Third LMS Launched

Third LMS after her launch in October 2020. RMN

SHAH ALAM: The third Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has been launched. The ship -pennant number 113 – was launched at the Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group (WISG) shipyard in Wuhan, China on 28 October, the RMN said in a release.

It said the ship would now undergo acceptance trials in Wuhan prior to delivery planned in September 2021. The completion came just six months after Wuhan was released from a lockdown on April 11 following the spread of the coronavirus.

Third LMS prior to her launch. RMN

Wuhan – where Covid 19 was first detected in late 2019 – was put under total lockdown on January 23. The lockdown meant that the launch of both ships were delayed by about two months at least.
Third LMS after her launch. RMN

RMN also said the third LMS will be named when the ship is delivered in September 2021. It said the fourth LMS is expected to be launch next month. As for KD Sundang, the RMN did not state any date for its delivery.
Sundang after her launch . RMN

As you are aware the ship was supposed to sail home in April but its delivery was delayed indefinitely due to the travel restrictions imposed following the pandemic.
KD Keris arriving at the Sepanggar naval base jetty for the welcoming ceremony

RMN said Sundang will only be delivered once the crew of the ship completed their familiarisation training. It did not say when this was supposed to take place. Sundang it appears remained at Qidong, Shanghai where she and her sister ship, KD Keris had conducted their sea trials. Keris as you are aware was delivered to RMN at Qidong.
The sensor on top of KD Keris.

The government signed a contract with Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) for the supply of the four LMS, in 2017. BNS contracted with China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Corporation (CSOC) for the design and manufacture of the LMS. Originally two of the LMS were to be built in China with another two built at the BNS facility in Pulau Jerejak, Penang.
KD Keris 30mm CS/AN3 RWS

However a revision of the contract terms in early 2019 saw the contract price reduced and the last two LMS to be built in China.

— Malaysian Defence

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26 Comments

  1. Just speculating here, does the revision of the contract which resulted in reduce price may be connected to intellectual property/tot and/or type of electronics used?

    Reply
    IP and TOT most likely

  2. from the latest info

    the schedule is

    KD Sundang – before end of 2020

    LMS 3 – May 2021

    LMS 4 – August 2021

    BTW Marhalim, there are conflicting information from you. Which one is the correct designation for the 30mm RWS?

    Is it CS/AN3 or the one you wrote in your earlier article CS/AN2?

    Reply
    CS/AN3 based on the release at the delivery of Keris. Its September 2021 for LMS 3 probably November 2021 for LMS 4

  3. @ kamal

    If only for lawan penyeludup, lanun; that should be the main tasks of MMEA ship, not TLDM. To lawan the sulu invaders, a more potently armed and armoured ship (not necessarily need to be larger or even as large as the current LMS) is arguably needed, that would be nimble and be able to take the fight to swarms of small and fast boats.

    The LMS costs so much more than the MMEAs larger DAMEN OPV 1800 and just similarly armed. Not the most prudent use of the limited defence budget that we have, but clearly not as bad as other procurements.

    Reply
    The only good thing about it was the construction of the ships. If not for Covid it is likely by mid of next year all four will be delivered. Yes I am aware of the problems reportedly on them but as for keeping to the schedule it’s one of the best, even with the pandemic

  4. off topic

    Just look at how big and tall is this so called “medium” tank, the FNSS/Pindad Harimau.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2Q7l7Q2yxeg/X5vlCyBWzQI/AAAAAAABQIY/IYyTOsqdrBsHrjrXdxhJ8gnxWJJXLY5vwCLcBGAsYHQ/s717/2._Kunker_Wamen_BUMN1_%2B%25281%2529.jpg

    Compare to the much more heavily armed and armoured PT-91M

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_usjBMLJ9mLw/R1QZS1UbhCI/AAAAAAAAAhc/Qn6QuQsjFp0/s1600-R/kol+kamarul.jpg

    IMO if we want (or can afford) additional tanks, we are better off getting more PT-91M or its variants, rather than getting a medium tank. The Harimau for example, have a basic armor withstanding 14.5×114mm AP, with 30mm protection just in the front arc. It costs at least USD6.75 million each. Each of our PT-91M costs about USD5.9 million each.

    With PT Pindad not winning the recent Philippines medium tank tender, it is not sure if the order would be more than the initial 18-20 tank order by TNI-AD, or they will arm all the 15 cavalry battalions in KODAMs with Harimaus, which would total around 400 units.

