Sundang, Second LMS launched

Sundang after her launch in 2019 . RMN

SHAH ALAM: Sundang, second LMS launched. PCU Sundang, the second ship of the four LMS class was named and launched in China today. The ship was named and launched by Puan Seri Rusnah A. Rahman, the wife of the Armed Forces chief, at Shuangli, Wuhan China, says TLDM.

The new Sundang took over the name of a patrol class ship of the same name which was decommissioned on June 1, 2005. RMN says Sundang was a type of weapon used by Malay warriors in the past, just like the Keris, the first of class LMS. Pre commissioning unit, Keris, was launched at the same shipyard in China on April 15, this year. Keris launch here.

Sundang
PCU Sundang at the launch ceremony today. RMN

Second of Class

As the second ship of the class, Sundang, carried the pennant number 112. Keris is of course 111. According to RMN, Sundang will be undergoing tests after its launching and is scheduled to be delivered in April, 2020.

Sundang
Sundang at its launch ceremony today. RMN

It said Keris was currently undergoing harbour and acceptance trials. It was expected to be delivered to the RMN by December, this year, as scheduled.

First of class LMS, Keris, prior to its launch. RMN

Two More

Work on the other two LMS are underway at the CSOC shipyard and are expected to be launched by mid of next year. The government signed a contract with Boustead Naval Shipyard for the supply of the four LMS, on March, 23, 2017. Originally two of the LMS were to built in China with another two built at the BNS facility in Pulau Jerejak, Penang.

Sundang after her launch/ RMN

However earlier this year, the contract was revised which led to all of the LMS to be built in China. With the revision, the contract for the LMS was reduced from RM1.17 billion to RM1.05 billion.

– Malaysian Defence

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71 Comments

  1. Congrats to TLDM.

    Is there any indication that the LMS is to be continued for batch 2 ?

    Reply
    There is no indication so farewell

  2. With the current government obviously there will not be a 2nd batch from the same source. If we do get another LMS it will be to a different design so in essence the 5/15 won’t be the 5/15 any longer.

    A follow on class of LMSs from another source will be fitted out differently; so much for commonality and reducing the logistical and support footprint.

    The important thing is that we fully fit out the Chinese sourced LMSs they way they should be, in order for them to do what they’re meant to do. An oversized “when” and”if” however hovers over everything.

  3. congrats RMN for new ship…

    “There is no indication so farewell”…hahaha…that is fast mr marhalim..so new LMS design or contract on progress??

    Reply
    No new contract on progress. Obviously I have been tracking on whether or not any new developments on RMN so I can answer some questions pretty quickly. Some I may not

  4. “With the current government obviously there will not be a 2nd batch from the same source.”

    And rightly so, considering the price we paid for them.

  5. Could a 3rd party shipyard (hint: BNS) buy over the rights to that LMS design? The platform looks sound inspite of the pricetag, and if the local shipyard can build them at a cheaper price, arm it according to our needs, and make use of the local L3 CMS, it could be the affordable patrol ship that it was intended.

  6. Hmm there was a lengthy write up yesterday on this. Suddenly today it is cut short and all pictures is deleted. What is the issue actually (with TLDM right? Even the twitter was deleted)

    TLDM used to have great PR…

  7. @ joe

    The LMS is supposed to perform these roles in addition to patrol.

    – hydrographic surveys (important for our sub fleet and safety of sailing in shallow waters, now done by KD Perantau and rented MV Dayang Sari)

    – mine hunting (now done by Mahamiru class)

    – logistics support and personnel transfer to GSP (now done by Sri Tiga class)

    Can the LMS 68 conduct any of the above roles satisfactorily?

  8. AM,

    In a perfect world; funding would be released for a new batch of LMSs (to enable some of the FACs or Laksamanas) to decommission) and these 4 Chinese made ones would go to the MMEA to be used as patrol asserts.

    Unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world. These 4 ships might never be fully fitted out for RMN service and eventually ((in 5, 8 of more years?) we’ll get other LMSs but constructed to a different design and fitted out differently.

    As I used to say; on paper the 5/15’s great but in reality it’s subject to factors beyond the RMN’s control and may face a natural death due to politics, funding, threat perceptions and other factors.

    With the 4 LMSs; again it will be a combination of politics, poor decisions, funding and lack of political will that plagues the armed services.

  9. @joe
    “Could a 3rd party shipyard (hint: BNS) buy over the rights to that LMS design?”

    Firstly, there would be a hefty price tag for TOT; secondly, BNS doesn’t have the infrastructure or expertise to build the Chinese LMS thus it would incur even more costs; thirdly, this LMS is not suitable for what the RMN wants as … points out.

    @…
    Conveniently forgotten by previous administration in order to sell the idea of buying these overpriced boats.

    But that is old ground, not going to cover it again…

  10. joe – “ The platform looks sound inspite of the pricetag”

    How does it look “sound” when the price tag doesn’t include all the various systems needed for the LMSs to do what they were intended to? The issue is not the platform but what goes on it.

  11. Chua -“BNS doesn’t have the infrastructure or expertise to build the Chinese LMS”.

    If it has the infrastructure to construct the LCSs it has the infrastructure to construct LMSs.

    On expertise, it doesn’t have its own design but if it obtained a design (like with the Kedahs and LCSs) it could construct it.

    The question really is whether constructing the ships in Lumut offer any tangible benefits; whether in cost savings or other areas.

