Saturday, 27 September 2008
Thursday, 25 September 2008
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
Sunday, 14 September 2008
KD Sri Indera Sakti 1503 1979/1980
KD Mahawangsa 1504 1981/1983
Displacement: 1800 tons standard, 4300(4900 1504) tons full load
Warships on operations at sea need the support of "mother" ships or tenders. In the RMN, this job is undertaken by two Multi-Purpose Command and Support Ships, the KD Sri Indera Sakti and KD Mahawangsa. These ships are however also usable as command and control ship and troop transport as a large operations room, vehicle holds and diver compression chamber is included in their configuration. The KD Sri Indera Sakti, commissioned on November 7, 1980 is armed with one 57mm Bofors MK 1 forward gun and two 20mm single guns that are controlled by a fire control system. Bremen Vulkan in West Germany built the ship. The sister ship, KD Mahawangsa, was built in South Korea by Korea Tacoma and commissioned on May 16, 1983. Physically she differs slightly from the KD Indera Sakti in that she is fitted with two instead of one 57 mm Bofors MK 1 single guns, the incorporation of additional special capacity to load ammunitions and the enlargement of the helicopter deck by the repositioning of her engine funnel. Nevertheless both ships have the same dimensions and have similar capabilities, including helicopter-landing decks. They are generally used as logistics support ships for the RMN fleet for long distance voyages or patrol and as supply ships. In addition to their general duties, they are used as training ships for cadets since in addition to a crew component of 140 officers and ratings; they are able to accommodate additional 215 men. These ships can travel up to a maximum distance of 22,400 km without refuelling and is fitted with replenishment equipment including a 15-ton crane. It can carry 1,300 tonnes of diesel and 200 tonnes of fresh water, with 300 square metres of provision space. On deck, there is also space for 10 20-foot containers. In addition up to 17 armoured vehicles and 600 troops can be carried allowing these ships to be used as transports for Malaysian international missions, especially into war torn areas. Their weaponry also ensures that they are able to defend themselves even when operating alone. Moreover, they can also provide firing support for the navy's amphibious operations. All these capabilities prove that these ships are true Multi-Purpose Command and Support Ships.
Dimensions: 100 m (103 M)x 14.9m x 4.8m
Guns: 1(2) x Bofors 57mm/70 Bofor SAK Mk 1, 2 x 20mm Oerlikon GAM-BO1. (Range : Main 17 Km, Aux : 2 Km/ 1.6 Km)
Electronics: Decca TM 1226, Naja Optronic Fire Control System
Propulsion: 2 x Deutz S/BMV6 540 diesels at 5986hp to two shafts, bow thrusters, controllablepitch propellers
Speed: 16.5 knots, range 7400 Km at 14 Knots.
Crew: 140 + 215
Aircraft: Platform Aft
Sri Gaya Class Fast Troop Vessel
KD Sri Tiga 332 1998/2001
The RMN in May 2001 commissioned their newest vessels, the locally built KD Sri Gaya and KD Sri Tiga in Labuan, Sabah. Named after islands in Sabah, they were originally built in 1998 as fast ferries for a local ferry service company but the order was cancelled. Instead, the Navy will now use them as Fast Troop Vessels (FTV). Costing RM16 million each, the 37.5 metre aluminium monohull FTV's were built by PSC-NDSB using Australian technology. These vessels are specially designed to suit the local environment in having reinforced structure for rugged use and are also designed for easy manoeuvrability in shallow waters. Both vessels will serve with the 33rd Supply Squadron that serves the navy's offshore stations besides handling rapid troop movements to locations off Sabah and Sarawak, in their role as light logistics vessels. Built on a modular system, the FTV's configuration depends on the platform installed in the centre deck whether to carry troops or supplies in its 20-foot containers, four of which can be fitted. The FTV can also be configured to perform a host of other missions with. It can carry general cargo, marine ambulance and even be used as diving platforms. In addition, the FTV will boost the navy's surveillance capability over national waters in Sabah as they can also be used to patrol the seas in an auxiliary capacity with the installation of a 20mm gun. The FTV's multi-mission function is the vessel's plus point in the navy's operation.
Displacement: 116.5 tonnes
Dimensions: 37.5 m x 7.2m x 1.4m
Guns: Test fitted for Giat 15A 20mm
Electronics: Furuno Radar
Propulsion: 4 x MAN D2842 LE 408 at 1971hp to 4 Hamilton 521 waterjet propulser
Speed: 28 knots, range 1000Km at 14 knots
Crew: 8 + 32 in FTV role, 8 + 232 in ferry role.
