Walk Like An Egyptian, Part 3

Luxor prior to her launch on May 14 2020. Naval Group.

SHAH ALAM: Walk like an Egyptian, Part 3. Egypt has launched its fourth, El Fateh (Gowind) class corvette, the Luxor, the third vessel to be built locally at the Alexandria shipyard on May 14, 2020. Two other corvettes build at the shipyard are the Port Said and Al Moez. The first Egyptian Navy Gowind corvette, El Fateh was handed over to Egypt in September, 2017.

Port Said the first Egyptian locally build warship was launched in September, 2018 while the second one, Al Moez was launched in May 2019. The ships are built at the Alexandria shipyard with Naval Group, the French state-owned shipbuilder.

Luxor prior to her launch on May 14 2020. Naval Group.

Like the RMN Maharaja Lela class frigates, the Egyptian Gowinds arefitted with the Naval Group’s SETIS combat management system and the enclosed mast, the Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Module (PSIM). The PSIM incorporates the corvette’s semspr including the SMART-S radar and electronic warfare equipment. They are fitted with 16 VL-MICA surface-to-air missiles and eight Exocet MM40 surface-to-surface missiles as well as one 76 mm and two 20 mm guns. The vessels can each carry one medium helicopter and will be fitted with torpedo launchers. Sensors include a Kingklip sonar and Captas 2 towed sonar.
Luxor after her launch. Naval Group

Initially the Egyptian Navy was supposed to buy another two Gowind corvettes for the fleet but in 2018 it was announced that it was planning to buy six Meko A200 from Germany instead. One of the ships reportedly have been contracted for in early 2019 but so far there is no word whether the other five would also be build.
Egyptian Navy EL Fateh Gowind 2500 corvette.

It is likely that if Egypt opted to buy another two Gowind it is likely that these two ships would be commissioned into service faster than our own Gowinds. But that is water under the bridge now. As it is we are no closer to getting our Gowinds than the Egyptians getting their Mekos. That said, the Egyptian Navy received its first out of three U209/1400 submarine from Germany last month. The submarine was ordered in 2011 with another two ordered in 2014.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2146 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. News like these are even more depressing to read in an already depressive moment….Covid-19, China’s intrusion, economic slump, Raya @ home instead of kampung. Nearly half a year gone and still no progress on the our Gowinds and now 2 ancient dinosaurs still playing politics…plus, there’s some talk the CMS upgrade on the Jebat has hit some snags?

    2020 is fast becoming annus horribilis that’s for sure

  2. Congratulations Egypt!

    They managed to build locally and launch into the water 3 ships into the water. We build 4 ships at the same time but now still on land. Everything should be confirmed and ordered before steel is cut. No use to fret as it has already happened. Just do a countermeasure and get the ship launched, We cannot start building another 2 until at least the 1st 2 ships is in the water and floating.

  3. A question here. Does the increase in size of our Gowinds from 2500 tons to 3100 tons is due to the need for more range from 3700nm to 5000nm and for a hangar to support a 10-ton heli? Thanks in advance 😊

  4. @Marhalim
    Has the Maharajalela work stoppage issue been resolved? Has work restarted?

    I have been told only remedial works are being done. You know the situation is bad as no one has said anything on the matter publicly apart from what have been said in Dewan Rakyat last year

  5. Nothing new. We never learnt. At least the LMS are ontime n operating. We are sure to get our 4 boats on time on budget. We should just take delivery of what is ready n forget about the rest. No point agonising it. If we want the ships go buy direct in future as proven we cant manage the project. Sad but true. Fortunately they did not try to assemble our own planes or helis.
    Our rifles also got problem . Wheteas Ausyralia did not get problems from their rifles.
    If we cant manage it , then just buy direct g to g next time.
    Lets not waste more time on the LCS

  6. @ Lee Yoke Meng

    We have the technical capability to do our own ships. It is just the screw ups from the management side. We are wasting time because decisions are not made. There is not much difference in specification of our ship and egypts. There should not be much teething problems. If we just put our foot down and complete the ships, it should come out right.

  7. Whats the reason behind delays? Government not paying money for completed parts?

    They need extra money and likely new agreement as first ship already delayed.

  8. Is the Gagah Samudera class ships good enough for Patrol duties?

    Why not build more of this class but deploy them for patrol while at the same time train our sailors. Maybe have at least 10 ships of this class, which later can be transferred to MMEA, if peacetime patrolling is no longer a RMN duty.