    Chua – “this LMS is not suitable for what the RMN wants”

    We have to assume that if fully fitted our, they can perform the roles intended. We can however go further and question if this modularity concept in the long term will with work for the RMN. It has worked for some but hasn’t for others. In the case of the RMN I know for a fact that it was funding necessity that compelled it to go down the modularity route.

  12. @ chua

    ” Firstly, there would be a hefty price tag for TOT ”
    Should be nothing as even bangladesh can afford with its durjoy class

    ;” secondly, BNS doesn’t have the infrastructure or expertise to build the Chinese LMS thus it would incur even more costs ”
    BNS (or even other shipyards in malaysia) has more than enough infrastructure and expertise to build those LMS. The extra costs (like the current LMS contract) comes from somewere else. Those LMS 68 does not cost the chinese USD60 million each to be build.

    ” thirdly, this LMS is not suitable for what the RMN wants as … points out ”
    That was why i previously proposed the LMS to be a 2 class ship program.
    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/another-perspective-lms-2/

  13. @…
    Supposedly the first 2 roles are to be met via plug in container modules. By and large, the basic ship itself isn’t capable for anything but standard overwater patrols but which is why they have plug module in functions. As for satisfactory, admittedly it would be less efficient than dedicated systems aboard dedicated purpose built ships, but that’s the beauty of these modules as their efficiency can improve with newer modules to replace outdated ones.

    @Chua
    BNS doesn’t have the infrastructure or expertise to build the Chinese LMS? Bullshit!
    If they could built the far bigger and more sophisticated LCS, a much simpler LMS68 is nothing to them. About th price, certainly TOT price will be a bugbear but surely far cheaper than LCS TOT, no?
    As for suitability, see my answer to … above.

    @Azlan
    Which is why Menhan should seek to renego to get TOT for LMS68 at a more reasonable price. We need them so likely going to be building a lot of them, therefore TOTing is justifiable. However the ships themselves will be basic so pricewise when renego it should reflect on this, while the modules cost should be factored differently (with consideration to IP, no of units, R&D, production, lifecycle).

  14. What I understand about naval shipbuilding, which deals with very complex ships packed full of systems, is this: The yard infrastructure must be tooled, and the personnel must be trained, in order to build a specific class of ships. The yard improves in efficiency, and therefore reduces costs, as it gets “practice”.

    The first ship of the class will usually take a longer time and be more expensive to build, the second ship will be faster, and so on. A good shipyard will reach the expected top efficiency by the third or fourth ship. (Sometimes on a very large batch of ships new technologies will be introduced that improves this even further, eg US production runs.) This is why it’s not really worth building a 2-ship class of anything other than large, expensive ships.

    In the case of this LMS, our shipyard would still have to begin this process of learning how to build the LMS. We would be starting at basically to kosong, other than having blueprints. This is why even if the LMS is a good ship and we didn’t cancel the TOT section, we do not gain cost savings until we order the next batch… similar principle to Gempita as we have discussed often here.

    @…
    >”Should be nothing as even bangladesh can afford with its durjoy class”

    The TOT portion was cancelled, remember? Rm122 million savings at least.

    >”The extra costs (like the current LMS contract) comes from somewere else”

    As we all have previously discussed, the cost of the Chinese LMS contract is not 100% the ships alone.

  15. Chua,

    Irrespective of the fact that staff got to be trained, that the lead ship will take longer and other factors; BNS does have the infrastructure to construct LMSs.

    That’s not the issue but whether they will be any tangible benefits (whether in cost savings or other things) for the LMSs to be constructed at Lumut.

    Of course it would be starting from “kosong”. The same would apply to any yard in the world that is constructing a particular design for the first time.

  16. government should just continue to fill up 18 LMS. looking for a new brand ship for LMS role would take a lot time which sebsequently interupt the 15 to 15 program set by the navy. the price? since our new government is sooo ‘transparent and trusthworty’, may be can initiate a new negotiation to reduce the price tag, instead of abandon it

  17. @Jimmy
    But is it suitable for what RMN needs?

    Buying more unsuitable ships just because of commonality, would be chasing sunk costs.

    The chinese LMS could possibly be handed off to MMEA while RMN contract for another design.

  18. @Chua
    With the concept of modular containerised systems, suitability or not really depends on the modules not the ship itself. I would like to see what modular system did LMS went for and what plug in modules are available and which we will buy before making judgement about the suitability of these ships.

    But regardless, if the role envisioned for LMS is low threat patrols then the fit out of LMS is sufficient for usage. Some might argue that its basic configuration is no better than MMEA patrol boats but which is why the modular systems will be the main differentiating point (provided it is well supported with the various modules for the various extra tasks, of course).

  19. First the RMN has to get the right design followed by the right systems to enable the ships perform as intended.

    The RMN’s priority is to actually first get new hulls to perform a number of peacetime roles, followed by modular payloads at a later date to perform other tasks.

    We hope in the long run the RMN finds the whole concept of having different modules for a common hull suitable for its needs. For some navies it has provided the desired capability but others haven’t found the same levels of success with it and have decided not to go down this route. Some navies adopted it out of choice and some (like the RMN) out of sheer necessity.

    Just like how I’ve long speculated that the 5/15 will not remain the 5/15 due to changes in politics, threat perceptions and other factors; my feeling is that the RMN will not entirely follow through with the modular payload concept.