Combat Boat 90 H FPB
As a maritime nation that has numerous small islands, it is necessary for the Royal Malaysian Navy to be equipped with many small patrol boats for efficient island patrols. Although designed to carry half a platoon of troops, the CB90H version C fast patrol boat is the Royal Malaysian Navy's latest acquisition for rapid deployment missions in the nation's territorial waters. Four of the dynamically shaped boats produced by Swedish firm Dockstavarvet entered the RMN inventory in 1999 to fulfil patrolling tasks of Offshore Station Units, especially in the disputed Spratly Islands chains and for surveillance and interception duties against illegal activities in the nation's large river systems and islands. In 2001, an additional 12 units were progressively inducted into the fleet for use in Sabah waters to face serious incursion threats from neighbouring criminal elements. The CB90H are also used for evacuation and search and rescue missions by the RMN. These boats uses a waterjet system for propulsion in place of propellers with a reverse bucket system for forward and reverse motion giving it the ability to operate even in shallow depths. The CB90H is also equipped with an integrated computerised navigational system. The CB90H has a welded aluminium construction with a reinforced bottom to withstand rough landings on all types of shoreline through her forward bow ramp. One of the most spectacular stunts it can pull of is a complete stop from full speed in less than two and a half boat lengths (37m). The maximum speed is 45 knots but when embarked with assault troops the speed is reduced to 38 knots. The boat carries a crew of four for ordinary patrol and eight for special operations. In maritime operations, it can carry up to 22 fully equipped troops or two tonnes of cargo. Consistent with her role for patrol and reconnaissance, the boat is also able to carry a number of mines that can be released directly from the boat. The boats can also operate for a period of 10 hours at sea with a constant speed of 40 knots. For weaponry, the boat can also be fitted with a heavy machine-gun or twin 120mm mortars, mines or SSM. With these features together with its small size, these combat boats can ably shoulder the navy's responsibilities in guarding the nation against low-level threats.
Displacement: 12 tons standard 15.8 tons full load
Dimensions: 14.9m x 3.8m x 0.8m
Guns: 2 x 12.7 GPMC, 1 x 20mm Giat 15A tested, mine-rails with room for 6 mines
Electronics: Navi-Sailor and digital charts with Trimbel 8-channel differential GPS, Furuno Search Radar
Propulsion: 2 x Scania DSI 1475M diesels giving 1286hp to 2 unit Kamewa/FF jet 410 water jets Speed: 45 knots, range 440 Km at 30 knots
Crew: 3 + 22 fully equipped personnel or two tonnes of cargo.
Perdana 3501 1971/1972
Serang 3502 1972/1973
Ganas 3503 1972/1973
Ganyang 3504 1972/1973
Displacement: 234 tons Standard, 265 tons full load
Ordered in 1970, the Perdana class is close to the norm in displacement and dimensions of standard La Combattante IID class FAC(M)s. The main difference is that the Perdana class comes with a modified weapons fit as compared to those generally found in the class. Built by Construction Mecaniques de Normandie (CMN) Cherbourg, the Perdana's are the first Royal Malaysian Navy vessels to be fitted with Exocet missiles for surface warfare. The vessel packs enough punch in her small size for warfare in the relatively shallower and confined waters of the territory where her manoeuvrability and speed is an advantage against larger vessels. This allows the vessels in times of war to operate more effectively in the area's combat operations despite her small size and comparative lack of sophistication although their ESM suite has been upgraded to Thales DR3000S. However, these FAC anti-ship platforms are not adequately defended against air and sub-surface threats and with a limited durability in open seas, makes them unsuitable for long-range patrolling and protecting of offshore installations in the South China Sea. Although not quite with sea denial capability, these FAC's still provide credible enforcement and offensive value to the navy as they can temporarily close off choke points until the more capable navy vessels arrive to take up the fight. Nonetheless recent photographs of the class seems to indicate that their missiles have been removed during operations and now operate as gun equipped crafts only.
Dimensions: 47m x 7m x 3.9m
Guns: 1 x 57mm/70 Bofors SAK Mk1, 1 x 40mm/70 Bofors, launchers for four 57mm chaff/flare illuminants on side mountings.(Range : Main 17 Km, Aux : 12Km/4Km)
Missile: 2x MM38 Exocet Single Box Launchers. (Range : 42 Km)
Electronics: Thomson CSF TH-D 1040 Triton, Decca 1226 radars, Pollux Fire control radar used with the Vega optical gun fire control system, Electronic Suite Machinery(ESM) RDL 2ABC with radar warning elements.