    By having them, Kedah-class can be released from patrol duties and be more of combat ships – after upgrading the weapons of course.

    Yes it’s good enough for patrol duties. If they had wanted it it would have been built instead of the LMS

  9. So our version, despite being larger than egyptian, has smaller main gun and inferior CIWS? wtf

    What CIWS?

  10. Technical ability, mismanagement..bottomline is like LMY mention we never learn from our past mistakes..Optimism is good, but we got to face the reality that we are not a proven shipbuilder yet..Heck we cant even cut the steel for shipbuilding ourself..One of the reason why our shipbuilding industry cant progress as much as like say Indonesia..Its true we cant keep agonising about it, and it also true that some other ship may takes more time to build than our ship but about time we learn from our mistakes..Enough is enough..After this just buy our future ship (if any) from original shipyard..If we cant even finish the slightly modern LCS properly, what are the chances we get to finish an ultra high tech ship on time in the future?

  11. @Marhalim
    I think nothing was said because defence matters is wayyyyy down on the pecking list of things to argue about right now. I would assume the technical issues should be resolved by now and what’s left is the financial issues that cause it to stall. That includes the pending VL MICA.

    In terms of civilian shipbuilding we have plenty of experience & knowhow, what with many of MISC ships built locally. But the newness of Gowind design to us, the steep learning curve when doing everything locally, and the financial, manpower, & mgmt constraints of building 4 ships at once was seriously underestimated by BNS and/or the Government then.
    So should we buy all our warships CBU? It depends. IMHO anything less than 3 units should be CBU, but above that we can justify building the first 2-3 units at original builder and the rest locally after we’ve gained experience with the initial units and with a more manageable plan compared to LCS project.

    There are still some technical issues that need to be sorted out

  12. First the Kedah class, now the Maharajalela class. It’s like beating a dead horse isn’t it? Damien OPV also same story? Do we really need to ask if we should just buy CBU? Definitely not the first few units so the navy gets at least some hulls to work with.

  13. Yeah bruh..should have build the first two units of our lcs at original shipyard..What could have been..Im pretty sure if we were to build our first two lcs at france..They probably in service by now or close to enter service..Billions already paid but the first lcs ship still ‘tidak cecah air’ as the indonesians mocked us directly and indirectly affect the remaining ships progress..We can learn how to properly build our remaining LCS if the first two of them were build at france, so that the current fiasco will not happen again in the future..RMN can send the team there to supervise the progress of LCS and BNS can send a team to learn how to properly assemble a naval ship.

  14. We really don’t know what happened to the gowinds under mat sabu care for the past few years.

    One of the theory is it could be that the build was politically stalled as PH was trying their best to save money and only proceed when the nominated PM raise to power. Why? Probably so that they would have money to spend and to work with when their real nominated PM take power, which is supposed to be in around 1 year after they won the elections. So that they could show under their nominated PM all of the work, including the gowinds proceeded. If they proceeded while Tun was in power, Tun will get all the credit.

    The way I see it, there should be no big technical hurdles, unlike meko 100 which we are the 1st to use the design, gowind design has been proven operational with the Egyptian navy.

  15. The project is virtually dead ok. Dah nak mati katak. I am giving info already known at the shipyard. Want to continue… Sila bayar lagi. But eh wait..will it stall again?

    We should just buy of the shelf.

    By 2030 RMN will be a riverine and brown water navy with very old ships. Down south Singapore will have a gleaming fleet of at least 2 squadrons of medium (improved Formidable*) and heavy frigates (MRCV),JMMS and LMV – not counting their LMVs, Type 21i8SG submarines and now new purpose built(whatever that means) missile OPVs.
    Indonesia will have their Ivers frigates, Damens 10514 frigates, type 209 korean subs, new OPV etc. The indonesians arent as sophisticated/tech savvy and weaponry-capable the Sings but will still be a force to contend with.

    Where will we be?

    * they are doing a mid life upgrade. Likely better AAW and ASW and will enhance their Herakles radar to more than 300km range similar to FREMM DA.

  16. To be honest. I quite disappointed with Boustead Naval. The government have provided so many contracts, yet delay after delay projects of TLDM ships. I don’t need to mention what are delay projects, the whole world knows about it.
    The government is also never listen and learn. Initially transfer of technology, expertise local people and become self reliant industry but at the end wastage of rakyat’s money. If Boustead have failed nemorous times, focused other local shipping yard companies or worst case scenario…get the original manufacturer (DCNS) to build the Gowinds. This is almost same case scenario like Proton.

