Pimp Up My LMS

CMN C Sword corvette

SHAH ALAM: If you were to read the earlier comments on the LMS post, not much is expected of the class of ships despite what has been said by the RMN.

Of course much of that came from Boustead Naval Shipyard’s past performance and also the funding level of the RMN. The fitted for but not fitted with concept which the government foisted on the RMN for the Kedah-class and now LMS sounds good on paper. But in practise, its more like fitted for but not ever paid for.

A CGI of the LMS.

Even RMN’s much touted 15-to-5 transformation plan is not the final word yet, as it will all depend on the funding to be provided by the government.
A containerised 120mm Nemo mortar. This system will be a welcome addition to the LMS. RMN however have ye to indicate it will have something similar to it.

Anyhow instead of dwelling on what are beyond us – money and authority – let us put our minds on how to make the 14 LMS to be build locally, an improved variant of the ones designed by China. I realised I am not a naval architect and the things mentioned here will probably not changed anything. This is the Internet, so we have all the freedom in the world to agree to disagree.
KD Kinabalu (14) and KD Mahamiru (12), the two Mahamiru-class MCMV. TLDM

Although the RMN will want to make all of the 14 LMS as generic patrol boats which can be modified for various tasks with add-on mission modules, I am on the opinion that at least two ships should be configured permanently for anti-mine and mine laying (MCM) mission modules (with one based at Lumut and Kota Kinabalu, each).
Saab SAM system , an unmanned minesweeping drone for the disposal of modern sophisticated influence mines

MCM is one of the most difficult to acquire and retain in the navy. By not retaining the capability, it will surely meant that all the thing we learnt by operating the Mahamirus the last three decades, will be lost forever.
Atlas mine hunting systems, for ships and containerised ones.

An extra MCM mission modules should also be bought so as to give other sailors the opportunity to train for the same operations.
Danish Stanflex ships and modules.

As for the other mission modules, we should be looking at the Stan Flex system for anti air-and-surface role as employed by the Danes (above). These things are already available and deployed, so why we should pay for new things then?
Safran PASEO NS, Multi-mission naval electro-optical fire control system. Safran

Yes we maybe limiting our selves to the 76mm gun, ESSM and Harpoon but I am pretty sure other manufacturers could also be adapt their products for the Stan Flex or similar system. The 120mm Nemo mortar is the exception to this however as it is already available for use on naval vessels.
Marte Coastal Battery at Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference 2016. Based on this demo unit, the system could be easily be fitted on container similar to the Stanflex module.

Anyhow, below are what regular commentator Three Dots has to say on the future LMS.
…graphic of a modified LMS with the current one. The top graphic is the CMN Combattante F65 concept

The bridge raised 1 floor above the original design, and moved further to the back. The bridge to be “panoramic” type similar to l’androit OPV, singapore LMV. Bofors mk1 57mm recycled from FAC at the front. two H/PJ17 30mm RCWS rear of the bridge at the location of the 0.50 cal machine guns. Mast with Spynel-X 360 degrees IRST, and optical “radar” that can detect a man at 8km and RHIB at 15km. less ambitious than my original proposal, but a bit better than the TLDM one. Design layout is inspired by the CMN combattante FS65 concept

The previous iteration of the improved variant of the LMS by …

While I am agreeable with his selection of the enclosed radar mast, I am not keen on his idea of getting other China systems for the next batch of 14 LMS even just for the SAM.
CMN Combattante F65 concept.

I prefer Western systems as mentioned above though I admit we could be stuck with China systems for the next batch if RMN and BNS did not work out clearances from now from other countries.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2201 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. I did not choose an enclosed mast. The search radar on my modified LMS68 is mounted externally on top of the mast.

    I have written my take 2 on my previous “another take on the LMS”. It will further explain my modified LMS68 design.

    My other comments:

    1) Stanflex modules. We still have to pay for any module design as we don’t have any in our current inventory.

    2) MCM. Look at denmark not just for its stanflex modules, but also at their current MCM operational concept. They don’t have a dedicated MCM ship anymore. All their MCM capability is in modular containerized modules and remote controlled surface and underwater drones.

    3) going chinese. Our limited budgets means we cannot be choosy. We need to balance getting high end warfighting stuff with western equipments and low end equipment for peacetime daily defense use.

  2. Next batch of 14 LMS?

    I would prefer the LMS68 design be capped at just 9 ships, all to my modified LMS68 design (the ship is still in design stage, no steel is cut just yet), with the rest of the LMS requirement to be fulfilled with my previous LMS-B proposal. A sub 700 ton lightly equipped ship should not be costing usd 68 million each. Even the APMM damen 1800 ton OPV is cheaper than the LMS68.