Propulsion: 4x MTU 870 Diesels giving 14000hp to four shafts
Speed: 36.5 knots range 3333 Km at 15 knots
Handalan Class FAC-M
Perkasa 3512 1978/1979
Pendekar 3513 1978/1979
Gempita 3514 1978/1979
Displacement: 240 tons standard, 268 tons full load
The Handalan class vessels or Spica-M FAC(M) are a heavier variant of the Swedish Spica II (Norrkoping) Class. They were built by Kalskrona Varvet and ordered by the Navy in 1976. The class replaced the Perkasa class FAC-T/M squadron with the names being transferred. Compared to the original Swedish vessel, these vessels come with new longer-range diesel engines and a different weapons fit consisting of four Exocet missiles and an additional Bofors 40mm gun. The bridge of the vessel is also brought further forward to accommodate the Exocet launchers and rear gun. The vessels are additionally equipped with a data-link communications system allowing exchange of data through computer with similarly equipped naval units and shore establishments. They also have elaborate countermeasures, weapon control system and tracking equipment. In addition, a new Thales DR3000S ESM suite has been installed. The vessels of the class are thus more well-armed, more capable and equipped with better radar than the larger sized Perdana class vessels. This makes the vessels in the Handalan squadron a force that cannot be taken lightly by the opposing navy as they are capable of bringing the offensive to the enemy during combat, even without support from the navy's larger units which is contrary to normal tactic of FAC naval doctrine.
Dimensions: 43.6m x 7.1m x 2.4m
Guns: 1 x 57mm/70 Bofors SAK Mk1, 1 x 40mm/70 Bofors, launchers for 57mm illuminants on side mountings. (Range : Main 17 Km, Aux : 12Km/4Km)
Missile: 2x MM38 twin launchers for four Exocet missiles.(Range 42 Km)
Electronics: Philips 9GR600, Decca 1226 radars, 9LV 212 radar used with 9LV 228 Mk2 fire control system, Optronic AA fire control system, ECM MEL Susie-1 with warning elements, Simrad SU sonar removed.
Propulsion: 3x MTU 16V 538 TB91 diesels delivering 10865hp to three shafts
Speed: 34.5knots, range 2977 Km at 14 knots
Jerong Class FAC(G)
Todak 3506 1976
Paus 3507 1976
Yu 3508 1976
Baung 3509 1977
Pari 3510 1977
The Jerong class is a variant of Lurssen FPB/TNC-45 vessels that was completed to a less formidable FAC-(G ) configuration, with lighter arms and a less sophisticated electronics fit. They were ordered based on three rather than four shaft propulsion arrangement that is common to the class, therefore they were built to a reduced performance specification. Ordered in 1973, the vessels were licensed-built locally by Hong-Leong Lurssen Shipyards under a major technology transfer program. Unlike the missile-armed FAC squadrons of the navy, the Jerong class is equipped only with a main gun for closed-in combat and fire support. As such, they are capable as far as gunboats go for peacetime duties of patrolling the Exclusive Economic Zone, intercepting illegal immigrants from neighbouring countries and conducting anti-piracy operations. However, they are of limited use in a shooting war except for naval bombardment or possibly for guerrilla-type tactics of naval warfare, as hull space constraints do not allow the installation of a sophisticated sensor system and extended operations in open sea conditions. In such guerrilla action, these smaller combatants would still be able to trouble the larger intruders with a 'hit-and-run' strategy by packing a mean punch that belies their small size and lack of high-technology gadgetry. In the meantime, they are expected to assume a greater share of coastal patrol duties upon the final decommissioning of the navy's patrol craft squadrons.Displacement: 210 tons standard, 244 tons full load
Dimensions: 44.9m x 7m x 2.5m
Guns: 1 x 57mm/70 Bofors SAK Mk1, 1 x 40mm/70 Bofors, launchers for 57mm illuminants on side mountings.(Range : Main 17 Km, Aux : 12Km/4Km)
Electronics: Decca 1226, Kelvin-Hughes MS32 radars, Naja Optronic director used with WM28 fire control radar.
Propulsion: 3 x MTU 16V 538 TB90 diesels giving 9900hp to 3 shafts
Speed: 32 knots, range 2897 Km at 16 knots
Tuah Class FFT
Hang Tuah F-76 1966/1977
Displacement: 2300 tons standard, 2520 tons full load
Dimensions: 103.5m x 12.2m x 4.8m
Guns: 1x 57mm/70 Bofors SAK Mk 1, 2x 40/70 mm Bofors. (Range : Main 17 Km, Aux : 12Km/4 Km)
ASW: 1 x Mk10 Limbo Mortar (3 tubes), (Range : 900 metres)
Electronics: Plessey AWS1, 978 Radars, Type 170B and Type 174 Sonars, Matra Defense Naja Optical Director
Propulsion: 2 x Stork Wartsila 12SW28 Diesels at 19856 hp, two shafts, controllable pitch propellers
Speed: 24 knots, range 7725 Km at 14 knots
Aircraft: Platform aft.