  17. What technical hurdles? Meko as a family of ship has been around since the 80s. It’s just that ours were nerfed hard with underpowered engine and no ASM. Don’t tell me the A100 variant is much more complex to build compared to the Anzac class frigate (which is A200 variant) ?

  18. Isn’t anybody in the navy willing to let the public know what the delays mean to our ability to patrol our EEZ? Doesn’t Boustead have to explain why to the public or shareholders the delays? If the story to blame Mat Sabu delaying funding is true wouldn’t the current politicians be eager to let that story out to discredit the former politicians? The radio silence is deafening.

  19. @Encik
    How would TLDM benefit from letting the public know they are in trouble? Will Joe Public start a “Save TLDM” funding to continue the LCS build? No. So how exactly would it help other than give them bad PR? The Indons were laughing at us when Mat Sabu revealed our MKM fleet were grounded, so how will this help us?

    Boustead is a listed company so they would have to report it to their shareholders but I’m not sure the AGM shareholder report is available to general public. Either way, they cannot proceed because funding to continue isn’t forthcoming from anywhere as clarified by Marhalim.

    As for Mat Sabu, if the story was true, his goose is cooked eventually, just waiting for right time. Right now, there are bigger fishes to fry.

    AFAIK Mat Sabu did not impede the LCS project, of course there was the audit of all government projects as mandated by the then government. Mat Sabu likely wanted the project to continue as Lumut was represented by an Amanah MP. However the delays in the project plus its multibillion cost would have come under scrutiny from MOF. That’s where the funding difficulties came from . That said the problems with the project would of course made it comes under close scrutiny of the MOF boffins

  20. @ sanity

    Boustead now under new leadership and new government. Not many things can be done now we are in a bigger crisis compared the the problem the gowinds is in right now. Let’s see in a few months time.

    @ dundun

    It is not the ships per see, it is the systems inside it. The unproven cosys cms for kedah has bugs that needs to be solved at the time. Not to mention the money squandered away from the kedah project. The setis cms for gowind is already checked out in the Egyptian gowinds.

    @ encik

    You can see the new defence minister is now having his hands full with covid19 mitigation. Blaming for the gowinds need to wait.

  21. But still billions already paid..BNS must prove to us that they are capable of building our so called first ‘stealth’ ship..I dunno about you guys, but i’m almost certain this lcs program will suck more monies than what already agreed in their initial deal..

  22. Was being sarcastic about politicians and their blame games la. Procurement transparency is the only way out of this never ending nightmare for TLDM…just try to think of a scandal where the people involved did not want to settle everything in secret. Someone out there is definitely saying, “Don’t worry…it’s under control…”. And the people who have to spend weeks out at sea have to rely on 60 year old boats. I couldn’t care less about Indon trolls laughing at us. Doesn’t cost us any money. Having foreign fishermen and foreign boats harassing us in our own EEZ costs us money.

  23. @Encik
    Procurement transparency is one thing, procurement inaction is another thing. Review is a good thing but what is the outcome after reviewing? We don’t know. If it were due to some hanky-panky, for sure PH back then would megahorn the issue. But all that happened is a freeze in funding to continue the LCS build. Some might say its about money saving or political timing effort. Some might say its due to Mat Sabu, and some say due to LGE. It doesn’t matter. The build stall did happen for whatever reasons or whoever is responsible.

    The previous government has fallen, the players then are no longer around. Let history begone and let’s focus on how best to complete the ships. If we have to re-jig the plan to focus only on one ship at a time to save on the expenditure outlay, let’s just do it.

  24. The irony is, if you are a keynesian, the required remedy to cure a potential economic contraction is via extra government spending on domestic companies, So as DRB Hicom, Boustead and TH Destini have local production of defense contracts that would still maintain some form of domestic employment and investment, the logical steps would be for government to pour more money to them.

    Of course but it must be done deliberately with a plan. Not something done quitely without any check and balance. Anyhow as most of the items on the AV8 and ships are sourced from overseas most of the stimulus will flow overseas, the only silver lining is that the workers of the companies will still have their jobs and with that will help their local businesses.