  20. Chua – “The chinese LMS could possibly be handed off to MMEA while RMN contract for another design“

    That will never happen given that the RMN is in such desperate need to replace some of its aged and increasingly expensive and troublesome to maintain FACs and Laksamanas.

    The reality is that these 4 ships will be operated for quite some time and will only be handed over to the MMEA (personally I think they should) after the RMN gets the number of LMSs it’s needs (which could be never or in 15 or 25 years).

  21. joe – “ not really depends on the modules not the ship itself”

    True. We can assume that the actual design – even taking into account the trade offs have to be made – is sufficient some of the intended roles.

    Putting the issue of cash aside, there are a number of sources we can turn to for modular payloads. The issue however is commonality; e.g. if we get Chinese ASMs that will mean we’ll have 3 different types in service (the Lekius and Kasturis and their MM-40s are not going anywhere soon).

  22. This the first and last from China and no additional order. RMN not prefer those ships and the purchase is more to commercial value and trade exchange. The Malaysia should consider to continue with the NGPV second batch. We should reconsider the NGPV second batch and we already invested big fund to buy the techology from German and we stop for no any futher plan to reactive the program and it is wasted the people money.
    The China technology haven’t battle proven yet and no history involve in the real conflicts. China still behind in the radar and electronic technology unlike the west counterpart. Stop getting military hardware from China.

  23. July 16, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    The suitablity of the LMS for RMN should be determined by a qualified parties or person; in this case i strongly believe in what the former RMN admiral say on the LMS ;(primary source, data https://www.google.com.my/amp/www.astroawani.com/berita-malaysia/kapal-lms-yang-dibeli-dari-china-berkualiti-tinggi-tldm-148563%3famp=1 ). All of the old vessels are not cost effective for operation anymore (more than 30years) thus urgently need to be replaced asap. Revising the LMS procurement would definately hamper the 15 to 5 program, or worst the program may stop-most likely due to lack of political will on the defence and security by the current gorvernment.

  24. The LMS should form the bulk numbers of ships in TLDM fleet. Fitting for their current low-threat environment but having flexibility to “upgun” in relatively short time (if modules available) when necessary.

  25. Algojo- “The China technology haven’t battle proven yet and no history involve in the real conflicts. China still behind in the radar and electronic technology unlike the west counterpart. Stop getting military hardware from China”

    How do you define “battle proven”? Have a lot of Western systems we’ve ordered been “battle proven”? The Chinese to a large extent still lack the ability to produce their aircraft engines but in other areas have made huge progress.

    If we stop buying Chinese it will be due to politics and the incompatibility of many Chinese systems with what we currently have: not because of other reasons.

    Jimmy,

    There may be nothing wrong the actual platforms per see but unless they are fully fitted out, they can’t perform the roles intended. The press release quoted the RMN speaking about the platform.

  26. @Algojo
    Tasking a frigate class vessel to do a patrol vessel job is not cost efficient nor smart in managing resources. Neither is NGPV sufficiently fitted out for the roles called upon such a ship. I mean, a guns only ship is just a joke!

    If TLDM had intended to buy more NGPV, I’d rather they spend it on more LMS or Gowinds (depending on the roles needed for 2nd batch). The highly proven (& highly expensive) Western systems are what got the NGPV into this predicament when the Government tried to economise the Navy. If we go for quantity, it needs to be cheap. If we want quality, it needs to be fully fitted for the multitude of roles & be good at them.

  27. @Jimmy

    Even RMN admirals have political considerations they must obey. Rather than accept blindly when people say the sky is green, we need to see with our own eyes what colour the sky is. And then question why did an official say it is green. That is how a true democracy is supposed to work.

    As far as we know the 15 to 5 program is a fancy infographic, nothing more. The real strength (or weakness) of the program is not in pretty pictures and impressive words, but in technical specs, dollars and cents.

    From that perspective, no matter what some people may claim, the Chinese LMS is overpriced, has no commonality with existing equipment, doesn’t have any known exceptional capability over other designs, and doesn’t have any equipment or future upgrade path to fulfill the hydrographic and MCM roles of LMS.

    That is the true colour of the Chinese LMS.

    @Azlan
    Agreed with your comments, you’re probably right.

    @Joe
    NGPV’s problem is disappearing money.

  28. Clarification on the Kedahs. They were intended to replace the Kris and Sabah class in performing various peacetime duties. Their displacement and size was based on the range and endurance needed to perform routine patrols in the EEZ lasting 2/3 weeks. To perform secondary/low threat duties in times of conflict they were intended to be modestly armed – the higher threat stuff was supposed to have been done by the Lekius, of which the RMN saw a need for 6.

    Unless the government can give a firm guarantee that any follow on Kedahs will be fully fitted out, there is no point in constructing any more. Funding should be released to the MMEA in order for it to get more OPVs which in turn will lessen the burden that the RMN is currently carrying.

  29. Chua – “The real strength (or weakness) of the program is not in pretty pictures and impressive words, but in technical specs, dollars and cents.”

    On paper it’s great. Long term cost savings and commonality.

    In reality, unfortunately dependent on factors beyond the RMN’s control and over time subject (like the RMAF’s CAP 55) to change due to a host of factors. We must also ask why the RMN came up with the 5/15 and why many serving RMN people were not convinced it is feasible.

