Run For Your Lives

LCS PCU Maharaja Lela. Her name could be seen on the stern. Picture taken on Aug. 23. 2017. The PAC report stated that the mast was just built for the launch for some RM400,000. The mast was taken off after the ceremony and still stored at BNS.

SHAH ALAM: Run for your lives. Its appears that there was possible irregularities had occurred in Boustead Naval Shipyard as it manages the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project. The possible irregularities – likely graft – was uncovered by a forensic audit conducted by Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation Bhd (BHIC), the associate company of BNS. BHIC lodged a report with MACC over the irregularities in September.

BHIC chairman TS Ramlan Ali (centre) greeting Defence Minister DS Ismail Sabri when the latter visited the BNS yard in mid-November to check on the LCS project. The LCShull in the background looked appeared to be fitted with the propellers but without the rudder. I am guessing that this is the second hull as it does not have water marks on it. Kementerian Pertahanan picture.

From the Edge.

BHIC said the findings of the forensic audit, which was commissioned in February 2020, were handed over to the MACC in September.

“This stands testimony to the BHIC’s group commitment in fighting corruption and bribery at all levels of the organisation and in all its business dealings. This is in line with its core corporate values of belonging, honour, integrity and commitment,” BHIC chairman TS Ramlan Ali said.

“BHIC Group would like to categorically state that it takes a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption outlined in the MACC Act 2009. As enshrined in the group’s Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy Statement, we abide by the Guidelines of Adequate Procedure pursuant to Section 17A of the Act,” BHIC said in the statement.

In fact, it highlighted that the board of directors have already undergone major revamp in 2019 and 2020 to enhance corporate governance by appointing personalities known for their expertise in their respective fields.

“BHIC reiterates that the company will extend its fullest cooperation to MACC and other authorities in any investigation on the LCS project. It has had several discussions with MACC following the submission of the forensic audit report,” it added.

Ramlan, a former navy chief took over as chairman of BHIC as part of the major revamps mentioned above.

A CGI of the LCS, a 3100 tonne Gowind frigate.

It is interesting to note that the MACC report was lodged in September and BHIC only chose to highlight it, two months later. And unlike other cases it appears that so far no one has reported whether or not – serving or former – BNS personnel had been asked to appear or detained by the MACC to assist in the investigations unlike other graft cases.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1717 Articles
Shah Alam

75 Comments

  1. RMN LCS – one of the best design of a frigate, for the time being.

    Thanks to the Bofors 57mm Mkll main gun as compared to Al-Fateh.

    Reply
    I prefer the bigger gun

  2. ZekMR “RMN LCS – one of the best design of a frigate, for the time being.”

    No point making these feel-good statements. On what basis have you compared the LCS to other designs of similar cost, size and purpose?

  3. @ marhalim

    US navy and also the Royal navy are turning to the Bofors 57mm as their main frigate armament.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-697xvD_6tqY/Xq9lDQH2D0I/AAAAAAAACj4/0CSUDZum0VMm9ZTmpJJcVfKvnQM0KZGSQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Fincantieri%2BFrigate%2BConcept.jpg
    This is the future USN FF(X) based on the FREMM.

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/EZf9Wl8XQAAfEFy.jpg
    Royal Navy T31

    Both large frigates has the bofors 57mm as their main armament.

    Why?

    The 57mm has higher rate of fire (220rpm) than the 76mm super rapid (120rpm), so it can spew out more explosives at a target. a few advanced ammunition is also in the works for the 57mm like OKRA and MAD-FIRES. So it can also be used as a CIWS for the ship.

    http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/naval-exhibitions/2015/sea-air-space-2015/2612-bae-systems-unveils-the-orka-one-shot-one-kill-round-for-57mm-gun-at-sea-air-space-2015.html

    http://www.overtdefense.com/2019/05/08/mad-fires-57mm-shell-may-provide-expanded-capabilities-to-navys-mk-110-guns/

    But it is good to have both 57mm and 76mm. As our ASW Frigates are going for the 57mm, future replacements for Lekiu/kasturi we should go for 76mm.

    Reply
    Boustead chose the gun because its subsidiary is the local Bofors company. Not for other reasons

  4. @ AM

    ” No point making these feel-good statements ”

    Actually I agree with ZekMR. It is one of the best frigate in its weight class, design wise and also what we have chosen to fit into the gowind platform. For what it is, yes it is expensive, but worth what we paid for it. It is such a pity that the program is in such a predicament, and i dont see any way we are going to get all 6 ships for RM9 billion ceiling. Either we must stump out the additional RM6 billion or forget about this altogether and go for a cheaper design such as the HDF-2600 and port over all the hardwares we already bought for the gowinds. We could ask Naval Group nicely if we could return all 6 Gowind hulls to them, in exchange for 1 additional Scorpene.

    @ marhalim

    AFAIK the Bofors was also the gun wanted by the navy. One of a few items that Boustead and TLDM are on the same page.

    Reply
    No RMN wanted the 76mm gun but it became a fait accompli when Boustead got the deal to go with the Gowind design

  5. Traditionally the USN and RN have gone for larger calibre main guns because primary focus was NGFS. a 127mm or 4.5 inch gun is great for NGFS [has the range, the ‘bang’ and can fire guided munition/’smart’ but not so useful for the AA role which wasn’t an issue for both navies given that NGFS was seen as a vital requirement and that in times of war both would be operating under a strong air umbrella. With regards to smaller calibre guns its not just the ROF which make them great for AA but the fire control and type of ammo.

    AM – ”No point making these feel-good statements.”

    Indeed; very subjective.

    Also he’s looking a things from a platform perspective. A different ship; less LO features [useful but not a panacea] and not as ‘high tech’ as the LCS but with better ‘connectivity’ might perform better. Things are subjective and are dependent on multiple factors; why i never rush to apply the ”best” label on anything; irrespective of whether i have a fondness or penchant for it.

    … – ”One of a few items that Boustead and TLDM are on the same page.”

    No …. The RMN originally wanted the latest variant of the Super Rapid.

  6. Wow, I am shocked, shocked. Who would’ve thought this to be the case. In Malaysia? How could it be?

    Stump out additional funds for Defence if you like, it will always be a case of pouring water into a leaky bucket.

    @…
    The USN’s choice of 57mm for the LCS has been quite strongly criticised especially when comparing its range and payload against the minimum 76mm fielded by most countries’ frigates. Keeping it for FFGX is also likely to be a cost-based decision.

    Likewise T31 is also being built under severe budget constraints.

    Of course for us there is commonality with our existing fleet, which is a major cost factor.

    Overall, I’d say the choice of 57mm is not really a positive, but I would acknowledge that it is necessary given our limitations.

    Reply
    It was not necessary really, as the ship was designed from the outset for a 76mm gun. Another technical issue -though relatively easy – that had to be done. I guess we will never know the actual cost of changing the gun.

