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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

LMS - Surprising US Noise

The news that Malaysia is buying naval ships to be designated as LMS from China has resulted in a surprisingly big reaction, of all countries, the United States. 

Seeing this news clipping where DS Hishammuddin gave his piece of mind almost caused me to fall of my chair laughing.

US has never been a key player in supplying Navy ships to Malaysia.
The last notable purchase from the US for our Navy happened way back in the 1990's, when we purchased former USS Spartanburg County tank landing ship, later renamed as KD Inderapura (pennant L1505).  The ship then served faithfully with RMN until 2009 when it had suffered catastrophic damage during a fire, which resulted in the ship being decommissioned in 2010.

KD Inderapura during better times. Source: Internet

KD Inderapura on fire. Source: Internet

Since then, I do not recall any US ships being bought by RMN.

In fact, the 4 newest (5 if you include the newly signed MOU between Boustead Holdings and Indonesia's PT PAL to build a new Multi-Role Support Ship) are all non-US ships. 

The F2000 frigates purchased in the late 90's were British, the Kedah class were derived from German Meko-100 designs, the SGPV were French Gowind designs, and the Chinese, well, the Chinese design (purported to be similar to Bangladeshi Navy BNS Durjoy).

I don't see Brits, French or Germans being unhappy of our choice.  It is a free market after all.

Of course, they (US) did try to offer to us Oliver Hazard Perry class destroyers*.  But this offer was not accepted as getting destroyers may be too aggressive for our Navy, and the ships were quite old and may not be viable for long term.

And DS Hishammuddin is right.  If you can't offer something that we can afford, then just keep your peace.  And we're not your coolie (kuli) that will go to where your finger points us to.

* Was belatedly informed that I wrongly identified OHP as a destroyer. It is actually a frigate.  My bad.

Note 2:
Was pointed out that the Minister was responding to questions from reporters and it is not an official US response. 


  1. Actually the US official comment was its perfectly OK with us buying equipment from China.