  30. Chua,

    I hope I’m wrong as the RMN doesn’t have the luxury of getting it wrong again. On the modular payload concept, I was just stating the facts. It works for some and doesn’t for others. What may work for others doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for us – so many factors involved.

  31. joe – “but having flexibility to “upgun” in relatively short time (if modules available) when necessary”

    – Modules in sufficient quantity will have to bought. We’ll have to determine what modules we need more, compared to others. Obviously we’ll only have a need for a handful of MCM modules but might need a larger number of say ASuW modules. As a well know naval write/photographer once said to me years ago : “the bulk of ships that are “fitted for” but not “with” usually remain “fitted for”.

    – Modules have to be pre positioned in the right place: e.g. a LMS based in Sepanggar fitted with a MCM module will have to head to base if a module for say ASuW is needed but the module has to be there. Flying it in from Lumut might take an extra day.

    – A LMS with the right module has to be at the right place at the right time. A LMS at sea conducting MCM won’t be useful if there’s a sudden requirement for an ASW module. Assuming there’s no other LMSs at sea fitted for ASW, the LMS already at sea but fitted for ASW will have to rush back to base to be reconfigured.

    – Maintaining skill levels will be challenging. A ship’s crew might spend more time going to sea with ASuW modules and less with say MCM modules but MCM requires more practice and is harder to conduct. A possible way would be to maintain extra crews who have more experience and skill sets in certain areas and have then embarked when required but do we have the manpower?

    No idea if there’s a Danish Defence Attaché at their embassy but we should be asking the Danes for input on their experiences with modular payloads. It’s telling that in Danish service modules were rarely switched.

  32. @ azlan

    The LMS 68 was never planned to be built in Lumut. It was planned to be built in BNS Pulau Jerejak Penang. The LMS 68 could probably be build in any other of our local shipyards with no problems.

    On the Kedahs.

    Pushing for cost savings would probably half the original cost of the ship, but it would have little difference in capability to MMEAs Damen OPV1800, which costs even cheaper than the LMS 68. Pushing to fully arm the Kedahs will creep the price close to the Gowinds, which IMO we would be better off getting the gowinds instead. Catch 22.

    @ chua

    I dont think you have a full understanding of how a ship is build. It is totally different to building cars or IFVs. You dont need specific tools, jigs or specific production lines for different ships like you build cars or IFVs. And LMS 68 is anything but complex ships.

    Usually slow process of 1st ship by a shipyard is because it does not have continuous build experience of any type of ships, so your overall manpower needs to be sourced and trained from scratch. Busy shipyards, like the koreans or indonesians for example have no problems building any type of ships on schedule, as they have the manpower on site continuously building ship after ship.

    The key is continuously building ships, even if you build 5 different ships one after another.

    ———————————————-

    On MMEA

    They are basically stretched thin just by the menance of the vietnamese IUU fishing fleet, not to mention smuggling and other activities. Malaysia are losing more than RM2 billion annually to illegal fishing! It should be a no brainer that investing in MMEA would reap great profits!

    2 pronged strategy to gain more from fishing.

    1. Equip MMEA with more OPVs. DAMEN OPV1800 costs USD58 million each, even larger Larsen & Toubro Vikram-class is just USD32 milion each.

    2. Create a development program (ala FELDA) for malaysian (both semenanjung and sabah sarawak) fishermen to be able to afford better boats. To increase the number of malaysian fishing fleet and increase the fish landing tonnage in malaysia. Statistically we should see the reduction in vietnamese annual fish tonnage and the increase of malaysian fish tonnage.

    Reply
    I am guessing here but it is likely if we ordered the Damen OPV directly from, to be the Damen facility in Romania or Vietnam!, it would have been cheaper. It is unlikely that if we got the Indian CG boat for that price if we built it here even if we had open up the competition. I like the Vikram class OPV, we could get take as it is apart from the guns of course.

  33. @Azlan
    “It’s telling that in Danish service modules were rarely switched.”
    Yeah but also because they have more ship classes equipped to mount Stanflex modules (9 classes from PVs to frigates). My guess is, they now have enough hulls to mount all their available modules.

    But I agree with the rest of your comments. Need to see what modules are available, what we will buy, how many we buy, and where they will be located.

  34. @…
    >”The key is continuously building ships, even if you build 5 different ships one after another.”

    No. It would ease production planning significantly for a lot of people if that were so, but no.

    It is true that nations with large shipbuilding industries naturally have cost and efficiency advantages, but this is the same for every industry – in the same way Malaysia has advantages of manpower and infrastructure in petroleum exploitation.

    But continuous production of a single class of warship is also vitally important to the cost of the warship, for the reasons I explained. That is why there is so much trouble with, for example, the British shipbuilding programs.

  35. @ azlan

    Regarding modules.

    If looking at the original LMS concept, modules would be needed for:
    – mine hunting
    – hydrography
    – HADR
    Probably
    – AShM module (surface attack)
    – diving support module

    Going with my previous plan with LMS A and LMS B
    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/LMS-concept-2.jpg
    Modules would be needed for
    – mine hunting
    – AShM module
    – dive support
    – HADR

    But if you read through the official 15 to 5 plan (which is not just an infographic like CAP55 is), in small print there is actually a plan to buy a specialized hydrographic ship (not the LMS) to replace KD Mutiara, and not surprisingly this ship is conviniently left out of the future 5 ship list!