  25. Lets learn the lessons taught by borh Naval Dockyard n Boustead. In future no lical assembly or local builds unless its by open tender open to all qualified yards in Malaysia especislly Sabah n Sawak. Yes one yard there even built ships for a middle eastern country.
    Otherwise just buy direct from the original builder. That way its cheaper, faster n we are assured of getting our defence equipment.
    The decision of buying all 4.lms direct is the correct decision n the first one already in operation n sailing not sunning its deck above waters n getting faded by the sun.
    Boustead just cant hack it. But we let them do all the maintenance work. Thats ok.

  26. The disaster that is the LCS programme is due to several factors Blaming it solely on BNS is being simplistic. If we really want to evaluate the whole programme; what was the real reason to build the LCS locally, how was the Gowind actually selected and why were various systems selected by BNS and not the RMN?

    As I keep saying : as long as various fundamental changes are not made with regards to how we go about defence; we are bound to repeat the same mistakes. The
    armed services will not get the desired capability and the taxpayer will not get his/her ringgit’s worth. We will remained stuck in the rut we’re in.

    Priority must not be on the local industry because it ultimately screws the armed services and tax payer. Not only do we end up paying more but what’s delivered is delayed, over budget and not up to spec.

  27. @Marhalim
    “workers of the companies will still have their jobs”
    Atm when employment are dropping like flies, whatever remaining jobs still available should be saved as best possible. Priority to those Malaysian-held ones.

  28. Lee – “”The decision of buying all 4.lms direct is the correct decision n the first one already in operation n sailing not sunning its deck ””

    These are two separate issues driven by different factors and should not be conflated.

    The only reason they were ordered was because it – at that time – was politically correct to order from China and a Chinese yard was able to meet the budget.

    The fact still remains that the price did not include for the ships to be fully fitted as per their designation “LMS”. They will be useful in that they will be able to take some strain off the overworked and aged FACs in performing roles but not more than that.

    It remains to be seen whether they will ever be fully fitted out and whether the adopting the modular payload approach will work out for the RMN.

  29. … – “Isn’t anybody in the navy willing to let the public know what the delays mean to our ability to patrol our EEZ? ””

    First of all does the public care?

    As for the politicians they are fully aware of the state of the MAF and what the consequences are for under funding the MAF.

    Encik – “Procurement transparency is the only way out of this never ending nightmare for TLDM””

    It’s not only the procurement policy. The whole system is rotten, flawed and in need of a major revamp to undo major deep rooted fundamental flaws. Not only in how we go about procurement but in almost everything defence related; whether from our budget, the part played by local companies and others.

    It matters not who’s the Defence Minister or how great a long term plan is drawn up by MINDEF or the services; there must be the desire, intent and political will to change things.

  30. I agree with most of what you say, Azlan. Without transparency though, the public does not have a chance to care because they are not told about it for the most part. I wish the previous govt had just opened up the curtains and made everything more transparent. Ministers should explain why public funds were prioritized for other things at the expense of proper equipment for armed forces to do their jobs. Contractors should be made to explain publicly why delays are happening. The navy should probably explain what using 60 year old boats mean when patrolling for long periods out at sea, and confronted with foreign boats taking away our resources in our waters. If all this information was available I bet the public would care more. Too much is left quiet, allowing nobody to care and nobody responsible.

  31. The LMS68 is at most, an expensive glorified patrol boat, that can carry a few containers on its deck. A far cry from the littoral mission ship it is supposed to be. To be honest imo after we got all of them, it’s better to just pass all of them on to MMEA and restart the lms search all over again in RMK12.

    Its expensive price has probably got to do with getting China to pick up the tabs for our government at the time siphoning funds from 1mdb for their own benefit, with our armed forces losing plenty of precious lands in the process.

    The situation will not change as long as those in power sees the defence budget as a means for their own benefit first before the needs of the armed forces.

    As for our eez, there is no benefit of spending much protecting it if we don’t use the resources for ourselves. We need to double or triple our efforts to have a bigger fishing fleet. Fuel subsidies for fishermen should be linked to how much fish they can land. Grants should be given to those who wants to go deep water fishing. Shipyards need to build fishing vessels that can go to the edges of our eez. LKIM need to be more proactive to encourage more people to make fishing as their profession. Institutes, training centres to be created to train more youths to be professional knowledgeable fishermen’s. Then it would be worthwhile to put our efforts to defend our eez. Because there will be economic benefits to the country. Right now the benefit is mostly only for oil and gas.

  32. Encik.

    I’m all for transparency but transparency by itself is useless if certain changes are not made to address certain deep rooted flaws that are deeply imbedded in our system.