  3. Maybe RMN should try Russia’s Steregushchy or Gremyaschy class frigates and Karakurt class corvettes instead. Russians are known to be generous in technology transfers and weaponry available for affordable budgets. Even MMEA can go for Russia’s Rubin class patrol boats.

  4. Russian frigates / corvettes can be equipped with Oniks-800 (Yakhont export version) or BrahMos supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles (Mach 3) which are deadly and higher rate kill compared with French Exocet subsonic cruise missiles (Mach 0.92). And the latest Russian frigates and corvettes are stealthy, not to mention affordable viz. USD 150 million for a frigate. It is better to buy from Russians rather than Chinese.

  5. I hope all goes well with the LMS…otherwise it might end up as the Nenek Class LMS….. I mean no teeth lah!

    By the way, what is the purpose of a 120mm mortar on a ship??

    Ship to shore bombardment. With guided projecticles it could also be used against ships or surfaced submarines. This will be invaluable for vessels not normally armed with main guns bigger than 57/76mm guns like the ones for the Coast Guard and also the LMS.

  6. @ Sundra Anand

    I believe you have not taken my advice to read up on MH17


    Nenek class LMS?!? LoL!!! That’s a good one!

  7. Why do we need 120mm mortars when we already have the excellent 57mm Bofors gun?

    the mortar has slow firing rate (7 rounds per minute) and low velocity.

    The bofors can fire at a speed of 200 rounds per minute.

    The range differences is minimal, 8.5km for Bofors; 7km with normal mortar rounds (10+ km with base bled rounds) for the 120mm mortar.

    Its not a perfect solution of course, I never said it was.

    The bofors could be used to fire at moving ships and aircrafts, the mortar is mostly a land attack weapon.

    That is why I don’t bite into the “oh so big 120mm mortar must be good for ships” story.

  8. If you need 120mm-like firepower on a 68m ship…

    Option 1 (Free)
    Recycle the Bofors 57mm guns from FAC

    Option 2 ($$$$ millions)
    Containerized 120mm mortar.

    The mortar is feasible if there is no below deck space to mount a real gun like the 57mm or 76mm gun. If there is space like on a big 68m ship like the LMS, it is a no branier to go for a real naval gun instead.

  9. I think you guys are keep forgetting about why Royal Malaysian Navy went for the LMS.

    The LMS is for counterpiracy patrols, fisheries protection, and all this bread and butter gunboat work, where 30mm gun is sufficient.

    This is like complaining that a Humvee with a .50 cal is underarmed vs an IFV with 30mm autocannon and ATGM. Well of course it is, but you also don’t use Humvees in the same roles as you use IFVs.

    Missile corvettes or fast attack crafts are overkill for the sort of work that these LMS are being used on. These ships are the low end of the hi-lo mix that all navies employ. :V

  10. @ Xan Vreda

    I think you are also forgetting that malaysia now has something called the Malaysian Coast Guard?

    And FYI the Malaysian Coast Guard has bought a ship called the NGPC with better performance than the LMS costing only usd18 million per ship, compared to the usd68 million per LMS.

    With the same budget of the 4 LMS, the Malaysian Coast Guard could have bought 15 NGPC ships, and which option do you think is better for as you say counterpiracy patrols, fisheries protection, and all this bread and butter gunboat work?

    For the usd68 million per ship, I don’t expect a sparse boat with just a 30mm gun. It is like, to use your saying, paying IFV money for a Hummer. That is why we want it to be better armed, because of the big money paid for those LMS.

  11. Just a reminder to malaysiandefence readers what usd68 million could get you.

    MMEA Malaysia – OPV 1800tons – usd56million


    Philippines Navy – SSV (LPD) 7200tons – usd42million


    Nigeria – P18N OPV (similarly armed to the Kedah class SGPV) 1800tons – usd42million


    If last time there are excuses (for the gowinds) that the then compared ships are lower specced, how do you explain now why MMEA could get an excellent OPV designed by an european shipyard for less money than the chinese LMS?

  12. Sundra Anand,

    Hello, hello! Calling planet earth.

    There is no intention of buying Russian and as has been pointed out before, buying Russian brings along it own set of complications. Also having fast and long range missiles are not a panacea as there are various factors at play – if it was then everyone would have long range supersonic missiles but that’s not the case and there’re reasons for this.

    Also ”stealth” is also not a panacea. Yes it’s nice to have as it makes a ship harder to detect but it doesn’t make a ship invisible and compared to others the Russians are only just getting into the ”stealth” ship design game with new designs with reduced IR signatures and no sharp angles.

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