Wouldnt It Be Cheaper III


The radar on KD Pahang

KUALA LUMPUR: Following up on my earlier posts on smart procurement for our security agencies, the Coast Guard will probably be able to do a better job by working with the RMN instead of buying a couple of amphibians with an iffy surveillance fit.

For example, the two Kedah-class ships, stationed in Sabah, are already fitted with the state of the art 3D radar (for more details read below). With a reported range of a round 60km in surface mode, the ships could be laying in anchor at the Semporna naval base and at the same time, do a better job than those amphibians.

By data-linking the radar picture to several land, air and sea assets in the vicinity of Semporna, would enable any transgressors to be tracked and possibly be stopped. Of course if all the assets in the area could be linked in a network, Sabah borders would be more secure.

It would be cheaper and faster than integrating new assets like the CL-415s MMEA is purchasing….

EADS TRS-3D/16-ES naval radar system demonstrates capabilities in Malaysia

After having demonstrated its capabilities in extensive live-firings, the delivery of the EADS TRS-3D naval radar system to the New Generation Patrol Vessel programme of the Royal Malaysian Navy is under way. As reported by EADS Defence & Security on Thursday, two out of six radars have been delivered, with the remaining four having already completed factory acceptance tests. Two ships have been built by Blohm & Voss (TKMS); four are under construction by the Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn. Bhd. in Malaysia. Earlier, the radar system successfully passed the Sea Acceptance Tests in the complex littoral area of the Strait of Malacca. Withstanding demanding environmental and weather conditions it exceeded its performance specifications.

As a whole, six vessels will be equipped with EADS’ successful TRS-3D/16 ES radar which is optimised for deployment in dense coastal threat scenarios. The radar uses electronic stabilisation to compensate the pitching and rolling motion of the ship, thus making heavy mechanical stabilisation unnecessary. This radar system is the latest version of the TRS 3D radar family, which is in use on various ships classes including the German and other navies. The purpose of this radar system is to automatically perform detection and track initiation – tracking of sea targets as well as airborne targets at medium ranges are also part of its capabilities. It is characterized by excellent accuracy and tracking range performance, high resistance to environmental and electronic countermeasures influences, and a special gun fire support mode.

“To create a comprehensive littoral situational picture under extreme environmental conditions for the sake of security you need extremely powerful sensors”, said Bernhard Gerwert, CEO ofEADS Defence Electronics. “Our TRS-3D radar has operationally shown that it is the right solution to these complex requirements.”

The TRS-3D, developed and produced by EADS Defence Electronics, is a 3D multimode naval radar for air and sea surveillance. It is deployed on the F122 type German frigates and is also being installed on the new K130 corvettes. Recently, the TRS-3D was selected to equip the new ships for the US Coast Guard Deepwater programme as well as the US Navy’s LCS programme. In all, it is deployed by naval forces in more than 50 units around the world. The TRS-3D is available in different versions and can serve as a stand-alone radar for the special requirements of smaller ships operating in costal waters or as the main self-defence radar on frigates and large ships. It is used for automatically locating and tracking all types of air and sea targets. Thanks to the latest signal processing technologies, the TRS-3D is particularly suited for the early detection of low-flying or fast-moving objects under extreme environmental conditions, such as guided missiles, high-speed patrol boats or unmanned aerial vehicles.


If you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment

About Marhalim Abas 2200 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. We still use mechanical steering radar. I do hope we get those Phased Array system on our new frigate Bac 2, preferebly the BAe SAMPSON AESA radar. Couple that with Aster 15 Missile and we have a multi target, omni-directional engagement capability. Singapore new Delta Frigates already use THALES APAR, couple with Aster 15 missile.

  2. Marhalim,

    This is what I would have done..

    1) Transfer the RMAF B200T to the MMEA. RMAF should look for more capable MPA assets.

    2) Buy more helicopters. Btw I don’t agree with MMEA buying 2 different helicopters. Bad start for such a small fleet. They started off with three Dauphins and recently they ordered three AW139.

    3) Buy new inshore patrol vessels. Like the ones bought by the Kiwis. It costs the Kiwis NZD100 million (about RM250 million) for 4 of these boats. Meaning that, for the cost of one Kedah class, we can get afford 20 of these boats.