    Regarding modular mine hunting

    IMO there should be at least 3 sets of systems, 2 for operational standby, 1 always for training.

    Minehunting crew should be separate from the ship crew. Minehunters should be able to operate from any crafts of opportunity, or even from shore.

    1 set of minehunting system set IMO cannot fit on just 1 ship. I am looking at 1 minehunting system set to fit on 1 LPD/MRSS and 2 LMS. It would comprise of control containers, equipment containers, diving support containers, USVs, UUVs and UAVs.

    @ chua

    ” That is why there is so much trouble with, for example, the British shipbuilding programs ”

    The trouble with british shipbuilding program is that it is not continuous. After the carrier was completed, people are laid off. Gaps between ship builds is what will cause waste in costs, and capability, quality and experience suffers.

  36. @ marhalim

    Even at the current price of locally built DAMEN OPV1800, it is still just 1/3rd of the proposed cost of batch 2 Kedahs!

    We could probably equip MMEA with 21 large OPVs by 2030 by just investing USD500 million per 5 year rancangan Malaysia plan.

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/apmm-plans/#comment-321553

    _______________________

    http://www.hmetro.com.my/utama/2019/07/475888/tiga-jam-potong-pukat

    The Vietnamese fishermens are getting more aggressive. I see the use of a long endurance sail patrol ship, with 4 RHIBs to use for over the horizon chase, would be a viable idea to try (to be used along with normal OPVs of course). Sail powered movement would not be hampered by entanglement with fishing nets.

  37. ….

    On paper and from a technical perspective; there’s a lot we can do. All is needed is just adequate funding and the political will. We can also do or “tweak” various things to make things more adaptable for our specific needs; whether in the systems, operating concepts, the manning or the actual platform.

    I’m just not convinced that it’s the right direction to take and whether the RMN will even follow through with the modular concept. Things are fluid and uncertain; I will not be surprised if in the near future we adopt a different approach.

    Everything is a trade off and it depends on how much trade offs and in what area one is willing or is forced to take. There is no right or wrong or what’s the best option; merely finding the best or most ideal middle ground.

    From dissuasions I had with active serving people (including a former squadron CO of our 4 MCMVs) and from reading about reservations that exist within the USN’s MCM community: as well the direction others have taken; my view is that we still need dedicated MCMVs. Yes I’m very aware that dedicated MCMVs cost an arm and leg, that there are advantages in just investing in MCM modules (also advantages in not doing so) and that there’s no cash at present. We are after all talking about the years to come; in that time the political, financial and geo political situation could be very different.

  38. @…
    >”The trouble with british shipbuilding program is that it is not continuous.”
    >”Gaps between ship builds is what will cause waste in costs, and capability, quality and experience suffers.”

    Their trouble (besides funding and global competition) is not just that they are not continuous in building individual ships, they are also not continuous in type. E.g., after finishing one frigate, they have no other frigate to continue to.

    Furthermore (and relevant to this thread), they have to wait out delays caused by lack of funding because, no, shipyards cannot interrupt building one design, to jump to another, and pick up where they left off. Look at the history of shipbuilding, you will find no cases of such production schedule at any one yard.

  39. @ azlan

    On future MCMVs

    Even though there are countries who are buying dedicated MCMVs (for example indonesia just ordered 2 a few months ago), most of the future MCM systems does not require a dedicated MCMV to operate. Look at the latest dutch/belgian MCMV program that is recently won by Naval Group / ECA Group.

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7QZE6yWsAArlw0.png

    The ship itself is not used to do MCM. It is just a platform with hangars and davits to carry all the unmanned systems, UUV, USV and UAV that is actually doe the detection and destruction of mines.

    Just a question.

    Do we stockpile mines? We do practice MCM but i have never heard of any mining practice that we do.

    @ chua

    Dont put 2 different problems as 1.

    1. Problems with building the ship (shipyard problem)

    2. Problems with the ship design (not the shipyard problem)

    Some ships have problems because of its design. Some shipbuilding have been delayed as the design is still not frozen. British Type 26 and Type 31e frigate comes to mind. Not many countries have excellent pool of design resources. Netherlands IMO one of the best.

    If the design is good, a shipyard can build any of them without problems, even different design one after another. PT PAL for example has build commercial ships, frigates, LPDs one after another without issues.

    Why good planning needs to be done. Shipbuiding in Lumut for example, needs to be continuous, if no MRSS, Gowind batch 2 needs to be ordered and build after the 1st batch completed, not after 2030 as per planned.

  40. @ azlan

    On future MCMVs

    Even though there are countries who are buying dedicated MCMVs (for example indonesia just ordered 2 a few months ago), most of the future MCM systems does not require a dedicated MCMV to operate. Look at the latest dutch/belgian MCMV program that is recently won by Naval Group / ECA Group.

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7QZE6yWsAArlw0.png

    The ship itself is not used to do MCM. It is just a platform with hangars and davits to carry all the unmanned systems, UUV, USV and UAV that is actually doe the detection and destruction of mines.

    Just a question.

    Do we stockpile mines? We do practice MCM but i have never heard of any mining practice that we do.

    @ chua

    Dont put 2 different problems as 1.

    1. Problems with building the ship (shipyard problem)

    2. Problems with the ship design (not the shipyard problem)

    Some ships have problems because of its design. Some shipbuilding have been delayed as the design is still not frozen. British Type 26 and Type 31e frigate comes to mind. Not many countries have excellent pool of design resources. Netherlands IMO one of the best.