Mahamiru Class MCMV
Mahamiru 11 1983/1985
Jerai 12 1983/1985
Ledang 13 1984/1985
Kinabalu 14 1984/1985
The Royal Malaysian Navy became the second Navy to purchase Lerici class Mine Counter Measure Vessel(MCMV) when on 20 February 1981 they awarded Intermarine Spa a contract for four MCMV'S, well before the completion of the first "Lerici" built for the Italian Navy. The hulls of the four ships are made of fibre glass reinforced plastics (GRP) that are able to avoid detection by the sensitive trigger equipment of modern mines. The first of this class was launched in April 1983 but they were only delivered by the end of 1985 because technical problems delayed their arrival. Due to the specific operational and technical requirements of the Royal Malaysian Navy, their configuration are completely different from the one selected by the Italian Navy, although the hull concept is the same. However, the propulsion system is based on a concept similar to that of the Italian Navy, being implemented by two separate propulsion systems. For transit and normal navigation the ship is propelled by two diesel engines driving two controllable pitch propellers, giving the ship a speed of more than 16 knots. For precise navigation over a minefield the ship is propelled by two Riva Calzoni auxiliary thrusters, each driven by an electro - hydraulic motor, and can achieve a speed of 6 knots. Three diesel generators, all of them located above the water line to minimise the magnetic signature and the underwater-irradiated noise, generate electric power. The 500-tonne vessels, each with a crew of between 48 and 65, was bought for about RM100 million each and such vessels come in handy during wartime to ensure the nation's ports and water lanes are free of mines and other submerged hazards. For defence, the vessels have a 40mm gun that serves as the main weapon. The vessels are also equipped with a Mines Disposal Vehicle (MDV) and new Olister unmanned mine countermeasure units has been purchased to replace the old units. Usually the crew would take about 20 minutes to destroy a mine after its detection. Although the vessels primary purpose is to identify and destroy mines, they are also used for offshore patrol since their size, range and weaponry is sufficient for such duties.
Displacement : 540 tons standard, 610 tons full load
Dimensions : 51m x 9.9 m x 2.85 m
Guns : 1x 40mm/70 Bofors (Range : Main 12Km/4Km)
Electronics : Thomson Command and Control system Combat system with Thomson TSM 2060, Decca 1226 and Trident for precise navigation, Thomson Sintra TSM 2022 hull mounted sonar for mines discovery and classification, 2 ECA PAP 104 Mine Disposal Vehicles
Propulsion : 2 x MTU 12V396 TC 82 diesels, 2605hp to 2 shafts, controllable pitch propellers normal, 2 Azimuthal Thrusters giving 119 hp for mine-hunting propulsion
Speed : 16 knots, range 4630 Km at 12 Knots
Crew : 45
Saturday, 13 September 2008
Lekiu F-30 1995/1999
In 1999, two Yarrow F-2000 based Lekiu class frigates ordered in 1992 was commissioned by the Royal Malaysian Navy(RMN) after a delay of more than three years due to software integration problems. Built by GEC-Yarrow, these advanced frigates are heavily armed with a Bofors 57mm Mk2 gun, SeaWolf VLS surface to air missile system, MM-40 Exocet SSMs, Whitehead ASW torpedoes and an advanced electronic warfare suite. This makes the frigates one of the most capable surface combatants in South East Asia, capable of countering multiple air, surface and sub-surface threats. The frigates are also designed with stealth elements to enable it to have a low radar cross section. Combat proven in the Falklands conflict, the Sea Wolf missile has an anti-missile capability that will provide the RMN with a much needed advanced Anti Air Warfare system in the frigates' role as front-line defence vessels. The frigates are also the navy's first vessels that embark a helicopter with a hangar facility for all-weather deployment. With high-tech surface and air-tracking radar complemented with an integrated combat data system, these vessels are lethal adversaries to the maritime threats in Malaysian waters. With such all-around capabilities, the frigates will be able to operate independently and fight their own battles, if necessary.
Displacement: 1845 tons standard, 2,270 tons full load
Dimensions: 105.5m x 12.8m x 3.6 m
Guns: 1x 57mm/70 Bofors SAK Mk2 DP, 2x 30/75mm MSI DS 30B. (Range : Main 19 Km/11 Km, Aux : 10 Km/3.5 Km)
Missile: 2x 4 Launchers for eight MM40 Block II missiles, 16 VL SeaWolf (Upgrade Contract to Block 2 Standard 2007). (Range : SSM 75 Km, SAM 6 Km)
ASW: 2x Triple 324mm Eurotorp torpedo tubes for A244S ASW torpedoes. (Range : 7 Km)
Electronics: Nautis F combat control system, CSF ITL70, Radamec System 2400 Optronic Weapon Director, Type V 3001 thermal imager, Racal 20V90 navigation radar, 2 x 1802 SW tracker radar, Sea Giraffe 150HC search radar, Signaal DA08 air search radars, Mentor 2V1 ESM and Scimitar ECM systems, Telegon 10 communications ESM, Spherion TSM 2633 LF Variable Depth Sonar, ML Aviation Super Barricade decoy chaff launcher system, Graseby Sea Siren Torpedo Decoys, Link Y Mk2.
