SGPV – Laksamana – LCS

A CGI of the LCS.

SHAH ALAM: SGPV – Laksamana – LCS. Since the recent brouhaha over the LCS, many Malaysian Defence readers have asked in the comments section on what had happened in the past. Actually Malaysian Defence has written various posts on the issue from when the ship was called the Second Generation Patrol Vessel (SGPV) before it was renamed as the Littoral Combat Ship.

A close-up of the BNS Gowind frigate when it was first shown at LIMA 2011.

I had called it the Laksamana class previously as they were too many Laksamanas – those in service or retired, around six I believed – who somehow were involved directly or indirectly in the planning, selection of the design and equipment and building processes . Laksamana story.

A model of an upgraded Kedah class by Boustead meant for the SGPV/LCS programme

Anyhow, the Defence Ministry and RMN started calling the ship as LCS around 2012 after various commentators asked why are they spending billions of ringgit on a bunch of patrol ships when others only paid smaller amounts for similar vessels. Of course these commentators were muddying the waters as those patrol boats they were referring to were simply 44 meter or smaller boats meant for coast guards (like the MMEA NGPC) unlike the SGPV.

KM Bagan Datuk sailing near Port Klang. The patrol boat is build by Destini subsidiary, Destini Shipbuilding and Engineering. APMM

The SGPV it must be noted came after the Kedah class, the so called New Generation Patrol Vessel, a 27 class vessel planned by the RMN to replace the Vosper patrol craft and the FACs. The NGPVs were supposed to be bigger than those two type of vessels for better seakeeping and endurance.

Two Kedah class, KD Kelantan (175) and KD Selangor (176) berthed at Lumut jetty in early 2014. The ship on the other side is KD Mahawangsa. Malaysian Defence

It became the Kedah class – a bigger and more expensive than the original NGPV as envisaged by the RMN, when the government awarded the project to PSC-NDSB, the forerunner of Boustead Naval Shipyard, which was tasked in salvaging the project after the former ran out of money due to nefarious reasons, leaving the ships uncompleted.

The LMS is similar in size and capability the planned original NGPV

See the story here. Please read the Malaysian Defence archives for more stories on the SGPV and the LCS for the context of the current situation.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1728 Articles
Shah Alam

87 Comments

  1. It does seems like a disservice to BNS. They had successfully rescued NGPV (In your article above your referencing the 44 mtr boat should have been MMEA NGPC not NGPV).

    Anyways, they seemed to have proven they could do the job so the LCS would had naturally fell to them, unfortunately sh!t happened again. A different sh!t nonetheless.

    Reply
    Getting the next big job was part of the deal to take over the yard. If they find a new company to replace Boustead it will also want guarantees it will secure the next job otherwise why do it, salvage the LCS,

  2. It is Time The Goverment have to stop Building at our Own Country. Let the Experts like Naval Group Settle it.

  3. “guarantees it will secure the next job”
    That was supposed to be LMS, but that went sideways. Haha. Well since we did went China for LMS, and for goodness sake we sorely need more of them, let the Chinese shipbuilder take over BNS with the guarantee of LMS to be built there (as originally envisioned) on the conditions they must be equal equity partners, there will be tech transfer & local jobs, and infused it with professional management.

    Reply
    That’s like putting the fox in the chicken coop

  4. @ marhalim

    ” If they find a new company to replace Boustead it will also want guarantees it will secure the next job otherwise why do it, salvage the LCS ”

    Of course. A carrot that can be dangled to prospective parties to salvage the current 6 LCS is to give them assurance that a gowind batch 2 will also be given to them in RMK13 2026-2030. A watertight contract for completing thr 6 LCS plus say 3 more ships in batch 2, with heavy penalties if the batch 2 is not build according to the project timeline by all parties (contractors and the government), and incentives if the ships are completed ahead of plan.

    Anyway what you written above still does not explain why the project became a failure that it is right now. There is no issue to me if there is 100 former laksamanas having inputs into the programme. What i want to know is which laksamana who meddled with the program and insisted changes after the project has stated build.

  5. Simple really..bns doesnt have the capability to build lcs/stealth frigates from day 1..just because they rescue kedah class ( not really cuz kedah’s obnoxious price with bare minimum gun ), doesnt mean they are capable to build anything thrown at them..

  6. So in a way bns can kiss another contract goodbye already..just curious why nobody report them to sprm yet..i believed someone from patriot already lodged a report once last year but many malaysians laughed at him citing he was misinformed but my my he is right in some other way..

  7. “That’s like putting the fox in the chicken coop”
    But should we stop them coming? I mean, they are already here with Geely/Proton, CSC Steel, ERCL, KTM new trains, Penang Port & Penang Tunnel & PTMP, Iskandar & Forest City, Bandar Malaysia, possibly HSR in future, etc. We can’t avoid them so why not we deal with them in a professional businesslike way? Moreso if its their own LMS that are getting build here as I proposed, it wouldn’t benefit them in terms of intel gleaned.

    @…
    With current economic conditions, highly unlikely we would start for LCS batch 2 or any other type of high end ships in the foreseeable future, maybe in 5-10 years time. The LMS is all we can afford now (with reasonable price reduction), and one that we can sustain the build rate with volume buys.

    @Firdaus
    I just wonder what is your measurable yardstick to say they lack the technical capability to build modern warships ie LCS.

  8. I m not agreed this project passed to the Chinese firm, just past it to original contractors @Naval Group since their can manage it…

  9. @ joe

    ” highly unlikely we would start for LCS batch 2 or any other type of high end ships in the foreseeable future, maybe in 5-10 years time ”

    RMK13 2026-2030 is exactly 5-10 years time from now.

    Right now what we need to concentrate upon is to quickly finish the 6 Gowinds, and put more emphasis on building up MMEA OPV fleet as quickly as possible.

