its in their survival not to join they could prevent the US from using their land as bases of operations, and India will not do shit unless their interests are threatened.

    “Then their navy is redundant.”
    The Belt & Silk Road didnt make their ports & harbours redundant so supply via land will hardly make their navy redundant. Ask yourself what is the primary reason for a carrier fleet?

    “You make it sound like they are gods.”
    China is not an upstart superpower, their a thousands of years old civilisation, they plan things not in the years but in the decades ahead. Their actions arent so nebulous or mysterious as most Westerners look at, they are calculated acts to generate expected results and while many do not see it they have a clear end goal what they want. They may not be gods but with the power of predictive AI, they could nearly wield as one.

  33. Joe “China is not an upstart superpower, their a thousands of years old civilisation, they plan things not in the years but in the decades ahead”

    In plain English such a theory is called exceptionalism. The problem with exceptionalism is like money and sovereign state is that’s it’s non tangible. For non tangible things to exist you have to convince others that it does exist. For example MYR is non hedgeable because people don’t believe it’s hedgeable. For it to be hedgeable you need to convince people it is hedgeable.

    Joe “If Pinoy is isolated, the US forces will retreat to SG, and if SG decides its in their survival not to join they could prevent the US from using their land as bases of operations, and India will not do shit unless their interests are threatened.”

    Seem the whole strategy relies heavily on everyone being be so scared that they run away between their tail without even trying.

    Joe ” Ask yourself what is the primary reason for a carrier fleet?”

    A carrier fleet are a tools for securing one SLOC. For most countries SLOC is just another trade route and if cornered they can choose either to fight of flights.

    but for a bona fide maritime countries SLOC are their one and only lifeline and thus losing it is an existential threat to them thus flights is never an option.

    Hulubalang “The sea where 30% of Malaysian annual GDP is coming from”

    Tahu pun. So how exactly do we keep our God’s given right to half a trillion ringgit annually monopoly on dinosaur juice extraction.

    Mind you those dinosaur juice are only useful for as long as they are pumping. Thus the challenge For MAF is making sure it’s continuous pumping or at least the shut down are temporary but never for a prolonged period.

  34. @Zaft
    “being be so scared that they run away between their tail without even trying”
    What is there to try if their respective sovereignty isnt directly threatened? Its not like we have an ASEAN NATO where we could have bulwark states to help us defend or that we have mutual defence pact to mobilise the whole ASEAN armed forces when any member states are attacked. As I said before each nation has different levels of interaction with Uncle Sam and not all are beholden to support them when US comes calling.

    “A carrier fleet are a tools for securing one SLOC.”
    Not how the major powers uses their carriers. USA, GB, France sends their carriers halfway around the world for only 1 reason during peacetime; power projection & global policing. There are no SLOC interest for a US CBG to be based in Okinawa. But when tensions flare up that is what they will send 1st.

    “Thus the challenge For MAF is making sure it’s continuous pumping”
    So far China action arent impeding or stopping us from doing so in our EEZ, this unlike CCG actively preventing Pinoy ships from reaching Second Thomas Shoal.

  35. zaft – ”Seem the whole strategy relies heavily on everyone being be so scared that they run away between their tail without even trying.”

    ”Seems” that way to you maybe. As for the Philippines first of all understand that U.S. prestige is at play; never mind the vital place the Philippines occupies in terms of geography. As part of the wider dynamics understand also the part the Philippines occupies in the U.S. national psyche due to historical reasons. Also in the highly unlikely event that the Philippines is lost [as was the case in WW2] the U.S. has bases in Guam, Japan and South Korea.

    zaft – ”A carrier fleet are a tools for securing one SLOC. ”

    It is for ”power projection” and a simple search would indicate that. One can secure SLOCS with land based air power and other means.

    zaft – ” but for a bona fide maritime countries SLOC”

    Have no idea what you mean by ”bona fife maritime countries” and I really doubt you do too but every country – directly or otherwise – whether a littoral state like Malaysia or a landlocked one like Mali depends on interrupted access to the world’s shipping lanes.

    zaft – ”Tahu pun. So how exactly do we keep our God’s given right to half a trillion ringgit annually monopoly on dinosaur juice extraction.”

    Economics only pays part of why China desires hegemony in the South China Sea. Control of the area enables it to project power; break out of the 1st 1st Island Chain and support ops in Taiwan. For a better understanding on the geo-political dynamics and what got us to where we are II highly recommend Kaplan’s ”The Asian Cauldron”.

