The Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) anti-ship missile and MBDA VL Mica point defence missile system will equip Malaysia's Second Generation Patrol Vessel - Littoral Combat Ship (SGPV-LCS), Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) sources have toldIHS Jane's , although the selection of both systems is awaiting final confirmation by the Malaysian government.
The choice of the two systems reflects a compromise between the RMN and the Malaysian government, which had been sparring over the choice of guided weapon systems for the SGPV-LCS programme since 2012.
The SGPV-LCS is based on the DCNS Gowind 2500 corvette design. However, while source selections have been completed for most combat system equipment, final decisions on the choice of anti-air and anti-ship missiles have been delayed by differences between the navy and the government.
The RMN had originally recommended Raytheon's RIM-162 Evolved Seasparrow Missile (ESSM) for the surface-to-air missile requirement and NSM for the anti-ship missile requirement. These were selected following evaluation against MBDA's VL Mica and MM40 Block 3 Exocet missiles.
However, the Malaysian government directed that VL Mica should be chosen, to simplify integration on the Gowind design (which will use DCNS' Setis combat management system). In the case of the Exocet the RMN already uses the missile, so selection would simplify logistical support.
RMN sources said the navy had argued that ESSM and NSM offered better performance against operational criteria. In the case of the NSM, the RMN argued it did not want to be over-reliant on the Exocet, which has long been in service globally and of which the capabilities are familiar to many navies operating in the region.
Systems already contracted for since the LoA award in 2011 include the DCNS SETIS combat management system, Thales SMART-S Mk 2 3-D multibeam radar, Rheinmetall's TMEO Mk 2 TMX/electro-optical (EO) radar/EO tracking and fire control system, and a Thales CAPTAS-2 variable depth sonar.
Weapons systems include BAE Systems' 57 mm Mk 3 naval gun (housed in a reduced radar cross section cupola), two MSI-Defence Seahawk 30 mm guns, and two J+S triple tube torpedo launcher systems.
The RMN's current planning schedule calls for sea trials in 2018 and entry into service in 2019 for the first SGPV-LCS ship, which has yet to be officially named. (IHS Jane's Defence Weekly)