SLEP for KD Lekiu and KD Jebat

KD Lekiu and KD Jebat sailed together with USS George Washington in Andaman Sea. US Navy picture

SHAH ALAM: It appears that the SLEP for RMN’s 23 Frigate Squadron – KD Lekiu and KD Jebat – is expected to commence soon.

There is yet to be an official announcement about the project but the publication of tenders for the procurement of some systems for both ships is a clear indication that the programme will be carried out most probably next year.

The funding is expected to come from the RMK11 allocation.I had written about the Lekiu-class SLEP previously unfortunately those are part of the posts that went missing following the server failure.

KD Lekiu and KD Jebat sailed together with USS George Washington in Andaman Sea. US Navy picture
KD Lekiu and KD Jebat sailed together with USS George Washington in Andaman Sea. US Navy picture

The tenders for the systems for the 23 Frigate Squardon was published on June 5. It is available at the Kementerian Pertahanan website.

I believed the items sought by the tender are those meant for the SLEP. As the ships were built in late 90s, it is expected most of the items are already obsolete or need to be replaced simply because it will be to expensive to maintain for the next twenty years.

KD Jebat (FFG 29) underway off the coast of Malaysia during a divisional tactics drill as part of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Malaysia 2013. US Navy photo.
KD Jebat (FFG 29) underway off the coast of Malaysia during a divisional tactics drill as part of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Malaysia 2013. US Navy photo.

Among the items tendered are the Ship Data Distribution System (SSDS), Electro Optical Tracking System (EOTS), Electronic Support Measure (ESM) and a solid state navigation radar.

KD Lekiu (FFGH 30) passes by the US Navy submarine USS La Jolla (SSN 701) during a submarine warfare exercise at CARAT 2011. US Navy pix.
KD Lekiu (FFGH 30) passes by the US Navy submarine USS La Jolla (SSN 701) during a submarine warfare exercise at CARAT 2011. US Navy pix.

Another item being sought for the squadron is a degaussing system. (A steel-hulled ship is like a huge floating magnet with a large magnetic field surrounding it. As the ship moves through the water, this field also moves and adds to or subtracts from the Earth’s magnetic field. Because of its distortion effects on the Earth’s magnetic field, the ship can act as a trigger device for magnetic sensitive ordnance or devices which are designed to detect these distortions. The degaussing system is installed aboard ship to reduce the ship’s effect on the Earth’s magnetic field. In order to accomplish this, the change in the Earth’s field about the ship’s hull is “canceled” by controlling the electric current flowing through degaussing coils wound in specific locations within the hull. This, in turn, reduces the possibility of detection by these magnetic sensitive ordnance or devices”.

Both Lekiu and Jebat currently are fitted with a thermal imager, the BAE Type V 3001 while the navigation radars are the Thales I-band navigation radar. The ESM listed for both ships are the BAE Mentor A while the ECM is the Thales Scimitar.

radar A close up view of the air and surface search radars.

I am told that surface search radar (Sea Giraffe) and air search radar (Thales DA-08) will not be replaced together with the Nautis F combat system. These systems are expected to undergo upgrades instead of being replaced with new ones.

Also there is no word yet whether the ship will be fitted a VDS to complement the current sonar, the Thales Spherion TSM 2633 LF sonar.

As for the weapon systems, it is likely that the guns (Bofors 57mm and MSI 30mm guns) will undergo refurbishment during the SLEP. There is no word yet whether the missiles (Exocet MM40 Block 2 and Seawolf) and torpedoes (A244S) will be replaced with completely new ones or a repeat order will be placed.

KD Jebat undergoing a refit sometime in early 2000.
KD Jebat undergoing a refit sometime in early 2000.

Perhaps the RMN will sought to put the same missiles on the Lekiu and Jebat as those on the LCS. Work on the first ship to undergo the SLEP (most likely Lekiu) is expected to start at the Boustead Naval Shipyard in 2016. When exactly is beyond me.

Hopefully with most of the systems being sourced well ahead of the ships being sent to the drydock, neither Lekiu or Jebat will undergo the same fate of KD Kasturi (again the post is missing!) which had undergone a lengthy SLEP.

KD Kasturi at Lumut in Jan, 2014, just before her re-commissioning after undergoing a lengthy SLEP at BNS. Malaysian Defence photo.
KD Kasturi at Lumut in Jan, 2014, just before her re-commissioning after undergoing a lengthy SLEP at BNS. Malaysian Defence photo.

As for the SLEP for the Laksamana class corvettes, I am told that the funding for the project under RMK11 was approved. However I have yet to find out the scope of the SLEP. I guess we have to wait a little bit longer.