Propulsion: 4 x MTU 20V 1163 TB93 diesels totalling 33,300hp, 2 controllable pitch propellers
Speed: 28 knots, range 9260 Km at 14 knots
Crew : 146
Aircraft: 1 Super Lynx, Hangar platform aft.
Kasturi Class FFG
Lekir F-26 1982/1984
The main strength of the Royal Malaysian Navy was previously made up of two FS 1500 type ASW frigates built by Germany's Howaldstswerke Deutsche Werft (HDW). Two additional planned units (F27,F28) were however not built. With high automation levels, these are very capable vessels by SEA standards but were initially rated as corvettes although they are larger and vastly more capable than the Rahmat frigate. The frigates are armed with a Creusot Loire 100mm Compact gun to provide shore bombardment and fire power against air and surface targets. Anti air and anti surface armaments are augmented by a Bofors 57mm and twin 30mm Emerlec guns both fitted aft. For anti submarine warfare they are equipped with medium range active sonar and twin barrels 375mm Bofors Anti Submarine mortar. The vessels were initially equipped with four MM38 Exocet surface to surface missiles but have been upgraded to MM-40 missiles during a Mid Life Upgrade. The program also consisted of an upgrade of the command and control system, sonar as well as the installation of a new Thales DR3000S ESM suite. It was planned that they be given telecospic hangars for the helicopter pad but these has been indefinititely shelved. It has been reported that the navy would also like to replace the Bofors 375mm ASW launcher with a torpedo mount and to install a Close In Weapons System such as the Phalanx or Goalkeeper systems. These proposed refits will surely further enhance the frigates to become truly multi-capable fighting platforms for the navy. Displacement: 1500 standard, 1850 full load
Dimensions: 97.3m x 11.3m x 3.5m
Guns: 1 x 100mm/55 Creusot Loire Compact MK2, 1 x 57mm/70 Bofors SAK Mk 1, 2x 30mm/85 Emerson Electric Mk74 twin mountings. (Range: Main1 17.5Km/6Km, Main2 19Km/11Km, Aux : 10Km/3.5Km)
Missiles : Initial 2x Twin container launchers for four MM38 Exocets. (Range : SSM 42 Km), After Refit 2x 4 Launchers for eight MM40 Block II missiles. (Range : SSM 75 Km)
ASW: Bofors 375mm twin barrel ASW Mortar (6 tubes), (Range : 3625 metres)
Electronics: Daisy Sewaco-MA Combat Data System with Signaal DA.08, Decca TM1226C radar, one radar used with the WM-22 gun fire control system, two Signaal LIOD Optronic gun directors, Atlas Elektronics ASO 84-5 (DSQS-21C) sonar, ESM with RAPIDS warning and Scimitar jamming elements, Link Y Mk2 , 2 CSEE dagaie trainable decoy systems, IFF Mk10.
Propulsion: 4x MTU 20V 1163 TB92 diesels totalling 23400hp to two shafts.
Speed: 28knots, range 9260Km at 14 knots
Aircraft: 1 Super Lynx, Platform Aft
Kedah Class FFL/NGPV
KD Kedah 171 2001/2006
KD Pahang 172 2001/ 2006
KD Perak 173 2007/2009
KD Terengganu 174 2007/2009
KD Kelantan 175 2008/2010
PV Selangor 176 2009/????
Displacement: 1500 tons standard, 1,650 tons full load
Dimensions: 91.10m x 12.85m x 3.4 m
Guns : 1 x OTOBreda 76/62 Super Rapid gun , 1 x OtoBreda FSAF/Mauser 30mm MN 30 GS (Range : Main 16 Km/12 Km, Aux : 4Km/2.5 Km)
Missile: fitted for 2 x 2 Launchers for four MM40 Block II missiles, RIM-116 RAM
Electronics : COSYS 110 M1 Combat Management Systems with Oerlikon Contraves TMX and TMEO optronic fire control, Atlas 9600M navigation radar, EADS TRS-3D/16ES air search, Thales Type 242 ESM? Thales Scorpion ECM? STN Atlas ELAC Nautic NDS3060 Sonars, Sippicon ALEX decoy control and launching system.
Propulsion: 2 Caterpillar 3616 DITA diesels at 14617hp, 2 shafts Kamewa controllable pitch propellers
Speed : 27 knots, range 11,205 Km at 12 knots
Crew: 78 +15
Aircraft : 1 SN355 Fennec, hangar platform aft.
