On The Way…

KD Sri Sarawak CO Lt Kdr Anwar Redhwan Lokman Hakim (left) and KD Sri Sabah CO Lt Kdr Mohd Fairuz Ahmad Fauzi (right) with Mawilla 1 CO Rear Admiral Farizal Myeor. RMN

SHAH ALAM: Sandakan-based 13 PC Skuadron is expected to receive two new vessels soon, KD Sri Sabah and KD Sri Sarawak. The two ships are among the 15 Kris-class patrol craft handed over by the RMN to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) between 2005 and 2006. The boats were renamed as Sipadan class by the MMEA.

KD Sri Perlis, the nearest ship, in a picture taken in 2022 during an exercise. RMN

The former KM Sipadan was retired by the MMEA in 2012 and subsequently scuttled off the coast of Tioman island in the same year. The rest of the class have also been retired but two hulls (ex Sundang and ex-Panah) were good enough to re-transferred back to the RMN and renamed as KD Sri Sabah and KD Sarawak. I
KD Sri Perlis in 2018. RMN

Malaysian Defence got a ship tour of one of these Sipadan class boats – KM Kukup – back in 2011. The first hint of that two ships – Sri Sabah and Sri Sarawak – were coming back was reported in July 2022 when the then RMN Region 2 (Mawilla 2) commander Rear Admiral Roslan Yunus told reporters in Sandakan in July 2022 that the two ships will join the fleet the next September. It did not happened of course.
KD Sri Perlis, one of the oldest vessels in RMN today is one of the two patrol craft deployed to the Sandakan naval base. Sri Perlis and its sister ship, KD Sri Johor, regularly patrol the ESSCOM area of operations. Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

It is likely both ships are still in the work-up period after their commissioning – unknown at the moment – their commanding officers made a courtersy call on the RMN Region 1 (Mawilla 1) commander Rear Admiral Farizal Meor at Kuantan, Pahang, on February 17. Mawilla 1 social media post identified the Sri Sarawak CO as Lt Kdr Anwar Redhwan Lokman Hakim and Sri Sabah CO Lt Kdr Mohd Fairuz bin Ahmad Fauzi.
KM Kukup, picture taken in 2011.

There was no picture of both ships however. It is likely both will look like their sister ships, KD Sri Perlis and KD Sri Johor. It is unclear when both ships will sail to its new homeport, the Sandakan naval base. It may well be soon though as KD Selangor, the senior ship of the Eastern Fleet Command, is also currently in Kuantan likely for an exercise. Both Sri Sabah and Sri Sarawak may well escort Selangor back to Kota Kinabalu before sailing to its new home port

— Malaysian Defence

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21 Comments

  1. I hope all this ship will get rehull just like KD Sri Perlis. At least they will look more modern.

  2. Hasnan,

    Not as much as the FACs and the Laksamanas. Maintenance costs also reduced when certain things are replaced.

    Rock,

    Who cares if they look modern? As long as they can perform what they’re intended to.

  3. I read somewhere previously that kd Sarawak were converted into artificial reef upon it’s retirement from mmea. One thing for sure the hull is named as kd Sarawak.
    Could it be another hull being renamed ? And out of 15 hulls, any idea what is the actual quantity remain. Any likehood that all the remaining hull to be modernised to the same standard as KD Perlis ?

  4. Yes its mentioned in the story, the hull which became KM Sipadan is the old KD Sarawak. No idea whether it will be to the same standard as KD Sri Perlis but most likely

  5. @Azlan

    All these 40-50 year old hulls, where do you get the parts for them? Unless there are workshops that can custom make the parts. Repowering and rehulling is just making use of the opex to make new an old ship.

  6. I hope all this ship will get rehull just like KD Sri Perlis. At least they will look more beautiful.

  7. Hasnan – ”where do you get the parts for them?”

    A lot of things have long been changed over the years and and certain amount of improvisation is needed for aged stuff which has not ben replaced. The main areas to look out for are the hull, engine, gearbox, shaft and electrics.

    Hasnan – ”Repowering and rehulling”

    Issues with the engines and hulls [especially the Laksamanas] have been the main issue.

    Hasnan – ”to make new an old ship.”

