Which MPSS?

KUALA LUMPUR: As mentioned by Simon, I am posting this, so every one who wants to talk about the replacement for the Sri Inderapura and perhaps the two other LPD in RMN, KD Mahawangsa and KD Inderasakti, can have their say. I will open another one if the comments get merrier.

First of all, can we afford the South Korean landing helicopter platform, the Dokdo-class, MAF favourite choice for the MPSS or perhaps the politicians choice, the French-made Mistral-class? With helicopters and landing ships, we will probably need to pay RM3 billion for a Dokdo class ship or RM3.5 billion for the Mistral. The annual running costs will get even the best connected crony envious…..

Perhaps we should go for the Indonesian-LPD built by the Koreans for USD19.9 million or around RM70 million per ship. With helicopters and landing ships, we probably be spending RM200 million tops. So we can get five LPDs instead of one Dokdo or Mistral.

The Endurance-class LST is also a proven design with four in service with RSN and another set to join the RTN. The Thais bought it for US$182 million (RM697 million) so we can get two for the cost one Dokdo.

We can also get a Chinese LPD probably for the same price as the Endurance class LST. The one offered to us back in 2007 the Type 071 reportedly cost some US$150 million plus. There are other LPDs of course, like the Rotterdam/Galicia class LPDs, Mewerde commercial-derived designs and HDW designed ships but these ships could also cost around USD300 million each.

Choices, choices. My personal choice? A modified, smaller version of the Dokdo costing not more than RM200 million per ship so we can get more helicopters on board plus a good C4I system so the ship can become a flagship as the main requirement stated for the MPSS by the armed forces. With helicopters and landing ships, it will cost RM500 million per ship and we can get two of these vessels instead of one Dokdo or Mistral.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1187 Articles
Shah Alam

48 Comments

  1. Haha you are funny lah marhalim. Yourself explaned the Dokdo costs RM3Billion, and you expect a smaller version for only RM200mil?? Anyway getting commercial-derived designs will just be a glorified ferry, and should be avoided. Just look at what mess the New Zealand HMNZS Canterbury MRV is in.

    Anyway what a sad sight to see the hardworking KD Inderapura burning for the second time in its life. I am sure the short circuit that caused the fire was not caused by the age of the ship, but because the poor ship was overstrained with work, with its maintenance skipped as a result. I still believe the Inderapura, and other newport class ships has a lot of remaining active lives left, as it is still being used by Australia, Spain, Mexico, Chile and other countries. If the Newport class is prone to short circuit, why isn’t the other Newports burning like the Inderapura? The problem of Inderapura in RMN service is that she does not have a sister ship to relieve its burden, thus not having enough time to properly maintain her. Now the only choice for the government is either to dig deep into its pockets to buy new expensive LPD’s; or get 1 or 2 more used Newports to relieve the Inderapura’s heavy burden. IMO used ships, built to mil specs, will windstand more heavy abuse, rough open seas, deployment under military conditions and under attack, than a commercial-derived design.

    As Inderapura, and its tasks are now one of the most important jobs for the navy, i urge that the new Lekiu batch II to be forgotten totally, and instead look for multipurpose ships of the Absalon-class instead rather than a straight frigate, than can cover some of the function of the Inderapura.

    For the next 10 years i think this is what the navy should look for:

    2x Absalon class Multi Purpose Command and Control Ships (Frigates but can perform as MPCCS and LST’s). The 2 absalons reportedly costs about USD500Mil for both, a bit less than our 2 lekiu’s.

    1-2x Newport class + upgrades to them and Inderapura (surely will cost less than buying new LPD’s)

    3-4x additional Meko 200 OPV’s

    12x Gomdoksuri class Fast attack corvettes (PKX – Korea) to replace some of the FAC(M) and the remaining vospers. Can be built locally instead of getting more of the Meko’s, and hey its waterjet units are built by a malaysian company!

    12-24 more CB90’s

    1-2x Ex british frigates (type 22 or 23) (Chile, which bought a higher spec scorpenes than us, also around the same time bought 3 second hand type 22 frigates from UK for only 160mil pounds, which is to me is very value for money)

    the 3 nakhoda ragam corvettes

    I dont understand the aversion of malaysians to used military items. For example even Singapore, all 6 of its submarines are second hand and 4 of them were built in the late 1960’s (consider the training sub Quossant, is build in the late 70’s and last we heard that is just going to be retired after this). Why not we buy capable but used equipments? Just look at our assad class corvette buy in 1997. It only cost us only USD253million for 4 highly capable ships, while the same price can’t even get us a single FFBNW Meko 200 OPV’s…

    Malaysia needs to prioritize its spending. We can buy 3 units of AW139 costing more than USD200mil but can’t find any money to replace the nuri? The opposition needs not to oppose just for the sake of opposing. Please support and lobby for the military to get better equipments, even if that meant getting used ones. Today it’s the poor Inderapura… Dread to think if something happens to the nuri in the near future…

    Marhalim: Theres no more party favours for Inderapura anymore, she is going to scrapyards for sure. Why we dont buy more second-hand arms? Its the curse of the Skyhawks……

  2. If I’m not mistaken the Type 071 amphibious transport dock is heavily armed with 1 x AK-176, 76 mm gun, 4 x AK-630, 30 mm CIWS and 4 x 18-tube Type 726-4 decoy/chaff launcher if compared to Dokdo amphibious assault ship which is armed with only Two Goalkeeper CIWS and One RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile.