Laksamana Class FSG
Laksamana Tun Abdul Jamil F135 1987/97
Laksamana Muhammad Amin F136 1987/99
Laksamana Tan Pusmah F137 1987/99
In July 1997, 2 Laksamana class corvettes the RMN ordered from Fincantieri were commissioned at the Muggiano shipyard in Italy. Variants of the Assad class built for Libya, these four ships were originally built for the Iraqi Navy as the Al Walid class but the supply of the missile corvettes was stopped by United Nations sanctions. Before delivery some specific aspects of the ships' design were modified when the ships were refitted to meet the requirements of the Royal Malaysian Navy. A second batch of two Laksamana class corvettes was later ordered and delivered in 1999. Unlike the first two corvettes, The second batch was delivered with a more modern combat command system, including the Link Y Mk2 that enables real time exchange of data with other Royal Malaysian Navy surface assets and shore bases. However, the earlier units has beeen similarly upgraded. By the standards of South East Asian navies, these are very dangerous corvettes, with their offensive capabilities balanced by the Aspide SAMs. With newly acquired mid-flight helicopter targeting (tele-guidance) capability, the corvettes' Otomat Surface to Surface Missile(SSM) accuracy will be devastating thus making them more dangerous than a comparable sized warship. Together with their ASW capability, these corvettes are potent additions to the RMN fleet.
Dimensions: 62.3m x 9.3m x 2.5m
Guns: 1 x 76mm/62 OTO Melara Super Rapid, 1 x Twin Breda 40mm/70. (Range : Main 16 Km/12 Km, Aux : 13 Km/9 Km)
Missile: Launchers for 6x Otomat Teseo Mk2, 1 x Albatross Quad launcher for 12 Aspide SAM. (Range : SSM 40 Km, 100-180 Km tele-guided, SAM 14 Km)
ASW: 2x triple ILAS3 324mm torpedo tubes for A244S ASW torpedoes. (Range : 7 Km)
Electronics: IPN-S Combat Command System, including Selenia RAN12L/X, Kelvin Hughes 1007, 2x RTN 10X fire control radars used with Mk10 Argo fire control system, ASO 94-41 sonar, INS-3B and RON-5 ESM and TQN-2BB ECM, Link Y Mk2. Breda 105 mm 6-tube Decoy launcher
Propulsion: 4x MTU 20V 956 TB92 diesels giving 20,120hp to four shafts
Speed: 36knots, range 6436 Km at 18 knots
Sunday, 7 September 2008
Blowing Up The Energy Bubble
Poor-country energy subsidies have inflated
oil prices. Bringing them back to earth won't be easy.
Updated: 1:13 PM ET Aug 23, 2008
A Disneyland theme park and a Shanghai gas station don't normally have much in common, but lately they've shared one important trait: endless lines. During evening rush hour in the Chinese metropolis, long queues of mopeds back up outside the city's main downtown stations, where riders wait up to half an hour to top off. They have no choice: at least 35 stations closed down earlier this year, the victims of government- imposed price controls, which force the stations to sell gas below cost.
National subsidies for petroleum consumption, which keep prices for motorists and other oil users at artificially low levels, are one of a long list of factors—including speculators and terrorist acts—accused of sending oil prices skyward. But recently, energy subsidizers, including many of Asia's largest nations, have come under the most fire. In July, President George W. Bush sounded off against subsidizers, blaming them for keeping demand high, which "may not be causing the market to adjust as rapidly as we'd like."
While it's convenient for the leader of the world's largest oil-consuming nation to direct attention elsewhere, there's some truth to the rhetoric. Before June 19, Chinese consumers were paying half the global market price for oil. When the government made a surprise announcement that day to raise prices by nearly 20 percent, the price per barrel of Texas light sweet crude fell by nearly $5. Now politicians around the world are calling for more of the same, hoping for a quick cure to the plague of costly oil. What's unclear is exactly how much an end to global energy subsidies would reduce the price of oil, and how quickly.
Consumers in dozens of countries, from Egypt to Indonesia to India, now pay well below cost to fill up or switch on the lights. In China, even after the June increase, motorists pay about $2.80 per gallon, versus $3.75 in the United States and $8 in France. In oil-exporting nations, the situation is downright ludicrous: Saudi drivers pay an incredible 45 cents a gallon. But autocracies aren't the only offenders. Even democratic India holds the price of oil to about $80 a barrel.
Pressure from economists and politicians has resulted in some cuts. China's June price hike made it the fifth country to make such a move in recent months. Indonesia, Taiwan, India and Malaysia have also raised retail prices between 10 and 50 percent since late May. And analysts expect more such hikes, in part because the fiscal burden has become too much for most countries to bear. Subsidies are now costing many governments, including India, China and Malaysia, 2 percent or more of GDP. The burden is worse in smaller countries, like Turkmenistan, which pays a whopping 15 percent of GDP to subsidize fuel, according to the IMF.