  10. @fadiman
    If its to complete the Maharajalelas, sure. But then what’s next? Like Marhalim said, if there is nothing on the plate, why would Naval bother to come here? Do they have super cheap LMS type ship we could be interested?

    @…
    Keep in mind if BNS2.0 can finish all 6 ships in 3 years time, what are their staffs & workers gonna do for the next 7 years waiting LCS batch 2? There is no continuity unless my proposal is to do more LMS in BNS yard (as originally planned) until we can go for more LCS or whatever.

  11. Bro… When it come to defending our country there is nothing cheap at all…look at our neighbours country by the best their trying equipped with the highly advanced defense equipment…

  12. Why ?. Are there no other yards in Malaysia that can build some ships?. If our yards in Sarawak can build n deliver in full boats to the middle east surely we can do it. But of course not just BNS or Destini only. Malaysian shipyard n engineering?. Sarawak and Sabah yarfs? None capable?. I dont believe .

    Reply
    Of course they could but if the government wants another company to finish it will be cheaper and expedient for the new one to take over the BNS in Lumut rather than sending the materials and equipment to another yard.

  13. @ joe

    ” Keep in mind if BNS2.0 can finish all 6 ships in 3 years time, what are their staffs & workers gonna do for the next 7 years waiting LCS batch 2? ”

    Building batch 2 “IN” 2026-2030 is not the next 7 years. It would probably not be BNS as a company but whomever that will take over the gowind project and the Lumut shipyard. Batch 2 would be build would be slotting immediately after gowind no. 6, which means that gowind no. 7 would probably be started while gowind no. 6 is still in fitting out.

    I forsee that the first of the current 6 in build to be completed only in early 2023 at best with the last one probably in early 2026.

  14. @ lee yoke meng

    Do not equate the need to complete the gowinds to propping up and backing BND/BNS.

    Other shipyards could still undertake many other urgent needs. some of them are
    – MRSS.
    – LMS reset if there would be a totally new design for the LMS requirement.
    – FAC repowering and upgrades. That is still 12 more ships to go.
    – MMEA OPV, NGPV and MPMS programmes.
    – TLDM FIC programme.

  15. All this talk about BNS being unable to construct the LCSs is purely speculative as nobody here can say with any exact certainty whet led to the cock up.

    With the Kedahs we know it was mismanagement pure and simple.
    If all the right conditions were in place (the right management, well managed, the needed infrastructure and facilities, no major last minute changes, adequate funding paid on time, etc) there is no reason why the LCSs or other type of ships can’t be constructed on time, on budget and within spec.

    The fact that BNS has ex admirals is to be expected. Sane happens worldwide with companies bidding for defence contracts. What shouldn’t happen when ex admirals (because they are dealing with people in uniform who were once subordinates) can influence things.

    It’s important that the ships are eventually delivered and that effort is made in ensuring this doesn’t happen again. Unfortunately we have a history of screwing things up and not learning from our past mistakes.
    It ultimately is indicative of how we view defence as a whole and the fact that our defence policy/mindset is in major need of a revamp.

  16. @…
    Unlikely it will take that long if a competent shipbuilder comes in to finish the job. IMHO 3 years is more that sufficient since the whole project is pretty much halfway. Okay say BNS2.0 completes all 6 LCS in 2023 and the soonest to start LCS batch 2 is 2026, there is still a 3 year gap of no projects in between, so what will their idle staffs and workers do for that 3 years? And that is, if we could even afford to buy a batch 2 LCS or another high end frigate in RMK13.

    And it might not be done by the current BNS which is why I specifically said BNS2.0 (you know, like how our politicians like to reinvent themselves by tagging 2.0 onto what they done previously).

    As for BNS1.0(current one) there is still this to resolve https://www.malaysiandefence.com/boustead-subsidiary-hit-claim/

  17. I don’t think upgrading the 40 years old FAC with mini CMS is wise choices… I suggest that we bulit more and optimise the teguh samudera class with more capable corvettes, equipped with short medium range radar, 40 or 57 mm main gun with 2x 30 mm 2ndary guns, ECM/ESM, RAMsys or Mistral SAM, MM40 block 2 or NSM and other sensor…. at least small ship with big punch…. I think gov should give open tander with sharing ship building capability with other shipyard.. We can built more than 12 of this vessels…

  18. Azlan “If all the right conditions were in place (the right management, well managed, the needed infrastructure and facilities, no major last minute changes, adequate funding paid on time, etc) there is no reason why the LCSs or other type of ships can’t be constructed on time, on budget and within spec. ”

    … “BTW we can actually complete something when we follow the plan to the dot, and not asking for changes in the middle of doing it.”

    … “I want to know exactly which party that wants a major design change after at so many hulls already been laid down. What I know is that it was not BND that requested it.” (from other thread)

    In the first place, how sure are we that design changes were responsible for the delays? Are we to accept this hearsay as fact?

    What basis do we have for saying this, other than Luqman vaguely saying on the “Walk like the Type 26” page that “the navy requested to change some specs/subsystems on the ship after Maharajalela were launched” and Api69 citing both changes and a host of other reasons.

    In that comment, Api69 said “Major welding rejections (allegedly a few hundred % more than industry standard) on the hull required significant time to repair and increased build cost. … Industry in Malaysia normally employs proven and competent subcontractors to do this work. ”

    Some weeks ago, a comment suggested that quality standards were unreasonably high and subcontractors were complaining. My response was that those who lobbied for local construction and signed up for the standards shouldn’t be complaining about not meeting them. There is no reason the quality of a fighting ship should take a back seat.

  19. @ joe

    ” Okay say BNS2.0 completes all 6 LCS in 2023 and the soonest to start LCS batch 2 is 2026, there is still a 3 year gap of no projects in between, so what will their idle staffs and workers do for that 3 years ”

    Shipbuilding is not an easy thing. even if the decision to take which option to continue is taken by this year, ramping up to build, completing and testing all the modifications etc will take time. Even the 1st ship the maharajalela is less than 60% complete. At least 2 ships must be on the water before even the 6th ship is build. I dont see that we can complete all 6 ships by 2023 like you say.