    If the design is good, a shipyard can build any of them without problems, even different design one after another. PT PAL for example has build commercial ships, frigates, LPDs one after another without issues.

    Why good planning needs to be done. Shipbuiding in Lumut for example, needs to be continuous, if no MRSS, Gowind batch 2 needs to be ordered and build after the 1st batch completed, not after 2030 as per planned.

  41. Building ships locally, although will not allow us to be independent in building complex ships (we would never be able to locally design and build all the engines, defence hardware such as radars, sonars, guns, missiles etc.) it has other advantages.

    The intimate knowledge of the ins and outs of the ship will make it easier for us to maintain and upgrade the ships in the future. There will be knowledge in what actually went into the ships, what alterations has been made, what problems happened during building, what works and what is not etc etc. For example, one of the regulars here (Api 69) probably knows more about the kedah class than about his own spouse!

  42. Interesting, when sundang was launched, the Malaysian Government announced foreclosure of a Chinese company bank acct that has RM1 billion in it. The co was involved in the frozen sabah gas pipeline. Maybe we did not pay anything for the LMS

    Reply
    You wish

  43. @Azlan
    >”we still need dedicated MCMVs. Yes I’m very aware that dedicated MCMVs cost an arm and leg, that there are advantages in just investing in MCM modules (also advantages in not doing so) and that there’s no cash at present.”

    For general information – the DCNS minehunter costs $2.25 billion for 12 fully-equipped ships, 10 mission sets and 100 drones. That is $187.5 million per.

    If we buy four ships, that is $750m.

    The ships themselves may (or may not) be very expensive, but the sonar, sensors and drones certainly are. That is the nature of the instruments involved – for the same reason ASW helicopters can be more expensive than the ship it flies off!

    @…
    Type 26 was delayed (and order cut) due to overall defence budget funding issues.

    Again, you will not find most (if any) shipyards building 2 ships of one design, then 1 ship of another design, then back to 1 ship of the first design, etc. (unless they eat hefty costs)

    I don’t believe PT PAL interrupts its production runs in such a manner either. Again, I invite you to look at the history of warship production worldwide.

    Possibly the only system that can accomplish something like this is the German MEKO, and even then they are really similar ship hulls into which the different equipment and weapons fit like standardised “lego” pieces

  44. … – “ UUV, USV and UAV that is actually doe the detection and destruction of mines”

    Yes I’m aware of that. At the moment the primary means of dealing with mines is the wire sweep and ROVs (diver are also used when there’s a need).

    In the future it will be without the wire sweep (which the RN – irs inventor- did away with years ago) and only with ROVs, USVs, etc but the actual platform will still be MCM orientated and configured.: the hull will contain various features needed for MCM (needed even-though MCM will be done from a distance away now) and the main focus of the crew will be MCM.

    … – “Do we stockpile mines? We do practice MCM but i have never heard of any mining practice that we do.”

    We have at least 2 types of Italian mines. These can be laid by any ship that has rails.

  45. …. – “Why good planning needs to be done”

    Unfortunately a lot of things should be done but whether it can be done is another matter; politics and the focus we put on defence being as it is.

    We’ll only be able to get a proper indication as to the approach the government will take once – or if – things become stable from a political and financial viewpoint. If Anwar realises his dream of occupying the top seat at Putra Jaya my guess is that we’ll lean more towards Uncle Sam when it comes to sourcing hardware.

    If that happens we’ll again be seeing enlightened individuals here lamenting about the U.S. not providing source and object codes (not that we have much need for them) and our U.S sourced hardware bring vulnerable to sanctions – the reality is that all countries do not readily hand out source and object codes and all countries can and do place sanctions/embargoes should the need arise.

    Hanging over everything is our policy of placing national interests first when it comes to procurement and the current system we have in place with regards to the needs of the local industry coming first for the sake of national interests.

  46. Chua – “The ships themselves may (or may not) be very expensive”

    Incorrect.

    Hull for hull; MCMVs hulls tend to be more expensive compared to other ships because of their construction. They need to be less mine resistant and their hulls will contain features (including different materials for construction) normal hulls don’t.

    Granted with USVs and ROVs a newer MCMV can perform detection and sweeping from a further distance but their hulls will still be less mine resistant.

    Apart from the actual hull constructed differently MCMVs also contain other stuff that drives prices up. The Mahamirus have thrusters for precise maneuvering when in or near a mine field.

  47. @ chua

    You must look at the build history of the specific shipyard. Not just build history of just warships.

    Another info on future MCMVs. The increasing use of offboard systems means that the ships itself does not need to be non-magnetic like previously. Why the new MCMVs are bigger, fiberglass and wooden ships are difficult to be build in the size similar to the dutch/belgian MCMV which is more than 2000 tonnes in displacement. Basically they are just places to store and deploy the UUV and USV that will be doing all the mine detection and mine destruction. In the essence, the MCMV itself is no longer a required unit to destroy mines, and basically any ships of opportunity that can carry the MCM systems like UUV and USV can undertake the MCM task.