If oil subsidies were to disappear overnight, that could shave $10 to $40 off the price of oil, says Jim Burkhard of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, who warns that such figures are essentially educated guesses. But no one is expecting that dramatic a shift any time soon. Most subsidizing nations are still poor countries, and many are dictatorships; capping the price of gas is seen as a way to help the poor and preserve social stability, even though many of those who benefit are among the middle and upper classes. "People living in nice apartments with air conditioning in Beijing absolutely should pay more for their energy," says Philip Andrews-Speed, a professor and energy expert at the University of Dundee. The IMF and others agree that the poor would be better off if the billions spent on fuel subsidies went toward other schemes, such as direct cash transfers to the least well-off.
That said, the global inflation epidemic is making it hard to sell anyone—rich or poor—on price hikes. According to one Morgan Stanley analysis, if India were to raise oil prices to global levels instantly, it would add nearly 4 percentage points to the inflation rate of 11 percent. Yet only the largest countries, namely India and China, have the bulk to really affect the global market. And China, with its $1.5 trillion in foreign-currency reserves, is the best situated to continue subsidizing fuel indefinitely. "China has a bottomless pit of money it can hand out," says Andrews-Speed.
Then there's the question of just how much subsidies can really counteract a fundamental shift in global energy demand. In some cases, raising fuel prices might even have the short-term perverse effect of increasing consumption, as profit-hungry producers race to catch up with pent-up demand. In China, for example, when authorities raise prices, local producers and refiners (which can finally earn a fair price) quickly put more oil on the market. That in turn was snapped up by those lines of thirsty mopeds, boosting consumption. "This is a standard rationing situation," says Peter Buchanan, a senior economist at CIBC World Markets. "People say, 'If you raise prices, that's going to reduce demand.' In fact, in China it appears to be working the other way." Indeed, investors and traders already know this. Although international crude prices fell on the news that China was cutting its subsidies on June 19, they were back up the next day as investors realized that Chinese demand might indeed grow faster after the price hike.
While this dynamic will eventually stop once supply and demand are rebalanced, in the long run what really matters is that big emerging markets are still growing—and fast. In China and India, economies are reaching "the point at which people adopt a more energy-intensive lifestyle," says Buchanan. China alone is expected to increase the number of cars on its roads twentyfold by 2030, according to a study released last year by New York University. And those numbers were crunched before the Indian company Tata introduced its groundbreaking $2,500 car. As a Morgan Stanley research note argues, the "demand destruction impact" of further fuel price increases in China, if made gradually, is likely to be "rather small." The same could be said for India and the rest.
In the end, fingers should perhaps be pointed at the biggest rich-country consumers—namely, Americans. A number of economists put the recent fall in the price of oil, which is now hovering at about $120 a barrel, down to the fact that $4-a-gallon gas finally has Americans driving less. "I think a lot of this is about the U.S. economy and U.S. consumption," says Zhou Dadi, deputy director of the China Energy Research Council in Beijing, arguing that data showing weaker oil consumption in the United States has been motivating the sell-off. "[U.S. demand] is a bigger factor than the Chinese impact." President Bush might not like the economic significance of Shanghai's moped queues, but if he really wants to see lower fuel prices, he'd do better to look at Los Angeles's freeways.
Saturday, 6 September 2008
So what price should we put to the lives of 65 Malaysian crewman held by the pirates, not counting the other nationalities working on board. Anyway there are voices who say that since MISC is owned by our national oil company and the seamen are insured for such an hostage-taking situation, we should pay off the criminals in order to resolve the crisis peacefully. Yet what would then happen after this? By paying a ransom, wouldn't this put a red flag on our vessels plying these waters in the future as attractive targets since we had submitted before to such ransom demands, and to divert these vessels to a different longer route around the Horn of Africa in their commercial sailings would make no economic sense. Is it not the first rule of handling a hostage taking or kidnapping situation not to give in to any ransom demands as this would encourage more such incidents. Anyway history there has shown that these Somalian pirates has graduated from hijacking fishing vessels to larger vessels just because of such ransom payments had been made, emboldened by cash payments in the hundreds of thousands of dollars that is an enormous take in a country teetering on the edge of famine. So should we then consider establishing a regular naval presence there, when far larger navies fear to tread, spending millions in order to safeguard the commercial interests of a few national shipping companies while other countries that may also benefit from such an act cannot or will not contribute to a coalition to patrol such dangerous waters, although they do contribute to Combined Task Force 150 supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq. Although ships from the task force has periodically been peeled out to battle the pirates, such an approach even using sophisticated warships illustrates the problem that such an operation entails, the real trick of spotting the pirates before they strike as the buccaneers hide themselves in the waters crowded with fishing boats and cargo dhows that provide easy cover. And once they strike and manage to make it back into Somali waters, they are generally scot free unless the nations of the military units have the means and stomach to pursue the bandits into their wild and lawless country where some have already gotten a bloody nose. This despite the creation of a UN-mandated Maritime Security Patrol Area(MSPA) that gives the task force the authority to pursue the pirates into Somali waters. Only the French have successfully carried out such an operation to free their nationals' yatch hijacked by the Somalian pirates, while others are almost never targeted despite their locations are generally known.