    Remember with the current level of funding, there would not even be enough budget to complete all 6. The modest target is to complete at least 2. The logical way forward if we want all 6 to be completed is to slot in the payment to complete those ships inside the payment for batch 2 ships. Probably the budget for ship no. 6 which is still not build will need to be put under a contract for batch 2.

    That is the hefty price we have to pay for all the delays… If we dont learn anything from this fiasco, and dont change the way we go about doing things, we are surely a country that is going to be doomed.

  20. Yes maybe its not all bns’s fault here..what we are questioning here is that 6 bill already paid should be more than enough to complete the first ship at the very least..nothing speculative about that 6bill that already been paid to bns..another thing is i kinda agree that rmn/bns should not rush to laid another 2 ( lcs3 n lcs4 ) lcs keel when the first one is nowhere near complete yet..

  21. Fadiman – “I don’t think upgrading the 40 years old FAC with mini CMS is wise choices””

    It’s actually long overdue as the guns have had to be fired manually for a long time now.

    It’s also a “wise” choice because there are 14 FACs (there is a quality in quantity) and they continue to perform various roles for many years to come.

    Fadiman – “at least small ship with big punch”

    “Small ships” have a role to play but they can never replace bigger ships which are not only better armed but have longer range sensors and have superior range, endurance and sea keeping.

    Fadiman – “ We can built more than 12 of this vessels…“

    It’s not whether we “can” but whether we “should”; i.e. does going down this route gives us the overall capabilities needed …

  22. We gathered bits of information here and there, and so far we know the below facts:

    – 6 billion had been paid
    – first ship is not even 60% completed
    – last ship is in the air
    – according to the previous article, menhan said we can claim back 3 billion of various components that had been paid for
    – the components are either blocks that had been built or foreign components imported, ie electronics, armaments (doubtful)?
    – need to add another 3 billion from the original 6, therefore hitting the ceiling price of the original project to salvage the first 2?
    – what will happen after 9 billion? We have the various parts of ship 3-5 only?

    Just want

  23. Ok, maybe we’ll try to ponder what’s the picture in 2025

    My take is below:

    1. We paid the additional 3 billion, and we get 2 LCS, with discounted spec
    2. The other 3 will be scrapped.

    We will continue to dream about a newer design which call for 20 billion and setup a new BNS mk 20.

    While at the same time the Perdana, Ganyang soldier on…

  24. @ AM

    ” In the first place, how sure are we that design changes were responsible for the delays? Are we to accept this hearsay as fact? ”

    It is one of the major reasons for the delay. But it is not the only reason. How can we be sure? Most of the infos are from insiders that would not talk on the record. Nobody involved are willing to put any of this on the record.

    @ firdaus

    ” another thing is i kinda agree that rmn/bns should not rush to laid another 2 ( lcs3 n lcs4 ) lcs keel when the first one is nowhere near complete yet ”

    Actually we have laid the keel for 4 ships already. the 5th was supposed to be done during mat sabu era in 2019.

  25. @ hornet lover

    my take on what to do

    Gowind.

    – complete at least 4 of the current ships with all available parts that has been bought. As the air defence missile is not yet bought, leave missiles fitted for only. No more than RM2 billion should be given to complete the first 4. All 4 must be completed by 2024.

    – together with the contract to finish the 4 original ships, a contract for 5 more, including the additional 2 original ships to be given to the new consortium that will finish the 4 original ships. This should not cost more than RM6 billion (including government furnished equipment) to be taken from both RMK12 and RMK13 budget and to be completed before 2030. The new contract would be much more carefully worded to have big compensation clause if either the company or the government causing any delays.

    – no more OPV contract for TLDM.

    – OPV contract for MMEA to be expedited.

    – Kedahs passed on to MMEA and sailors transferred to the new batch 2 gowinds (this would probably happen around 2028 forward)

    Why do we need 9 gowinds by 2030? for us to have situational awareness of our underwater domain. to track the pattern of foreign submarines plying the south china sea and the andaman approaches using the CAPTAS2 towed array sonar. Having 9 enables at least 3 to be at sea at anytime (2 SCS, 1 andaman/melacca straits)

    Secondary function is to have enduring presence in our EEZ. This would be the primary function of MMEA OPVs, but supported by TLDM gowinds.

  26. “It is one of the major reasons for the delay. But it is not the only reason. How can we be sure?”

    I have serious doubts over the theory that design changes are responsible. Luqman said it was the navy that requested these changes. Since when does the end user have so much power in Malaysia? Considering that the specs were drawn up by the vendor and the vendor was able to override the navy’s specs, how are we to believe that the navy got its way?

    “Most of the infos are from insiders that would not talk on the record. Nobody involved are willing to put any of this on the record.”

    If they are BNS insiders then naturally they will lean towards BNS in whatever they say. They will claim that they can’t go into specifics for security reasons, but the real reason is they can’t because it isn’t true.

  27. ….. – “Why do we need 9 gowinds by 2030””

    My take.

    We need at least that number of mainline multi role combatants. For reasons previously discussed it remains to be seen whether the next batch should be of the same design as we have no idea if it actually meets the RMN’s operational requirements in the coming years and whether the existing design – without any major redesign work – can be slightly lengthened/enlarged.

    Given that the LCSs and whatever comes after that; will be the RMN’s frontline assets it’s vital they be suitably equipped or have the ability to be suitably equipped at a later date. Important that the RNM doesn’t have it options limited by being tied down to a relatively new platform with limited or no growth potential.

    … – “ to have situational awareness of our underwater domain. to track the pattern of foreign submarines””

    ASW will just be one of the various roles the 6 multi roles LCSs are intended to perform. With regards to ASW the ability of the LCSs “to track the pattern of foreign submarines plying the south china sea and the andaman approaches” will also be highly dependent on having a ASW configured helo (as well as MPAs which however are unlikely to be configured for ASW).