  3. Dear Fadly,
    On your remarks that we are still using mechanical steering radar. TRS-3D/16 ES radar does not turn thus the design does not require any mechanical steering. (No bearing thus no greasing required). The multimode TRS-3D radar uses a phased array antenna in a 3-D multimode for simultaneous detection and tracking of multiple targets and employs electronic stabilization to neutralize the rolling motion of boats operating in choppy coastal waters, with specific operational modes to protect against sea-skimming cruise missiles and attack helicopters. The radar antenna is made up of a planar phased array pencil-beam array of 16 or 32 rows of 46 radiators each. Electronic phase shifters are incorporated for scanning in elevation. The antenna includes polarization agile or linear polarized radiators.

    There you have it the KD Kedah and KD Pahang is fitted with this baby.

    On B Ae Sampson, I am very sceptical on B Ae products…..But on the other hand if M’sia is buddy buddy with U S of A like Brother Anwar bin Ibrahim with them then Msia can get the Aegis Combat System…Proven and very capable…Buy British lastla friend.

    On MBDA Aster 15 no comment.

    Marhalim: Perhaps if DSAI capture the throne, he might well get the US to throw us a couple of second hand DDG51s for free (with an expensive refit programme, Blackhawks, and even Vipers. We will also got a lot of Adnans and Otokars from Turkey………

  4. We so gotta stop keeping up with the Lees…. AAW frigates we do NOT need. Will you lot stop having naval wet dreams…….

    We should be taking our very expensive experience of the Pahangs to design and produce a number of multi-role vessels in the 300-450 ton displacement class to replace our aging fleet of FACs. Vessels along the lines of the Danish STANFLEX 300 ‘Flyvefisken’.

    No need for extreme speeds and uberstealth, focus on endurance, habitability, signature reduction techniques and networked situational awareness. Definitely not another frikkin radar and combat system, just more TRS-3Ds.


    Marhalim: with full ASW suite, I might add and perhaps mine warfare also…

  5. Incidentally the US Army is flying Beech 200 King Airs with a Predator sensor suite as part of their TF Odin counter-IED effort. This has proven to be a rather neat work around the shortage of Predators.

  6. i tot now at mindef, the people are fighting to supply the sonar for the mine warfare..
    since it is in d 2nd phase oredi..

    correct me if i am lapuk =)

    Marhalim: What 2nd phase? The Mahamiru class or NGPV?

  7. No.
    In sequence
    Block 0 (4 hulls)- Basic/ Patrol Vessel Configuration.
    Radar, ESM, fire control radar, E/O tracker, Self-protection suite (SRBOC etc.)
    Bow medium gun (Super Rapid), light autocannon on superstructure (30x173mm cannon on some sort of remote station) and 4x pintles for HMG/AGL. Zero or minimal integration work piggybacking NGOPV work.
    2 x RHIB/SURC on derricks for intercept work (armed).
    Provision to accept ISO mission modules, e.g. SSM, SAM, VDS etc.

    Block 1A – Special Operations Support Configuration
    Enhanced Self-Protection Suite
    Enhanced Accommodation & Small Craft Support Modules (read SDV & SURC).

    Block 1B (2 Hulls) – Surface Combatant Configuration
    Enhanced Self-Protection (e.g. Nulka)
    Fitted with and fully integrated with SSM and SAM modules.
    All up surface combatant with ASuW & AAW capability.
    SSM and SAM modules to be shared with Kedah class, which suggests MM40Block3 and RAM. I prefer VL MICA….but hey…..

    Block 2(2 Hulls) – PV Config
    Hybrid propulsion (diesel-electric), underwater signature management.

    Block 2A (4 Hulls) – MCMV Config
    MCM ROV & Troika type robotic sweep controls.

    Block 2B (2 Hulls) – ASW Config
    ASW Modules – VDS/Mini TAS, TT & ASW rocket launcher( actually dead useful in littorals)

    16 hulls over 5 years. How hard can it be?