Thursday, 4 September 2008
Saturday August 30, 2008
Sambal on the SideBy BRENDA BENEDICT
Departing from her usual “no place like home” theme for Merdeka, our columnist dedicates this week’s column to a stranger who truly embodies the spirit of being Malaysian.
Perhaps my editor would have preferred if I had written an ode-to-the-nation piece to commemorate Malaysia’s 51st year of Independence tomorrow.
But seriously, this year, I’m done with the ra-ra. A quick survey of the mainstream media headlines is enough to make one reconsider a “no place like home” theme.
Instead, I would like to celebrate Malaysians who truly embody the spirit of being Malaysian. After all, what is a country without her people?
One unforgettable encounter I had was with a lady who worked at the Malaysian High Commission (HC) in London. Her kindness towards me will probably remain vivid in my memory for a long time to come.
It all started shortly before we were posted to Vietnam. I desperately needed to renew my international passport to avoid any hassle with my Vietnamese visa application. Time was running short and I tried reasoning with a consular division staff at the Malaysian embassy in Berlin if the normal renewal period of eight weeks could be reduced. She was unhelpful and unable to advise me on any alternatives.
This struck me as odd, as a couple of days later, I chanced upon a Star Online report stating that the London HC offers a special deal to residents of other European states to have their passports done in a day. Upon hearing this, I hightailed it to London.
Unfortunately, for some reason, as soon as I landed in London early next morning, I became very ill. Nevertheless, I made my woozy way to the HC in Belgrave Square. I was determined to be there as early as possible to qualify for the day’s quota. Thankfully I was one of the first and was able to hand in my application on time.
The person handling my application was the Good Samaritan of this story. I mentioned to her that I would be leaving London the next morning as I had a one night only reservation at a hotel close by. Aware that I resided in Germany, she assured me that my new passport would be ready that afternoon and suggested that I check in at the hotel.
By then, I had already been sick a couple of times and figured a lie-in might do me some good. However, I didn’t feel any better as I made my way back to the HC that afternoon.
As luck would have it, there was some complication with my new passport’s microchip and the wait took longer than expected. In fact, I was to wait until close to 6pm before I got my new passport.
Meanwhile, I had run several times to the ladies’ which the Good Samaritan had noticed. She asked if she could offer me any medication but nothing seemed to work. The mysterious stomach bug seemed set to stay.
So she kept me company because by then, I was the only applicant left at the waiting room. In true Malaysian fashion, we started talking and were soon exchanging snippets of personal information — with my occasional interruptions to rush to the loo!
Eventually my passport was ready and the staff started closing up for the day. The Good Samaritan asked where I was headed and offered to walk me to the bus stop. By then I was pretty weak and could not even keep water down. Upon seeing this, she insisted on taking me to my hotel.
As riding the bus was not an option — I started heaving the minute I boarded — she suggested that we walk to the hotel via St James Park. She surmised the air might do me some good. Now I feel it is pertinent to repeat that she was an absolute stranger — up until that morning back in September 2006, each of us never even knew the other existed!
Yet, she went out of her way to help me. But I think it was her reasoning that struck me: “Brenda, how can I sleep at night knowing that a Malaysian is all alone in London and ill, and that I just let her go off by herself?”
Sure, some doubting Thomases might say, “That’s her job what! She works at the HC!” Even so, I do not think the job description entails accompanying sick Malaysians to their hotel rooms. It would have been limited to just giving them the number of the nearest clinic.
It was a long, slow walk through the park, punctuated often by me retching by some tree and her rubbing my back and offering me mineral water. This was not a Muslim helping a Catholic; a Malay accompanying an Indian. We were just two Malaysians — one in need, and one doing a good deed. A perfect Petronas Merdeka ad — the only thing was neither of us was acting.
Eventually, we reached my hotel and once she was convinced that I would be all right, she left. The next morning I flew out of London with my new passport and a renewed belief in the innate goodness of Malaysians.
Sadly, we have lost touch. I do not even know if she is still attached to the London HC. I have chosen not to name her because I want to respect her privacy. Besides, with the current tell-all trend we’re constantly subjected to, I’d rather maintain an element of mystery. Genuine do-gooders generally shun publicity anyway.
And on that vein, I would like to wish all Malaysians everywhere who quietly give, help, serve or care, a Selamat Hari Merdeka. Your random acts of kindness give the rest of us a good name.
Brenda Benedict is a Malaysian, who is currently ‘between countries’. Her Sambal on the Side column will take a short break as she moves back to Germany. She will spend Merdeka with her Malaysian friends who have volunteered to help her unpack.