    Captas (are the LCSs
    also fitted with a hull sonar?) forms an important element in the equation but it’s only part of the equation; i.e. at times operational circumstances will require the contact to be tracked or positively identified by a airborne asset; whether due to range or acoustic conditions encountered at any area at any given time.

    Reply
    Yes Thales Kinglip

  28. If Mindef cannot secure additional budget, maybe it is best to complete and fully fit out as many hulls as we can, and get as many of the others as we can into the water as FFBNW.

    Nobody wants to see Gowinds as OPVs but it’s better than scrapping the hulls we’ve paid for or leaving them to rot.

    We have the possibility of equipping them on an incremental basis in future. Getting that sort of funding will be easier than a fresh effort to buy frigates

    Reply
    Incremental funding is the worse really, that’s why they never got to put the missiles on the Kedah class and why it took almost 10 years to put the radar on the Sarawak mountain

  29. ….’- “– no more OPV contract for TLDM.”

    Well, the issue here is that the Kedahs are also intended to have a wartime role performing roles in conjunction with frigates or alone in roles not requiring frigates.
    One reason why there were plans to upgrade the existing 6 some years ago and a reason why they are fitted with stuff like the TRS-3D and “obstacle avoidance sonar”. which they clearly/simply wouldn’t need the if RMN only saw a peacetime constabulary role for them.

    Also, when the RMN announced a desire for 6 Lekius the it also made clear the Kedahs would play a support or secondary wartime role and would have to be fully fitted out – this was during a period when it was common knowledge that the MMEA was only a few years away.

    Patrolling the EEZ is not the only or main reason why the RMN has included them in the 5/15 – we’ve of course gone through this topic countless times. Also whether or not the RMN should get follow on Kedahs (patrolling the EEZ until the MMEA can fully take over is only one role) is highly dependent on what progress is made with the LMS programme given that the Kedahs and LMSs are both intended to perform certain types of the roles.

  30. ….. – “Why do we need 9 gowinds by 2030””

    My take.

    We need at least that number of mainline multi role combatants. For reasons previously discussed it remains to be seen whether the next batch should be of the same design as we have no idea if it actually meets the RMN’s operational requirements in the coming years and whether the existing design – without any major redesign work – can be slightly lengthened/enlarged.

    Given that the LCSs and whatever comes after that; will be the RMN’s frontline assets it’s vital they be suitably equipped or have the ability to be suitably equipped at a later date. Important that the RMN doesn’t have it options limited by being tied down to a relatively new platform with limited or no growth potential.

    … – “ situational awareness of our underwater domain. to track the pattern of foreign submarines””

    ASW will be one of the various roles the 6 multi roles LCSs are intended to perform. The ability of the LCSs “to track the pattern of foreign submarines plying the south china sea and the andaman approaches” will also be highly dependent on having a ASW configured helo (as well as MPAs which however are unlikely to be configured for ASW).

    Captas (are the LCSs
    also fitted with a hull sonar?) forms an important element in the equation but it’s only part of the equation; i.e. at times operational circumstances will require the contact to be tracked or positively identified by a airborne asset; whether due to range or acoustic conditions encountered.

    Reply
    Yes the Thales Kingklip

  31. If govt can recoup at least 2 bill from bns..thats quite enough..complete 2 ships with 4 bill..and scrap the other two hulls, make this 2 completed ship as future lekius successor and start again frigate program with better candidate hopefully and build fully at oem shipyard..

  32. AM – “I have serious doubts over the theory that design changes are responsible””

    I have no confirmation as to what the real issue is: as such I’ll withhold judgement but will say the present situation is a reflection of how the web view and handle defence as a whole.

    Whether we learn from this cock is the question. We have a history of cocking things up and repeating the same mistakes. The result is we don’t get the best value out of our money and the end user doesn’t get the desired capability in time and within budget. The taxpayer also gets screwed.

    AM – “. Getting that sort of funding will be easier than a fresh effort to buy frigates””

    Depends on the progress of other programmes. The LCSs have to seen in context of the RMN’s whole force structure; not themselves. Whether a LCS or Lekiu or Kedah they all have a role in the script and one happens to anyone of them will impact the other.

  33. @…
    I am basing my timelines on Naval CKD Egypt’s 2nd Gowind which took 2.5 years from steel cutting to launch. When a competent shipbuilder comes in, lets say LCS1 can be completed by mid-2021 and cleared for LCS6 to start at end 2021. That last ship would be launched at mid-2024 which is still 2 years away from your timeline to start batch 2 LCS or whatever. What are the idled staffs & workers going to do during the 2 years? Can whoever takes over BNS (aka BNS2.0) keep these staff idled for that long?

    FYI the project is up to LCS5 (excerpt from Maharlim; 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)

    @AM
    “Since when does the end user have so much power”
    Like since they are the end customer after all. If they dictated a change in project scope, the vendors have to comply.

  34. AM – “when does the end user have so much power in Malaysia?”

    True. It’s the needs of the industry which often dictates what the services gets.

    With regards to actual changes it really depends on the scope or level of changes and whether the contract makes provisions for it.

  35. @ joe

    ” LCS1 can be completed by mid-2021 ”

    Now is August 2020. If the decision to be taken by December 2020, that is just 6 months to mid-2021. No way the LCS1 can be completed in just 6 months.

  36. @ azlan

    6 years ago there was no near permanent presence of china coast guard ships in our EEZ. What was planned 6 years ago is not currently the best thing for us 6 years from now due to the changing world landscape.

  37. … – “6 years ago there was no near permanent presence of china coast guard ships in our EEZ”

    No dispute here but it doesn’t change the fact that the Kedahs have a wartime role and the reason why follow on ones are included in the 5/15 is not because the RMN foresees their main role as performing peacetime constabulary type roles (unlike the MMEA’s OPVs). It also is no way an indication that the RMN reluctant to do away with this role.