    If the navy is keen to procure a fleet of mpss i would prefer the type 071 over the dokdo because it have the capability to carry more troop and vehicles and there’s advantages to carry even a LCAC but I don’t think Malaysia would have enough extra budget for a LCAC vessel. The type 071 is also advance in the weapon system then the dokdo.

    But if there’s extra budget the navy should procure the type 071 with maybe 1-2 lcac range from the russian zubr-class or the chinese made lcac to complete the requirement of rapid-responce fleet as we already have the scorpene.

    The rapid-response fleet should have the following=

    1. The MPSS as the flagship (range from type 071 to dokdo)
    2. The Lekiu-class frigate (range from the 1st batch to 2nd batch if possible)
    3. The laksamana class corvette
    4. The kedah-class ngpv (2nd batch of the class as it maybe equipped with anti-submarine warfare)
    5. and lastly the scorpene submarine

    so that’s what the navy should do to my opinion to have a complete rapid-response fleet.

    higher priority should be given to the navy as the fleet is too old to serve in this modern world and the air force should benefit if the navy to procure a lhd as the navy would have their own air fleet. so the maritime patrol should be on navy
    responsible not the air force.

    Marhalim: Kita tak da duit bang. I believe apart from two LPDs, we should spend our money on a 60 metre boat armed with misisles and guns and UAV.

  3. Hi Marhalim

    The Kiwi’s Canterbury (Merwerde design) costs less than USD100 million to build. Good choice for a cash strapped government?

    Marhalim: Yes, but it needs a redesign as the Kiwis found to their disgust. A review showed that while the ship was safe for service, the location of the ship’s boat need to move as they lost two boats during a storm, a few years back.

  4. I doubt if there are any plans at this time to replace the Mahawangsa and Inderasakti unless they become victims of arson.

    A through deck design like the Dokdo increases costs considerably because of the need to have complex handling systems like lifts etc. Given the paucity of helicopters in our inventory, such designs are unnecessary. I remember seeing the Chakri laid up in the 90s in Sattahip because she was to expensive to operate.
    A double hangar for medium sized helicopters would be quite adequate. We should size them for the top end of the class like a Merlin since steel is not so expensive.
    Well deck…desirable. Big enough for a couple of LCU or equivalents should be quite adequate.
    Ro-ro…mandatory
    Command/flag capability…waste of time. Today, there is ZERO need for a flag to be afloat. Even if they were, they would be on a short leash from Fleet HQ.
    Force protection capability…essential.
    CIWS/self defence suites….leave deck and topweight provisions.
    Sensors….Nav radar. All else leave room for.
    Combat system….anything we have in service or no dice.

  5. We should get at least 3 MPSS, either the Galicia/Rotterdam or the French Foudre. If we don’t have the budget, put aside our ego and get 4 Endurances from S’pore but the electronic and weapons fitting should be done in-country.

    Then put some AAW and ASuW missiles on the Kedah classes for added punch as an interim measure while waiting for the Jebat Batch 2s. Also start the ball rolling for the 2nd Batch of 6 OPVs. But don’t forget to get the at least 6 ASW/ASuW helis and another 8 utility (for the LPDs).

    By-right we should buy at least 3 units of a class to reduce cost of maintenance and allow for proper dock time with minimal distruption to operations.

    IMHO,
    ATM is rapidly going into block obsolosence:
    – TLDM (8FAC(M)s,6 FAC(G),2MPCSS,Kasturis among others)
    – TDM (Condor & Sibmas, 105mm artillery)
    – TUDM (trainer aircraft & soon the C130s)
    Thanks to 5 years of the feel good factors, media hypes and glamorous nothings. Furthermore, with all due respect, we are throwing too much money to equip every ATM branch, APMM & police with special forces (SF). Why can’t we consolidate them. Small amounts when put together will cost a lot. Anyway, training special forces personnel are expensive with the little “real” action around, everybody is scrambling to get the few slots available for the LIVE test. Net-net, the SFers still have very little exposure. You can only go so far in drills but in the long run, without action, the training becomes a boring chore, morale will plummet and the edge gets dull. The SFs are becoming glamourous and we may spiral into the what happenned to the US in Vietnam.

