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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
An extra MCM mission modules should also be bought so as to give other sailors the opportunity to train for the same operations.
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?
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.
Anyhow, below are what regular commentator Three Dots has to say on the future LMS.
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
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.
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.
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