Rohde & Schwarz Radios For Keris Class Ships

A sailor on board KD Sundang with a pintle mount with a Vektor SS-77 machine gun during an exercise in March, 2021. RMN

SHAH ALAM: Rohde & Schwarz Radios For Keris class ships. Remember the request for bids to repair/modify the radios on KD Keris and KD Sundang last August? When the RFB ended, another tender was floated for LMS Three. And last week on the Eperolehan website, the results for the three tenders came out and the winners for them is Rohde & Schwarz Malaysia Sdn Bhd. The company of course is the local subsidiary of the German electronics firm.

KD Keris arriving at the Sepanggar naval base jetty for the welcoming ceremony

From Janes

The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) is replacing the Chinese-supplied radios on its three Keris-class littoral mission ships (LMS) with those from German electronics manufacturer, Rohde & Schwarz.

Information published on the Malaysian finance ministry’s procurement website indicate that the contracts are worth USD115,000 each. However, there are no details about which model was selected for the contracts.

KD Sundang about to berth at the KD Sultan Ismail jetty at Tanjung Pengelih, Johor on August 19, 2021. KD SI picture

From the earlier article.

Anyhow, I am aware that there is a report out there telling us that RMN has a detailed list of defects on board the LMS, which are mostly China-made stuff. AFAIK this is the first time that RMN is actually doing something about it. The modification/replacement work is expected to be done at the Kota Kinabalu naval base where the LMS squadron are based.

LMS Badik getting close to the Kota Kinabalu naval base on September 25. RMN

With nearly RM1.5 million to be spend on the three ships of the class, including for LMS Badik, the modification/repair work is more likely a replacement contract as stated above. What about the fourth ship then? It is likely that a tender to replace its radios will be published once the ship’s delivery date become nearer, which is this December. As for Badik, her commissioning, is likely to be held either this week or next week.
KD Lekiu at LIMA 2019. Zaq Sayuti

It must be noted that the Rohde & Schwarz also supplied the radios for the Lekiu class and the LCS, RMAF fighters from the Hornets and Sukhois are also equipped with Rohde & Schwarz radios.

–Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. Excuse me for such a basic question. Do these expensive radios act as a network for the separate systems or do the operators still have to talk in order to relay the information?

  2. Likely this was TLDM plan all along, to appease the Chinese we will buy the ships as whole but later change out certain items for security reasons under the pretense of upgrading/servicing.

  3. The RMN agreed to Chinese ships because A.It was poltically expedient during that period B. It was all that could fit the budget C. It was desperate for new hulls.

    It was not to “appease” anyone …. The radios were changed not for “security reasons” but because of commonality. The RMN was extremely aware of the fact that various things on the ship would have to be changed after entry into service.

  4. Tom Tom,

    It’s not “just a radio”. Communications are very important. One can’t just put any radio. A certain quality with certain features are needed.

  5. Depends on which pocket the money comes from. While CAPEX pocket is tight and cannot squeeze more money out, the same cannot be said when upgrading/servicing/repair goes under OPEX pocket. An astute user would utilise both pockets when budget is tight to achieve the same objective as OPEX are typically larger and less scrutinised. This is from personal experience.

  6. Rohde & Schwarz…brings back memories. Used to play with these things (test equipment, that is, not radios) during my stint in Sony. Definitely more user friendly that its Japanese equivalent, although that could be said for almost all Western electronic test equipment .

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