    The fact that the MMEA needs follow on OPVs and the fact that until that happens the RMN is the only agency able to fill that gap is related or interconnected but the fact that the RMN foresees a need for follow on Kedahs is separate matter which should not be conflated.

  38. @…
    Once they get going it will be fast, since most of the steelworks were done it can be launched into water without the interior complete yet. FYI 3rd Egypt Gowind, El Moez, took less than a year from laying down to launch so it can be done if it were handled by a competent shipbuilder.

    BTW curious there is a 10% work gap from LCS1 to LCS2 but a slight 5% work gap between LCS2 to LCS3. It seems after LCS1 there is a ‘barrier’ at 50% mark which caused to jam at that stage of work. I wonder what that ‘barrier’ is.

  39. https://youtu.be/aOOYaPElucI

    Loud and clear
    Only 2 (at least) LCS should be made using remaining money in bns account.

    How much money left are there?
    It’s all depend on that, MOD and MOF will not give any additional money.

    Jeng…jeng….jeng

  40. Get scammed again 6 bill paid for two enlarged corvette only..3 bill each..govt must recoup 2 to 3 bill from bns at any cost..cuz 3 bill for a lcs is an outright unthinkable and unacceptable..no more money for bns and push them to complete 2 with what already been paid to them

    Reply
    Please tell us how is the government will be able to recoup any money from BNS?

  41. Oh ya, I forgot to mention that since LCS 1 is around 60% completed and LCS 2 around 45% completed, and we pay 3 billion just to complete less than 100% of a ship! Another world record.

  42. Whatever. Our defence has been compromised. Its useless to argue. The issue cannot be resolved early nor speedily.
    Best option is to fit the Kedah class with all the weapons its supposed to have. Make them more capable while the Gowind issue is resolved. From Kedah experience it will take the gov many years to resolve the issue.
    The FSC must be modernised n maintained like rewelding the hull etc to make them serviceable until later.
    The LMS MUST ALSO BE upgraded to carry more weapons as a stop gap until the gowind issue can be resolved.
    Our defence planners must now be adaptive, innovative n move ahead disregarding the gowind until a solution can be found. The problem from now until the last ship ( if its even built) may take another 10 uears. Meanwhile we will not have any new ships n our sea defence would be the weakest in SEA.

  43. Should we start to put our money on anti-ship batteries?

    Put those along our coastlines or islands that needed them. Maybe like pulau layang-layang.

    Seems like we need a forward presence not just ships.

    The rate the pla navy is expanding, i cant even imagine what will happened in 10 years. Its quite terrifying.

  44. … – “What was planned 6 years ago is not currently the best thing for us 6 years from now due to the changing world landscape.””

    Naturally. Which is why I keep stressing (in previous posts) that requirements and threat perceptions change and in the coming years the RMN night find its operational requirements can’t be met by a ship based on the Gowind design.

    One thing that will not change though is the need for certain types of vessels (the Kedahs and LMSs as well as the FACs until they retire) to be the RMN’s “Team B”; to perform roles that will not require a LCS, Lekiu or Kasturi.

  45. It is down to business model. BNS apart from govmnt of malaysia, have no foreign export. They basically just construct the hull while the design are bought from France, the onboard combat appliances are also from foreign import. Recently the pentagon has appointed finccantieri from italy to build its frigates for the us navy. While the ship maybe foreign built. The onboard system are of US made. Boustead didnt make any money if they rely solely on pa n ma money.

  46. @ nihd

    ” The rate the pla navy is expanding, i cant even imagine what will happened in 10 years. Its quite terrifying ”

    Exactly why a plan for 12 frigates and 18 OPV navy is no longer relevant. We cannot deter a larger navy with lots of surface ships. China navy is equipped with ballistic anti-ship missiles, supersonic and hypersonic anti-ship missiles, bombers with anti-ship missiles and much much more.

    We also need to deter the now constant appearance of Chinese coast guard ships in our EEZ. This calls for more OPVs under MMEA, not TLDM.

    So now we need 2 things
    1) pushing back Chinese coast guard
    This is by having bigger coast guard fleet

    2) deterrence for PLA Navy
    This is by more submarines, fighter jets with maritime strike capability, and probably our own coastal anti-ship batteries.

  47. And…..
    What ever the wish how should RMN equipt in the end it will depend on money can be provided.
    Looking at defence budget allocation it is obvious that money is big problem to equipt all MAF branches not just RMN.

    Malaysia can not follow SG, the closer sample is indonesia. As I recomend before buying used military hardware is good enough if one know how and where to look. Even SG Leopard is also used mbt but more capable and still can be upgraded than PT91.

    This is lists of recent used military hardwares that indonesia use today that make them stronger
    -F16
    -Leopard mbt
    -Bung Tomo class (ex Nakhoda Ragam)
    -Hercules

    Typhoon and Bremen Class frigate (on target)

  48. So the solution now is try to build and complete 2 lcs with 6 bill already paid making it 3bill per ship?..

  49. @…

    “This is by having bigger coast guard fleet”

    I am not sure whether we can match their numbers. At present they have around 164 ships, plus a variety of smaller patrol crafts.
    The 10000-ton ship is major worry since we don’t have anything in our inventory that can rival the size of that thing.

    IMHO we can’t compete on quantity better to try on quality. We should go for more of MRSS that MMEA chief was talking about, and get more ships of 3-4000 tonne displacement, with armored hulls just in case we get into a ramming match with them.

    “This is by more submarines, fighter jets with maritime strike capability, and probably our own coastal anti-ship batteries.”

    We should also get those Kirov cruisers and outfit them with AEGIS + ASMs and tomahawk missiles. 😀
    Hmm…this gives me some ideas for kitbashed 1/700 Pyotr Velikiy..

  50. ASM – “I am not sure whether we can match their numbers””

    Even the USN has issues; let alone us.

