Malaysian Navy Mulls Chinese Kit for Laksamana-Class Upgrades

9:37:00 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, -- A senior official from the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has confirmed to IHS Jane's that the service is considering installing Chinese-made equipment on its Laksamana-class corvettes.

The RMN has proposed to the Malaysian government a service life extension programme (SLEP) for the four ships, which were commissioned between July 1997 and July 1999. The official declined, however, to give further details on systems being considered, adding only that all options are being considered (including weapons and combat systems).

IHS Jane's reported on 20 April that the RMN is looking to replace the ships' surface-to-surface missile launchers, fire-control radar, machine guns, combat management system, electronic support measures, and integrated bridge and platform management systems. Also being considered for upgrade are the corvettes' 105 mm chaff launchers and identification friend-or-foe interrogator.

Besides being armed with an Oto Melara 76/62 Super Rapid main gun and two Breda twin 40 mm cannons, the Laksamana-class vessels are fitted for Otomat anti-ship and Aspide surface-to-air missiles, according to IHS Jane's Fighting Ships . However the missile systems currently are non-operational.

The scope of any upgrade work will be determined by the available budget, under the five-year government funding allocations known as the Malaysia Plan. The RMN said in January that it had requested funding for 36 programmes under the 11th Malaysia Plan, which will cover the period 2016-20. The request, which includes plans to upgrade the Kedah- and Laksamana-class corvettes, would cost about MYR10.1 billion (USD2.79 billion).

The Royal Malaysian Navy Laksamana Class small missile corvette Muhammed Amin (F-136), part of the ESS forces cruising in Sandakan Bay.

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