    Marhalim: You are talking about a modified StanFlex 300 right? We can get one or two hulls from the Danes pretty fast now as they are upgrading to bigger ships now. As for the 16 hulls for within five years, it could be done, allright, and another 20 for the Coast Guard. The ships could be build at Lumut and Labuan…..

  8. Actually, the StanFlex 300 was offered by the Danes when the NGPV project actually gathered steam in 1993 to 1999 before they decided to go with the Germans. I was briefed on the prokect during Lima 95/97s. Personally I had always liked these multi-role vessels but it came in when the navy was thinking of blue water operations.

    I did not know the actual reason why the Danes failed to impress (the one with the best inside info wlll be Amin Shah and the navy top brass) but as the StanFlex ships are fitted with gas turbine engines, it certainly did not pass RMN’s fear of such powerplants……

  9. Not necessarily a Stanflex but the idea of ISO mission modules. I’m not certain we have the necessary infrastructure to build GRP hulls quite that large in country but we can most certainly fabricate a conventional metal skinned hull in that displacement category.

    The work can actually be distributed to a number of fabricators and yards across the country with final fit out in Lumut to compress the schedule. Lumut should never have been anything other than a fit out operation.

    The MEKO system simply isn’t as flexible as a piece of open deck to bolt on an ISO container. Ultimately, the idea is to design and fabricate mission modules domestically based on RMN requirements. The MEKO system isn’t as stupid simple.

    The RMN had a bad experience with turbines on the Rahmat and they largely diesel powered so it would only make sense to use diesels. Of course they are basing their experience on 70s British engineering…..

    I am a ‘weak force’ advocate and would much rather see a robust littoral capability than a half assed blue water effort we can’t really afford. Blue water deterrence is better served by air and subsurface assets IMO.


    Marhalim: I agree that we maybe too way behind for GRP hull fabrication but a metal skin boat (the size of the StanFlex or new Lurrsen FAC size) with ISO weapons fit containers might just work.

    On the Lumut yard, I am not favouring them but with the NGPV project, they had sucked much of the skilled ship builders in the country from other yards across the country so they, at the moment, is the best option for another shipbuilding project and since its own by LTAT anyways, any MINDEF project would take off faster if its given to them. I am not suggesting favouritism but life is unfair, and at the moment, its tilting towards Lumut…

  10. If you look at the Finnish Hamina class FAC which is only 250 tons, it shows what can be done with a very compact platform. They really are superb little boats IMO.

    The point to programming of the Blocks is to ensure that the integration work and support base for the various modules are laid, to avoid the ‘never never’ situation faced with the NGOPVs.

    Marhalim: But modifications to the basic hull and engine systems meant we have to invest more on R/D on these boats first, by getting a ready design, we can save time and money. Even with modifications or not, my suggestion for such a project that all fabrication and integration of the first two boats must be done at the foreign partner yard to reduce risk with malaysian ship workers being involved,from the start.

    The biggest problem of the NGPV to me was that the integration work for the first two ships were not completed in Germany. The project would have not suffered much delays if it was done that way in the first place with the Lekir/Kasturi used as a test platform.

  11. *Rant on* No. The biggest problem was that the PSC-NDSB was run by Mr. Amin Shah on behalf of his political masters who really were not interested in anything other than enriching themselves. This is compounded by the Malaysian management culture of bodek (ass kissing) and love of mediocrity, suppressing creativity and innovation at all levels. This is especially true of GLCs and the ‘defence industry’. Everyone likes to have the white face on hand to ‘prove’ competence. *rant off*

    It is an appalling indictment of how little we have learned from the NGPV fiasco that you have no confidence to do the lead boats in Malaysia. Are we doomed to eternally be ‘monkey see, monkey do’?

    A new design is unfortunately necessary, primarily because NOBODY has an exact fit. The STANFLEX system uses a proprietary module as opposed to a ISO container module. The nearest equivalent would be the mission modules for the US Navy’s LCS. The vessel would have to incorporate the infrastructure (physical, power, data) to support them.