    Sorry for going off-topic at the last few paragraphs…

    Kubai

  6. i don’t mind about what vessel we should buy for KD inderapura replacement(although dokdo is still in my mind)

    to keep it short,whatever decision they make regarding it’s replacement,i’m happy

  7. How about the Thai’s Navy aircraft carrier? The deck was design for Harrier landings but it can surely be used for helicopters. The ship been stuck at the port since the Thai do not have the budget to maintained the ships and its operating cost of the Harriers. It can surely be a good idea to give the Thai a good offer for something they haven’t been able to used properly.

    I don’t think that we gonna buy a Russian or Chinese vessels as the Navy once said that those ships can’t be integrated into our C41 systems(the reason why we had been using Western items).The cost to modify the ships electronic suites to be integrated into our C4I system is quite high……

  8. ……. The Nakhoda Ragams are going to Pakistan and for the forseeble future, they wont be any more surplus Tpre 23’s. The RN was very reluctant to release Type 23s and were forced to by politicans to save costs. Though the Type 23s would be an excellent ASW platform, its very labour intensive. Syameer…the Dodko is only armed with 2 RAMs unlike the Type 071 because in time of war, it will be operating with a strong escort and air support.

  9. Dokdo maintenance cost is high due to its complex handling systems. The arsenals is rather inadequate too.why not we build our own ship?

    Marhalim: I could be accused of being un-nationalistic, but I am wary of building something locally that we dont have the experience to do it.

  10. To ……, Chile did not buy a ‘higher spec’ Scorpene than the RMN. But are almost indentical, being the same tonnage and having the same flank array sonar suite instead of a towed array. The main difference is that the RMN Scorpenes, which will operate mostly within the continental shelf, are fitted with a watertight cofferdam section. The Chilean Scorpenes on the other hand, operate in much deeper waters. Both countries have also gone for the same weapons fit. The problem is buying ex-NATO ships from the 80’s or 90’s is that whilst being capable, are very labour and mantainance intensive. Remember that the RMN is a small navy and manpower is a problem and important consideration when buying new assets.

  11. (…)…unless they find the Fountain of Youth bubbling through the parade ground in MINDEF, where are they going to get the kind of money needed to fund your fantasy?

    None of you understands why we have ONE Newport News-class LST. We have it because we got it ‘hot’, i.e. still in USN service. Essentially the USN crew got off and the RMN got on. When we asked for another…the rest had all been put into mothballs and we balked at the cost of recommissioning. There are NO NN-class LSTs available anymore.

    At least now we don’t have the kepala pening of running a steam ship. With Rahmat laid up, we are now all diesel.

    How can we expect to pay retail for our vessels? Where is the national interest? How to spread the wealth amongst the faithful?

    Aiyoh…ini macam mana boleh jadi menteri?

  12. second-hand arms??u’ll see the opposition will be the 1st person to complain why the Government buying “besi buruk”…even the nuri can still be upgrade and still use by a few best armed forces in the world but the opposition know nothing..they know how to complain only

  13. I think the Dokdo is the front runner in the mpss tender. The Koreans will surely come in strong with their offer. I believe some attractive financing package can turn the tide in their favor. IMHO we require not one but TWO of these LPD. But of course if budget permit. If the govt decided to go ahead with the procurement, it will makes us the second in SEA after Thailand to operate such vessel of similar nature. But then again, Chakrinaruebet spent most time in port than sailing due to huge operating costs.

    Endurance LST – Forget it. It will be cold day in hell if we ever buy military hardware from singapore no matter how good it is. Don’t u guys notice this already?

    Mistral – Unless something happened/said during Najib’s visit to France, I don’t see this ship in service with RMN.

    Marhalim’s are you sure LPD built by the Koreans cost only for USD19.9 million or around RM70 million per ship? It’s awfully cheap for ship the size of LPD. If price speaks for quality…….

    Marhalim: Thats the price that been reported for the indonesian LPDs, built by the Koreans. I believe it was development from a civilian design.

  14. Mr.T, At the time of the Spartenburg County [Inderapura] purchase, there were no other Newports available. Over the years however, other Newports were made available to Australia and more recently Mexico. Either the RMN was not interested in additional Newports or it was not offered any. The Newports that were mothball remained motballed and never re-entered service.Included in the deal, was the computerisation of the whole RMN logistics system, which prior to that was paper based. I’m curios as to whether the Phalanx was ever operational…. Having already, contracted France for the Scorpenes and soon for the Cougar, there is a very slim possibility the French will get a Mistral order. The government likes to spread out its purchases for political and economic reasons.