    Lets see in a few years which system will be more adopted widely. Some like denmark and USA believes in offboard capability, australia is moving towards the same direction. Others like japan, indonesia, dutch and belgians are still building dedicated MCMVs

  48. “Interesting, when sundang was launched, the Malaysian Government announced foreclosure of a Chinese company bank acct that has RM1 billion in it. The co was involved in the frozen sabah gas pipeline. Maybe we did not pay anything for the LMS”

    That was money paid out by the previous administration for work not done.

  49. …. – “Basically they are just places to store and deploy the UUV and USV that will be doing all the mine detection and mine destruction”

    And I agree and as I said previously : “I’m aware of that”.

    The same to a more limited extent applies to current MCMVs. The wire sweep or Opresa is primarily for mooted mines. For bottom laid and drifting mines a ROV is used (only after sonar has detected something). In a way current or old school MCMVs are also just the platform to carry the means to conduct MCM.

    …. – “basically any ships of opportunity that can carry the MCM systems like UUV and USV can undertake the MCM task”

    The fact that MCM is increasingly reliant on robotics doesn’t do away with the fact that these ships are still “MCMVs”. It’s the way they go about their business that has changed, not their role.

    As to “any” ships being capable of doing the job; that’s a matter of opinion and depends on who you ask. Many will say “yes” but many will “emphatically say “no”. It’s not a matter or who is right or wrong but navies finding the best middle ground.

    …. – “Lets see in a few years which system will be more adopted widely”

    Indeed but whether more or less navies adopt it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most ideal approach : navies do what they feel best suits their needs.

    Like many things, we’ve actually discussed in depth this topic preciously. We can expand a few thousand more words on the topic and you can continue giving facts to reinforce your narrative; ultimately you’re personally bought on the idea; I’m not – simple as that. If you feel it’s the best approach, fine by me. No skin off my back

  50. A bit off topic but still this question keep on playing on my mind :
    Why we never consider buying ships from Japan?

    Reply
    Because until 2017, Japan laws don’t allow them to sell arms.

  51. Just some thoughts….

    – @… says that I know the Kedah class more than my own wife. Could be… could be… LOL!

    – MCMVs need to be anti-magnetic. Thus, the hull is normally fibreglass or wood. Steel used are SUS316 or SUS 316L. Even the machinery like the diesel engines are non-magnetic. Thus, the cost to build is naturally higher.

    – LMS is not a complex ship. It is relatively simple to build. Any class A yard in Malaysia can build it. Not much integrated systems, both for the platform and payload. Even the Kedah class, the last ship of which was delivered in 2010, is of a level of complexity (both in the building and in the operating) much much higher than these LMS.

    – Main issue in Malaysian naval shipbuilding is the non-continuity of shipbuilding contracts from the Government. Also, the use of differing designs further complicates the whole situation. For example, IMO, if the LCS design was based on the KEDAH class, there would be significantly less issues compared to what is being faced now by BNS.

  52. @ api69

    LoL!
    Sorry to mention you on that.

    Regarding MCMV.

    They used to have to be non-magnetic as they need to be physically in the area to be swept for mines.

    Nowadays it is no longer the case. All minehunting systems (sonars, noisemakers, magnetic influence systems, UUVs to carry and attach demolition charges to suspected mines etc etc) can be remotely controlled from afar.

    Even if some countries still do build dedicated MCMVs, i doubt if it is still build to full non-magnetic standards.

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/DXXUhpGVwAE13CW.jpg

    On naval shipbuilding. Building different ship designs do complicate things, but IMO the main cause of issues faced is the loss of knowledge and skills due to manpower laid off between project builds.

  53. Api-“For example, IMO, if the LCS design was based on the KEDAH class”

    Thyssen (which had taken over as the main entity in the German Naval Group) offered us a LCS based on a larger and lengthened version of the Meko 100.

  54. Api,

    Yes. The Mahamirus were the first GRP hulls ships in the region and when they entered service were way ahead of anything else operated regionally. The engines are also mounted on cradles. In
    contrast; the former ex RN Ton and Ham class ships had wooden hulls.

    The availability of robotics means that MCMVs (or ships fitted with MCM modules) can carry out sweeps from a greater distance than before but the hulls of dedicated MCMVs are still non magnetic. This is important as there is always a likelihood that a MCMV may come across an undetected mine whilst in transit to an area known to have mines or whilst routine patrolling.

    The biggest challenge is in dealing with newer mines that are harder to detect. Some may be encased in ceramic to make detection difficult and some may have “smart” sensors that can be programmed to activate only when a specific acoustic has been detected.

    The biggest things going for them are mines are still relatively inexpensive, have a long shelf life, require little maintenance and can be laid by any ship that has rails.

  55. “Main issue in Malaysian naval shipbuilding is the non-continuity of shipbuilding contracts from the Government. “-agreed. A good example is Australian gov parcelled out naval shipbuilding contracts from time to time across its own shipyards.

  56. @ azlan

    Although Naval Group has won the dutch-belgian MCMV tender, it still has not publicly unveiled their ship specs.

    But we do know Damen MCMV ship specs:

    The Damen mothership being proposed is 91.3 meters long with a displacement of 3,025 tons. It features a bow-mounted Mine Avoidance Sonar. The hull form is based on the Royal Australian Navy new training ship MV Sycamore which Damen delivered in 2017. The vessel has a steel hull but Damen was able to reduce the acoustic, magnetic and electrical signatures of its MCM vessel down to levels typically found in a Frigate type of ship.

    So basically it is an OPV (not unlike MMEAs OPV by the way) with large hangars for MCM tools.