    There are some threats we can deal with and some we can’t irrespective of how much we spend and what tactics we employ If ever we’re involved in trouble with China it will be alongside other countries.

  51. Nihd – Should we start to put our money on anti-ship batteries?”

    Land based ASMs are great for sea denial but they are no substitute for other things and to be effective they have to be used in conjunction with other assets.

  52. ASM – “The 10000-ton ship is major worry since we don’t have anything in our inventory that can rival the size of that thing.”

    Why is this a source of worry?
    Their ships are of a certain displacement because they have to travel all the way from mainland China (it’s only now they have reefs on the area in which ships can replenish) and because a level of endurance is needed.

    Even taking into account the possibility of ramming (for anyhow the objective is not to sink the opposing ship) we don’t need ships of a similar displacement merely to match what we face. What we need are sufficient numbers of assets that can react in a timely manner and to maintain a presence.

    The fiasco with the LCSs is worrying at it impacts not only a platform intended to be the RMN’s most capable multi role frontline surface asset but also other areas. The whole premise of having Kedahs and LMSs was because with the future retirement of the FACs and Laksamanas both these classes were intended to perform a variety of roles in support or in isolation from the better armed frigates.

    The LMSs (with a variety of modular payloads) and the Kedahs (lightly armed – plans to arm with SSMs and other things are part of the 5/15) constituting the RMN’s “Team B”. Unresolved
    issues with the LCSs leaves a question mark over various things; not just the LCS. That’s a major worry.

    In the background is the MMEA which unlike the RMN; needs ships for one particular purpose : peacetime enforcement at sea. Unfortunately there is a wide gulf between what the MMEA badly needs and what it’s slated to receive in the coming years.

  53. Amin Shah – “5 possibly 6 very expensive gunboat built as FFBNW.””

    Actually, no ….

    With the exception of the SAMs and torps most of the stuff (including NSM, the sonar, etc) has already been ordered….

  54. ASM – “3-4000 tonne displacement, with armored hulls just in case we get into a ramming match”

    If the MMEA gets 2-4000 tonne displacement ships it should be because of a variety of reasons to meet operational requirements; not for any specific purpose.

    It’s often overlooked that in addition to assets the MMEA also needs improvements in manpower, shore support infrastructure and operational funds. Improvements in those areas are a prerequisite for additional assets.

    With the exception of a few ships, including USN carriers with armoured keels; almost nobody constructs their ships with armoured hulls or armoured anything because it significantly drives prices and weight up.

  55. @ ASM

    ” We should also get those Kirov cruisers and outfit them with AEGIS + ASMs and tomahawk missiles ”

    Anything afloat however heavily armed will be an easy target for advanced anti-ship missiles in the future. Why we must go underwater.

    future team a would be submarines. team b would be frigates. peacetime patrol and to keep Chinese coast guard at bay would be our own coast guard aka MMEA.

  56. @Azlan,

    I get your point. Its like you said the 10kTon ship is primarily for long endurance missions, but there are some past accounts do tell of the CCG using the ships’ size to block other ships passage, in one case one of the Kedahs got into a scrap with a CCG vessel and had to return back to base with a damaged hull. This happened during Lahad Datu incident, if i remembered correctly.

    “almost nobody constructs their ships with armoured hulls or armoured anything because it significantly drives prices and weight up”

    Let’s say 1 or 2 ships instead of entire fleet. Shouldn’t cost too much?

    “It’s often overlooked that in addition to assets the MMEA also needs improvements in manpower, shore support infrastructure and operational funds. Improvements in those areas are a prerequisite for additional assets. ”

    Agree. I didn’t state this earlier on but this is one of the reasons I think having a larger fleet than CCG would be counterproductive. the “after sales” support would have to be quite substantial.

    @…

    “Why we must go underwater.”

    The Kriegmarine approach eh?
    I do think it’s good idea, but subs are quite expensive to get and maintain…not to mention specialist training
    I say go for 4-5 subs, the rest of the combat fleet should consist of frigates and corvettes (or LMSes)

  57. ASM – “The Kriegmarine approach eh?”

    That approach was based on the premise that U-Boats would interdict the sea lanes from North America and other places; to Great Britain.

    Like in WW1 the introduction of the convoy system in WW2 proved effective. What ultimately proved decisive was the introduction of long range aircraft. Ultimately long range aircraft were able to keep at bay the U-Boat menace the point that U-Boats were too busy evading detection and the destruction that cane with it; rather than carrying out their role of sinking ships.

    The lesson is that one does not have to physically destroy subs but to merely prevent them from carrying out their roles.

    Another lesson which still holds true today is that submarines are particularly effective in detecting targets when employed in conjunction with other assets. The inability of the Kriegsmarine to work effectively with the Luftwaffe has consequences that proved detrimental. It is often not realised that even USN boats (despite their sophistication) rely on intel, satellites, MPAs and other means to detect targets.

  58. ASM – “The Kriegmarine approach eh?””

    Going armoured significantly drives up prices and weight. There is a reason why navies have mostly discarded this approach.

    On subs: surprise is everything. As it favourable circumstances. Subs – like everything else -should be employed in circumstances in which they hold the advantage.

    In a scenario in which an opponent has his own subs and surface and airborne assets deployed with a numerical superiority; an opposing sub would be at a disadvantage. There will also be times when a sun is detected early – so many variables at play.

    Whether it’s a sub or MBT or a frigate; there will be times when one does and does not deploy them. It would be folly to deploy them in scenarios in which they would be at a disadvantage.

  59. ASM – “Agree. I didn’t state this earlier on but this is one of the reasons””

    Even the RMN; much larger and better resourced then the MMEA; is short of resources – what more the MMEA? Adding assets is one thing; having the needed resources to adequately support those assets is a completely different thing.

    It’s for this reason why I’ve pointed out that for the foreseeable future; the army simply does not have the manpower or support/training infrastructure to operate and support more than a squadron’s worth of helis; in addition to its A-109s. Gaining the manpower and support facilities takes time and resources.

  60. @ ASM

    ” I didn’t state this earlier on but this is one of the reasons I think having a larger fleet than CCG would be counterproductive. the “after sales” support would have to be quite substantial ”

    We dont need our coast guard fleet to be larger than CCG. Actually the PPSMM2040 fleet size is just correct for us. PPSMM2040 puts the MMEA OPV fleet to be 20 ships. That would enable around 7 ships to be at sea at any one time.

    ” I do think it’s good idea, but subs are quite expensive to get and maintain… ”

    This is what vietnam is doing. most surface fleet is in the Coast Guard, with the navy tip of the spear its 6 kilo class submarines. Forgoing getting 18 OPV for TLDM can afford us a substantial underwater fleet.

  61. ASM – “in one case one of the Kedahs got into a scrap with a CCG vessel and had to return back to base with a damaged hull””

    We can’t cater for every contingency. Even if a ship had a armoured hull (expensive) it could still be damaged by ramming; so
    could a 3,000 or 6,000 tonne ship (have you seen pictures from the “Cod Wars”?). If we decide to on a certain course; it has to be because of a range of factors; not one or even a few possibilities.

  62. @ azlan

    ” It’s for this reason why I’ve pointed out that for the foreseeable future; the army simply does not have the manpower or support/training infrastructure to operate and support more than a squadron’s worth of helis; in addition to its A-109s. Gaining the manpower and support facilities takes time and resources ”

    You are just looking at PUTD resources, not the whole of ATM resources. We have equipment and manpower resources from 2 ex nuri squadrons, the 3rd SKN Butterworth and 7 SKN Kuching that can be transferred to PUTD if we get a nuri replacement now.

    On armoured ships. what we need is a bow with ice resistant design for our OPV. That is enough to be used in ramming incidents.

  63. ASM – “,”but subs are quite expensive to get and maintain”

    They are resource intensive but that’s the price for the desired capability.

    It’s also important not to over estimate their value/ability as they don’t operate in a vacuum and they have to be employed in conjunction with other assets. Their “stealthiness” is not and never was a panacea; especially against an opponent who understands their limitations and has other advantages. Dependent.

    Whether it’s a sub or frigate or destroyer; they all have their merits and all are more suitable in specific scenarios – naturally each will be more “survivable” at times but also will be at a disadvantage at other times.

  64. @ azlan

    ” On subs: surprise is everything. As it favourable circumstances. Subs – like everything else -should be employed in circumstances in which they hold the advantage ”

    When you confront a fleet like the PLA Navy, there would be very few circumstances that our surface fleet can even survive the confrontation. Why wr need to invest in our underwater fleet, just like vietnam. Our surface fleet would be mainly white painted hulls of MMEA, which will do most of the work dealing with CCG incursions.

  65. … – “Forgoing getting 18 OPV for TLDM can afford us a substantial underwater fleet””

    The need for one a particular asset doesn’t do away with the need for another …. If we make subs a priority one can also say that we can get more if the army (never mind the RMN) is denied a lot of the stuff it desires. If someone wants to; one can also say the a resources put in the LCS programme would have been better placed in subs – subjective …. A “substantial” (the actual definition is subjective – could be “4” or “6” boats) also depends on a variety other factors beyond procurement costs.

    Subs have their role and so do Kedahs (even if one wants to place too much emphasis on their “OPV” designation which doesn’t accurately describe their wartime role and even their sensor fit …).

    I will also not place too much emphasis on what’s in the 5/15 because (as I predicted); it will die a natural death. The politics, uncertainties and other factors makes it inevitable.

  66. P.S.

    The number of subs we need and desire are two different things. The number is also dependent not only on procurement and operating funds but also on how it will impact other areas; i.e. will enlarging the sub fleet means that we’ll have to do away with the need to acquire or expend other capabilities for an indefinite period? What are the trade offs we’re comfortable making. If we invest in subs at the expense of the surface fleet; what happens is we’re faced with a scenario (war it peacetime) in which a surface fleet has more utility or vice versa?

    I never was a fan of the 5/15 but looking at its force structure it’s plainly obvious that the RMN intended on having an all round but minimal capability in several areas (based on financial realities); none of these areas intended to negatively impact other areas

  67. ASM – “I say go for 4-5 subs, the rest of the combat fleet should consist of frigates and corvettes (or LMSes)””

    That’s is indeed the intention as laid out in the 5/15.

  68. … – “You are just looking at PUTD resources, not the whole of ATM resources”

    I’m stating the facts as they stand. The RMAF is unlikely to transfer personnel and assets for the army to better operate extra helicopters. Given how resources are stretched thin; with each service competing for resources; do you seriously think what you proposed actually has a chance of occurring?

    If I wanted to include unlikely scenarios to back my narrative; the list would be a long one.

    … – “When you confront a fleet like the PLA Navy, there would be very few circumstances that our surface fleet can even survive the confrontation”

    Naturally but I didn’t say otherwise did I?

    I can also point out (which I have numerous times) that in scenarios in which our subs were faced against a Chinese task groups which was protected by escorts along with subs and airborne assets; our subs would also face issues.

    The fact that our surface assets would not last long (as you keep pointing out) against PLA surface groups is a mute point as our ships are not intended to go head to head against numerically superior Chinese ships. That is not the purpose of why we desire a certain force structure; neither is such a scenario in our contingency planning. The question of whether we’d actually be required to do so also arises …

    … – “Why wr need to invest in our underwater fleet, just like vietnam””

    No it doesn’t work that way.

    One asset is never a complete substitute for another assets and focusing too much attention to one particular asset will have a detrimental effect on other areas.

    Vietnam has a way of doing things in a way that best meets its needs; doesn’t mean going down the sane route will also work for us (irrespective of one’s personal preference on the matter). Vietnam also concentrates mainly on corvette sized vessels heavy in firepower but short in range and endurance (this approach obviously doesn’t suit us).