    ToE (ideal) of TNI-AD armoured formations (excluding mechanized units)

    for KODAM
    15 cavalry battalions (tracked+wheeled, one for each KODAM)
    1 cavalry battalion (wheeled)
    14 cavalry company (independent wheeled)

    for KOSTRAD
    3 MBT battalions (Leo2RI)
    3 cavalry company (independent wheeled)

  5. @ marhalim

    ” Yes I am aware of the problems reportedly on them but as for keeping to the schedule it’s one of the best, even with the pandemic ”

    Any projects will have problems. Its how they handle them and countermeasures taken to mitigate the problems. So far the MMEA OPV project is going smoothly if not exactly on time as per planned. So that is one of the proof that we can execute a project well.

  6. Well if more cost effective solutions then the Bagan dato class kot. Only about rm60mil each bit all most similarly armed as lms plus got uav some more. For same budget as lms, can obtain about 15 hulss or so… To fight smugglers pirate and suluk I say

  7. Kamal – “These ships for lawan penyeludup, lanun and possibly the sulu invaders ok latu”

    These ships will perform a variety of peacetime roles. They are urgently needed as the RMN is short of hulls and the hulls it has (the FACs and Laksamanas) are getting increasingly troublesome to maintain due to age. Yes the RMN intends in eventually having fully fitted out LMSs but it’s priority not is new hulls ASAP to meet current operational obligations.

    There are no “sulu invaders” ….
    The Lahad Dato saga was in 2013. Since then the bulk of intrusions have been by actors/groups doing it for monetary gain – some by Abu Sayaf people and some by people who work independently (with links to the MNLF) but will later “sell” hostages to Abu Sayaf.
    It’s not as if there are non state actors who roam the common sea boundary looking for trouble or intent on lancing on our shores for political reasons.

    If (a major “if”) the Kirams intent on causing trouble again they won’t be making a repeat of 2013 because it went horribly wrong for them and doing it again the same way would be playing to our strengths. As it stands the main issue we’ve been facing are non state actors doing what they do for “pera” (cash) – they have no intent/reason to go out looking for trouble (e.g. the LTTE’s Sea Tigers) as it defeats the whole purpose of what they’re trying to achieve – make money …

    In the Straits of Melaka it’s a slightly different story but also involves money. The people who cross the boundary to tax” our trawlers wear uniforms. Another issue is our trawlers sometimes cross the boundary to buy fish from their trawlers (yes it happens) which can be sold here for a profit.

    BTW a traditional operating area for “lanun” is the Gulf of Siam. The “lanun” often wore uniforms.

  8. … – “srather than getting a medium tank”

    Yes but we’ve never had any intention of getting medium tanks.
    The only medium tank we ever looked at was the Mark 3 which we thankfully rejected.

    Unless there are specific reasons relating to road infrastructure (.i.e. Indians and the border with China), the need to easily airlift them (i.e. the Chinese needing to airlift them to Taiwan – same rationale the Yanks had with Sheridan), a low threat environment, specific doctrine (in the case with the TNI which still sees the need for 206 and 90mm armed vehicles)etc, armies tend to stay away from them.

    We were offered 120mm armed CV-90s (it almost missed DSA) on the basis it’s lighter and cheaper than a MBT. My complain with going down this route is (like medium tanks) it doesn’t have the ability to take punishment.

  9. Kamal – “ To fight smugglers pirate and suluk I say”

    Pirates are mainly in the Gulf of Siam and around the Singapore Straits; whether uniformed ones, the “traditional” ones (been there decades) or ones working for syndicates which target tankers/freighters. The main means to combat to counter them I’d effective and constant patrolling with good (ships, MPAs and UASs) and timely and accurate intel.

    One needs to detect and intercept rather than “fight” smugglers and “sulus” both of whom try their to avoid trouble in order to do what they have to in order to make cash.

  10. @ azlan

    ” Yes but we’ve never had any intention of getting medium tanks ”

    Yes that is true. I am saying this because there are some point of view (even with our neighbours like Philippines and Indonesia) that because we cannot afford a brand new Leo2, Black Panther or Altay, the next best thing is a medium tank. That is IMO a wrong way to look at the situation as a medium tank is still relatively expensive but with only the same level of protection of an IFV. Which is why Thailand is happy to replace its walker bulldog and stingray tanks with relatively cheap chinese VT4 MBTs (USD5.375 million each) instead of going for medium tanks. Unless you really need a tank with a weight of 35 tons due to airlift or other reasons, you are better off with a similarly priced MBT like the VT-4 or T-72/PT-91/T-90. Well IMO even an upgraded secondhand Chinese Type 59 tank would be much more survivable (much more thicker armor) than any current medium tanks.

    http://i.pinimg.com/736x/bb/39/85/bb39855613b2d28b9041c67f2e373d53.jpg

    http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/andrei_bt/18425682/1472179/1472179_original.jpg

    http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/andrei_bt/18425682/1472497/1472497_original.jpg

  11. @…
    “Just look at how big and tall is this so called “medium” tank, the FNSS/Pindad Harimau.”