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/DxrFb4hX4AEbUxf.jpg

  57. Api,

    Based on what you know on the Kedahs, as part of the pre delivery trials carried out by BNS; were shock trials carried out?

    With the USN shock trials are carried out by detonating either a mine or a explosive device placed on the seabed. No idea about the Kasturis and Lekius but Intermarine did conduct shock trials on the Mahamirus prior to handover to the RMN.

  58. … – “ levels typically found in a Frigate type of ship”

    Frigates and all other types of ships constructed using non magnetic hulls still have to be degaussed even if using newer methods to “reduce” magnetic levels. The problem is that ships often do not go to the degaussing range because of operational commitments.

    Based on a customer’s requirements we can argue that a hull now doesn’t necessarily have to be a non magnetic GRP one but given that there’s always a possibility that undetected mines will be encountered; some level magnetic reduction is required, whether by a GRP hull or other means. Undetected mines can be a hazard whilst the ship has deployed its USVs or ROVs from a distance away from a known minefield or whilst doing other things. Which is why purpose built MCMVs like the ones used by the Finns still have non magnetic hulls and fittings.

    …. – “So basically it is an OPV (not unlike MMEAs OPV by the way) with large hangars for MCM tools.”

    That’s one way of looking at it.

    For me; irrespective of whether it’s an OPV or something else; the fact that it has a “mine avoidance sonar” and is configured for MCM; means that it is a MCMV. Its the way of doing business that has changed not the role; hence the designation; whether permanently by being mission specific or periodically, by having modules.

  59. @Azlan,

    From what I was informed, the NGPVs shock requirements as required by the RMN was via calculations only. What I know for certain is that modifications to critical COTS equipment such as the diesel engines were needed to fulfill the shock requirements.

    Wonder if the LCS requires actual shock test or simply mirrors the NGPV.

    BTW, hope the RMN degaussing range is operational already….

  60. @ api69

    A question on degaussing.

    There are some ship design that is advertised as having ” built-in 3D degaussing system”. What is that actually, and is any of our ships have something like that?

    @ azlan

    On mine avoidance sonar.

    Our Kedah-class has the Elac Nautik NDS 3060 dual-frequency (30kHz and 70kHz) active/passive sonar system for mine avoidance.

    Yes any ship doing mine hunting can be called MCMV, and that can arguably include ship of opportunity with embarked MCM tools and modules.

  61. Api,

    Thank you. That was very helpful.

    Yes it would make sense for actual shock tests to be conducted on the LCSs. If I’m not mistaken the new degaussing range will be at Sepanggar but I’m not sure if the one at Lumut will be maintained.

  62. …. – “Our Kedah-class has”

    Yes it does. It’s called an “obstacle avoidance sonar” (strange designation that leaves room for a bit of ambiguity).

    …. – “Yes any ship doing mine hunting can be called MCMV”

    As I said – “means that it is a MCMV. Its the way of doing business that has changed not the role; hence the designation; whether permanently by being mission specific or periodically, by having modules“

  63. The one in Lumut was delivered by a German company but was refurbished by a British company years later. A common problem is that ships don’t get degaussed as often as they should due to operational commitments.

    Magnetic mines are the most common but others such as acoustic ones are out there.

  64. @ api69

    If NGPV has them, the SGPV should also have the same system. BTW why something planned as an OPV has such an advanced system? Do we really have the budget to build all 27 of them at USD300 mil each as per original plan? How did they come out with the 27 ship number in the 1st place?

    If a ship has a build-in degaussing system, does it mean that it dont need to go to a degaussing range?

  65. ….

    .My guess is no. Still has to go to a degaussing range.

    Degaussing cables have been around since WW2; invented by the Brits.

  66. a bit of news on the regional vessels similar to the LMS 68

    Indonesia has confirmed 4x BAE (bofors) 57mm guns for its KCR60. 2 to be fitted on existing KCR60, 2 more on brand new KCR60.

    http://www.baesystems.com/en-us/article/bae-systems-57mm-gun-systems-selected-for-indonesian-navy-s-fast-attack-craft

    I hope that TLDM could study if our old Bofors 57mm from FACs can be retrofitted to the LMS 68. The original design for the ship, the Durjoy class is fitted with Chinese 57mm gun. We already have experience in retrofitting bofors 57mm before, replacing the MMEA Langkawi-class OPV (ex TLDM Musytari-class) 100mm Creusot-Loire gun.

    http://mmea.gov.my/images/WILSAB/dm15/KM_BANGGI/06-4126920-banggi-7502.jpg

  67. What a joke when your defence minister calls a 47 year old boat “canggih”, and doesnt even know the difference between the bofors 40mm and a GMPG?

  68. @ …

    Yeah, the ship should be capable of degaussing itself if it is fitted with the degaussing cables. I am sure the LCS would be fitted with these as well.

    Do note that the NGPVs were originally intended to be mini-frigates, but due to financial constraints, the concept of FFBNW was adopted. It would be near impossible to install a degaussing system once a ship has been built as it needs to be integrated into the whole design, i.e. system-ship interface.

    As to the 27 in nos, that was agreed during the privatisation of the yard. At that juncture, the ships were intended to be replacement for the small PCs and fitted with only PC systems. That changed over the years, culminating in the present NGPV. As I understand, there was no value commitment in the privatisation agreement as to the price of each NGPV.

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