    It does not have to be a blank sheet design, I envisage something that looks like the front end of a Hamina (Visby is a little extreme IMO) with a long open quarterdeck like the Flyvefisken onto which mission modules are mounted. ‘Stealth’ panels could be mounted outboard of mission containers for reduced radar observability as appropriate.


    marhalim: I do concede that Amin Shah shehanigans may well be the main reason for the NGPV fiasco but it is my opinion that the technical issues surrounding the first two ships would have been lessened if the ships were also fitted out in Germany instead of locally.

    On the second issue, of no confidence of ;local integration, it is my opinion that if we are getting a foreign partner for the solution since we have no such expertise, it is wiser to let them prove it for the first one or two ships. We can do the whole thing locally for the next class of ships. Otherwise, we must be prepared to invest in testing platforms, so we can thoroughly test the systems and software integration as we build the hulls as done by the US and Nato Navies.

  12. Pardon. I’ve mistook an Alvaro De Bazan as a Delta Frigate.

    We’re not trying to keep up with the lees. Aster 15 and the likes are the standard fit on any frigate size vessel. AAW frigates usually goes for the longer range system like Aster 30, SM-2ER or S-300PMU. sure, we can have just a Seawolf or ESSM on board, but that means we can only engage the target at a very close range. if the missile miss, there’s a slim chance for a second try. What we need is a Multi-function frigates with a good air defence capability and a good ASW capability of which both we currently lack. Our frigate don’t even have a low frequency towed sonar and just depend of the Hull mounted broadband sonar, which mean we lack long range sonar search capability.

    I agree with you about the Lumut dock. they’ve already invested a lot of taxpayers money to be able to built their own hull. now we have to wait if they really deliver. RMN | say’s that they want up to 27 NGPVs. probably the next 21 will test whether the money goes to the project or to someone’s pocket. with this kind of leadership, i fear for the future of this country. if they willing to jeopardized national security to enrich themselves, what guarantee do we have that this peoples won’t simply sell out our country when someone offer them high enough pay.

  13. We can’t afford ‘multi-role’ frigates in the 4,000-5,000 tonne class with full on area AAW, ASW and ASuW fit. To get even a pair of them, we’d have to give up pretty much all other naval force development activities. With that few, all you need is a fault or glitch in one and you’ve lost 50% of your force. Yes, they’ll be great for bragging rights for a few years and then?….. you end up with a handful of capable platforms and a load of obsolete and increasingly difficult to maintain vessels.

    I don’t happen to believe that ship-based ASW makes much sense in our security context. We have no out of theatre commitments that require forward deployed capabilities. We would be far better served by land based MPAs and helicopters for this role rather than depending on ship-based assets.

    27 NGPVs is stupid. We need a balanced blue and green water capability. The NGPV is designed to provide a bare bones blue water presence and they are useful in that regard but they are hideously inefficient for green water capabilities. We would do far better to recapitalize the latter as I believe the developments of the last decade or so has really transformed the potential of smaller vessels.
    Combined with a UAV surveillance capability and you can create a robust, decentralized and survivable littoral force that won’t break the bank.


  14. The delay on the first 2 PVs was due to the software of the CMS. Nothing to do with integration. FYI, the main problem was there was no hot redundancy capability in the software when it was released while this was called for in the contract. Thus, the Combat System manufacturer had to rewrite the software, which took ages! This would have happened even if the full construction and integration was carried out in Germany! If it wasn’t for this. the ships would have been delivered 2 years earlier.

    BTW, how sure are you of the specs of the next batch of PVs? What I heard is that with the MMEA in place, the configuration for follow on ships would most probably be a full featured surface combatant, an AAW ship possibly with VLS, MM40, active sonar, etc. Green water = leave it to the MMEA.

    Marhalim: I could be wrong but to make the software and hardware work is called integration. The Chief during DSA said that what they want is the next batch to be fully fitted with the weapon systems unlike the current fully fitted but not equipped with as on the first batch. He did not say what they actually want! However, if they want vLS and VDS/TAS, I believe they will have to copy the K130 design, a much better hulll than our very own PVs. Again, we paid the price for being the guinea pigs!

  15. i’m confused or could be simply lack of information … does the MMEA have AW 109 or 139

    Marhalim: No AW109 but four Dauphins for SAR and Patrol duties. They recently signed a contract for three AW139s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.