    On what the RMN should or should not anticipate in the 2040 period; it’s a policy decision. Now one can present all the fantasy wish list/ORBATs one wants and flood this site with inordinate links but ultimately the armed services do what they do based on threat perceptions as laid down by policy makers. As it stands – right or wrong – the policy makers see no need for an MAF funded, structured or equipped for state on state high intensity warfare; period/full stop. The SAF in contrast does; thus comparisons between the MAF and SAF are spurious and frivolous. As Michael Kofman says ‘show me one’s force structure and I’ll tell you the wars he intends to fight”…

    Do I believe we need to take defence more seriously and fund, train and equip the MAF for ”serious” roles or to operate in a non permissive environment? Yes but we also have to stay within the realms of reality.

  36. Joe “What is there to try if their respective sovereignty isnt directly threatened?”

    At the end of the day it’s depend on the individuals states. For most indochines state, they don’t. For VN & PH they already are being threatened. For MY,BR,SG,ID if China break free off US Philippines containment then they are next on the chopping block.

    Joe “There are no SLOC interest for a US CBG to be based in Okinawa.”

    Global policing and power projection is such an ugly word. Let just say that uncle Sam think the whole planet high sea is their SLOC though. Because something something globalization something

    Joe. ” So far China action arent impeding or stopping us from doing so in our EEZ, this unlike CCG actively preventing Pinoy ships from reaching Second Thomas Shoal”

    Doesn’t mean that they won’t do it tomorrow. Great if they don’t but Thus the question is what should be done if they did?

    Azlan ” As it stands – right or wrong – the policy makers see no need for an MAF funded, structured or equipped for state on state high intensity warfare; period/full stop”

    Words like high intensity and non permissive environment, heck even independent, maritime state etc etc all exists in a spectrum though rather than an absolute. Thus One individual threshold of what constitute high intensity, independent, etc etc may be different from another.

  37. The economic realms of reality is all too cruel when one sees USD $1 = RM4.7 and SGD $1 = RM3.5

  38. … – ”We need a strong military so that any country who thinks they can bully and just push malaysia aside with the use of force will think twice and will face an expensive consequence if they dare to attack us and take what is ours. ”

    This is a case of yet again revisiting or rather regurgitating old ground.

    Sounds great on paper but in reality if the ”deterrence” does not ”deter” what next? Do tell us. We sink 5 ships they’ll send another 5. We lose 2 ships and the replacements might come in years if we’re lucky. Also, if viewed in a non fevered manner there is a limit to the level of ”deterrence” a country like Malaysia can achieve against a country which spends a way lot more on defence; has a larger population and a much larger and more advanced tech/industrial base.

    … – ”We need to clearly show that the option to attack malaysia will be an expensive endeavour and not worthwhile to an attacker/agressor. ”

    Sounds easy and uplifting but unfortunately it’s not. A country might well decide that incurring whatever penalty there is to incur from our ”deterrence” is well worth the price. An opponent might have far more resources and has a vote. He too might think ”out of the box” and adopt asymmetric tactics [something you perennially overlook or neglect to mention].

    As for troubles in the Spratlys it’s not god given we’d be involved unless there was a clear threat to us and troubles in the Spratlys doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a clear threat to us although it will be a source of major concern. As it stands even if we were involved and were part of a coalition chances are we’d be operating well on the periphery. We simply don’t have the assets or skill sets needed to bring to the party. Even the much vaunted subs might not be there to avoid ‘blue on blue’ incidents. Ultimately lets not flatter ourselves; if trouble does break out and we’re involved we’ll be a minor speedbump or annoyance; China has far more bigger fish to fry and worry about than us. It trains and has a force structure intended to deal with the likes of the USN, JMSDF, ROKN and RAN.

    Before deciding what we can or can’t do on paper perhaps realise that there’s a limit to what the MAF [for that matter any military] can or can’t do against a much larger country which spends much on defence than us. A country which BTW might not react the way we’d like it to.

    … – ” for the first few weeks of conflict”

    Your weeks could well be eternity … We’d be lucky if we don’t run out of key consumables in days and if we didn’t would we still have the assets? For us to decide we want a MAF which can partake in a high intensity protracted industrial scale conflict would take a major shift in policy and mindset; an epiphany. As it stands we can’t even get 6 modestly armed ships delivered on time; can’t even afford more than a mere 18 SPHs [not ordered yet] and can’t even afford to equip our prime or elite units they way we’d like to.

    Before we embark on grandiose plans involving taking on a far more powerful opponent we should first get the basics right with regards to force structure; funding and long term realistic assessments; as it stands we can’t even do that. We’re more interested in hubris and patting ourselves on the back.

  39. @Zaft
    “Let just say that uncle Sam think the whole planet high sea is their SLOC”
    Isnt that also ‘exceptionalism’? What about GB or France?

    “Doesn’t mean that they won’t do it tomorrow”
    Doesnt mean that they will. Come on.

