What A Good Deal!

PETALING JAYA: It was announced on Apr 6, 2011 that the Royal Australian Navy had won the bid to purchase an almost brand new amphibious ship for some RM320 million (see story below). The ship will be in service by next year.

We on the other hand will probably see the first of three (or four?) MRSS be commissioned in 2015. Yes, the Aussies had also experience amphibious fleet pain like us but unlike us they moved much quicker to solve the problem.

April 6/11: Australian Minister for Defence Stephen Smith announces that Australia’s bid for HMS Largs Bay was successful. Speaking of the future HMAS Largs Bay (or whatever Australia decides to rename it), he says that:

“Its flight deck has room for two large helicopters and can also carry around 150 light trucks and 350 troops. Its cargo capacity is the equivalent of the Royal Australian Navy’s entire amphibious fleet…. The ship has been acquired for £65 million (approximately US$ 100 million). Teekay Shipping Australia has thoroughly inspected the ship and found that: “The ship presents very well, and from a technical point of view, there are no major defects.” “

The Royal Australian Navy will still conduct sea trials once Largs Bay arrives, expected to happen before the end of 2011. The ship is expected to be operational in early 2012. Australian DoD.

Further background on the ship by Defense Industry Daily
The fate of a nearly-new British amphibious support ship, RFA Largs Bay, is all about timing.

Britain commissioned 4 of the 176m long, 16,200t Bay Class LSD amphibious ships to renew a very run-down capability. The new “Alternative Landing Ship Logistic” ships were built from the same base Enforcer template that produced the successful Dutch Rotterdam and Johann de Witt, and Spanish Galicia class programs. Britain ordered 4 of these ALSL/LSD-A ships into its Royal Fleet Auxiliary, and active use began with RFA Largs Bay’s commissioning in 2006. By 2011, however, Britain’s fiscal situation was so dire that a strategic review marked RFA Largs Bay for decommissioning in April 2011, after just a fraction of its 30+ year service life.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2203 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. good indeed. Lucky aussie, just in the nick of time cause all their current 3 ex us spartanburg county going through repairs while the canberra class only available from 2014 onwards.

  2. But do they also retire their heli fleet? I may be wrong but the MPSS role at this moment is important but alternatively we can still get some commercial base excess fleet to supplement. I think more critical is the heli fleet, yes we are gonna to receive 12 cougar by 2013-2014, but i thot the overall requirement is 74. With the nuri may be going for upgrade but the numbers available is only between 18 to 20. there is still around 42 shortage.

    Getting some excess Black hawks or even Westland commando if available should be good.

    No, the UK is not retiring their helo fleet but the SAR helos are being phased out in favour of a contractor supplied S-92.

  3. I have consistently said in all my previous posting that the British white paper and culling of assets by the British presents a case of good bargains.Not only the British but also the Netherlands, Germans, Finland, sweden and Switzerland are all reducing their assets and some are pretty new. We can get these at bargain prices and some are actually quite new. The ships especially offer god bargains.The aircrafts like the Tornadoes may be expensive to upkeep.Otherwise we can have at least two squadrons of Tornados at bargain prices.But these are not good buys as they are very expensive to maintain.
    The australians are now finalising their decision of naval heli’s Its between the black hawks, the NH90 and the Sikorsky.

  4. The Dutch are soon to follow the footsteps of the Brits.


    The Leopard and Cougar caught my attention very very much, if only we do have extra moolah to spend …


    Its the Apache thats the crown jewel. But I guess current users will be much faster than us. They are probably preparing the purchase documents already and speaking to the US to get the re-export clearance.

  5. We missed the boat (pun intended) on this one…

    Hopefully we can get the 2 San Giorgio class LPD’s when it becomes available in a few years time…

    No lah, by that time the yard in Bagan Datoh will be very busy…

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