    No… This is a scommon misconception. ”Repowering and rehulling” does not make a new ship; it makes a ship more manageable to operate. In the case of the Laksamanas I was first told about a feasibility study to rehull them in 2013 but the RMN never thought it would actually have to do so.

    Rock – ”At least they will look more beautiful.”

    At least they will have utility. Aesthetics is the least of the concerns.

  8. This transference from TLDM to MMEA back to TLDM is indicative of the failures of our planners, the policy & decision makers and of the instabilities caused by the ever changing Governments. We reap what we sowed.

  9. It is 13 patrol squadron sandakan, not 31.

    Some of the first hints they are coming back is the many equipment tenders for ex-sundang and ex-panah, giving marhalim that made mistaken for new LMS name

  10. Guess with the LCS is idle since 2018. RMN do have the fund needed to repowered/rehulling their existing ship.

    While it isn’t ideal as buying a brand new ship. It is what they could get as the voters would go banana if they heard RMN wanted to buy more patrol only or FFBNW ship.

    Personally have no idea why they just don’t transfer the base, personal & old ship to MMEA used for patrol only duties & concentrated on high end warfighting.

  11. Can anyone explain what\’s the \”15 to 5\” initiative that the RMN is undergoing right now? Wikipedia doesn\’t really explain it that well

  12. It’s nothing to do with the LCS, as the repowering and re-hulling money comes from the OE. And it needs to be done as not enough ships for patrol work. The LCS funds come from the DE

  13. Zaft,

    This issue has been done to death with and I’m surprised you’re bringing it up at this juncture.

    It’s really simple. The RMN can’t
    “concentrated on high end warfighting” because the MMEA isn’t in a position to fully assume all of its responsibilities and even if the MMEA had 500 OPVs the RMN – like all navies – would still have peacetime roles.

    Until the time comes when the MMEA is sufficiently funded there is no other entity other than the RMN which can help shoulder the burden.

    Also, the RMN has no plans to buy not fully fitted out ships and in fact never had such plans – get the correct narrative. It also has no plans to get ships configured purely or solely for peacetime constabulary duties. I made this clear to other members who were misinformed and I’m making it clear to you…

    Amir,

    To keep it short the 5/15 was a long term plan the RMN came up with after it was clear that sufficient funding would not be forthcoming. It was [like the RMAF’s CAP 55]designed in such a way to make it palatable to the tight fisted politicians by being the absolute minimum of what was needed and being stretched over a ludicrously long period.

    The idea was that expensive to sustain ships would retired and the saved cash would be channelled towards newer ships. The plan was a product of its day; driven by prevailing politics and was out of necessity not choice. When presented the plan was rejected by the bean counters and it took high level intervention to be approved.

    As it stands the RMN was never under any illusions it would be fully implemented and there were/are strong reservations within the RMN as to the utility of this plan [some here erroneously looked at the 5/15 as being the best thing since sliced bread was invented]. It has also ceased being the 5/15 but is still being officially adhered to for political reasons.

  14. ”Repowering and rehulling” does not make a new ship”
    Arguably it is convenient for everyone not to admit it but where’s the tipping point? When the hull, nearly the whole superstructure, engine & transmission, electricals, sensors & FCS, and the only thing original are the guns carried forward?

  15. Marhalim,

    That’s what I meant. It was approved by parliament and abandoning it would be troublesome so officially the RMN is sticking to it.

  16. Azlan “It’s really simple. The RMN can’t
    “concentrated on high end warfighting” because the MMEA isn’t in a position to fully assume all of its responsibilities.

    Which is why I asked why not just transferred all the staffs ,ship & bases which mostly dealt with peacetime operations over to MMEA. Is RMN or MMEA against such transfer?

    Amir.

    It’s a program to reduce the type of ship but increase the number of ship per type to reduce it support tails & be a whole lot more cost effective while at the same time to support local industry to contribute to the country sosioeconomic wellbeing thus making the purchase far more palatable with better RRI to the gov rather than a direct overseas purchase of old days. Originally launch with the idea of having 12 LMS,12 NGPC, ( both class are mostly patrol only vessel but probably could support containerised equipment or are build to FFBNW standard), 6 LCS, 3MRCS & 2 sub at any one time. As of now its evolved into a need to get 5LCS, 8 LMS2,2MRSS, 4 subs & probably one more class of ships. The upgunning of vessel in the newer iteration come at the cost of number of vessels which is probably why they are repowering & rehulling their older ship for mostly patrol only duties.