  15. I am just wondering why do we need to get the 2xLekiu class frigates when we already spending money develpoing the NGPV . Cant they upgrade the system and weaponary of the NGPV ? And with the extra money they can use to get that new replacement for Sri Inderapula . I dont understand the need for us to spend money to get 2 more Lekiu when we are spending quite a sum on the NGPV already. What the difference between that Meko class design NGPV and the Lekiu till we need to get extra 2 more?

  16. Tay…the NGOPVs were meant to perform peacetime duties such as patroling the EEZ, pollution control, etc. In time of war, the NGOPVs are meant to perform secondary tasks such as protecting convoys and guarding the approaches to our waters, thats why they are designed to be modestly armed. But in reality, because of a shortage of frontline combatants, if a full blown war were to break out, despite being armed and equipped for secondary/lighter duties, the Kedah class would also take on more serious duties. An important consideration is the size of the Kedah also precludes the installation of a heavier weapons fit. The COSYS combat management as fitted on the Kedah class is actually designed for low-intensity scenarios [but can be software upgraded] unlike the NAUTIS on the Lekius. The Lekius and Kasturis on the other hand are the RMN’s main combatants despite not being much more heavily armed.

  17. I hope this clarification helps. In this discussion, we are concerned with three kinds of ships;LHD, LST and LPD.

    Here are the definitions.
    LHD – Landing Helicopter Docks -> flat tops to embark many helicopters with well-docks to embark large landing crafts. Examples are the Tarawa class, Dokdo, Mistral and Canberra class

    LPD – Landing Platform Docks -> ships with well-docks to embark large landing crafts which (these days) come with a large hangar and perhaps up to 4 helicopter landing pads. Examples are the Plan Type 071 class, USN San Antonio class, Spain`s Galacia`s class and Singapore`s Endurance class*

    LST – Landing Ship Tank – quite literally ships which can beach on the beach and launch military vehicles such as tanks, IFVs and more. They do not have well docks and I think a few do come with hangars for helicopters. I think they stop building real LSTs in preference for LPDs. An example is the old County class LST which uses a bow door. The Newport class uses a bow ramp on the other hand.

    * Singapore calls the “Endurance class LPDs” LSTs because at the time they were built, they were politically sensitive. However, the Endurance class LPDs do come with a bow door for quick ingress and egress of equipment. So, there is some resembalnce. However, the Endurance class ships are unable to beach like LSTs and uses large landing crafts from the rear well dock.

  18. Wan, what is with the issue with buying military goods from Singapore? Now is the time to build ties. Tun Mathathir is no longer PM.

    Just get the “battle-proven”(if you will) hull and slap in your own systems(tenders which you give to the “supportive” rakyat).

    I am sure the RSN will provide necessary training as they do to the Thais. It might even be free or cheap. Also, you can benefit from product upgrades which Singapore is so fond of doing. Let`s admit it. You will take a long time to do this on your own. Plus inter-operatability in the FPDA sense.

    A lot of automation is used and you just need a crew of 65 men to operate although you can naturally add more.

    The specs are good;
    6500 tons(empty load). 8500 tons(full load), 16 tanks plus 20 other vehicles, >350 troops(specification for Thai version states 500 troops), hangar for two medium sized(super puma sized) helicopters and even land chinooks, large landing crafts and smaller ones.

    Marhalim: I guess the main issue apart from buying from Singapore, of course, its the Israeli system on-board like the Barak and other things that its not made public. We could always go for RAM or a six-pack ESSM or the South African Umkhonto, which can also be used for anti-surface work apart from anti-air duties…..

  19. What happened? Amin Shah happened. he’s the fall guy of course. Net result was a collapse of the entity known as PSC-NDSB and a ton of time and money needed to fix the problem.
    Yet the MACC has declined to toss him or his associates out a window.

  20. Marhalim… Have you heard of NH Global which supposedly manufactures anti-thermal uniforms and parachutes? It seems they’ve exported to the ‘Ministry of Defence Union Of Myanmar, Prince Abdullah Special Forces School, Ministry of Defence Syrian Arab Republic and more..’.

    Marhalim: No I didnt know about them until your comment. I checked their website.

  21. Buying armament from singapore is the worst idea ever. Obviously we are too desperate if we are about to get any armament from them which was expelled from Malaysia in 1963. Alternatively we can get armament from ‘more friendly country’ such as India, Russia, Pakistan, Turkey or even china.

    According to a report, the airforce personnel stated that the air force has no intention to replace the mig-29 with more sukhoi and it seem like the super hornet is the favorite contender.

    The armed forces express many idea and interest to procure many assets but it seem that only a few will be buy as we don’t have enough fund. But we should have a higher priority on the navy as the navy fleet is too old to serve in this modern world.