    For the politicians; defence is only something we should spend when there is extra money and all big ticket purchases have to benefit the country as a whole and not just the armed services.

    There lies the root of our problem. We’ve sunk so much money into certain things to ostensibly benefit the local industry and other areas but have little to show for it.

    Encik – “ Contractors should be made to explain publicly why delays are happening””

    In the very first place ….

    – Were certain contractors qualified for the job?

    – On what basis were they selected and what added value did they bring to the table?

    – If certain contractors have spent lots of cash (taxpayers cash) to license produce certain things; should we place additional orders at a later date even if the end user has no actual requirement?

    – Yes all major purchases are driven by political factors but the situation here is ludicrous. It’s self defeating and we have a tendency to make the same mistakes because to rectify those mistakes will take take political will to undo decades of damage caused by a flawed policy.

    Encik- “ If all this information was available I bet the public would care more””

    Firstly the armed services can only say so much publicly and on numerous occasions the armed services have made clear the difficulties they faced – in 2014 after the loss of the MAS plane the RMAF reminded the government that it had been seeking a MPA for years – what did the government do? The RMN time and time again has publicly mentioned the problems it faces on account of not only the age of some of its assets but an overall shortage of them as well.

    Secondly, does the public really care enough to the extent that it will push the politicians? As I mentioned previously politicians need votes to stay in power and they’re well aware that the voter base couldn’t care less as they have other issues on their minds.

  33. Azlan “First of all does the public care?”

    The public does not care for big ticket defence spending that are often the subject of scandals. But they are likely to see the loss of territory and national wealth in a different light.

    The fact is the public is largely unaware of the scale and seriousness of the threat. It is our chosen policy to speak softly and keep the issue to a low profile, in the hope of not prompting China to escalate developments on the ground. As such, things have to be done in the name of general border security or schemes like Esscom.

  34. AM – “The fact is the public is largely unaware of the scale and seriousness of the threat””

    I would have to disagree. A few years ago maybe yes but not today.

    Not only does the local media carry articles on the issue from time to time but in this day and age: most people have access to the foreign media and its reports on the Spratlys issue. Quite a number of Malaysian Chinese speaking defence watchers also regularly visit Chinese defence blogs/forums which regularly discuss the matter. Up to the early 2000’s quite a number of locals didn’t even know about our claims and the fact we claimed and physically occupied several reefs.

    Times have changed. Up to a years ago the average Chinese citizen would know about Tibet , Taiwan and Xinjiang/Turkestan; whilst knowing little about the Spratlys. In line with China’s increasing attention given to the issue in recent years; almost everyone in China is aware – maybe not familiar – with the issue.

    AM – “, in the hope of not prompting China to escalate developments on the ground””

    We actually have a long tradition of not making too much of a public fuss of certain things whilst actively engaging in backdoor diplomacy; unless we really have to go public or are left with no choice. Look at how we publicly handled various issues in the past.

    At times before a certain side does something we’ll be forewarned that’s it for domestic public consumption and nothing to be alarmed about. At times backdoor deals are made that is mutually beneficial. Look at Ops Petaling. China relatively quiet about the issue; giving rise to claims by some countries that we had reached sone form of understanding with them.

    As such; we only go public and raise a fuss when we have to – not as if we haven’t done this before. The previous Foreign Minister made comments not usually heard from a Malaysian government official.

    At times what do also sends a message; us training several times a year with Uncle Sam abd Australia; as well as other forms of defence cooperation with both countries sends a subtle message but one that is hard to ignore. At the same time we talk about defence cooperation with China but have no serious interest in taking things to a new level.

  35. @ am

    The problem is that we are speaking softly without having the big stick to back it up. And we doesn’t exactly have the fight till the end reputation like the vietnamese to give some kind of deterrence to an agressor.

  36. Azlan “Not only does the local media carry articles on the issue from time to time but in this day and age: most people have access to the foreign media and its reports on the Spratlys issue. Quite a number of Malaysian Chinese speaking defence watchers also regularly visit Chinese defence blogs/forums which regularly discuss the matter. Up to the early 2000’s quite a number of locals didn’t even know about our claims and the fact we claimed and physically occupied several reefs.”

    Granted that more people than five years ago vaguely know that the issue exists. Those who are interested will do their research. But the number with even basic knowledge can’t be described as “most people” if you are referring to Malaysians as a whole. As a political issue, Malaysians rank it below many others in importance.

