Thursday, April 26, 2012

Don't Get Over-excited

There was a recent flurry of exchanges on the internet on the news that Malaysia has expressed interest to obtain Ex-US Navy Oliver Hazard Perry class Frigates and Whidbey Islan class Landing Ship Docks, as recently reported by Jane's.
Jane's Defence Weekly - 25 April, 2012 - 23:03
The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has told the US Navy (USN) it may be interested in buying Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates scheduled for decommissioning in 2013 and the early retired Whidbey Island class landing ship docks (LSDs). "We have registered our interest," RMN chief Admiral Tan Sri Aziz Jaafar told reporters on 23 April in Kuala Lumpur. Adm Tan Sri Aziz also said the RMN and Royal Malaysian Air Force had told the government of a maritime patrol aircraft requirement. 
Personally I would not like to see the purchase of the Perry class frigates as they are now no more than over-glorified gunboats without missile capability, and even to refurbish them would cost tens of millions of dollars as experienced by the Pakistani Navy with their Alamgir class unit.  Such money would be put to better use to arm our own Kedah-class patrol vessels that are definitely newer and more modern anyway. Even if we would be so interested to obtain that particular frigate class, I would rather see it directed to efforts to acquire Royal Australian Navy's Adelaide class ships that has been modernised and upraded as compared to the USN units that is also scheduled to be decommissioned at the same time.

However interest in the LSD would be a different kettle of fish altogether as the Whidbey's should be hot transfers once decommissioned in 2013. This would quickly provide us the amphibious capacity seriously required since our sole LST Ex-Inderapura was destroyed in a fire leaving only two small logistics vessels to take on the job. Nonetheless a certain local dockyard may kick-up a storm as they have been working together with a Korean shipyard to design and  build the Navy's MPSS units while awaiting the official go-ahead. However this would not matter much if the LSDs are meant to complement rather than replace this project or in other words as a bridging project until our own SGPV/LCS and MPSS units are commissioned.

In conclusion however as per the title of this post, please do not get overexcited as this is just an expression of interest, so there is no certainty that we would be able to purchase the ships as there may be other countries that are competing to obtain the units as well. This is also subject to the possibility that we can even get Congressional approval to purchase in the first place. So let's just wait and see eh!


Anonymous said...

The title should never be "Malaysia looking to buy...." in the first place because that was not the case. It is the American who throw the idea as in offering us to consider.

Janes got this one wrong.

p/s there is no problem as far as congressional approval is concern if the purchase get a go ahead. We've been granted access to higher category of weapon system/platform. Hint - they're bending backward to offer us stuff.


mumuchi said...

Thanks bro.