    Joe “Arguably it is convenient for everyone not to admit it but where’s the tipping point”

    As convenient as calling a 2000 tons ship from a different design a follow on & in the same class to a 700 tons ship or AFP calling the Jose Rizal follow on as corvette or the European calling what used to be a destroyer a frigates.

  17. zaft – ”is probably why they are repowering & rehulling their older ship for mostly patrol only duties.”

    It’s not hard to fathom. There is no ”probably”. Since their missiles were retired the FACs and Laksamanas perform certain type of duties but even when they were armed with missiles they still were ”for mostly patrol only duties”. Think.. What do ships in a peacetime navy normally do when not on exercises; on ops or laid up undergoing a refit?

    Also; to make things clear. The decision to ‘upgrade’ the FACs and Laksamanas had nothing to do with delays facing the LCS programme and are driven by the fact that replacements are not coming in time and the RMNN has no choice but to resort to certain measures to keep the FACs and Laksamanas operational for a few more years.

  18. zaft – ”why not just transferred all the staffs ,ship & bases which mostly dealt with peacetime operations over to MMEA. Is RMN or MMEA against such transfer?”

    Name me any entity that is willing to simply transfer staff and assets? If you haven’t realised; the RMN isn’t exactly flushed with manpower and it’s not as if the RMN is divided in two – one entity for ‘warfighting” as you put it and one entity focused on constabulary type duties. Think…

    It’s also not as if the RMN has assets which are totally focused on constabulary type duties; i.e. a Lekiu on a routine patrol in the EEZ is on the look out for foreign state intrusions but also stuff like illegal fishing and other things.

    Also; transferring staff may sound easy on paper and when you mention it on your phone/PC screen but in realty has a lot of challenges; not as easy as you make it out to be. What do we do with those who are near retirement? What about those with seniority issues in that the new entity they’re are going to may not need so many people of the same seniority? What about salary issues? Think…

    zaft – ”be a whole lot more cost effective while at the same time to support local industry to contribute to the country sosioeconomic wellbeing thus”

    Nonsense. It’s to reduce the logistical/support footprint and to make it easier for the government to commit to funding. It has nothing to do with the local industry as far as the RMN is concerned.

    zaft – ”calling what used to be a destroyer a frigates.”

    Incorrect. The line is very blurred. What is called a ”frigate” in one navy can be a ”corvette” in another navy and what’s ”destroyer” can also be a ”cruiser”. Nothing set in stone; the line has long been blurred. Are the Kasturis a ”frigate”, ”light frigate” or ”corvette”? Depends on the end user.

    zaft – ”12 LMS,12 NGPC, ( both class are mostly patrol only vessel but probably could support containerised equipment or are build to FFBNW standard)”

    Incorrect…. The LMS are not intended to be ”mostly patrol only vessel”. Neither were the follow on Kedahs which were included in the 5/15 but which are now as likely as Cinderella running through the streets of Alor Setar. The fact that the first batch of LMSs are only fitted with guns is not due to design but a political/bureaucratic cockup.

    zaft – ”As convenient as calling a 2000 tons ship from a different design a follow on”

    Do you understand the point he’s making? There comes a point where spending X amount of cash on something aged isn’t a good return of investment because the cash would be better off utilised on a new asset which can be operated far longer and is far more capable. If it was up to the RMN the PCs, FACS and Laksamanas would have been retired years ago but the RMN is forced to allocate funds to keep them running but only the bare minimum.

    zaft – ”As of now its evolved into a need to get 5LCS, 8 LMS2,2MRSS, 4 subs & probably one more class of ships.”

    From Day One to the present the plan has not officially ”evolved”…. Check. It has ‘elvolved’ in practice and unoficially but on paper it hasn’t…. The force structure as laid out years ago and at present remains unchanged….

  19. “It has also ceased being the 5/15 but is still being officially adhered to for political reasons.”
    As dead as the PH Govt created DWP.

    “As convenient as”
    Which means if everyone is doing it, its not a common misconception anymore but a new norm. So Hasnan wouldn’t be wrong if follows the normal understanding. Its basically new but TLDM would try to avoid calling that as it would trigger the beancounters that approved using OE instead of DE.

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