  7. Chua – ”Overall, I’d say the choice of 57mm is not really a positive, but I would acknowledge that it is necessary given our limitations.”

    It’s not ”positive” because the decision was dictated by the local industry.

    The Mk3 is a great gun [nothing wrong with the calibre per see] and so is the Super Rapid; none are the ”best”; depending on what the end user prefers. The Mk3 has a [on paper] good ability to deal with various types of airborne threats with 3P ammo but f course that’s only part of the equation; the others being early warning and fire control. The ability of the barrel to be concealed is great but to me no big factor major factor to me. Lowering the RCS of the mount and by doing so the whole ship; is always great but there are various things at play. The RMN wanted the Super Rapid because it preferred a slightly larger round and for other reasons but ultimately whether it was the Mk3 or Super Rapid; makes no major difference.

    Reply
    Nexter has also produce a similar round to the 3P

  8. @ azlan, marhalim

    ” The RMN originally wanted the latest variant of the Super Rapid ”

    I stand corrected.

    @ chua

    You are shocked by what? There is no proven wrongdoing for now on the Gowinds. Unlike the scorpene, 1mdb, the recent immigration fiasco etc. The fact that Boustead, not MACC that broke this news means its just Boustead proactive move to just give MACC any questionable documents it found for MACC to check.

    So dont jump the gun, like reports of scorpenes “cannot dive” when it is just a paperwork thing during trials.

  9. i can see a gloom cloud over the LCS project.
    Worst ever, none of the ship will be in the fleet after large sum of fund channel to this project. i can’t wait to see who or whom will be the main actor in this wrongdoing saga.stop making statement after statement.Now is time to see firm ACTION taken.

  10. Any chance of getting the money back. If the monies were paid using Shipyard account, we can surely ask the guilty party to return the money or sue them?

    Reply
    Not really as it was the other way around

  11. @ marhalim

    Yes companies like nexter and oto melara itself do something like the 3P for the 76mm, but there is nothing equivalent to OKRA or MAP-FIRES for the 76mm, which is a generation more advanced than the 3P rounds.

  12. For all the heartaches caused by the LCS fiasco, I want to see someone hanged for the trouble caused. I meant that literally.

  13. Taib – “U want to see someone hanged for the trouble caused”

    I want to se accountability and a genuine desire desire on the part of the politicians to take a hard look at how we’ve gone so wrong.

    The LCS msg be the largest terms of value but it’s another case of a procurement gone totally ratshit at huge expense to the end user and taxpayer. Like the Kedahs, Little Birds and various other things; all three things were allowed to happen because of the highly flawed system we’ve long had in place.

    We can hang or quarter all the people we want but it won’t make a tangible decisive difference unless certain deep rooted changes are implemented to undo years of doing things in a highly flawed manner; driven by political imperatives and the value we place in defence.

    As long defence is not a priority and as long we place emphasis on the local industry as well as other nations interests; with no clear long term realistic/holistic vision of what we want to achieve; cockups like the LCS cockup will reoccur ….

  14. @ azlan

    ” no clear long term realistic/holistic vision of what we want to achieve ”

    The DWP was supposed to be that, but there is more written in it about the past than any plans about the future.

    Which is why i want all of our services to publish their 10 year plans. Real plans, with timelines and costs, not wishes.

  15. My take,so the gowind has gone shitrat,no matter how its done to salvage it, there will be “moles” to wreck the plan.
    The next best thing is to bulit more APMM Damen OPV ship or forget about building war ships with hi end weaponary in-country…follow the Pakistani….the LF MILGEM looks good.

  16. @Azlan, Marhalim
    True, there is always the political factor.

    @…
    Bottom line up front: nobody makes announcements like these over mere “questionable documents”.

    I appreciate that you don’t want to jump to conclusions, but for me, it is already as good as confirmed, when BHIC’s auditors have lodged a report with MACC and made a press announcement. Back when I was in the trade, I have had the opportunity to support a couple of forensic audits though I was not privy to the results.

    First, remember that as I have said before, audits are carried out to check compliance. Auditors don’t actually hunt for fraud. Thus the majority of forensic audits are called in when there is insufficient evidence of compliance, e.g. when files are “questionable”, or missing. If files are missing, there are 2 general possibilities, 1 is simply incompetence, 2 is hanky panky. That’s when we call in the fraud squad. The vast majority of the time the fraud squad is called, the problem is just incompetence, in which case everybody just goes home. No announcements are ever made. For example, as you see in the article, suspicions were raised since before February 2020, and there was no announcement. Nor would there have been any announcement if nothing was found.

    Sometimes evidence of fraud IS found. Most of the time it is some small fry book cooking, or rather, there is only sufficient evidence found to nab the small fry. Very rarely, the big bosses can be caught as well (as in the Singapore Hin Leong Trading case). Most of the time they are smart enough to avoid getting caught.

    Therefore, as you can probably deduce, the fact that BHIC has made such a big announcement, already strongly suggests that it is not a case of incompetence, negligence, or any kind of non-fraud reason, and something definite has been found.

    That is the normal case in most non-political connections.

    Now, this being Malaysia, we need to go one step further and read between the lines. As we all know there has been a change of power, and that based on the timing, this investigation was begun by the PH Govt. As such, whether this investigation will ever be prosecuted, or will fall on a selected kambing korban while the big fish goes free, as in the case of 1MDB, we’ll see.

  17. @RedSot
    “there will be “moles” to wreck the plan.”
    If there is no LCS, they will turn their attention to MMEA NGPC and OPV lah.

    As long as these moles exist, they will do whatever that benefits theirs’ and their paymasters’ interests.

  18. I couldn’t agree more with you joe , but its not worthwhile to give attention to a toothless tiger.
    Yeah you can get on with the salvaging thing,By thenTLDM will get their outdated LCS , and they will need a newer state of the art LCS or upgrades the overall system,missiles etc.It will not have a full stop.My take ditch the project and make a little lost rather then you loose alot without additional hulls.

  19. @RedSot
    “follow the Pakistani….the LF MILGEM looks good.”

    The Jinnah class is a bigger version of Ada class used by Turkey.

    – Ada uses same SMART-S radar as LCS but has less endurance which was among yhe reason why the need to enlarge the gowinds.
    – No towed sonar array as far as i know
    – The Jinnah suppose to be bigger than Ada and use CODAD instead of CODAG so the endurance was increased as well
    – Price wise it was usd250 million if not mistaken for the Jinnah but need further confirmation. Adding a TSA meant adding usd70 million more.
    – Korean HDF2600 should be around the same price or a little bit cheaper.