    “Times have changed. Up to a years ago the average Chinese citizen would know about Tibet , Taiwan and Xinjiang/Turkestan; whilst knowing little about the Spratlys. In line with China’s increasing attention given to the issue in recent years; almost everyone in China is aware – maybe not familiar – with the issue.”

    Naturally, given that the issue receives a much higher level of intensity in China’s PR efforts. The same could be said of Vietnamese, Filipinos or Taiwanese. The other reason for awareness being much higher than a few “years ago” is that China’s construction and militarisation on the reefs only began in earnest in 2014, two years after Xi assumed power.

    “Look at Ops Petaling. China relatively quiet about the issue; giving rise to claims by some countries that we had reached sone form of understanding with them. ”

    On the face of it, the argument that China has a form of understanding with us -and other countries- is supportable. Though of course, as the stronger party China defines the nature of this understanding and we participate at their pleasure. Factors such as what infrastructure projects they would like in our countries, economic dependence on China and how badly these countries need foreign direct investment come to play.

    You mentioned that we train several times a year with the US and Australia. One could also argue that our not upgrading these events -in scale and sophistication- are a part of this understanding. We have resource constraints and in some areas, we make an effort to take joint training to new heights -such as Pitch Black- but in areas where we have less constraints, the level is far from what it could be.

  37. AM – “The same could be said of Vietnamese, Filipinos or Taiwanese””

    No it can’t. The circumstance differ. Take the Vietnamese for example; they had a naval clash in the Paracels as far back as the late 1970’s. Also, given that Vietnam has had centuries of strife with China and fought a border war in 1979 as well as at least 2 naval clashes; how they view China differs greatly from us.

    AM – “lOne could also argue that our not upgrading these events -in scale and sophistication- are a part of this understanding””

    Not taking things to a new level is part and parcel of our overall foreign policy; to be “close” but not to the extent that we are too “close” to be perceived as an ally or a partner. Naturally there are are also existing limitations as to how we can actually bring things to a new level even if we wanted to – see Dzirhan Mahadzir’s article on the Malaysian/Australian relationship.

    AM – “The other reason for awareness being much higher than a few “years ago””

    Yes. As I said in my previous post; it’s due to the increased attention China has devoted to the issue. In the 1980’s and 1990’’s China’s attention was mostly towards Taiwan. It didn’t have the focus or the military means to adopt the position it has now adopted over the issue.

    When Malaysia and other countries strengthened their claims by occupying reefs; China’s attention was elsewhere.
    Our main worry in late 1970’s when we first made our move and in 1999 during Ops Petaling was Vietnam and the Philippines; not China. Hawks were placed on 5 minute alert at Labuan and it was Vietnam and the Philippines that worried us. It was Filipino abd Vietnamese ships and planes as well as American that kept a watch on the convoy from Lumut to the SCS; towing the barges. Things have changed.

  38. AM – of course, as the stronger party China defines ””

    Naturally. The trick is to find a balance; to secure deals that are advantageous to us as far as possible. Never mind China; even with our dealings with the U.S. and other countries; whether over trade or other issues; they will use their superior bargaining position – whether at a diplomatic or other levels to achieve what they want to their advantage. In private they will make clear the consequences if we insist. Mahathir use to complain about this. Of course he was checkmated over his EAEC plans by the U.S.

    It’s inescapable; as a small developing country we will always be at a disadvantage when negotiating things with larger countries; especially those which have more diplomatic and financial pull than us and those who we rely heavily on to keep our economy going; whether by exports or FDI.

    As a caveat in case others misinterpret what I mean : I’m not suggesting we bend over and offer our behinds to be bugxxxxd. No of course not. We do what we can to the best of its abilities but we are not at war. We are on a peacetime footing and whatever we do also has to have economic and other considerations in mind.

    The Vietnamese have certainly taken a harder approach than us over the Spratlys but they have a different kind of history with China and even they have to know when to pull back for economic reasons. It’s – as you know – realpolitik …..

  39. After seing this..more and more i feel BNS should shut down for good! If we have the fund to buy war ships,just buy them direct to the origin builders.GTH with those so-call tot!

  40. ” ops petaling”

    China prior to about 2010 did not care much about the spratlys or even the 9 dash line. China really did not start to build massive reclamation projects until around 2015. Malaysia completed the last of the modules for ops petaling by end of 1999. One of the first modules was built in the mid 80s.

  41. China only started being assertive in the early 2000’s but started regularly criticising our actions in the late 1990’s. Prior to that it was too preoccupied elsewhere and didn’t have the military means or the confidence to do what it’s doing now.

    For Ops Petaling practically the whole RMN was involved. Ships had orders to open fire on anyone who interfered with the convoy towing the barges. It was a very slow convoy that could only move as fast the the ships towing the modules/barges. As it entered the SCS the convoy was monitored by foreign ships and aircraft. The loudest complains came from Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam.

  42. I’d like to ask regarding the number of reefs we occupied in the Spratyly Islands. I counted L, U, M, S, P. Last time I heard we lost 2 (or 3) to Vietnam. Is that correct?

  43. @ hornet lover

    one of the first obelisks we put up was on pulau kecil amboyna in the late 70s. after we built the obelisks, vietnam promply occupied the island, which is why we started to physically occupy the rest of our remaining claims starting in the early 80s. Yeah we lost like 2 to vietnam, and 2 to the philippines. we dont really seriously think about physically occupying other features nearer to our shores like raja jarom and such, but with china’s agressive stance, we need to avoid a repeat of the scarborogh shoal incident to happen to us next.

  44. @…

    I read from various sources, some claimed that the Gugusan Beting Patinggi Ali is part of Spratly Islands and some said it’s not. Now the Chinese CG sailed to less than 80 NM outside of Miri. They also have the many fishing/militia boats which maintained a ‘constant presence’ there. I just wonder if we’ve done enough to protect our EEZ.

    On another note, I counted we used to have 4x 100mm French Creusot-Loire guns on the various ships. I’ve no evidence, but I’m sure we did not fire more than 6000 rounds on each of them to wear off the barrel. I just wonder if we can make use of such guns as a shore battery, or even mount the guns on the Spratly Islands we currently occupied. Just for show, maybe.

  45. @ hornet lover

    It is part of spratly or not is not the main issue as those features are inside the absurd chinese 9-dash line.

    As of now, IMO we have not done enough to protect our resources in our EEZ. From AIS feeds we can clearly see vietnamese and chinese fishing vessels clearly inside our EEZ, especially in sarawak area of our EEZ. Protecting is just one part of the equation. We need to do more to exploit the rich fishing resources in our EEZ.

    Shore gun battery? it is not WW2, however romantic that thing sounds. I can precisely geolocate each turret, and kill them in any first opening fire by precision missiles.

  46. @…

    Just for argument sake. If we really want, we can employ the WWII German standard and put the guns into their kind of bunker! An 8 inch shell barely put a dent on it, a 5″ shell feels like a firecraker. Most current land attack missiles being subsonic, even with penetration war head just do not have the kinetic energy needed. It’s also been documented that many German bunkers survive multiple 500lb bombs direct hit. Compare the terminal velocity of the 500lb bomb which is supersonic, I don’t think any current cruise missile can penetrate a German WWII gun bunker at Normandy.

    Furthermore, nobody stops you from building decoys just to draw fire from the enemy. During D-Day the Allies expanded so many shells and bombs just to ‘disable’ some empty German bunkers. If I build a bunker costing 10 million just for it to be able to last long enough for 20 TLAM hit, then it’s quite economical.

    Of course all these are not applicable in any of the Spratly island as it’s just too small.

    Does anyone know why the French 100mm was taken out of RMN service? No money to maintain, no upgrade path, poor accuracy?

    They were taken out of service for two reasons, the ones on the Kasturi class were replaced as parts for them were getting expensive. Of course parts were still available though as BNS was an approved Bofors gun MRO it was decided that it was cheaper for the navy to consolidate on them instead of two odd ball guns. The other two were on the OPVs which were transferred to the MMEA, which made the decision on the Kasturi class easier

  47. @ marhalim

    Even on the 2 musytari class opvs it has been replaced with bofors 57mm mk2.


    Where did we get the extra bofors 57mm mk2 for the musytari class opv? Most probably from scrapped singaporean FACs.

    When I saw the OPVs at KK naval base in January I was of the opinion that the guns were not operational though I have not been able to confirm this

  48. @ hornet lover

    sorry my mistake.

    Yes on most tldm ships the bofors is of the mk1 watercooled barrel version.

    But the ones on km langkawi and km banggi is of the later aircooled barrel version.

    There is no water pipe on top of the barrel.


    it is similar to this version

    if you compare to most tldm version, you can see the water pipe above the gun barrel.



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