  22. The Endurance would be perfect for our needs, so would the Terrex to replace the Condors. The Endurance only has deck spots for 3 helis but so what? Its a vast improvement over the Newport, though smaller, and is way cheaper than the Dodko or Mistral. But lets face it, for reasons best known to themselves, there is no way our politicans would buy anything from Singapore. To the best of my knowledge, the only military items ever bought from ‘down south’ were 5.56mm rounds in the early 80’s. If the reports that the RSAF is exhibiting an Apache at LIMA 2009 are true, it could be a sign that relations are improving. I remember seeing the Black Knights at LIMA 91 and CIS at DSA 94, they never came back….

  23. Go read Ali Abdullah’s account of the KD Inderpaura fire. Complete and utter failure in simple fire prevention and damage control means we have lost the whole ship. Not even a CTL, there is nothing we can recover. She is gone. Sunk.
    Forget about buying anything. Forget about a board of inquiry. Heads must roll. Starting with the chief of Navy because his charges are utterly incompetent. I want to see court martials for the duty officer and CO of the damage control detail. What moron cuts power to the whole ship when trying to contain a fire?
    We don’t need to even think about competing with out regional counterparts. We need to not suck.

    Marhalim: I am not too keen about harping any allegations from those guys, simon.

  24. Barak isnt on the Endurance ships. I wonder why this isnt the case. They are definitely better than the current mistral missiles on the Endurance ships. I dont think RSN thinks it is necessary. ESSMs are nice though Asters are probably better in the littorals and against missile swarms. There is certainly space on the Endurance ships for additional missiles. You can then use it like Absalon class ships; almost.

    And that is why I prefer LPDs to LHDs. In lieu of thier basic design, LPDs can carry more weapon systems so they dont really need escorts. I think LHDs do most of the time. Not to mention costs of maintaining LHDs, let alone buying them, are exorbitant.

    Marhalim: Oops I always read that the Barak SAM was installed on the Endurance….

  25. Marhalim, i heard that the Cougars deal gonna go down in LIMA 2009.I also heard that other contracts such as the 8×8 APCs for Condor & Sibmas replacements and 155mm SP howitzers for the Army will be signed during the exhibition. Do you know anything about this?

    Maybe they gonna sign the contract for the MPSS replacements during LIMA 2009, you know just to increases the number of deals during the show.

    Marhalim: Its just rumours but I am told the APC replacement for Lebanon is to be signed at LIMA. There is a something going on in the circle of power. but more on that later…

  26. azlan > Thanks for the reply. But then , the NGPV is based on the Meko-100 design . Now the Meko design is used a lot as either frigates , convertes or patrol vessel . Now , it is possible to change the basic component or design so that it can be change to an frigate isnt it? Well i knw that PSC have lots of problems ..But isnt that how one improve? I mean cause that NGPV is a big project for them . so of course hiccups happen ..but cant we just instead of buying those frigates from uk but instead order some Meko class friagtes and build from PSC ? Wel i know i sound silly but just an opinion .

    Marhalim: No its not silly, Tay but we cannot simply upscale the current NGPV design into a frigate although it is quite big already. I dont think we have the license to build more than the current six without paying more money to the German Naval Group first. I dont think we could even built the second batch PV for ASW without a redesign from the GNG.

  27. How can they sign for stuff only slated to go into the next 5-year plan?

    Marhalim: The VAB deal is not under the Five year plan and also the ISS and Kasturi SLEP are not in the five year plan. These are the firm signing for LIMA as far as I know so far. The rest are just rumours.

  28. Dear Mr Tay,
    I think it’s a very good idea to have a frigate based on the MEKO-100 design of the current serving NGPVs. But the only problem is if the navy is given a choice of Type 45 or the MEKO-100, the Type-45 would win as it’s more toward the destroyer capability unlike the meko designation which is more towards corvette capability.

    Maybe we should get Type 45 designation for the next Lekiu -class frigate and just add more ASW capability to the 2nd batch of the ngpv not to purchase any additional corvette or lhd.

    The most critical area of the navy is the aging fleets. Some are over 30 years especially the odd kasturi-class (i’m not sure this one is small frigate or corvette based on her size).

    The best way is additional NGPVs with ASW capability and with the current unstable economy we should bear in mind that no major procurement for the armed forces will be made in the next 2-5 years. Mostly the theater ballistic missile and the mid-range SAMs would be the only major procurement to be made along with the army favorites 8×8 apc during this lima09. But there’s no way the armed forces would procure such weapon (the theater balistic missile) as it would start the arms race in South East Asia.

    Marhalim: There is no way we can afford the Type 45. It will probably cost us around RM6 billion or more..

