SHAH ALAM: Even though LMS Batch 2 was the underlying factor at LIMA 2023, there was also talk on upgrading the Kedah-class ships or known in the RMN as the Skuadron 17 Patrol Vessel (PV). PV17 Squadron is the formal name for the six-strong Kedah class ships, namely KD Kedah (171); KD Pahang (172); KD Perak (173); KD Terengganu (174); KD Kelantan (175) and KD Selangor (176).
As you are aware, the six-ship class are around 17 years old and younger (though technically the first two are around 24 years old as the steel was cut in 1999). Two of the ships have undergone intensive refit at Boustead Naval Ship (BNS) within the last three years, first KD Kedah and the latest was KD Terengganu.
During the intensive refit, the ships have undergone limited upgrading to replace some of the original equipment installed including EO and others. The squadron is also getting a new RESM to replace the original one.
And the word at the LIMA 2023 is that the RMN was looking to upgrade the weapons capability of the Kedah class with missiles -surface-to-surface and VSHORAD system. The candidate for the SSM is the NSM as the missiles are already bought ready for integration on the ships.
As for the VSHORAD, it is likely to be the Mistral from MBDA either in the twin launcher or four launcher remote control configuration. There are other VSHORAD candidates of course.
How likely this will be done then as we have heard the same thing – about up-arming the Kedah class – for some time now? I was told that it may happen as the upgrades are deemed not too costly (NSM already bought) and it had the backing of the RMN leadership. The lack of missile armed ships in the RMN Eastern Fleet is also another factor, I am told.
RMN had also recently issued a tender for the maintenance, up-keep, spares provision and training for the Kedah class CMS, the COSYS 110-M01. Only one bidder with a proposal for RM9.4 million had competed for the tender.
That said I was told that even RMN are also divided on whether it was cost effective to upgrade the Kedah class. The inherent problems with the ships were the main reasons the scepticism.
As you aware the first two Kedah class were commissioned around seven years after they were completed due to the troubles caused by the original builder, PSC Sdn Bhd. Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) was set up to complete project, the first two ships and the subsequent four.
As the task to complete the project, the problems with the ships were never rectified and as such continue to be on-going issue. This one of the reasons I am deeply sceptical of the completion of the LCS project as the main task now was to complete them, hook or by crook. How they perform in service in the future is not the shipyard problems.
— Malaysian DefenceIf you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment