The Perfect Size For LMS Batch 2?

RMN officers poring over the model of the ADA class at LIMA 2023. Malaysian Defence picture

SHAH ALAM: Turkish shipbuilder, STM, showcase at LIMA 2023 was among the most visited the booth at the show with a string of visitors from RMN and others coming to see the scale model of the Ada-class corvette. It was the most frequented model of the whole show, I believed.

STM, a state-owned shipyard built the Ada-class corvette and its Ukrainian variant, Ivan Mazepa. The other variant of the corvette – the Pakistan Navy Babur class – is built by another state-owned shipyard, Istanbul Naval Shipyard together with the Karachi Shipyard.

As previously reported, the Ada class, is the design that is to be selected for the LMS Batch II. But as mentioned in the story – the Ada class – is likely to cost more than the budget for the LMS Batch II.

Dearsan C92 corvette. Malaysian Defence picture.

From the story:

As for the second issue on the Ada-class, the cost is said to be over the LMS Batch II budget. Malaysian Defence reported that the budget for the project is to be around RM4.1 billion spread over two RMK, three ships this RMK 12 (2021-2025) and others -five more in RMK 13.
It is because of this the industry thinks a smaller ship, like the Dearsan C92 and Damen Sigma 92 corvettes are more suitable based on the budget.

And as reported also, there was no announcement or even a whisper on the LMS II at LIMA 2023 despite at least five companies (including STM) showing off their proposals for the project.

HHI HD2000 corvette for the LMS Batch 2 project. Malaysian Defence picture.

From Turkey, there was the Dearsan C92 corvette and TAIS Shipyard with its 92-meter OPV and the South Korean Hyundai Heavy Industries with HDC 2000 LMS also at 92 metres in length. Not to forget is the Gading Marine Industries Sdn Bhd/Damen Sigma 92-meter corvette.
TAIS shipyard 92 meter OPV also proposed for the LMS Batch 2 project. Malaysian Defence picture.

Since four of the STM competitors are showing 92-meter long vessels, one might assume that they know something here on the RMN requirements. The Ada-class for the record is 99 meters long. And it is the only one without a VLS – at least the Turkey variant – apart from the TAIS OPV which does not come with a VLS from the start.

The Ukrainian and Pakistan variants of the ADA class are fitted with VLS though. The Ukrainian one is fitted with the VLS for MBDA Sea Ceptor (four VLS one side) at the rear superstructure just before the helicopter hangar.

A model of the Damen Sigma 92 meter proposed by Gading Marine for the LMS Batch 2. Malaysian Defence picture.

As expected, all three Turkish proposals will use the Havelsan Advent CMS if any of them is selected for the RMN. It must be noted that STM signed a collaboration agreement with Malaysian government owned Technology Depository Agency Berhad (TDA) for the LMS Batch 2 and the MMEA’s Multi-Purpose Mission Ship (MPMS) project, including the transfer of technology on June 1. TDA managed the Industrial Collaboration Policy (ICP) from the government procurements.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

40 Comments

  1. The question is

    With the current official direction of the LCS Gowind project, is the LMS Batch 2 project still on the table? Do we have enough money to pay for both projects in RMK12? Or is it now on the backburner (at least for the 3 units LMS B2 planned for RMK12) in lieu of pumping in more money now into the LCS Gowind project?

    Also with the news of official transfer of BNS to the government, should the government transfer all ship design IP previously owned by BNS to Technology Depository Agency Berhad (TDA), so that the government could ask any shipyard in malaysia to produce variants of the Kedah class or the Maharajalela class in the future (for RMN own use or even for export)?

  2. Sorry, I meant to say I cannot see where the torpedo tubes are in the C92.

  3. The silence due to the LMS B2 requirement already deleted due to the government choosing the option of reviving the Gowind project?

    No comments on the ground at LIMA 2023 so not to spoil the atmosphere?

    Hopefully there would be clearer news on the current status of the LMS B2 project in near future.

  4. “the Ada class – is likely to cost more than the budget for the LMS Batch II”
    So its back to the usual wishing for something but reality bites when not enough money. So how? Chop the ADA down to size in hopes it becomes cheaper? Massively FFBNW? Reduce down the number from 3 to 2? Or yet another “creative accounting” to fit all into an unchanged budget in hopes of pumping money some time later aka LCS?
    Or will everyone wake up from their daydreams and actually select a design within the price we could afford? [Probably not!]

    @hulubalang
    “is the LMS Batch 2 project still on the table?”
    Its not a question of if but when, LMS2 will materialise anyhow as its in the 15to5 Plan after all. How it will be configured for evolved missions are another matter.

    “government transfer all ship design IP previously owned by BNS to TDA”
    For what. Since Govt now owns BNS why would they want Govt/naval ships built somewhere else? If LMS2 goes to another design, its unlikely Kedah design will be revived as it no longer has purpose.

  5. Maybe we can trade our kedah to the Germans and then get a discounted meko with vls. Lets say we get 600m for 6 kedah, that’s is more than lms 2 budget.money that we save then can be use to buy more damen opv for mmea.😉😉😉👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼😁😁😁👌👌👌

  6. And here I am wishing upon a wee star that the LMS Batch 2 project stays on course. If ADA class isn’t for us, perhaps the next best would be the Dearsan C92. Hopefully.

  7. … – “.With the current official direction of the LCS Gowind project, is the LMS Batch 2 project still on the table? D”

    You’ve asked this before. As it stands the LMS Batch 2 programme is still very much on.

    … – “ to produce variants of the Kedah class or the Maharajalela class in the future (for RMN own use or even for export)?”

    “For export”? Hardly likely if you really thought about it. What would be the pay off or the tangible benefits for anyone to deject a Malaysian yard to deliver a combatant when they could go Turkish or South Korean?

    Dundun – “Why wouldn’t kedah design has purpose”

    For the very simple reasons that the Meko-A100 would need major redesign work for it to be armed with a VLS cell and other things and that the RMN isn’t happy with certain aspects of the design; namely the way exhaust is pumped out of the ship in lieu of it not having a funnel.

    Wong – “The silence due to the LMS B2 requirement already deleted due to the government choosing the option of reviving the Gowind project”

    What were you expecting to be announced given it’s very early days? The lack of any news does not indicate it was because
    “ the government choosing the option of reviving the Gowind project”. The government was always going to proceed with the LCSs and it was widely known.

  8. Original 15 to 5 plan LMS requirement is drastically different than the current 92m corvette LMS B2, which specifies the same weapons load as the Gowind Frigates (minus ASW capabiliy), a helicopter pad and hangar.

    The change of requirement was mainly due to the lack of clarity on the fate of the Gowind project at the time, and the revamped LMS B2 requirement is to be a Plan B in case the Gowind project went dodo (which was a very big possibility due to multiple government changes plus the covid crisis)

    Now with the Gowind project is officially a go (with 5 ships approved initially in the budget), do they still need a 92m corvette for LMS? Or should the LMS requirement to revert back to the original plan during batch 1 ( of which the original requirement was also not fulfilled by the chinese built ships).

  9. @ azlan

    “The government was always going to proceed with the LCSs and it was widely known”

    There was a point in time that the best case scenario to proceed with the Gowind project was to have only 2 ships completed using whatever remaining of the original Rm9 billion allocation.

    A good reason why the rewritten requirements of the first 3 ships of the LMS B2, which was first released at that particular point in time, listed out weapons that could be reused from the remaining unbuilt Gowinds. As a plan B in case of a worse case scenario happening to the Gowind Project.

  10. 4.1 billion MYR for 8 ships is 512.5 million per ship. That’s only 112 million USD per ship. With that budget, the RMN can just barely manage to acquire 4 ADA or possibly 5 Dearsans. Sorry about this, but one has to do the maths and accept the reality.

  11. If there are no further news on LMS 2, consider it’s already gone up in smoke. I’m tired being optimistic.

  12. … -,”The change of requirement was mainly due to the lack of clarity on the fate of the Gowind project at the time”

    So you have insisted but I have no idea as I heard differently. I do know that whatever the outcome with the LCS:, the RMN specified certain changes to the Batch 2a but very buddying there is a correlation and that changes were the result of delays with the LCS is pure conjecture.

    … – “There was a point in time that the best case scenario to proceed with the Gowind project was to have only 2 ships completed”

    Maybe so but there isn’t any firm indication that the programme has been on hold by the recent LCS announcement which was expected. Also. the fact no firm announcement was made at LIMA was also the expected and doesn’t signify anything.

    Tom Tom – “Sorry about this, but one has to do the maths and accept the reality@

    The “reality “ is that the programme has not been scrapped. and like you; I have no idea how funding will be enabled but I’ll wait and see.

  13. Hulubalang “the revamped LMS B2 requirement is to be a Plan B in case the Gowind project went dodo”

    How a gov decision making works isn’t the same as individuals trying to decide between Vios & city. The gov works through birocracy & they can’t just start,axed, postponed on a whim like an individual.

    LMS2 is never a replacement for the LCS. There’s are no other ships in planning stage & if the LMS2 is axed not only they won’t achieve continuous shipbuilding programme which impact the financial viability of BNS bailouts while RMN is without any new ships.

  14. Akmal – “If there are no further news on LMS 2, consider it’s already gone up in smoke”

    There’s no news in various other things; does it mean they’re also “up in smoke “? There was no news on the LCA, MPA and UAS programmes for quite a while… Is the SPH programme “up in smoke” too due to a lack of “further news”?

    Akmal – “I’m tired being optimistic.”

    By all means continue being “tired” but understand that a programme isn’t necessarily “up in smoke” just because there isn’t “further news” or because you were hoping there would be. It’s very early days with the Batch 2s; what were you expecting ?

  15. Zaft – “LMS2 is never a replacement for the LCS”

    The premise or rather the assumption is that the possibility of the LCS being scrapped; postponed indefinitely or significantly reduced led to the RMN looking at the Batch 2s as a substitute or an interim stop gap measure. The RMN did however looked at the possibility of utilising certain LCS components on the Batch 2s to cater for the possibility of an indefinite delay.

    Ultimately the RMN never seriously expected the LCS to be totally binned and the LCS and LMS are two different requirements for two different set of roles.

  16. >A100
    >VLS

    Is VLS capability part of LMS requirement?

    Also, other meko A100 models also had VLS so I dont imagine accommodating VLS cells to be an issue as there definitely room for it.

  17. Hey Azlan, the main reason I’m tired is because the stupid government is being so damn slow. War is just over the horizon. While you always seems optimistic. I’m impressed. But I’m not having any optimistic much when it comes to the navy procurement.

  18. Aimal – “Hey Azlan, the main reason I’m tired is because the stupid government is being so damn slow”

    It has always been that way. Instead of complaining about the government being slow you should complain about other things; i:e., the overall policy.

    Akmal – “War is just over the horizon”

    Nonsense. Even if it is; it’s not written in stone that we’ll be a part of it and even if we were; we’d be on the periphery and whatever assets we’re in planning to get will not make a difference.,

    Akmal – “ While you always seems optimistic. I’m impressed”

    It’s not that I’m optimistic. I’ve been observing things for a very long time [since the late 1980’s] and I know what to expect. I know that the wheels of bureaucracy have to spin and that a lot of factors come me into play – time extensive.

  19. Ffbnw again and then they okay with vshorad.so what’s wrong with meko design that we already have.why the need for a new design.