  20. @ Luqman

    ” Korean HDF2600 should be around the same price or a little bit cheaper ”

    Korean HDF-2600 costa USD165 million

  21. @RedSot
    What do you mean by outdated? The systems onboard LCS are of recent versions on sale. And the Gowind design is relatively new with cleaner lines giving marginally better RCS than HDF design. Armament wise, we still haven’t bought the VL MICA so this delay has silver lining since we could now shoot for VL MICA NG with near double range.

    The project has already passed 55% so progress are still being made, we just need to persevere and complete the job with extra funding.

  22. Sorry. Lots of talk but the LCS project has not moved another rivet or built another set of the hulls to complete the project. Its as dead as a dead fish

  23. @joe I agreed with joe, is not all gloom and doom, we can still finish the project and hopefully the confidentiality of the VL MICA NG premier first customer was us, was reported by naval group recently

    I have been silent reader for long, i have sometime comment here previously sorry for interrupting your guys discussion

  24. @Lee Yoke Meng
    There are progress here and there. As reported by Marhalim in Nov; “Ismail said the LCS project as off Nov. 1 was at 57.1 percent completed compared to 90.11 per cent as envisaged in the original schedule, a delay of 33.10 %.

    As for the individual ships, LCS1 is at 60.60 per cent; LCS2 48.09 %; LCS3 43.75 %; LCS4 36.49%; LCS5 22.09% and LCS6 0 %.”

    This was reported in early Aug; “However as of 31 July, 2020 not a single ship has been completed with the progress of the project at 56.7 per cent compared to the original schedule of 85.73 per cent, a delay of 29.06 per cent or 31.1 months. The current status of the ships are LCS 1) 59.79 per cent; LCS2) 48.09 per cent ; LCS3) 43.75 per cent ; LCS4) 36.49 per cent and just 20 per cent on the LCS5. Work has not started at all on LCS6 as the current status as revealed by Ismail was 0 per cent.”

    The main issue is funding flow has been cut hampering progressive works.

  25. Lee,

    I believe it’s “dead as a doornail”.

    Eventually it will get resolved some way or another but of course the taxpayer will end up incurring the penalty.

    For me; I really hope there’s a genuine desire prevent something like this from reoccurring; as it is, we have a tendency to repeat the same mistakes time and again. The whole purpose of building ships here was to benefit the local industry; creating jobs, improving our ability at naval construction (similar to the Kedah programme) and the possibility (delusional) of exporting the LCS (like with the AV-8 and M-4) – those were the tangible benefits we wanted but look where we are now – both the end user and taxpayer buggered.

  26. Downright silly calling the LCS outdated” which it’s certainly not.
    It’s a multi role surface combatant optimised for littoral warfare; based on and equipped with various contemporary things.

    The pertinent question really is whether it suits our actual requirements and if so; for how long; given it’s modest weapons fit and the lack of any free deck space for future upgrades.

    Even if it was “outdated”: so what? The USN’s surface strike element is based on a 1980’s design. It’s also not the Napoleonic Wars or WW1 anymore – the efficacy of any asset is based not only in its actual capabilities but the other assets it works alongside with.

  27. not getting my comments passed this few days. hopefully today would be different

    @ azlan

    ” The whole purpose of building ships here was to benefit the local industry; creating jobs, improving our ability at naval construction (similar to the Kedah programme) and the possibility (delusional) of exporting the LCS (like with the AV-8 and M-4) ”

    The main purpose of locally manufacturing our own military equipment is for the defence money spent to be disbursed into our local economy. Secondary is the acquiring of know-how of those equipments, for us to maintain and upgrade them. The know-how aquired should also enable us to manufacture more of the same, and create improved or other things from that know-how.

    One of the best example of this is IMO the Indonesian LPD programme. Transfer of technology enabled PT PAL to create its own version of the LPD (by minor changes in dimensions, the design is different to the original not needing to pay for royalties), creating hospital ship version and even exporting them.

    Doing it locally must also be a long term strategic plan. For example, as we already have build the infrastructure for AV8 Gempita, we should stick to the AV8 and order follow up batches instead of moving on to other vehicles.

    Shipbuilding also needs to have a long term plan. Australia for example, build additional 6 Cape-class OPVs to give work to Austal even though it already is building the new Arafura-class OPVs. South korea for example, always give work to both Hyundai and Daewoo even for same class of ships. Malaysia for example needs plenty of ships. Some types that we can and need to build locally

    1) RHIBs
    2) FIC
    3) small patrol boats (25m)
    4) medium patrol boats (40-60m)
    5) large patrol vessels (70m-)

    a centralised national shipbuilding plan should be created, dividing work to the many shipyards all over malaysia, with long term projections. Stable work for the economy, better ship availability for TLDM, MMEA and Polis Marin.
    ________________________________

    LCS is not outdated. It is what it is, optimised for doing ASW in malaysian waters. It should and will be a significant capability for TLDM for years to come. But expecting it to excel in other things is what we should not do.

    I believe ideally TLDM should have 2 types of frigate.

    1) 3000 ton multi purpose frigate but optimised for ASW with towed array sonar. I would like it to be the gowinds, but with the current predicament the HDF-2600 would be a better bet.

    2) 5000 ton or more multi purpose frigate for flagship duties, local area air defence, UAV/USV deployment and VBSS/SF forces. As a replacement for Lekiu and Kasturi.

    By around 2040 i would hope that TLDM would have a frigate fleet of:

    Option A
    9x Gowinds
    4x Type 31/absalon

    or

    Option B
    12x HDF-2600
    4x Type 31/absalon

    With Option B actually costing less than Option A, even if we scrap all the gowinds without recovering any money from it.

  28. The follow up batch we should go for AAW version gowind, to simplify the building rather go for something new after all thats what get TOT for to build it ourself.

    My suggestion to make ease for to build is always make the main contractor build first while our local starting build it like 1-2 month later after the main contractor started

    2 AAW gowind with sligthly bigger version 3600 – 4000 tons

    1st ship to be build at naval group
    2nd ship to be build at local shipyard 1-2 month later

    The reason for it is we can learn
    building side by side with the main contractor rather then we figure out ourself like the current 6 gowind project, as you guys know our gowind was the only 3100 tons version gowind in the world, the rest of them pretty much 2500 tons

  29. Not viable to keep enlarging an already enlarged ship..For AAW frigate, theres plenty option to choose..Type 31, 30FFM, FFG III ( IMPROVED DAEGU) or even TF2000 from Turkey or maybe NAVAL’s Belharra itself..But thats later story..The priority now is to finish LCS one way or another..

  30. @ Hafizushi

    Your idea is like proposing to stretch the Axia to become the Alza. It will come out as a totally new ship anyway.

    The TLDM gowind design is basically the maximum size an originally corvette design can stretch to.

    Which is why even Naval Group has come out with a new design called the Belharra, and not a stretched Gowind.