    Yes we need to invest in more subs but not the major expense of other areas. Neither should we fall for the assumption that subs can compensate for our limitations in other areas, that are a panacea or that they alone can deliver the results we hope they can.

    It’s the combination of several
    assets working in tandem that determines effectiveness. Getting more subs but neglecting to get others assets; will have an effect of how effective our subs will be.

  69. … – “s, the 3rd SKN Butterworth and 7 SKN Kuching that can be transferred to PUTD if we get a nuri replacement now”

    Never mind the bureaucratic and inter services issues; the army doesn’t need help for a squadron’s worth of Nuri replacements ….. It already has the manpower.

    What will be a problem will be adding more than a squadron or regiment’s worth of helicopters. Not only is manpower an issue but ground support facilities ….
    As it stands the army is in a position to operate and support 8-12 helicopters but certainly not much more than that; as has been discussed before.

  70. Azlan

    8-12 more helicopter or existing heli? If existing heli then thats mean army putd only need 2 more helis including 10 aw109 and future 6 little birds..and what about air assault squadron that already planned? Or is it scrapped already? Only natural air assault will be conduct by army’s putd

  71. @joe,

    Well yeah I was talking about MMEA patrol vessels, so yes no warships.
    Coincidentally the Arctic breakers are under USCG, if i am not mistaken.

  72. Firdaus,

    The Nuris are no longer flying but the manpower is still there. As such the army can without too much difficulties operate – in addition to the A-109s – a squadron’s (regiment’s) worth of helicopters.

    The problem will come if it has to operate more than that. The manpower will have to be found and trained and whether ground facilities needed will have to be created. As it is the army struggled and took longer than anticipated standing up the Nuri squadron. I have no idea about an “air assault squadron”.

  73. The possibility of ramming is a concern for many navies and coast guards but it’s merely one of the hazards that come with the job.

    Modern hulls are relatively thin (during the “Cod War” RN ships suffered serious damage from much smaller Icelandic trawlers); strengthening them – whether as protection against ice packs or ramming – drives overall costs up.
    Even if a hull is strengthened to
    cater for the possibility ramming; hull damage may still occur depending on the speed the ramming occurs and the size of the vessel.

    It must be noted that by and large; during peacetime confrontations when both sides are eager for things not to overly escalate; ramming isn’t always done and when done it’s intended to drive home a message or deter an opposing vessel; not to sink it.

    Rather then going through the expense and trouble of strengthening hulls; it would make more sense for the MMEA to devote more attention to ensuring its OPVs have a higher DC standard.

  74. @joe

    ” We would probably be looked at funny for being the only tropical country with icebreakers”

    No la..I never said to get icebreakers.
    I suggested having armored hulls for some MMEA vessels. Being a naval noob I don’t know how costly or complex it’s going to be.

  75. @ASM
    As explained by others, having to up-spec ships uniquely just to have armoured hulls isn’t cost efficient, you would rather get your money’s worth going for off the shelf icebreakers but then it comes back to the usefullness of such ships to us here in the tropics.

  76. Phew quite a lot for me to read all these comments 😂.

    Please let me give my take on what i think

    – we pay rm9 billion to complete 2 ships
    – with 4 more ships to be build
    – assuming each ship still has ceiling price of usd460 million if built from scratch
    – building those 4 ships will be around usd1.84 billion or around rm8.1 billion
    – this meant that from the start rm9 billion is not enough to complete all 6 ships. (460×6= usd2.76 billion = rm12 billion)
    – this is becoming more complicated to calculate.
    – but rm9 billion is doable if we use 2013 conversion rate which is around rm3.2/3.3 per dollar (usd2.8 bil x 3.2 = rm8.9 bil
    – going on from now, each ship that we build might cost the same in dollar but is pricier in rm.
    – So with the various condition on hull 3 (44%) and hull 4 (36%), roughly extra rm2.4 billion need to complete them
    -(44+36)/200%=40%
    -60% x (460mil x2) = usd552 mil = rm2.4 bil
    – assuming hull 5 n 6 not being paid, thats total of extra rm6 billion to complete the remaining 4 ships
    -rm6 bil + rm9 bil = rm15 bil
    – ok in short, original price was rm9 billion in 2011
    – inflated original price now is rm11.7 billion
    – my calculated price with current issues/delays is rm15 billion
    – so we are rm3.3 billion over from a original price in usd that is converted with today’s price in rm
    – not to mention from the start rm9 billion is not enough as with today conversion we need another rm2.7 billion
    – why i calculate like this? Because we buy stuff in usd not rm.
    – hope this will also open some eyes among the commenters.

  77. @ Luqman
    “– why i calculate like this? Because we buy stuff in usd not rm.
    – hope this will also open some eyes among the commenters.”

    The government entered a contract with a Malaysian company, so it’s dealt in RM.

    It’s for the contractor to sort out the foreign exchange rate. Furthermore there are many project components paid in RM, such as wages, local logistics and ship yard, unless this is an absolute Ali Baba contract with all foreign workers.

    Normally for any contract, in order to protect the party of interests there will be a ceiling price set, factoring in all the possible currency fluctuation and unforeseen circumstances. Some will even state clearly the exchange rate. The contractor needs to be smart enough to cover their base.

    In this LCS contract there is a ceiling price, 50% higher than the supposedly ‘normal’ price. That’s why each ship’s ceiling price is at USD 460 million, but should be cheaper if everything goes according to plan.

    Furthermore the 6 billion was paid out from 2015 to 2019, in which the ringgit was stronger back then.
    Lastly if what you mentioned is true the MenHan will have said it to avoid from getting his bottom burnt.

  78. off topic.
    Is there any news update on our first LMS operation performance? do it pass the first 6+ months of operation? And what is the status of subsequent delivery and subsequent order.

    Reply
    Covid 19

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