    “Thus the question is what should be done if they did?”
    Then we have channels to air our grievances just as we did after their air intrusion.

  40. ” We simply don’t have the assets or skill sets needed to bring to the party ”

    I am usually talking about what can we do, what can we change so that in the near future we do have the assets or skill sets needed to bring to the party. And these things can be had with prioritization and much more seriousness about defence, even within the current levels of available budget.

    You always reply (by stating the obvious) that we cannot do any of that because currently we don’t have the assets or skill sets needed to bring to the party. I can see that, you don’t need to keep repeating the current situation and predicament of our defence. What is currently happening can be changed so that it is not the same situation in the future.

  41. “The Gowind LCS will be much more capable and armed than anything we can fit those LMS Batch 2 Corvette”

    You overlooked the plainly obvious. The LMS is not and never was intended to be as capable as a LCS; anymore than the LCA will be as capable as a future MRCA or a AV-8 armed with an auto cannon as capable as a PT-91.

  42. … – “1 Fleet tanker 0.09 replacement of BM5, BM6. STM Turkiye fleet tanker 17,000 ton. MMHE”

    Do you mean a “tanker” which carries fuel or an “oiler” which replenishes at sea [note the key difference]. Yes yes you’re just following what the Turks and Pakistanis said but as it stands it’s a widely accepted fact within most navies [including NATO ones] as well as the oil/ gas industry that there is a profound difference; as different as a UAS is to a loitering munition or a scout car to a IFV. Note that Petronas and MISC have “tankers” not “oilers” and in recent years RMN ships received fuel transfers from American and Spanish “oilers” not “tankers”.

    Also, we need an “oiler” like we need a hole in the head; legitimate reason why we don’t have such a requirement. Related to geography and the fact that we really venture out and when we do it’s far cheaper to have ships stop to refuel rather then having an “oiler” tag along. We also can’t cater for every capability; if that were the case or the logic we’d have hospital ships and other things totally superfluous to our actual needs

  43. – “1 Scorpene SSK 0.6 assembled in Sepanggar

    Fail to see what tangible benefits are to be gained. Or is your logic based on we can do it thus we should? We assemble a sub and get bragging rights and the yard makes money but by the time we actually come around to assembling the 2nd sub might be decades later. On paper there are benefits but then so did the idea behind local assembling AV-8s and other things at great cost to the taxpayer and look at the tonnes of tangible benefits we gained …

  44. Do however make the distinction between what we can do on paper, what we’re likely to do and what what we’re able to do in reality. You are able to make the needed distinctions are you not?

    You sound like a motivational guru. On paper and in links anything is possible but do you you actually see signs that we’ll be making the fundamental changes needed? Need a reminder on the state we’re in and that things don’t happen in a vacuum? We’re buying NVGs in batches of 18 for crying out loud.

    As stated many moons ago ‘…’ pot shouldn’t call the Azlan kettle black. To also add; as told to you numerous times; an objective assessment would include a complete look at things; not just the juicy parts or the parts you want to push.

  45. Joe “Isnt that also ‘exceptionalism’? What about GB or France?”

    Every nation ultimately believe in their own exceptionalism. That’s just how our brain are hardwired with. For example Some here even believe we can bring down PLA on our own even.

    The hard part is making others people believe the same as we do . If they don’t believe in it. They won’t act according to what you think they would.

    Uncle Sam ultimately have the upper hand in such and why the like of SG,PH,JP,OZ place all bet on uncle Sam rather than just hedging.

  46. I place my bets on thousands of years old civilisation, it may not be a PRC in the future but whatever it will continue on for the next thousand years.

  47. @joe

    Its not what we as individual believed that matters. Non tangible things like money matter when there’s a sizable size of believer.

    Outside of China even among ethnically Chinese. China do not have the best of reputation

  48. Zaft – ”utside of China even among ethnically Chinese. China do not have the best of reputation”

    So? you missed the part where there are still strong emotional ties on the party of overseas Chinese.

    zaft – ”Uncle Sam ultimately have the upper hand in such and why the like of SG,PH,JP,OZ place all bet on uncle Sam rather than just hedging.”

    You’re painting things in broad strokes without looking at the nuances. Singapore unlike the others you listed is not a U.S. ”ally” or treaty linked ands is in a different situation to the others in your list. Also, all the countries in yours list heavily engaged in confidence building measures including dialogues, exchanges; bilaterally and multilaterally.

    zaft – ”Uncle Sam ultimately have the upper hand in such”

    It has been the undisputed hegemon since 1945 but things have changed. For the 1st time since the end of the Col War there exists a serious challenger with both the military [with a qualitative element] and economic might [at its most powerful the Soviet economy came nowhere close to Uncle Sam’s].

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