    Then is the cost. How much would a french 4000 ton frigate cost? The belharra is said to cost around USD800 million each.

    HDF-2600 is about USD165 million
    Type 31 around USD300 million

    http://dsm.forecastinternational.com/wordpress/2019/10/14/greece-in-early-stages-of-potential-french-warship-buy/

    Also there is so much local knowledge of building ships. No need to learn how to build ships, as we have been building ships for thousands of years. We are also very competent in complex design and builds of offshore oil and gas platforms. What we are lacking is the experience of designing naval ships, and also integration of the subsystems and hardwares in a warship.

  31. The follow up batch we should go for AAW version”

    That is/was the plan. Adopting a common design which over time could be tweaked to deliver improved variants; based on a common hull and the yard progressively increasing the level of local content and lessening dependence on foreign tech providers. The yard wins and more levels more importantly so does the end user and taxpayer.

    Sounds great on paper (like many things) but the reality is different.

    Reply
    That was the plan when they got the MEKO A100. They were supposed to built another batch of ship that was supposed to be the MEKO A200 by adding a few more modules to the design. Of course that did not happened. I was told that this was the sweetener – to complete the original 27 ship plan – given to the Boustead to take over the then PSC-NDSB. It was just a promise of course, no one can come up with the written contract

  32. … – “Doing it locally must also be a long term strategic plan”

    It has to be a long term holistic and realistic plan with a clear intent on whet we want to achieve and a full realisation of whet we can’t achieve based on actual needs and the cash we’re willing to allocate for the long term.

    .., – have build the infrastructure for AV8 Gempita, we should stick to the AV8”

    Only if the army actually has a operational need for more. It had a requirement for a IFV; thus the AV-8 programme but it never insisted on local assembly. The very last thing we should do is to insist the army gets follow on AV-8s merely because it benefits Deftech. Benefiting Deftech and ensuring the end user and tax payer get their money’s worth aren’t the same thing. The interests of both shouldn’t come second after those of the local industry.

    The government (with Deftech lobbying) started the whole exercise without even having an idea as to how many AV-8s it was willing to fund (beyond the initial batch) and when …, The idea or rather the hope was that Deftech would be able to export some to recoups costs and make up for a lack of local orders.

    Reply
    It must be noted that when the original plan to build 8X8 was hatched, it was supposed to be that the company, Scomi, was take over the production of the VBCI from France. However it was cancelled in 2008 – supposedly due to the economic crisis then. When it was revived in 2010 or so it went to Deftech and the AV8.

  33. Meko A200 is not a stretched A100 design. It is a totally separate design but is based on the same MEKO Mehrzweck-Kombination (multi-purpose-combination) design philosophy. You cannot add a few more modules to the A100 design for it to become the A200.

    So far the Meko A100 design has spawned

    – Kedah class (malaysia)
    – K130 Braunschweig (germany)
    – Slazak (poland)
    – Saar 6 (israel)
    – Tamandare (brazil)

    Basically the biggest MEKO A100 design so far is the tamandare at around 3500 tons.

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/meko-a100-corvette/

  34. @ azlan

    ” The very last thing we should do is to insist the army gets follow on AV-8s merely because it benefits Deftech ”

    Of course.

    Getting more AV8 should be foremost, should benefit the army. Doing risk benefit calculations, the army capability would be increased if we could get around 160+ more AV8 to create new mechanised infantry battalions rather than 200+ new 6×6 IFV for cavalry regiments. More AV8 enables the army to have 2 mechanised brigades, 1 wheeled and 1 tracked instead of just 1 mixed mechanised brigade we have now.

    Armoured exports is almost a non starter, unless say brunei wants to have equipment commonality to us for better interoperability.

    @ marhalim

    When it was revived, the main contenders was DEFTECH with the Pars, and NAZA with the KTO Rosomak.

  35. @Hafizushi
    Well many ship design experts here are dead certain the LCS cannot be stretched even 1 foot more so my opinion is the Gowind design is certainly “complete” as a multipurpose frigate but limited on the VLS it could carry. If the current launchers are A-35 type, that meant only VL MICA is available.

    If LCS Batch 2 VLS launch deck can be raised as seen on Type 23 frigate,

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EW78ojBX0AIuY4U.jpg

    it could use Sylver A-50 or even A-70 launchers, thereby allowing LCS Batch 2 to be a true AAW frigate once armed with Aster 30/VL MICA NG combo plus SMART-L MM AESA sensor. We could ditch the onboard torps and sonar suite to save cost.

    Reply
    I am not a naval architect so I am not sure whether what you written above could be done.

  36. Ship design is not as easy as just adding something.

    Ships float on the water.

    Ship stability is paramount. a small ship with heavy equipment high above the water line ( missiles and radars for example) at best will make the ship sway left to right even on calm waters, at worst will make it easy to capsize. The SMART-L radar for example weighs 7,800kg. That is a heavy thing rotating high above the waterline.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a0/Ship_stability.svg/512px-Ship_stability.svg.png

    Which is why you see designs such as Formidable has very low superstructure, as it is loaded with missiles.

    A ship with small hull width, shallow draught, with heavy stuff high above the waterline is not a good ship design.

    Just widen the hull somebody say? Then it is no longer the same design. So better just pick a proven large frigate design rather than spending money having to do major redesign of enlarging a small ship with zero commonality to the original design and manufacturing process.

    Also you really need the missile numbers to really do AAW. Formidables for example can carry only 16x Aster15, or a combination of 6x Aster15 and 6x Aster 30. Iver Huitfedt can carry 32x SM2 and 24x ESSM. Small ships cannot carry much warload.

    VL MICA NG is now capable of around 40+km range. ESSM has 50+km range. 40+km is adequate IMO for air defence against fighters and cruise missiles.

  37. ,,, – ”Getting more AV8 should be foremost, should benefit the army.”

    Yes …. As I’m fond of saying; it shouldn’t be because Detech already has the production facilities in place and needfs to recoup its costs. The needs of the end user must always take precedence; that however is not often the case. From the onset; there was no clear commitment as to how many AV-8s for the army it was willing to fund ; the classic when times are better; we’ll consider ….

    As of now the army has no immediate need for additional AV-8s; despite whatever paper advantages in getting additional AV-8s ….

    …. – ”Meko A200 is not a stretched A100 design.”

    Which why when ThyssenKrupp tendered for the LCS requirement it offered a slightly enlarged MEKO-A100,

    … – ”Also you really need the missile numbers to really do AAW. ”

    In a high intensity fight; you’d need a AA ship which has missiles in quantity; a CIWS to deal with leakers; a soft kill option which possibly goes beyond just chaff [which has to be released at the right moment and the ‘cloud’ given time to form – depends on wind]; a long range radar; the ship being forewarned of an attack by other assets and the ship in question also benefiting from the capabilities of other assets in place.

  38. …. – ”Ship design is not as easy as just adding something.”

    Of course it not; depends entirely on the existing design and the level of modifications desired : whether ”adding” or ”stretching” …. Only so much can obviously be added to an existing design due to various factors namely the load/tonnage the hull and keel can take; affects on sea keeping; etc, etc.

    … – ”40+km is adequate IMO for air defence against fighters and cruise missiles.”

    Maybe but for me range is less of an issue than early warning [determines everything]; a missile with a fast reaction time; the ability to deal with simultaneous attacks; the ability of the missile to benefit from being qued by external means and the ability to deal with very low flying supersonic [never hypersonic ones in the future] ones employing jamming or decoys to confuse the missile.

  39. @ azlan

    ” As of now the army has no immediate need for additional AV-8s ”

    I have a feeling of dejavu, as it is also the same situation when TUDM so hellbent on getting the Typhoon or Rafales when I suggested that we should rather get the FA-50 instead.
    ________________________________

    ” Which why when ThyssenKrupp tendered for the LCS requirement it offered a slightly enlarged MEKO-A100 ”

    The original requirement is for a ship around 100m long and 3000 tons. Which is what the sightly enlarged MEKO-A100 and also the gowinds is. Also originally the LCS program was supposed to be just a kedah batch 2, with is why all models of LCS contenders having the follow on 177 pennant number painted on.

    But if we are talking about 4000+ ton ship capable of AAW, it would be a stretch for both A100 and gowinds to be.
    _____________________

    ” In a high intensity fight; you’d need a AA ship which has missiles in quantity; a CIWS to deal with leakers; a soft kill option which possibly goes beyond just chaff [which has to be released at the right moment and the ‘cloud’ given time to form – depends on wind]; a long range radar ”

    Fitting all of that in a corvette based hull is impossible. Nothing wrong really to have 2 frigate types. But in a high intensity fight, even heavily armed frigate loss is a matter of when rather than if. Why IMO we should beef up our sub surface fleet. A well-trained force of submarines, even if its small, could have a disproportionate value (when compared to similarly costing surface ships) in a high intensity conflict scenario.

  40. …. – “Fitting all of that in a corvette based hull is impossible”

    Naturally; which is why we never hear of AA configured corvettes …

    I was merely pointing out that having the required missiles in numbers doesn’t automatically
    make a ship into a “AA”; just like having a towed array doesn’t make a ship “ASW” configured.

    No; nothing in response to what you said it didn’t; merely general comments in my part.

    … – “in a high intensity fight, even heavily armed frigate loss is a matter of when rather than”

    Depends totally on the circumstances; i.e. the level of opposition; the support it receives from other assets; the availability of a strong air umbrella, etc.

    … “. Why IMO we should beef up our sub surface fleet”

    We should but we should not assume (we’ve discussed this on many occasions) that by virtue of being more “survivable” our subs will always be more effective.

    Others also have subs. Others also understand the strengths and limitations of subs. Others are also able to bring in strong surface and air ASW assets into the play. One can resort to many various means to deny subs the ability to do their job; not necessarily to physically destroy them. Depending on various factors; subs won’t always be hard to detect – we keep hearing about subs being hard to detect; sure but we hear less about the instances where they aren’t …

    We should get more subs but what we must never do is to place too great ac reliance on them to overly compensate for our weaknesses in other areas. Like everything else; there will be instances favouring the use of subs and instances which don’t .

    Ultimately every type of asset has its strengths and are more effective in certain condition; the trick is to have a balance; all working together and none being expected to overly shoulder the burden due to weaknesses in other areas. The ability of all also (subs included) to do their job is dependent in the support they get from other assets.

  41. … – “Nothing wrong really to have 2 frigate types”

    Indeed. Nothing wrong (the 5/15 is dead as a dodo anyway: as I long predicted) as long as they share some level of commonality and it’s the end user rather than a yard determining specs.

  42. @ azlan

    ” Ultimately every type of asset has its strengths and are more effective in certain condition ”

    of course

    and the condition for subs is in a high intensity conflict scenario.

    For peacetime missions, i have always stressed that our MMEA should be the lead maritime enforcement agency.
    _____________________________

    http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/37840/taiwan-is-finally-set-to-build-the-new-diesel-electric-submarines-it-desperately-needs

    “Submarines are important equipment for the development of Taiwan’s navy’s asymmetric warfare capabilities and to deter enemy ships from encircling Taiwan,” said President Tsai

    ” Modern conventionally powered submarines have repeatedly proven their worth in multinational exercises, and there’s no doubt that a well-trained force of boats, even if it’s small, could have a disproportionate value in a conflict scenario, helping create a defensive buffer zone in the Taiwan Strait “

  43. … – “For peacetime missions, i have always stressed that our MMEA should be the lead maritime enforcement agency”

    So have I and so have others. Facts are facts however and the plain fact is that the MMEA is nowhere close to be able to fully assume its responsibilities. Until that day comes the only agency able to assist or share part of the burden if the RMN.

    … – “Submarines are important equipment for the development of Taiwan’s navy’s ”

    Thanks for the heads up but you’re really preaching to the already converted….

    In the thousands of words we’ve extended in the topic I’ve made clear the value subs have; whether in asymmetric or other circumstances. They are not a panacea however and like everything else will be ideal for certain scenarios and not ideal for others. They also don’t operate in a vacuum but need the cooperation of other assets.

    Sure the Taiwanese plan certain asymmetric tactics (would be surprising if they didn’t) but the Chinese will factor this in; can also adopt asymmetric tactics and by sheer weight of numbers can play a grinding attrition game. The ability of the Taiwanese to continue with asymmetric tactics in the Straits is also dependent on the Chinese not gaining air superiority in the area.

    A enemy laying dense minefields would restrict the movement of a sub and strong airborne patrols would prevent a non AIP sub from snorkelling. Other subs in the area might prevent a sub from doing its job. In a perfect world; our sub would have no issues detecting and classifying contacts at long range and remain undetected until the time when its torps and missiles are released and would be able to get away unscathed – alas we don’t line in a perfect world.

    You keep mentioning the “disproportionate” value; yes agreed. I can mention WW1, WW2, the Falklands, 1971 Indo-Pakistan war and others but I can also mention periods when subs were too busy evading detection and the destruction which comes with it; rather than focusing on its job.

    Yes (again) we should get more subs (the RMN agrees evidently) but we should not overly depend on subs to compensate for our limitations in other areas; we should not assume that subs will always be able to perform better than other assets and we must never forget that others (who spend a lot on ASW training and R&D) also have subs abs not only understand their strengths and limitations but also have a fairly good idea as to how we would employ out subs.

    Also bear in mind; even if we get more subs and the needed MPAs and other things: a major Achilles Heel is we only have a single base with the needed support and training facilities.

