05 Aug 14. Stretched RMN seeks funds for new corvettes, helicopters. The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has requested funding for a number of major procurement programmes that include the acquisition of new corvettes and helicopters and upgrades to existing RMN ships. The service will be submitting its request list for funding consideration by the Malaysian government under the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-20), RMN sources have told IHS Jane’s . The plan, which is scheduled to be announced in June 2015, lays out Malaysia’s economic development and government spending for the second half of the decade. However, the RMN sources stated that it was uncertain as to whether any of the programmes would be approved given the Malaysian government’s past statements noting that funding was tight. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Aug 14. Canada Expands Frigate Upgrade Plans. Canada is opening a second market for companies to upgrade its frigates, with new plans to buy additional systems and equipment for the ships over the next seven years. The Halifax-class frigates are being upgraded in a CAN $5bn (US $4.9bn) program that involves both the modernization of its combat systems, including weapons and radars, and a midlife ship refit program. Lockheed Martin Canada is overseeing the main project to upgrade the combat systems, with the final ship modernization to be finished around 2017. But now the Royal Canadian Navy has identified a series of additional acquisition projects for the 12 Halifax-class frigates, potentially totalling up to $2.4bn. Navy spokesman Lt. Kelly Boyden said the service needs to ensure that the frigates are ready for a variety of missions in the future. “This drives a continuous review of the capabilities of potential adversaries and the performance of our systems,” he wrote in an email. The frigates, commissioned between 1992 and 1995, form the backbone of the Royal Canadian Navy. The proposed acquisitions, outlined in the Defence Capability Guide issued to industry on June 25, range from more advanced weapons to unmanned aircraft systems to conduct surveillance for the frigates. Contracts are expected to be in place between 2017 and 2021, depending on the specific timetables of each project. Among the proposed acquisitions are:
*Modernized underwater warfare sensor suite. This will be an integrated system that replaces towed array sensors and sonobuoy processing systems, as well as other equipment. Emphasis will be on improving detection performance for targets operating in both open ocean and littoral environments. The cost would be up to $249m, depending on the systems acquired.
*Tactical unmanned aircraft system, with an accompanying intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance network and a tactical common data link for the frigates. Cost of this acquisition could reach up to $249m, depending on number of aircraft ordered.
*Maritime satellite communications upgrade. The price tag would be up to $99m but would include two other classes of ships in the upgrade.
*New multirole boats and launch system. This would be for a new fleet of rigid-hull inflatable boats to operate from the frigates. Improvements will include increased speed, larger load capability and electronics upgrades with communications, navigation and sensors. Cost: up to $99m.
*Electronic countermeasures self-defense system for the frigates to protect from target designation and missile lock. The new system would be integrated with the ship’s combat management system, which is part of the ongoing modernization. Cost: up to $99m.
*Upgraded tactical command-and-control system, with new software. This will allow for better information exchange with the navies of the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, according to the Canadian Navy. Cost: up to $49m.
*Upgrade of existing electronic intelligence and electronic support measures systems to provide signals intelligence and early warning to the ships of threat emitters. Cost: up to $49m.