  29. Tay, the NGOPVs,based on the MEKO A 100, are indeed corvettes. The point I was trying to make is in RMN service,the Kedah class is not meant to fulfill to roles intended for frontline combatants. The South African MEKO A 200 has 16 anti-air missiles but its larger than the MEKO A 100. Most navies that ended up with the corvettes as their main combatant either were short of cash or were traditional operators of corvettes or light frigates.
    To get the level of firepower available on full fledged frigates on the MEKO A 100 insn’t possible due to space restrictions. If you look
    closely at the Kedah class class design, you’ll see that almost every external free space has been used with the exception of the space aft of the main gun, intended by the German designers for the RAM and the space intended for 4 Exocets. After personally seeing the inside of the hangar on the Kedah, the Lekius hangar looks big and spacious!

    To modify the Kedah class into a dedicated ASW vessel would require either a VDS or a towed array,both requiring modifications to the design. Relying solely on a hull mounted active/passive sonar would not give an ASW configured Kedah class any advantage over other vessels like the Laksamana, Lekiu or Kasturi.

  30. “Alternatively we can get armament from ‘more friendly country’ such as India, Russia, Pakistan, Turkey or even china.” Encik Syameer Firdaus…. Turkey, India and Pakistan don’t make LPDs or LSTs. What makes you think Singapore is not a friendly country? Just because it was part of Malaysia until 1965? Or because of the diplomatic spats?

    What about Indonesia which fought a mini-war with us and was vehemently opposed to the formation of Malaysia?? Would you have any qualms about buying ‘made in Indonesia’ weapons?
    Thats precisely the main problem…. Malaysia buying arms and equipment for political reasons and from countries that have a trade imbalance with us. The result.. we end up we stuff that we don’t really need or want.

  31. ““Alternatively we can get armament from ‘more friendly country’ such as India, Russia, Pakistan, Turkey or even china.” Encik Syameer Firdaus…. Turkey, India and Pakistan don’t make LPDs or LSTs. What makes you think Singapore is not a friendly country? Just because it was part of Malaysia until 1965? Or because of the diplomatic spats?” En Azlan, what I mean is any kind of armament not limited to lhd or lst only. Please noted that.

    The problem with buying weapon with singapore is because of many factors and one of them because they was once as part of Malaysia and it’s not nice for Malaysia to buy weapon from them whereas 44 years ago they are expelled from Malaysia.. I’m not a racist but many Malaysian would have the same opinion as me.

    Indonesia? I think u should read my blog too besides this blog and u will know wat I have to say about them, the Indonesian. In short, we already have the CASA in our inventory, and there will be no more than that in our inventory in future. Never I say. (any weapon they made that malaysia is interested in? oh ya it’s their version of france VAB, the army favorite contender)

    So let’s back to the main topic because we are a way out of topic now.

  32. Syameer, we are not veering off topic. Allow me to sum up the issues about buying Singaporean or Indonesian or even Thai. Ego, envy and basic insecurities. However, I`d like to point out that this no longer the 60s or 70s. Time to out-grow such feelings. Asean needs to work closer together now or risk losing out to the rising giants in the region.

    Things are improving. Thais buy from Malaysia(that sapura uav) and Singapore. Indons buy from Singapore. Of course, they are not selling sensitive equipment. If you ask Singapore for a basic Endurance, they will sell. What systems you out on it is really up to you.

  33. Hmm, Marharlim. Sorry. Let me elaborate. Officially, RSN do not deploy Baraks on the Endurance ships. I dont think it will be too much trouble for them to install Baraks however. Official pictures are tightly controlled to know the truth.

    Actually, the Endurance has a larger displacement than the Newport though conservative figures by the image and politically sensitive RSN put it at around 6500 tons empty and 8500 tons full.

    Use of space is maximise with room for growth like all Singapore Tech designs. The Endurance carry more too and carry more diverse equipment and they are definitely more flexible.

    They are “battle-proven” in the sense that they have been successfully deployed for disaster operations where amphibious landings were conducted. They have also been deployed in the Persian Gulf on a number of times in support of coalition navies where they become quasi command and multi-purpose warships. They were also mother-ships for unmanned sea vehicles. The experience is useful to fine tune the ship systems further for the RSN and customers.

  34. Firdaus…So ‘its not nice to buy weapons from Singapore’ because it was once part of Malaysia?? Allright, now I understand your logic. By the same token, we should never, never have any dealings with Thailand because the northern states onced paid tribute to Siam. Dont forget, they also use to attack and lay waste to Langkawi. And god forbid we should have dealings with Japan as they invaded Malaysia in 42.

  35. azlan> But isnt out country short of money ? Instead of getting 2 figates , isnt it better to get 3 or 4 convettes for almost same price. Well i not really sure what the price but I rember it to be cheaper . Well that just some suggestion anyway.

    Marhalim: I have been advocating that instead of buying corvettes, we should buy patrols boats instead like those of the Stanflex 300 design which could be used by the RMN and the MMEA so we can get the economic benefits of running a huge fleet. I believe with the supposed cost of the batch 2 (It could go as high as RM6 billion due to the fact that the government wants it to be build locally) we could get at least 30 of these patrols boats.