  44. I believe we can start with I would say entry level of AAW, and i think the 2nd batch on gowind would be ideal

    I understand the requirement to have bigger radar such smart L, but to hv starting entry level AAW such as Formidable class would be a very good enough already for country like us, after all we need to look at the maintenance cost for to maintain such as ship

    We can start with something like
    Herakles radar
    VL mica NG/aster 30 combo
    NSM
    Phalanx ciws
    3800 tons ~

    After all this is important if we are to have LPD or LHD in the future, the current fleet are definitely doesn’t hv good enough capabilty to provide AA canopy to protect the whole fleet

    And for next true AAW we can start thinking something like AAW fremm

  45. @…
    ” Modern conventionally powered submarines have repeatedly proven their worth in multinational exercises, and there’s no doubt that a well-trained force of boats, even if it’s small, could have a disproportionate value in a conflict scenario, helping create a defensive buffer zone in the Taiwan Strait “

    I do agree with the statement above. But it does not meant that a strong submarine force alone is enough for an all out war. Taiwan also relies on its large fleet of surface combatants and it’s air force. Like Azlan said, all assets must work together to compliment each other wether any of the assets will quickly be lost or not. Hence we should ideally enlarge both our surface fleet and submarine force also. But realistically, this would take more time when compared to the original 15 to 5 plan due to well everyone knows why.

  46. The Formidables has 16cell A-50 launchers for up to 16 Aster 30s and 16cell A-43 launchers for 16 Aster 15s. Which why I said before, for 100 tons more and 3 mtr longer, it DOUBLES the VLS capacity of LCS, making it the best packaged frigate in this region. If we were to totally give up on LCS, better to restart and shoot for Formidables built at NAVAL yard.

    Still, with a 16 cell A-50 VLS with half going to Aster 30, my LCS Batch 2 could perform adequately as AAW. Moreso if partnered with a Maharajalela in an AAW & ASubW patrol unit. Can Gowind design be tweaked for LCS Batch 2? Maybe yes maybe not. It certainly helps that heavy items like VLS and air radar are mounted at centerline of the ship.

  47. @ luqman

    ” Taiwan also relies on its large fleet of surface combatants and it’s air force ”

    Malaysia, unlike Taiwan just need to deny our enemy the control of our EEZ. Taiwan needs to prevent an invasion on its soil.

    I have never said subs are everything. Just want our military to give a stronger focus on submarines, as it is the best bet to counter a bigger and stronger enemy.

    If you read my plans here, I also advocated the improvement of our frigate fleet and the air force.

    Why i have said that we need LCS batch 2 to be the same specification as batch 1 for at least a combined total of 9 frigates (and not making it a mini AAW frigate that will not be good at anything). To enable at sea ASW monitoring by at least 3 frigates with towed array sonar, to have a constant underwater situation awareness of our EEZ. Why I have talked about upping the specs for our CN-235MPA with latest compact and lightweight ASW systems like MAD-XR and miniature sonobuoys that is designed to fit into UAVs.

    It can take less time than the original 15 to 5 (by 2040 actually), if TLDM would just forget about getting super expensive patrol vessels. TLDM does not need the 18 PV planned in 15 to 5. Even with same budget (usd2 billion per RMK) by 2040 TLDM can have

    9-12 ASW frigate (3000 ton, gowind or HDF-2600)
    4 GP Frigate (5-6000 ton, lekiu/kasturi replacement)
    6 scorpenes
    6 DG350 submarine or equivalent

  48. Luqman,

    On the Kedahs.

    The intention is to have them fitted with missiles and other gear : if that were to happen they won’t be “PVs” in the strictest sense of the word …..

    For me; the issue is not the RMN wanting more Kedahs in the 5/15 (which are intended to be fully armed and but just do the “patrol” role as some keep insisting despite facts to the contrary) but why there is a need for both Kedahs and LMS. Both intended for secondary type wartime duties which ideally should be borne by a single hull.

    Anyway; I’m not really too focused on the 5/15 as it’s as dead as a dodo bird. It was a PR politically driven exercise suited for that particular political period; which got many gaga because it was presented in glossy PowerPoint format but it never really had a chance given the varying political and geo-political factors at play. Not too mention the fact that there were factors beyond the RMN’s control.

    The thing to watch out for is the LCS. How it’s resolved will have a major impact on other areas of the RMN’s development.

    As for subs; as much as I’d like to see more of them; even if funds were available; they carry too heavy a political baggage for any government due controversies with the first two. Will be a long time before we get anymore and by that time; it will be a different design to what already operate.

  49. On the scorpenes.

    Brazilian first scorpene has started its diving test.

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/EoI385sXYAApEMk.jpg

    The brazilian scorpene is a bit larger than malaysian ones by adding 9.3m long plugs to extend the hull from the normal 61.7m to 71m. This extended area is not used for installing AIP system, but providing additional storage space for fuel, food, and naval equipment. It can carry a larger crew, almost double the patrol range, and be able to cover greater distances.

    It is interesting that the additional 9.3m gives nearly 2x patrol range without the need for expensive AIP.

    Something we can look at for our hopefully additional scorpenes, and also to be refitted during our 2nd refit cycle for our current submarines around 2030.

  50. …. – ”interesting that the additional 9.3m gives nearly 2x patrol range without the need for expensive AIP.”

    AIP is merely a means to recharge the battery; doing away with the need to snorkel. It has less to do with ”range” than with battery supply; which in turn enables a sub to continue doing what it’s doing; doesn’t necessarily lead to longer ‘range’. Having extra space for fuel is great but it doesn’t equate with doing away with the ”expensive AIP’ …

  51. @…
    “I have never said subs are everything.”

    I know and understand. Thats why i did not mention you but only the quote from taiwan article.

    “If you read my plans here, I also advocated the improvement of our frigate fleet and the air force.”

    I am aware of that. Let me comment on your navy plan

    – your plan seem to be a 15 to 8/15 to 7 plan where there are 2 class of LMS, and 1 class of MRSS/RORO assuming all FAC is retired and Kedah transfered to MMEA.
    – that is not far from 15 to 5 which is not achievable right now and you manage to reduce the number of classes to half with some of the classes may share some similar components, bravo to that.
    – 6 scorpene submarines + 6 DG350 is more than what TLDM originally wanted
    (a good thing imo) and is definitely more expensive to maintain. The cost saving of not buying extra 12 Kedah and not operating 18 of them might be enough to maintain the sub forces. TLDM should accouted the cost of operating additional 12 kedah when they propose 15 to 5 plan so your plan might be viable in terms of operating and maintenance costs.
    – For your LMS, i am not keen on using chinese made missiles due to current political. But i cannot find another missile that have that capability to replace it for the same size and weight. For air defence it could equipt with Martlet multi sam/ssm on the same ds30 turret or rbs70 manpad. If there is enough space then maybe at 4xNSM or Exocet (minus the chinese missile of course). Making the LMS essentialy replace the combat roles of FACs, Laksmanas and Kedah and could differentiate them from MMEA OPV (even if LMS is fitted with chinese missiles).
    – For the 6 x DG350, i would rather use the money for extra NSM missiles for lcs/lms/type31e, or extra towed array sonar for type31e, or extra 3/4 asw helos as im not sure about a 12 knot submerged 150m depth submarine role in the navy other than transporting comandos.