The upgrades for the Kedah-class, I am told will not be funded during RMK11. It was reported earlier this year that RMN had hopes to upgrade the Kedah class for ASW and ASUW and fitted them with missiles and torpedoes.

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 photo.
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 photo.

Apart from tender for the 23 Frigate Squadron, there were also other tenders for RMN ships published in the ministry’s etender page. A tender was published to get a solid state navigation radar for the Multi Purpose Command and Support Ships, KD Seri Indera Sakti and KD Mahawangsa

A tender for an eletro optical director system (EODS)for RMN’s FAC was also published. As the site visit was conducted at Kuantan and Kota Kinabalu (Teluk Sepanggar) I assumed that the project will involved the FACs based there only.

The ministry is also looking to install an S-band surveillance radar for the Gugusan Semarang Peninjau which comes under the RMN. The base is located in the South China Sea.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2223 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. The trackers are long overdue for replacement and have been experiencing ”issues” in recent years, mainly due to the fact that both are no longer in production. Sea Siren will also have to be replaced; ideally by the Terma SKWS that went on the Kasturi class; it also doubles as a chaff/flare launcher. Almost a decade ago there was talk of the RMN looking into the possibility of adding a towed array but apparently there were certain technical issues involved.

    There is a degaussing facility in Lumut. It was originally delivered by a German company and upgraded by a Brit company years ago.
    Interesting to hear about the requirement for a radar in the Spratlys. We already have radars there [Kelvin Hughes I believe]; our main means of detecting intruders in our EEZ.

  2. Marhalim,

    Back in January 2014, KD Jebat had a fairly significant collision. Was she repaired or is she laid up in the yard pending this SLEP to work out?

    She was repaired. If I remembered correctly she was involved in the SAR for the crash Air Asia flight

  3. Come on…. Malaysian country had pull a lotx3 of investor. Even the richest company from foreign nation(Like US and Japan) can invest to Malaysia. Don’t tell me that Malaysian government don’t have any lots of money. If that case, how they can pay the IMF from RM 744 billion(2014) to RM 16.4 billion(2015) now? What a greedy mind they are.

  4. Its high time to have our most capable ships upgraded. Lumut had a degaussing facilty but it was out for some time. Whether it is functional again i am not sure. Taking the ferry to pangkor the ferry passes through the range in fact. The range is marked by four post embedded in the sea bed. The wires for the current to pass through could not be seen
    Basically when a metal ship passes through the magnetic field of the earth, the ship is magnetised n this will set off sea mines that detect the magnetic field of a ship. So be degaussing the magnetic influence of tbe ship is put back to a range that is difficult to detect. But.this must be done again after a certain distance of sailling to keep the ships demagnetised

  5. It has been reporyed that the royal thai navy is considering the purchase of 3 submarines from china for us1.3 billion. It is reported that the weapon system, endurance n capabilty of these chinese sub is superior to western types as compared by the thais

  6. Just curious, can the launchers for Seawolf be adapted for ESSM, should it be decided to go for missiles change? Or have to go forVL-Mica like the TNI Bung Tomo-class? Doesn’t seem wise to go for more (2nd-hand/refurbished?) Seawolf to arm ships intended for another two decades of active service.

    Most likely it will VL-MICA

  7. Looks like the Kedah-class doesn’t get it’s upgrades… again.

    BTW, did Kasturi really undergo for another SLEP again?

    Kasturi only completed her SLEP in 2014

  8. At last, “fitted for and with” will be the new terms for Kedah-class NGPV, hopefully in the near future.

  9. Wait a minute, KD lekiu using exocet block 3 already?

    My mistake, its M40 Block 2

  10. Why no longer essm? Why vl mica now? Fulus takde?

    the ESSM was always for the LCS, Lekiu and Jebat were always supposed to get VL MICA

  11. Taking precautions against magnetic mines is sound; along as potential opponents use magnetic mines….
    The problem is there are mines with contact fuses and even worse, ones that can be programmed to detonate upon detecting a specific acoustic signature.


    We can’t continue using Seawolf for long as MBDA will cease supporting it soon.


    The RTN was offered Romeos as far back as the 1980’s at “friendship” prices. It also came close to ordering former Bundesmarine Type-206s.

  12. Marhalim,

    Negative. Jebat was not involved in the SAR for QZ8501. Her sister, KD Lekiu was used instead. Hence my query on the status of Jebat.

    Ops my mistake, Jebat was not involved.

  13. Well the heroes need to sleep for a while. The upgrade if possible be the same with lcs to give commonlity between this two type of ship apart of it sam. But can they fitt mk41 or mk56 into the f2000 ? Can nautis integrrated with essm ?

    I believe the Mk56 can be fitted to the B position where the Seawolf launchers are currently located. Yes I believed the Nautis could be integrated with the ESSM.