  36. There are 2 countries in SEA which i believe we will never buy anything anymore and that is Indonesia and S’pore. We ordered 8 CN 235 from Indon’s PT Dirgantara (went bankrupt later) and had it not been for the diplomatic spat there could be 32 of those birds in RMAF service. Emotion first, business later. I wonder what happen to thousands of Protons we traded in the deal. Hopefully they are still running condition 😛

    As for s’pore even though Tun Mahathir no longer the PM, I dont see najib will go as far as buying arms from them. There will be political outcry if that ever happen especially when we lose the ownership of Pulau Batu Putih. You see when malaysia made major buy arms purchase, not only we tend to look for friendly countries but also for “something in return”. When we bought the Scorpenes from the French, the govt requested for landing rights for MAS planes at Roissy Charles De Gaulle airport. With Najib’s recently concluded visit to France and Sarkozy’s nod for Air Asia’s landing rights in Paris, i dare say the deal for the Cougar (and who knows what else) is in the bag already. Malaysian Inc. at its best. It’s not something to be ashamed of though.

    Marhalim: Bang, you said two countries Indonesia and Singapore. However, as far as I could remember we never bought any arms from Singapore. Well, we nearly did. We were supposed to buy M16A1 rifles from Singapore in mid 70s but the US refused to grant the export license. So we end up buying from the rifles from Colt instead…..

  37. I think we should just invest in better sensors and sensor platforms eg AWACS, OPVs, UAVs, ECM equipment – that way we can have hard facts regarding number of intrusions…no need to buy advanced missiles until we know how many and who is jumping into our compound all the time.

  38. Tay, you’re right. Additional modestly armed corvettes or light frigates is the answer.We aren’t facing any serious external threats at the momment. The main challenges at sea are protecting our EEZ, keeping East Malaysian waters secure and ensuring safety in the Straits of Melaka. What we need are more hulls in the water, and fast. One of the reasons the RMNn can’t mantain a standing presence in the Gulf of Aden, apart from funds, is that it is already hard pressed to met its operational responsibilities in home waters, given the number of hulls it has.

    I’m also a strong advocate of rapidly introducing large numbers of UAVs to be operated by a joint MAF command. I still mantain that we should buy stuff that we need from whoever we need rather than basing it on politics or who has a trade imbalance with us. I think a very important consideration is Dzirhan Mahadzir’s statement in another forum that during the Mahathir era, the main focus on defence buys was how it would benefit Malaysia in terms of transfers of technology and economic offsets. Improving our overall security and defence readiness was secondary.

  39. Well, it really depends on how you want to run military procurement. As you say, emotions ostensibly take precedence. Then, so be it. Just remember that you might end up with the wrong kind of purchase at the wrong price with the wrong kind of repercussions of the negative type. Just dont complain later. For me, I think it`s time to change mindsets and processes and break the cycle.

  40. I totally agreed with you Azlan! The main reasons for the procurement of military assets is to protect our national interest and nation against any kind of external threats.

    So as for the Navy, like what Marhalim said, patrol vessel are more economic to operate and to acquired than the frigate or the corvette. But I believe that we should add more PV to the current NGPV as a batch 2 NGPV with more towards ASW capability as needed by the navy for supporting the scorpene operation.

    At the moment, most of the corvette operates and frigate operated in the navy is at the tip-top condition with some of them undergoes the SLEP.

    So, we should get more UAV for the navy as what azlan said as it’s cheap to operate and many local company also have produce many UAVs.

    Most probably, 2nd batch of NGPVs will be signed in the lima09 and there’s no hope for the 2nd Batch of Lekiu-Class frigate which is largely belief to be benefits from TYPE45 technology transfered to the local company to be continue as the current economic situation.

  41. RMN seriuosly should look at the Absalon FSS which in turn proved to be a trully multi role ship: deck for the helos, dock for the tank/armoured vehicle, still space for troops, medical evac. capable…but at the design of a destroyer!! yup a DDG!!!
    RMN should scrapped the Batch 2 FFG programme for sure because it does not going to give us any advantage at all! the money should be focused on the NGPV programmme, imagine 27 strong fleet of those Meko, with efficient and effective sensors and effectors suite…not to forget people the fact that our Lekiu FFG is considered only as a LIGHT frigate…
    The FSS is trully unique design for a small and limited funds naval forces like us…we simply cannot follow the super powers trends and selection because we only operates at a very small fund…FSS will gives the RMN two way elements – firepower and logistics that well balance!! This is destroyer design and size and then some…..come on, dont tell me all of us never wished/or dreamed that we will operate a DDG some day…this is the chance…
    One thing about Malaysian Armed Forces habit is the fact that they followed directly everything those super powers ways which is good but COSTLY! we need something of our very own, our own way, our very own text book that based on our own requirements which is definetly differs! We never knows the future going to be…but surely its going to be as challenging and difficult as ever…we cannot expect to get the funds to be raised in future…i’m not that optimistic!