  20. The more the merrier. The Meko design is owned by BNS and even if it taken over the MOF, the new management will want it to be involved. Its their fiduciary duty to ensure the company get another stream of income. I heard it myself that previous BHIC CEO asking the navy to give the LMS Batch II to the company at KD Sundang welcoming ceremony.
    A new design will allow for other players to be involved

  21. No, no. Do not give another contract to BHIC. Enough is enough. Don’t make me go to see a shaman to curse the hell out of them.

  22. They way I see it only PM can solve this issues.I have no problem if BNS isgiven the lms2 contract.we spend a fortune so that they can learn how to do a detailed design.Going with another company again will deafeT the whole purpose tsk tsk tsk

  23. BHIC will not be involved even if the government decides that BNS will be involved in LMS Batch 2 as BNS is being bought over by the government. BHIC will remained with Boustead Group which itself is being privatised by LTAT

  24. So lms 2 is actually ngpv batch 2 with different design.my question is are we going to build another lms batch 2 two 🤣😂😂🤦‍♂️to replace all of the fac in the futures.Thank you sir
    Too bad really since now we need to pay for another design.if i were the defmin, I will ask the navy to just arm the kedah and be done with it.if we look at the navy plan they are talking about 8 ship.i don’t think 2 additional ship compare to the kedah is worth the trouble.when the kedah show some kind of ageing issues in the future just do what they are doing with the fac fleet now.the money saved then can be use to build more opv for mmea too replace what the kedah are doing now which just patrolling.

  25. Ujang – “what’s wrong with meko design that we already have.why”

    Major redesign/engineering work will be needed. Firstly it can only take a non deck penetrating system in the B position because the space below deck is utilised. Secondly there is only space amidships for 4 ASMs. Thirdly the RMN is not happy with the present set up for diverting the exhaust (ever noticed that the stern area is painted black and that the class lacks a funnel].

    Hope that answers your question. A question you should ask if whether BNS can actually construct Meko A-100s without external help.

  26. BHIC will not be involved even if the government decides that BNS will be involved in LMS Batch 2 as BNS is being bought over by the government. BHIC will remained with Boustead Group which itself is being privatised by LTAT
    Just want to clarify a few things.Bns is being bought by d gov but bns doesn’t have the meko design ,bhic have, but gov is rather buy a new design than being involved with bhic again.thats some pretty serious bad blood between the gov and bhic.i hope they can work things out.at 190m we can have a fully armed kedah rather than a ffbnw new design.not to mention th commonality.

    @azlan
    1. from mr marhalim we now know that the navy is okay with ffbnw or v shorad so no need for penetrating the deck.
    2.lms would be our team b ,imo no need to have so many asm.
    3.if I remember correctly few years ago bns show a prototype of a more conventional meko.

  27. Ujang – “, I will ask the navy to just arm the kedah and be done w”

    Not as simple as that. You figure the navy hasn’t looked into the possibility? You realise that feasibility studies have been done and proposals made? Also; it it a sound long term ROI to fully upgrade the Kedah as opposed to buying new?

    Ujang – “the money saved then can be use to build more opv for mmea too replace what the kedah are doing now which just patrolling”

    You are parroting “…”. MMEA requirements are separate from RMN ones. The Batch 2s are intended to perform various wartime roles and are intended to do much more than what the Kedahs.

  28. Ujang – “1. from mr marhalim we now know that the navy is okay with ffbnw or v shorad so no need for penetrating the deck”

    No. The navy is not “ok” with it but if the government decides so then there’s nothing the navy can do can it? Note the distinction.

    Ujang- @ we can have a fully armed kedah rather than a ffbnw new design.not to mention th commonality”

    You’re not the first and might not be the last in the line to say no this tune but you do realise that the RMN has legitimate reasons why it needs LMSs; that even if the 6 existing Kedahs were fully fitted out that the RMN still needs more hulls and there are issues at play why at present the RMN does not want more Kedahs and that there are issues with the Kedahs? Like others before you; you are assuming that just because certain things my look logical on paper; will equate to the same in reality.