  14. The installation an S-band surveillance radar for the Gugusan Semarang Peninjau which comes under Pulau Lima or Layang-layang at the Spratly isles are really timely.The heightened sit. sure needs some cooling.

  15. Jebat spent some time in dry dock but returned to sea not long after the incident. The ship that grazed her escaped but was detected by an RMN helo. Even though Jebat was not as fault as the other ship was not abiding by the Melaka Straits “traffic separation scheme” the CO’s career will be affected.

  16. Off topic

    Regarding the gowind lcs

    As it is now known that these would be a full blown frigate with probably the most advanced and capable systems that tldm ever had. Traditionally the most capable fighting ships in tldm would be named after melacca’s 5 famed warriors. But currently all of the names are still in service and probably only hang tuah name would be available in the near future. It would not be fitting if the gowinds are named after the names traditionally given to patrol ships (ie names of states)

    Ideally their pennant numbers should continue after lekiu, ie 31,32,33 and so on…

    Any idea of the proposed names of the gowinds??

  17. It is sad to hear that the Kedah-class are passed over in the budget again. Hope to see the class operating at full capacity with missiles soon.

  18. Re:
    Names for the LCSs:

    Easy. Not just the warriors but why not the sultans like Mansur Shah (quite apt considering current events), Alaudin Riayat Shah, etc….even Tun Perak.

    Other significant names like Gerald Templar….but that will never happen.

    To me the ships should be named after the recipient of the SP medal but I don’t think Jakim will approve. Perhaps we should call them the Gugusan class after our claims in the Spratlys. That will get China knickers in a twist..

  19. Marhalim,
    I have always wondered why the RMN has a preference for the 57mm instead of the 76mm, especially on a proper frigate.

    AFAIK it mostly due to the salesman. The requirements called for a medium calibre gun of which both the 57mm and 76mm qualified for. As BNS served as the main contractor it chose the 57mm gun which is supplied by another Boustead subsidiary. If it were to choose the 76mm gun they have to buy it from the competitor. Its as simple as that.

  20. I would suggest naming it “Independence Class” or Kelas Merdeka or even Kelas Malaysia
    It can be named after our founding members of Malaysia and Malaya – more multiracial this way
    The names are like…

    KD Onn Jaafar – independence movement, opposed Malayan Union
    KD Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR) – independence Malaya
    KD Ghazali Shafie – formation of Malaysia
    KD Wong Pow Nee – formation of Malaysia
    KD Tun Tan Cheng Lock – independence Malaya
    KD Tun V.T. Sambanthan – independence Malaya

    What say you all?

  21. ETake ur time in the upgrades…at least if things get out of hand in scs the filipines.vietnam singspore japan even the korean can put up a good fight…back by uncle sam of life a stich in time makes nine….in peribahasa mat salleh… sekupang

  22. LCS names,

    Remember that Marhalim had this issue covered 2@3 years back, he “insisted” LCS is Laksamana-class but he still keep it offline on what kind of Laksamana is it. Laksamana from Malacca Sultanate era had been taken by 4 corvettes italy-made.

    Good to know SLEP “will” be onto Jebat&Lekiu.

  23. I hope all these can be materialize…
    sad for Kedah class and i think government will only upgrade them when is time for them got through SLEP…

    by the way, any news to get more patrol vessel or LPD for the navy?

  24. Hope the government and navy will use the ESSM and NSM for the jebat and lekiu weapons upgrade. It will be good for the maintenance of the whole navy ships. I also hope the government and navy will change their mind and give the funding for the Kedah class upgrade. We do have a serious lack of firepower for the navy.

  25. I 2nd the suggestion to name the LCS/2GPV after Malaysia’s founding fathers… Echoing the government 1 Malaysia slogan and reflecting on Malaysia multi-ethnicity… Can replace names taken by the Scorpene with some representatives from East Malaysia, which is always passed over in naming “rights”…

  26. From the tenders it can be assumed that all of the fac will be in service for quite some time into the future.

    Which brings us to the question.

    Is the proposed request for new fac/missile corvettes to replace the old facs has been deferred?

    With the current situation in South china sea, the navy and Mmea needs as many new vessels as they can get. The “presence” of as many malaysian vessel as possible in our eez currently is more important than going for top notch weapons fit out, although asw warfare needs to be looked into as now more and more subs are coming into the area (thailand is next with 3 Chinese subs)

    A post on things we are not getting for RMK11 will be up soon…

  27. Btw how is the 7 MMEA patrol vessels that is funded in 2015 budget coming along? Has it been built?

    it’s six. Yes work on the first ship has already started.

