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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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