  52. Additional 2 scorpene would be ideal, we can rotate to for maintenance

    But i hope in future we hv 2 type of submarine, scorpene and other type such as type 214 or saab kockum a26

    The reason for 2 type is, in wartime if one of the sub get found out the sound/acoustic profile we hv the other type, and the 2 type of subs probably what the maximum for country like us able to have

  53. The RMN is a small resourced strapped navy; it simply doesn’t have the resources to maintain 2 different subs – that entails 2 different shore support and training infrastructures……

  54. @ luqman

    thanks for the feedback

    – I would propose the LMS68 also to be passed to MMEA

    – I dont think too much on the numbers like the original 15 to 5 though.

    – It should be enough. the DG350 should operationally cost something like a corvette rather than a submarine, with small crews.

    – I choose the CM-501GA and CM-501XA missile also because there is practically nothing similar offered by others. It would be ideal for littoral missions, attacking FIACs and also targets onshore. With the ability to attack slow flying targets like UAV, MPA and helicopters. NSM would be too expensive to be equipping so many ships. I would reserve NSM for frigates, and also coastal anti-ship missile batteries. C-705 would be cheap enough to be fitted to multiple numbers of LMS.
    – something like the DG350 is a cheap way to increase the numbers of our subsea units. 150m diving depth is aplenty for most areas of our EEZ. Only around the spratlys have deep water area. As the south china sea and selat melaka is a busy shipping lane, the best way to hide is not running at depth, but hiding among the traffic. Most small subs have low speeds, unless we would want to build a modernised Type 206 submarine.

  55. Hafizushi – “The reason for 2 type is, in wartime if one of the sub get found out the sound/acoustic profile we hv the other type”

    We simply don’t have the resources. Part of the reason we have a MAF which we can’t adequately sustain is because of the very large support/logistical footprint we have: courtesy of politicians who decide to “buy a bit of everything from almost everyone” ….

    It’s like saying we should always have 2 MRCAs in case the radar source codes of one is hacked; that we should always have 2 MBTs in case one develops a super KE penetrator which can frontally penetrate one and that we should always operate a Western/Eastern mix in case we are embargoed.

    BTW; the “sound/acoustic profile” (acoustic signature) of each and every sub worldwide is well known: it’s something which can’t be hidden … Just like how peacetime and training frequencies (as opposed wartime ones) used by radars on every ship and aircraft are widely known.

  56. Having 2 different type of sub kinda make sense but in all honesty we cant afford them and cant afford to keep them running..Thats why we need to focus on surface fleet first..but of course any additional subs is always welcome considering our causeway neighbour will deploy type218 sg soon..

  57. @ firdaus

    The surface fleet will be quickly decimated in a high intensity war. Then we would not have the means to counter strike.

    Remember repulse and the prince of wales?

    http://warfarehistorynetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Sinking-of-the-Prince-Of-Wales-and-Repulse-2.jpg

    Did you know about the recent successful test of chinese anti-ship ballistic missiles in south china sea?

    http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/37662/chinese-long-range-ballistic-missiles-struck-moving-ship-in-south-china-sea-report

  58. ”Thats why we need to focus on surface fleet first”

    Anything; surface or sub surface; will find it hard to operate if an opponent has air superiority.

    It all boils down to what happens in the air; irrespective of whether we have 6-8 frigates or even 8 subs.

    We also don’t need to “focus” on any particular thing at great expense of other things because no particular piece of asset will be able to compensate for weaknesses in other areas – there is no “magic bullet”. As for a total “high intensity war” (assuming it occurs) our Achilles Heel is also our bases; plus our stockpile of munitions and other essentials.

  59. There are no one such “superior” weapon system or defence sphere. Defence is like rock-paper-scissors, one sphere will be advantageous over another but inferior to a 3rd and so on. Priority should be given to all spheres whether air, land, surface and sub-surface but we don’t enough money to suffice for all hence why we “buy a little of everything but not enough for anything”.

  60. @…
    Scorpene is one of many sub types for the next batch of TNI sub project. It will not be a surprise if Riachuelo (improved scorpene) is on their radar. But still Riachuelo is not equipt with AIP that is a negative point’. AIP for today sub should be a standard.

    Interestingly to note that Indonesia also in deep talks for the Rafale.

    https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-financ…ion-864119.html

    After the US rejected Indonesia request for the F-35 ( long que and required to have 4.5 fighter first), US is offering F16V and SH F18 Block 3. There is no point’ for Indonesia to accept the offer. There will be no significant ToT Will be given.

    Combo buying Rafale and Riachuelo is a big deal. Indonesia could ask ToT to upgrade local defence capabilities. The Indonesia need some crucial techs to continue their involvement in KFX (US has given objection for Indonesia to use their tech in IFX). Europe is the only Indonesia source of tech now. Russia is almost impossible due to CAATSA.

    If the deal is materialize then the next things may be seen are Indonesia IFX will use snecma 88-2 and RBE2 AA aesa radar. They PT PAL will built Riachuelo.

  61. On the Kedahs…

    Yes of course it is intended to be fully armed, which is why it was build fitted with all things to support FFBNW weapons. That is very clear.

    I even wrote here before years ago about fully armed batch 2 kedahs.

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/4626-2/

    But we should not conflate what is intended to be done (based on plans of like 20 years ago), and what actually should be done. Yes they are planned and designed to be fitted out as a fully armed corvette. But should we do it? IMO considering the current situation in South China Sea, and future advances in weapons and situational awareness technology, no.

    Why?

    A fully armed OPV/corvette will not add much offensive value in a high intensity conflict. In such a conflict, against say the might of the PLA Navy, a corvette fully armed with Exocets and RAM missiles would be an easy target for Chinese multiple types of anti-ship missiles, not to mention the possibility of a hypersonic anti-ship missiles. Most of our surface ships would sit out in the event of such conflicts, as we cannot guarantee its safety.

    Which is why IMO the Kedahs should not be uparmed, and just maintained as an OPV, with similar capability and tasks as MMEA new DAMEN OPV1800s. it should be used as a patrol vessel only (which it is doing excellently), and not as a fully armed warship.