    It is about ground clearance. It is back to the initial requirements. Jeep with high ground clearance is better than a sport car and vice versa. The other thing is South east asia is not as flat as Europe so ground clearance is important in this region.

    “The Harimau for example, have a basic armor withstanding 14.5×114mm AP, with 30mm protection just in the front arc. It costs at least USD6.75 million each. Each of our PT-91M costs about USD5.9 million each.”

    You can put add on armour to any medium tank but it will heavier , better buy an MBT for heavy protection than putting an add on.
    Pindad tank is a brand new design while PT91 is just a modified tank taken from T72, even leo2 A7 have the same price as tank pindad.
    Well, the question is which one is needed, the medium or MBT?

    Btw, pinoy select the Sabrah medium tank (based on Ascord) and Pandur II. Tank pindad lost due to pinoy law of procurement.

    @Azlan
    “Yes but we’ve never had any intention of getting medium tanks.
    The only medium tank we ever looked at was the Mark 3 which we thankfully rejected.”

    Requirements can be changed. The question is after the Scorpion tank is retired is there any need for a track wheel tank to replace it. 90mm canon tank is fading.
    The AV8 can be modified to carry a 105mm canon but still it is not a track wheel.

  12. Is it bad that I basically want us to just churn out fifty Damen OPV 1800s for EEZ policing and anti-piracy?

    @Azlan
    Good summary. Yes medium tanks are pretty useless save for those specific situations since they basically cannot “tank”. They are practically more like “self propelled guns” than tanks.

  13. @Chua
    “Good summary. Yes medium tanks are pretty useless…”

    Even an F35 is useless against jungle guerillas. Use something for what it is built for.
    Even the US is replacing their bradley wiith new 105mm tank ngcv on their plan.

  14. @ romeo

    ” even leo2 A7 have the same price as tank pindad ”

    You cannot get a brand new Leo2 for USD6.75 million. A brand new Leo2 is double that.

    US Army medium tanks is for their airbone forces. To be able to airlift them in C-17s. That is the primary reason why they need to be lightweight.

    @ chua

    ” Is it bad that I basically want us to just churn out fifty Damen OPV 1800s for EEZ policing and anti-piracy? ”

    Not really. MMEA do need around 20 such OPVs to do its mission properly. Getting such OPV for MMEA is a better use of available budget rather than asking TLDM to get uber expensive patrol only ships.
    ________________________________

    anyway back to the medium tank thingy.

    Pakistan, while getting brand new uparmoured (thicker ERA tiles) VT-4 MBT, they are also buying large numbers of used T-55H tanks from Serbia!

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Y3qXZQFKmQo/XqEQGfPv0JI/AAAAAAAAAIo/1zLiv5a7SYsakFeBobDZ1BXQeX2DfmG5QCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/vt4_fy4_3.jpg
    Pakistan army VT-4

    The contract for 282 upgraded T-55H tanks was signed in 2015, and the first shipment of 100 was sent out in April 2020. The cost of 282 T-55H upgraded tanks are USD75 million or USD266 thousand each.

    ” In April 2020, Serbia delivered 100 modernized T-55H tanks to Pakistan. The armored vehicles were improved by the Serbian firm Yugoimport SDPR. The medium tank received a new 780 horsepower engine. The turret and hull protection was strengthened by the installation of reactive armor and reactive panels. The tank was equipped with a modern fire control system and a new sight for the main gun. Ammunition has been replenished with new shells. On the turret of the tank, grenade launchers were installed on both sides for firing smoke grenades. It is worth noting that the launchers for creating a smoke screen are associated with the indicators of the laser irradiation of the armored vehicle. The commander and driver received panoramic optoelectronic devices with day and night channels. The tank was equipped with modern communication devices and RCB protection ”

    http://anna-news.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/11/1800/z5E6xS5BnBY.jpg

    These T-55 is to be deployed on pakistan-afghanistan border.

  15. @Romeo
    While US certainly is going ahead with the Bradley replacement program, the 105mm gun version is still in conceptual trial. There had been trials to mount that on the LAV but never went beyond that.

  16. The question is after the Scorpion tank is retired is there any need for a track wheel tank to replace”

    This is a question that has long been put to rest …..

    The answer is no for the reason that the entry into service of the PT-91, IFVs with a variety of weapons able to provide direct and indirect fire; as well as better equipped infantry; has done away with the need for a 90mm “fire support vehicle”.

    You’re right in saying requirements change; it’s for this reason that the Scorpions and Sibmas aren’t being replaced. Both were bought at a time when we had different requirements/priorities.

  17. Chua – “They are practically more like “self propelled guns” than tanks.”

    The idea is to deploy such tanks in areas (in direct support of mech/motor units or airborne troops) where there are no enemy MBTs present or to deploy them until a time when ‘friendly” heavier forces arrive 🙂

    Whilst I recognise the need for some armies for some armies to them; in our context I don’t see a place for them in our force structure. I’m also against the idea of mounting a 105mm gun on a IFV.