  42. Syameer, There is no way at all that a 2nd batch of NGPVs will be sign at LIMA. Its still very, very early days. Patrol vessels are on paper cheaper to operate and buy than frigates but it depends on the electronics and weapons fit. The NGPVS can be considered patrol vessels but are no way cheap, even if fully made in a German shipyard.

    Marhalim: Based on the audit report, each of the Kedah-class cost more than RM800++ and its still counting…. BTW REAL patrol vessels are cheap to operate but not corvettes/frigates masquerading as PVs…

  43. Marhalim> That Stanlex 300 what its cost? I look at the specs it seems alright since it can fit with a variety of weapons even exocet and sea sparrow . But wont those PC of that size wont be able to handle rough seas ?

    Aegis8181> The Absalon have nice specs , but what the price tag of it?

    Marhalim: No exact price on the Stanflex but the Absalon class hull’s was made for USD100 million and the weapons fits reportedly cost another US150 million since some of the weapon system was taken from some of the Stanflex that were sold to another country. US$250 million is still quite cheap if compared for the asking price for the Jebat/Lekiu Batch 2 and its about the same price as one NGPV! Since the Stanflex is smaller I believed it will not cost not more than US100 million each.

    The Stanflex design was offered for the NGPV project but the German design was chosen.

  44. Oh come on….the NGPVs are insanely expensive because of politically driven fiasco that was PSC-NDSB. What was the original impetus for PSC-NDSB? Does anyone actually remember how it came about? Well, it came about because in 1994, the government party needed money to fight an election. Cash. This money was in a company called PERISTIMA which had RM50 million in cash.

    Using bits of worthless paper(as is so popular), PERISTIMA was taken over and the cash pumped out of the company for election funding. In return, the company would get the NGOPV contract.

    The initial plan was to build the NGOPVs in Sabah to help cement the federal presence in Borneo. Unfortunately, now that the SPV was drained of cash and Sabah Shipyards was not going to accept script for their company, they needed a Plan B. That was NDSB.

    Why NDSB? It was government owned and could be ‘privatized’. This was against the wishes of the navy since NDSB was a refit yard and not a fabrication yard and having stuff built there would negatively affect the function of the yard for refit work. But there was little or no choice since they needed a yard to do the work in that they didn’t have to pay real money for. Lumut it was then.

    At this point things were no great but had not melted down. Yet. Amin Shah had to bodek Dr.M and keep up financial support to the party (to which he owed everything). Money was hemorrhaging left, right and centre while he had to keep up appearances of running the project, supporting Dr.M’s grandiose plans and filling the party’s ever empty coffers.

    So he came up with a short term solution by billing the government for work while withholding payment to sub-cons. After a while the sub-cons cut him off and the project ground to a halt. By which point he had siphoned out enough money to live comfortably in the UK for a very long time so he went into exile. The government has not actively pursued him by prosecuting him and sticking him on a Interpol Red Notice because they would rather he not be made to explain….

    So you see Syameer…we are quite able to screw ourselves royally without the aid or assistance of Singapore, Indonesia or anyone else.

    OTH…it is easier to sleep blaming LKY for all our ills.

    Marhalim: The wheels are turning, Simon, the wheels are turning…..BTW I am told SDR amin shah is in Dubai….

  45. CNIM of france came up with some interesting stuff called MPV, said to be new kind of LST with a displacement of over 1000 tonne…check it out!

    Marhalim: Yes, I have seen it but it remained an unproven design…we maybe desperate but not crazy….

  46. hi….just joining the fun. i went to surf at all those ships you guys were talking about. I must say all of them are awesome. I dont really understand their roles but hopefully the govt will decide wisely…purely on RMN needs to defend the country

  47. Marhalim, I still think that we dont need those FFG, but built all 27 NGPV instead…operates on a single platform it is, simplicity, commonality, compatibility, means effeciency and effectiveness guaranteed! I have to say that 27 vessel of that magnitude in this regional standard….it means supremacy eh!!…

    Marhalim: I never said we need those FFGs, the Nakhoda Ragam, to me is a corvette, though some might disagree. The only reason I am suggesting that we buy the Nakhoda Ragams is that we can get it quickly into service. Yes, having all 27 PV is a much better idea but based on current experience with the programme, we cannot simply make three ships available within six months time or even within the next two years. Take the current situation of the last two PVs under trials. Both are supposed to come on line end of this year but it appears only one will be commissioned perhaps, at LIMA.

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