    In the near future, surface ships in South china sea can be destroyed by: 1) subsonic anti-ship missiles
    2) supersonic anti-ship missiles
    3) very long range anti-ship ballistic missiles
    4) loitering missiles
    5) Hypersonic anti-ship missiles
    6) torpedoes

    But to destroy a sub, there is no new weapons for this. Like it was in WW2, to destroy a sub still need to use
    1) torpedoes
    2) depth charges
    Not to mention the difficulty to find the sub in the first place, unlike a surface vessel which can be easily found remotely by satellite imaging.

    That is why IMO we should not spend additional money that is very scarce to uparm the Kedahs.

  62. @ romeo

    On this

    http://fr.reuters.com/article/idINL1N2IJ27V

    Good for them, but we should not be distracted. We need to concentrate on building up our MMEA; getting MPA, UAV and LCA/LIFT for TUDM and also to get the 6 Frigates ASAP for TLDM.
    ______________________________________________

    ” AIP for today sub should be a standard ”

    No. AIP is going the way of the dodo.

    Li-Ion batteries is the future. Not having AIP is not a big issue operationally as our submarines can hide amongst the thousands of ships sailing and laying anchor all over south china sea and selat melaka.

  63. … – “is. Like it was in WW2, to destroy a sub still need to use
    1) torpedoes
    2) depth charges”

    You conveniently left out the most vital aspect : like in WW2 a sub without support from other assets or operating in an area where the enemy has air superiority; will be extremely vulnerable to air power.

    … – “Not to mention the difficulty to find the sub in the first place”

    You are generalising ….

    Not my intention to piss on your parade but (again) it depends on the circumstances ….

    A sub in the midst of snorkelling will be emitting more noise and will be vulnerable to detection; so will a sub in a rush to transit from Point A to Point B and is moving at speed …. At times acoustic conditions may favour the hunter.

    A sub isn’t always hard to detect, contrary to the impression you keep giving. We keep hearing about the times when they were hard to detect; what about the times they weren’t? Depends on the operational circumstances and like everything; luck …

    …. – “Most of our surface ships would sit out in the event of such conflicts, as we cannot guarantee its safety”

    And we can “guarantee” the “safety” of our subs? On one hand; you make the point to emphasis that subs are not “everything” and are more survivable (which I fully agree); yet you give the impression that subs will automatically be a “better bet” compared to other assets.

    Sorry but it doesn’t work that way. How we deploy our subs and how effective they’ll be depends on the enemy; who also has a say…
    Again : the enemy also can deploy subs; he can deploy strong surface escorts and he invests much more in ASW training; not too mention R&D.
    He can also deploy minefields (which you left out of your WW2 list in the previous post). Since you mentioned WW2; it wasn’t only the hardware but radar mounted on aircraft.

    In the real world there will be circumstances which favour a particular asset (I expect an “of course” as standard) and others which don’t …

    Subs have a vital role to play in our scheme of things but so do others. Their successful use depends on the cooperation they get from other assets; as well as the operational conditions encountered. As such; we shouldn’t (the RMN doesn’t) that subs will always be more successful or survivable or that it’s automatically and will always be our “best bet” … Nor should we adopt the delusional/flawed approach of overly relying on subs to compensate for various weaknesses …

  64. … – “Not having AIP is not a big issue operationally as our submarines can hide amongst the thousands of ships sailing and laying anchor all over south china sea and selat melaka”

    Not exactly …

    Not having AIP can be less of an issue if a sub is a littoral one and no an ocean going one; as well as not being on protracted ops in which high battery usage is used for extended periods.

    Hiding amongst civilian traffic is great but a non AIP boat will still have to snorkel and in certain conditions it may not be able to. A sub’s worst nightmare is running out of batteries and a smart hunter will exploit this ..

    Yes there are now and will be longer lasting batteries but we’re talking about AIPs at present …

    As for your civilian traffic (whether trawlers or tankers) in times of war they might not be there. Also; in the event they were; a sub hiding amongst them hugely complicates things for the hunter but can also complicate things for the sub (the extra acoustics can confuse things and the hunter can use this to his advantage) : it’s a 2 way street….

  65. … – “That is why IMO we should not spend additional money that is very scarce to uparm the Kedahs.”

    You keep saying but lets look at the facts as they stand.

    – The RMN is at present not actively looking to arm the Kedahs. Its priority is getting the LCS issue resolved and the next batch of LMSs. On top of that several things will need replacing in the near future.

    – Like various things in the 5/15; it’s unlikely follow on Kedahs will ever be ordered.

  66. … – ” – “But we should not conflate what is intended to be done (based on plans of like 20 years ago”

    Sorry but whether it was 20 years ago or under the 5/15; the plan is for the Kedahs to be fully armed. Again : they were not included in the 5/15 merely to be used as “OPVs” or to patrol the EEZ as you dogmatically insist but for secondary wartime roles.

  67. . – “A fully armed OPV/corvette will not add much offensive value in a high intensity conflict”

    First of all; who has a crystal ball to say we’ll be in a “high intensity conflict”? Secondly who buys corvettes for their ”offensive value?

    Also; even if we were in a full scale war; no asset is intended to be placed in a situation where it’s required to punch above its weight. It’s like saying the obvious : we shouldn’t deploy LCAs in the event they come into contact with MRCAs.

    Obviously but nobody’s going to suggest we don’t get LCAs merely on the basis they will be unsuitable for a “high intensity” fight in which MRCAs are present. Also: corvettes can be used in a “high intensity” fight but they won’t be operating alone; just like how LCAs will be escorted or work alongside MRCAs if there’s a need ….

  68. … – “Doing it locally must also be a long term strategic plan”

    It has to be a long term holistic and realistic plan with a clear intent on whet we want to achieve and a full realisation of what we can’t achieve; based on actual needs and the cash we’re willing to allocate for the long term.

    .., – infrastructure for AV8 Gempita, we should stick to the AV8”

    Only if the army actually has a operational need for more. It had a requirement for a IFV; thus the AV-8 programme but it never insisted on local assembly. The very last thing we should do is to insist the army gets follow on AV-8s merely because it benefits Deftech. Benefiting Deftech and ensuring the end user and tax payer get their money’s worth aren’t the same thing. The interests of both shouldn’t come second after those of the local industry.

    The government (with Deftech lobbying) started the whole exercise without even having an idea as to how many AV-8s it was willing to fund (beyond the initial batch) and when …, The idea or rather the hope was that Deftech would be able to export some to recoup costs and mahesh up for a lack of local orders.

  69. JoeH – “Why no CIWS on Maharajalela”

    Because of funding and threat perceptions. Bear in mind the main gun also acts as a form of CIWS. Its 3P ammo is designed to deal with incoming ASMs.

    JoeH – “he other asean frigate most have it”

    No. Most other ASEAN frigates don’t have a CIWS. Very few do.

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