    Ujang- “2.lms would be our team b ,imo no need to have so many asm”

    Maybe but as it remains deck space or below deck space is very limited in the Kedah. If the RMN decides on triple torp tubes where’s the deck space ?

    Ujang – “3.if I remember correctly few years ago bns show a prototype of a more conventional meko”

    Was almost a decade ago. BNS displayed a Meko A-100 variant with a VLS and funnel for the LCS requirement. I saw it at DSA. As it stands can BNS construct follow on Kedahs without external help? Is there any intention to work with the Germans?

    You can talk about Kedahs till the next eclipse but unless there’s significant change the selected design is the Ada : period/full stop. No chance of any follow on Kedahs.

  29. “The government was always going to proceed with the LCSs and it was widely known.”
    Not necessarily as Anwar has put into his election promise to scrap LCS and redo if he became PM. That obviously didn’t pan out when he actually became PM. Like so many other things…

    People expecting BNS to be involved forget the elephant in the room, or rather 5+1 ‘elephants’ in the yard. Until such when BNS can properly restart LCS construction and complete them, likely only by 2027-2028, the LMS2 will have to either line up behind and gets delivered circa 2030ish or find another yard to parallel build with LCS (perhaps at THHE yard since its also Govt owned now?)

    @Ujang
    “so what’s wrong with meko design that we already have”
    The MEKO design we have is from older generation that lacks certain features found in the latest design ie VLS bank. The newer ones have space for between 12-16 VLS.
    https://www.thyssenkrupp-marinesystems.com/en/products-services/surface-vessels/light-frigates

  30. “Not necessarily as Anwar has put into his election promise to scrap LCS and redo if he became PM”

    A politician indulging in politics.

    There was little chance the programme would be very be scrapped irrespective of what Anwar said and it was verbally accepted within the RMN and industry. There was simply too much at stake.

    “ The newer ones have space for between 12-16 VLS”

    The one displayed by Thyssen for the LCS requirement had a 16 cell VLS, funnel and other improvements based on RMN feedback.

  31. It must noted the latest version of the Meko A100s, Germans and Israeli ones and the MEKO A200s, Egyptian, all have no funnels as well. I believed Thyssen Krup has fixed the problems which afflicted the Kedah class and the South African A200s.

  32. The main issue as you know was the exhaust set up and the injection of seawater. A RMN friend told me he would make it a point to keep his ship as far away as possible from a Kedah when it was belching out smoke.

  33. “A politician indulging in politics.”
    Well we(rakyat) elected them based on what they say & promise, no?

    “Thyssen for the LCS requirement had a 16 cell VLS, etc”
    But that is not the Kedah design nor we own that updated one. If we’re to go with that for LMS2 it would need a restart from scratch, no different than going for a different yard design.

    “unless there’s significant change the selected design is the Ada”
    The problem, as pointed by Marhalim, is we cannot afford for that design with the current budget for LMS2. The significant change will have to come from that, or else other areas where I mentioned above.

  34. “Well we(rakyat) elected them based on what they say & promise, no”

    Whoever we elect will be politicians who by virtue of their profession will indulge in politics. Irrespective of what Anwar said there was never any feeling within the RMN or the industry that he would actually scrap the progranne..

    “But that is not the Kedah design nor we own that updated one”

    It was offered for the LCS requirement based on feedback from the RMN and yes it was a “Kedah design”: a stretched Meko A-100. It was reported as such and I asked BNS people at the stand.

    We are not going for that design; anymore than we are going to raise a combined arms army or pType 31s. Nor did I suggest we go for design. If you read back; reference to the design was in response to someone who suggested we select the Meko-A for the Batch 2s.

    “The problem”

    Whether we can actually afford it at present is a completely different issue to the fact that as it stands the Ada is the leading contender to fulfil the Batch 2 requirement.

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