  28. Just my thoughts……if only thr top pple have the foresight with even little money for defence expenditure they will be able to acumulate 27-30 vessels but alas there ar always giving reasons money tak cukup many comitment here there…the brewing of scs builds up in time not just out of a sudden……so does the sulu incusions….same goes for the run down borders….its all intelligences work….one question though….is the intelligence deptment doing their job efficiently…is the warplan deptment foresee the growing naval might of china n make calculation that things will go bad in years to come….? No out ward looking plan…just base on oh no threat dont see why we need big navy….etc etc…good planing n foresight lah bolehland

  29. RedSot,

    Contrary to what some people believe the 3 armed services have laid out long term acquisition plans to deal with the kinds of threats we are likely to face. At the end of the day, it’s pointless having plans when the politicians don’t make defence a priority. As a serving RMN officer once told me : “if you (defence watchers) are feeling frustrated imagine how we feel”….


    From what I’ve been told the FACs still have a bit of life left; their hulls are still in relative good condition (in sharp contrast to the younger Laksamanas) despite their age. It is given that all 16 will have issues – on account of age – from time to time but all are still capable of peacetime duties. A problem we have is that none of the 5 reefs we have in the Spratlys has a jetty that can accommodate anything larger than an FACS, thus basing the Jerongs at Labuan and then Sabah has helped. The RMN off course has been calling for replacements for ages but whether this actually happens anytime soon remains to be seen. In the 1990’s feasibility studies were done on fitting water jets to the Perdana and Handalan and replacing their MM-40’s.

  30. Just thinking out loud…

    Could selling off our used ships be an option to get some of the funding for new ships?

    Maybe traded in to be the part payment for new ships?

  31. Maybe scrap yard or karunguni man but the asking price is unable to get even 1 green hull vessel…….hehe

  32. In many parts the waters are too shallow for anything with a deep draught. Which is why heavy gear is mostly flown in to Layang-Layang and smaller stuff sent by the FTVs. On the other 4 reefs which have no runway, stuff is sent by heli. Personnel transfers are by CB-90s. I know the former CO of one of the reefs (he was a Lt. then); he’s now in the MMEA. Apart from fishing and watching cable (they get more channels than us), there is nothing to do when off duty: can get extremely boring!

    What used ships do we have to sell off? It would be nice if we could find a buyer for the Laksamanas but who would want 30 year old high mileage hulls with various components that need replacing.

  33. @azlan

    Your concern about big ships such as Frigates that would be assigned to the area does not need to be berthed there as supplies of the ship is stocked up before sailing to the area. Crews could live onboard the ship and not need to go ashore (maybe for awhile for rest but thats it) unlike small ships. Also you need to know how a coral reef such as layang2 looks like. The “ring” of the coral reef is shallow, but the centre “lagoon” is deep. Look up maps of Diego garcia, and look where all the large prepositioned us logistics ships is anchored. Any large frigate will always be ported not in the spratlys but in sepanggar. They would only be in the area for operational cruise.

    Selling off some ships? Was thinking of the fac’s…

  34. Can marhalim gives confirmation. Is loa for mica already signed or just is in loi phase ?

    No one will confirmed anything, although Janes had stated Boustead had announced the selection of the MICA, AFAIK there is no such thing. The only thing confirmed earlier this year was NSM.

  35. …….,

    We are on the wrong page.

    – I simply said that in parts of the reefs we claim, that the waters are too shallow for anything with a wide draught.

    – All the reefs we occupy and claim only have jetties that can take an FAC or FTV. Because of a lack of jetty that can take anything larger than an FAC or FTV, large bulky gear is flown in. If there is a need to, stuff from a ship can be transferred ashore but this is time consuming, subject to the current and cumbersome.

    – I did not mention anything about ships needing to be “ported” there or needing Layang-Layang to support it. In fact the only ships that are actually “based” – from time to time – there are CB-90s. We always have a Kedah class or a frigate equivalent in the area and it off course is based at Sepanggar: I never said or implied they were based from the reefs as I’m keenly aware that they have more than enough endurance to be there without external support. Also, their crews do not go ashore, as you pointed out and as I never claimed.

    – Like most of use I’m not privy to anything hush hush but I do have a pretty good idea as to the operational realities we face there as I know several people who have served there; including a former CO of one of the reefs.

    – What I said about the Laksamanas applies to the FACs also: who would want decades old high mileage hulls? Hulls that have various systems that are barely operable or are no longer operable due to old age. Also, as the RMN is so overstretched, everything that is still operable is needed to maintain deployment and training cycles; until replacements are available the RMN simply does not have the luxury of disposing anything. We still use Hang Tuah to train midshipmen and for routine patrols when ideally she should have been stricken off ages ago. She does have a spacious and nice looking ward room though and heads that are not the size of cubicles 🙂

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