SHAH ALAM: The two RMN training ships, Gagah Samudera and Teguh Samudera, are expected to be commissioned into service early next year. The commissioning ceremony will be held for both ships at the same time when work on Teguh Samudera is completed by year end.
RMN Assistant Chief of Staff Human Resources Rear Admiral Azhari Abdul Rashid says the ceremony is expected to be held in January once work on Teguh is completed. He says the two ships would be commissioned as the legal problems that had prevented them from doing so had been resolved. He did not explained how the legal problems were resolved.
Malaysian Defence has written extensively on the problems of the two training ships previously.
Both training vessels were assembled at the NGV Tech shipyard from modules delivered by DSME of South Korea. Gagah Samudera was launched on Dec 14, 2012 while Teguh Samudera on Feb 27, 2013. Both were supposed to be commissioned within six months. Both ships remained incomplete and un-commissioned as NGV Tech was foreclosed by Maybank sometime in 2013. NGV Tech signed the RM294 million contract with RMN for the construction of the training vessels at LIMA 2011.
Gagah is already used to train sailors since it was handed over to the RMN on Mar. 1, this year. Teguh remained at Grade One Marine shipyard for completion. For more on the training ship saga, read them here here. As I had reported before that the ships were supposed to be commissioned this year, let’s hope time around, they will be officially inducted into the RMN fleet as stated.
Meanwhile, Rear Adm. Azhari when met in Bangkok on Nov. 6, says the commissioning of Gagah and Teguh will not mean the end of KD Hang Tuah, the RMN’s current training ship. He says Hang Tuah will be kept in commission though she will be turned into a museum ship just like the Royal Navy ship, HMS Belfast. Hang Tuah will be the centre piece of the new RMN’s museum to be located in Lumut, says Azhari. As she remained in commission, the RMN will be responsible for her up-keep.
Meanwhile, in an unrelated development, it appears that the LCS could be fitted with any type of lightweight torpedo chosen by RMN. As you might remember some time back Malaysian Defence reported that UK-based J+S company announced that it had been awarded the torpedo launcher and handling system for the LCS. J+S has been taken over by another UK-based company, SEA, earlier this year.
SEA issued a press release recently.
SEA has recently won an order to provide Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in South Korea with Torpedo Launcher Systems (TLS) for two new frigates being built for the Philippines Navy and is also engaged in providing TLS and weapons handling systems for a new class of Combatant Ships under construction for Malaysia. This follows the supply of a TLS for the Royal Thai Navy’s latest frigate, which was built by DSME in South Korea. One of the major benefits of SEA’s TLS is that they can be configured to fire any NATO standard light weight torpedo, enabling operators to benefit from the flexibility of choosing the best weapon independently and the option of re-configuring during the life of the ship. The modular nature of the SEA TLS also means that by utilising a common tube selection panel as part of the combat management system the fire control electronics can be adapted to interface with the ship’s decoy launchers as well as the TLS.
I am not a betting man but if I was, I would placed my money on RMN selecting the Leonardo A224S lightweight torpedo for the LCS. The A224S is the current lightweight torpedo of the RMN though I am not sure whether the ones in stock remained active or not.
If not they could still be refurbished for use on the LCS, other frigates, the Lekiu and Kasturi classes and the Super Lynx helicopters. Otherwise the RMN could always order new ones for the LCS while remaining compatible with other ships and Super Lynx. (The helicopter-borne version (pictured above) is slightly longer to accommodate a parachute to slow down its splash speed and give it the necessary pitch and stability. When it touches the sea, the parachute gets detached)
Buying a completely new torpedo for the LCS will mean that they will need to be qualified on the other ships and probably the Super Lynx as well.
As for the other major equipment on the LCS, RMN has come up with a very detailed graphic on them (above). Malaysian Defence has also written on them extensively in the past though some were lost when the server crashed two years back.
In other news, it was announced on Nov. 9, the UAE is buying two Gowind corvettes with another pair as options. The ships will likely be in the same class as Egyptian corvette as they will be armed with Exocets and ESSM.
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