  18. @romeo

    Bradley replacement is an IFV not a medium tank.

    F35 is way more versatile than a medium tank, so it’s not quite an apt comparison. It’s true that everything has a role, however the problem with medium tanks is that their role is just too niche.

    Sorry I’m a big non-fan of medium tanks.

  19. Personally I do not see the urgent need for medium tank nor for further increase in tanks. I may be wrong, but with 48 pt91 and 54 ingwe armed gempita, our anti armour capability is quite respectable thus far. IMHO the more pressing need is for extended short range air cover, as our current starstreak, rapier, igla and Anza cover max 8km, still pretty much vulnerable to attack heli and armed uav

    Reply
    As for armed UAV we a layered air defence system that will allow for the detection of airborne detection at much longer distances and also interception. The lack of UAV in our service meant that we have to learn the lessons from overseas. The lack of investment in a comprehensive air defence network means either that we lack the foresight or simply that we have other priorities

  20. The NGCV US army is in not limited to IFV. Like AV8 which is can have many roles depend on what attached on it and so the NGPV. One of NGPV variant is a light/medium tank with 105mm cannon. These are their variants:
    1 Optionally-Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV), the replacement for the M2 Bradley IFV.
    2.Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV), the replacement for the M113.
    Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF), a light tank for Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs).
    3.Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV), three unmanned ground vehicles in light, medium, and heavy configurations.
    4.Decisive Lethality Platform (DLP), the replacement for the M1 Abrams main battle tank.

    @…
    “US Army medium tanks is for their airbone forces”

    Not really, it just an extra feature.

    “You cannot get a brand new Leo2 for USD6.75 million. A brand new Leo2 is double that”

    AFAIK, The most expensive mbt is Japanesse type 10 about $10++ mio

    @Azlan
    “The answer is no for the reason that the entry into service of the PT-91, IFVs ..”

    As you know mbt is a tank killer, medium tank is a armour vehicle killer and IFV is an infantry and APC killer. That is the basic purpose why mbt, medium tank and IFV are built. There is a grey area where IFV can do medium tank role and medium tank can do mbt role (the new cockerill 105mm can throw falarick, an anti tank guided missile.

  21. Kamal – “Personally I do not see the urgent need for medium tank nor for further increase in tanks”

    Depends on requirements and threat perceptions. We see little it no likelihood of a ground conflict with any neighbour. Our pressing concern is our maritime domain; thus priority should be the RMN and RMAF.

    Kamal – “ pt91 and 54 ingwe armed gempita, our anti armour capability is quite respectable ”

    I have no idea about the “respectable” part but the PT-92 and AV-8 are merely 2 elements of the equation. The PTs are the primary means of delivering mobile firepower; whilst the Ingwes enable an organic anti-tank capability to manoeuvre units.

    The army’s ability to perform well is wholly dependent on its manoeuvre elements being able to perform as combined armed formations; adequately supported by various combat and support services;
    operating as one.

    Kamal – “till pretty much vulnerable to attack heli and armed uav”

    What we have right now enables defence against low flying short range threats. There has been a requirement for a medium range system for almost a decade now.

    Getting the hardware is one thing; the tricky part is ensuring the hardware is in the right place and the right time and enabling early warning as well as the need for the various hardware can “share” a common picture in order to maximise strengths and minimise weaknesses.

  22. Romeo – “As you know mbt is a tank killer”

    It’s more then that …

    It’s the main means of delivering mobile heavy firepower against a variety of threats.

    Romeo – “medium tank is a armour vehicle killer”

    It’s intended to provide organic units with fire support and in the event enemy armour is present; in areas where there is no enemy heavy armour or areas where the terrain or road infrastructure doesn’t enable the effective deployment of MBTs; i.e. about 10 years ago the Indians issues a requirement for a medium tank. They figured that problems with deploying a MBT in the northern region (very limited roads) will also apply to the Chinese.

    Some armies (for reasons explained in a previous post) see the need for then; others don’t. A medium tank or a 105mm IFV is great if operational conditions are such. Both will rely on manoeuvre, speed, their small profile and natural comer to evade return fire but intimately their Achilles heel is their protection level if they come into contact with MBTs. Whether it’s a MBT, medium/light tank or a IFV the quality of infantry support will also be a determining factor.

  23. @Kamal
    >”with 48 pt91 and 54 ingwe armed gempita, our anti armour capability is”

    outnumbered by the armour they are supposed to anti…

    @romeo
    >”Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF), a light tank for Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs)”

    This is what you are referring to isn’t it? Most of the IBCTs the US Army fields are for its air assault units. They do have a few “regular” IBCTs but the majority are ABCTs and SBCTs.

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