PETALING JAYA: In conjunction with RMN’s 78th anniversary, its chief Tan Sri Aziz Jaafar hold a press conference to announce various events organised for the celebrations. There will be open days at all RMN bases, on April 27 and 28, 2012.
During the press conference, the CN also gave some updates on RMN’s assets and development plans.
1) KD Tunku Abdul Rahman and KD Tun Razak has been declared operational. Both are undergoing operations.
2) The contract for the Submarine Escape and Rescue service (SMERV) had been awarded to Target Resources Sdn Bhd. The LOA was awarded recently. The contract had been in abeyance for the last four years as the Finance Ministry wants the Defence Ministry to renegotiate the price of the contract – RM8.2 million monthly for 20 years or RM98.4 million annually. Apparently the LOA was given at the original contract price. The CN said the mothership is being built in Singapore and is expected to be ready soon. In the meantime, RMN had worked out deal wtth regional navies in case of emergencies.
3) The LCS design will be finalised by July at the latest. The hull remained the Gowind and SETIS is the CMS. Only the other systems have yet to be confirmed. “It will be equipped with a gun capable of anti-aircraft capability, modern surface-to-surface missiles, medium-range SAM, a modern radar and a towed array sonar. The deck will be designed to accept the Cougar for take-offs and landings only,” the CN said. He declined to be more specific as in naming brands but look at my previous stories on the LCS on the type of weapons and systems to be chosen for the ships.
TS Aziz said the requirement of ASW helos remained and had been registered with the Defence Ministry. (He had previously said the Navy has the requirements for six ASW helicopters, so I am guessing they still want six).
4) The Navy has receive offers from the US Navy to purchase retired or soon to be retired, LPDs and frigates. He said the offer has been registered with the Defence Ministry. TS Aziz did not specify numbers, but I hazard to guess, it will be more likely one LPD and two frigates, if they wanted to finalise the offer. The LPDs available from the US are the Austin-class LPDs (three stwhile the frigates are the Oliver Hazard Perry class. Asked about the other ships available from navies from Europe, he said they have yet to receive any offer from this countries.
5) The navy has put forward plans to equip the Kedah-class ships with their “fitted for but not equipped” weapon systems. No details on the weapons under considerations but the Kedah class were originally designed for the RAM and the Exocets. I am assuming the Exocets are a safe bet if the Block 3s are chosen for the LCS while the RAM could be ditched if funding becomes an issue. Cheaper alternatives include the SADRAL or Tetral launchers from MBDA. RMN is hoping to secure the funding for the second part of RMK10 or the next plan (which is more likely).
6) KD Pari and KD Mutiara will be repaired. KD Mutiara repairs will be borne by Malaysian Marine and Heavy Engineering Sdn Bhd (MMHE). The ship caught fire while undergoing maintenance work at the yard in early January this year. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the tender to repair KD Pari has been made public two months ago.
7) The two training ship contracted to NGV Tech Sdn Bhd with the cooperation of DSME are under progress. The ships, to be armed with guns only is expected to be delivered by next year.
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