Kasturi Class Corvettes, Malaysia
Two Kasturi Class corvettes are in service with the Royal Malaysian Navy. The ships are currently being refurbished under the service life extension programme (SLEP). The SLEP will extend the service life of the corvettes by 15 years.
The Kasturi Class corvettes were built by the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) shipyard in Kiel, Germany. The two vessels were ordered in February 1981 and construction began in early 1982. Kasturi (F25) and Lekir (F26) were launched in May 1983 and commissioned in August 1984.
Service life extension programme (SLEP)
In August 2009, the Malaysian Government awarded a RM703.8m contract to Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) for the modernisation of two Kasturi Class corvettes under the SLEP. In November 2009, BNS selected Nevesbu as the platform system integrator for the programme.
Thales was contracted to provide electronic systems for the two corvettes. The ships are equipped with new combat management systems, sensors and radars, electronic countermeasures, communications and weapon systems.
BNS will replace the 100mm main gun with the existing Bofors 57mm rear gun and anti-submarine rocket launchers with two Eurotorp B515 torpedo launchers. The two aft 30mm anti-aircraft guns will also be upgraded.
KD Kasturi is expected to be delivered in October 2012 and KD Lekir is scheduled to commence her SLEP in August 2011. The programme is scheduled to be completed by early 2014.
Kasturi Class design
The vessel is based on the Blohm + Voss FS 1500 design which was also used for Almirante Padilla Class ships of the Colombian Navy. The modular design allows future upgrades to the vessel. The ship has an overall length of 97.3m, a beam of 11.3m and a draft of 3.5m. The standard displacement of the vessel is 1,500t, while full load displacement is 1,850t. The ship can complement a crew of 124.
Command and control
The current Signaal Sewaco MA combat management system (CMS) is being replaced with TACTICOS CMS developed by Thales Nederland. The system will be delivered by the Malaysian company HeiTech Padu under a cooperation agreement signed with Thales Nederland. The system provides improved situational awareness and real time imagery by using onboard sensors and tactical data links.
Kasturi Class will be armed with eight MBDA Exocet MM40 Block 2 anti-ship missiles. The anti-submarine capability will be provided by two Eurotorp B515 torpedo launchers firing A244S Whitehead torpedoes.
The main gun fitted forward will be a Bofors 57mm dual-purpose naval gun. The gun can fire at a rate of 220 rounds a minute for a maximum range of 17,000m. The aft side of the vessel will be mounted with two 30mm guns supplied by MSI-Defence Systems.
Sensors / radars
The new sensor suite fitted under SLEP will include DA 08 surveillance and target indication radar, miniature aerial vehicle (MAV) navigation radar, Thales Mirador-IR optronic director and Atlas Elektronik DSQS-24C hull-mounted search and attack sonar.
Aircraft landing deck
The helicopter landing deck located on the aft side of the vessel can accommodate an Agusta Westland SeaLynx 300 or the Eurocopter Fennec helicopter. The Kasturi Class is not equipped with a hangar facility; hence it will not have an embarked helicopter.
The electronic support measures (ESM) are provided by the DR 3000S/U Electronic Support (ES) system. The corvettes are also equipped with Terma SKWS decoy launching system. The Terma SKWS DL-12T lightweight launchers can fire all existing 130m decoys known as SeaGnat decoys. The multi-angular launchers provide 360° coverage against incoming anti-ship missiles.
Kasturi Class is powered by a CODAD propulsion system consisting of four MTU diesels. The engines, driving two controllable pitch propellers through two shafts, provide a total power output of 23,400hp. The propulsion system provides a maximum speed of 28kt and a maximum range of 5,000nm at 14kt speed.
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