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First LCS Gowind Frigate for Royal Malaysian Navy set for August 24th Launch
 
LCS Gowind Frigate Malaysia TLDM RMN Boustead Naval Group 1 The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN or Tentera Laut DiRaja Malaysia; TLDM) announced last week that the first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Gowind frigate will be launched by Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation Berhad (BHIC) at the Lumut shipyard (Western Malaysia) on August 24th.
 
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Naval Forces News - Malaysia
 
 
 
First LCS Gowind Frigate for Royal Malaysian Navy set for August 24th Launch
 
The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN or Tentera Laut DiRaja Malaysia; TLDM) announced last week that the first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Gowind frigate will be launched by Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation Berhad (BHIC) at the Lumut shipyard (Western Malaysia) on August 24th.
     
LCS Gowind Frigate Malaysia TLDM RMN Boustead Naval Group 1The first LCS Gowind frigate for the RMN out of the construction hall at Lumut shipyard. Picture via @MohdAzzmel
     
Some spotters and RMN Officers took pictures of the vessel out of the construction hall. The vessel which received hull number 2501 is set to be nammed KD Maharaja Lela. Dato Maharaja Lela (died on 20 January 1877) was a Malay nationalist from Perak. Dato' Maharajalela is generally celebrated as a folk hero by Malay nationalists, and seen as a symbol of the Malay resistance against British colonialism.

In late 2016, the RMN ran a poll on its website to select the name of its future frigate class currently known as LCS / Second Generation Patrol Vessel (SGPV) program. Malaysian citizens were invited to select one of three "group of names" based on one theme each:
- Theme 1: Fighter (Pejuang) "Symbol of the fighting spirit in defending the country's sovereignty".
- Theme 2: Weapon (Senjata): "Upholding the power of traditional weapons used by the warriors of the homeland against invaders".
- Theme 3: Courage (Nilai Keberanian): "Upholding the courage and heroism in the fighting spirit of the individual and the troops".

It appears that the LCS Gowind class will be nammed after "Theme 1: Fighter".
     
LCS Gowind Frigate Malaysia TLDM RMN Boustead Naval Group 2The first LCS Gowind frigate for the RMN out of the construction hall at Lumut shipyard. Note that the mast is fitted. Picture via @MohdAzzmel
     
The keel of the first vessel was laid on March 8th 2016.

We learned during LIMA 2017 that the Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Module (PSIM) won't be installed aboard the vessel before its shore-based systems acceptance test set for June 2018 (eventough one of the recent pictures seem to show the mast in place). PSIM is a large module combining sensors, combat system, communications and operations stations. Last but not least, according to the RMN, the first LCS should be operational "around 2023".

The second vessel's keel was just laid on February 28th and is set for a May 2018 launch. Mr Anuar confirmed that the construction and launch rate of the following vessels will increase exponentially.
     
El Fateh, the first Gowind corvette for the Egyptian Navy started its first sea trials just before LIMA 2017 exhibition. DCNS picture.El Fateh, the first Gowind corvette for the Egyptian Navy during its first sea trials in March. Naval Group picture. The RMN LCS Gowind frigate class is set to be slightly larger.
     
In early 2011, Malaysia launched the SGPV program with a budget of RM6 billion (US$1.9 billion) calling for six stealth frigates. Several foreign shipbuilders were bidding for the program. In late 2011, it was announced that the Gowind class design by DCNS had been chosen and that the SGPV program had been awarded to Boustead Naval Shipyard/DCNS.

Based on the Naval Group (ex-DCNS) Gowind 2500 corvette design (also selected by the Egyptian Navy), the Royal Malaysian Navy future LCS will be slightly larger and thus classified as frigates (with a length of 111 meters and a displacement of 3,100 tons).

The RMN frigates will differ quite a lot compared to the Egyptian Navy Gowind corvettes which may be considered as the "baseline configuration": Navy Recognition was the first one to reveal that the RMN selected Kongsberg's Naval Strike Missile (NSM) for its LCS. This was two years ago during LIMA 2015. The main gun will be a 57mm by BAE Systems Bofors in a stealth cupola similar to the Visby-class stealth corvettes of the Swedish Navy. (In comparison, the Egyptian corvettes will be fitted with MBDA's Exocet anti-ship missiles and 76mm main gun from Leonardo.) The radar will be a SMART-S Mk2 by Thales while the fire control and optronics will be Rheinmetall products. The vessels will be fitted with integrated communications systems by Rhode and Schwarz.

For more details, check out our Royal Malaysian Navy LCS / SGPV Technical datasheet
     
LCS Gowind Frigate Malaysia TLDM RMN Boustead Naval Group 3
The first LCS Gowind frigate for the RMN out of the construction hall at Lumut shipyard.