The Kapal DiRaja Lekiu and Kapal DiRaja Jebat frigates were commissioned into the Royal Malaysian Navy in March and May 1999. The Malaysian Ministry of Defence placed a contract on Yarrow Shipbuilders (now BAE Systems Marine) in Glasgow for two light frigates of the Frigate 2000 design.
The first ship, the Lekiu (30), was launched in December 1994, with the second, the Jebat (29), following in May 1995. The Jebat carries the lower pennant number to signify the seniority of this ship, which accommodates the Admiral of the Royal Malaysian Navy.
In July 2006, BAE Systems received a letter of intent from the Royal Malaysian Navy for the procurement of two new frigates to be based on the Lekiu design. Labuan Shipbuilding and Engineering (LSE) of Sabah, Malaysia, was to be the lead Malaysian facility, but the deal was cancelled in 2009.
The Raytheon evolved SeaSparrow missile (ESSM) system has been selected for the batch 2 frigates. A contract award is expected in early 2008.
Command and control
The ship is equipped with the Alenia Marconi Systems (now BAE Systems Insyte) Nautis F combat data system. A Radamec Series 2000 optronic weapon director is installed on the roof of the bridge and the ship is also equipped with a Type V 3001 thermal imager from BAE Systems.
The frigates’ anti-ship missile is the MBDA (formerly EADS Aerospatiale) MM40 Exocet block II. The two four-cell launchers are installed in the midship section between the two radar masts. The launchers are installed at a fixed angle of elevation, in a crossed configuration, one facing port and one starboard. Range and bearing data are downloaded into the missile’s on-board computer.
The missile uses inertial guidance for the cruise phase of the trajectory and then active radar homing by active monopulse seeker head. The sea-skimming missile approaches the target at high subsonic speed, Mach 0.9.
The MBDA (formerly Matra BAE Dynamics) Seawolf short-range missile provides protection against supersonic aircraft and anti-ship missiles to a range of 6km. The 16 vertical launchers are installed in front of the bridge. The missile uses a microwave link command-to-line-of-sight guidance system with television and radar tracking. A solid fuel propulsion rocket provides a speed of Mach 2.5.
The ship’s main gun is the Bofors 57mm gun that fires 2.4kg shells at a rate of 220 rounds a minute. The range of the gun is 17km.
Two MSI 30mm guns fire 0.36kg rounds to a range of 10km at a firing rate up to 650 rounds a minute. On the raised deck at the level of the roof of the helicopter hangar are the Whitehead 324mm B515 triple tube torpedo launchers for lightweight anti-submarine launchers.
The ship is equipped with a hangar and a helicopter deck with a single landing spot to accommodate an AgustaWestland Lynx helicopter. The 310m landing deck is also capable of supporting a larger helicopter.
Lekiu class countermeasures
The ship carries the Sea Siren towed torpedo decoy supplied by BAE Systems. The decoys are controlled over a serial data link to decoy passive and active homing torpedoes. Super Barricade twelve-barrelled chaff launchers are installed on both sides of the ship just forward of the helicopter deck.
The frigate is fitted with BAE Systems Mentor electronic support measures (ESM) and Thales Defence Scimitar electronic countermeasures (ECM) systems.
The surface search radar, the Saab Microwave Systems (formerly Ericsson) Sea Giraffe, operating at G and H bands, is positioned high on the main mast. Thales Nederland (formerly Signaal) DA08 air search radar, operating at E and F bands, is installed on the tower to the aft of the main mast.
Two BAE Systems 1802 fire control radars, operating at I and J bands, are installed one on the roof deck of the hangar and one on the roof deck of the bridge. The I-band navigation radar is supplied by Thales Defence.
The hull-mounted Spherion TSM 2633 LF sonar, supplied by Thales Underwater Systems (formerly Thomson Marconi Sonar), operates at medium frequency around 7.5kHz.
Spherion uses a spherical acoustic array and provides long-range active sonar for search and attack mode in anti-submarine warfare.
The propulsion system is in a CODAD combined diesel and diesel configuration. The ship has four MTU 20V 1163 TB93 diesel engines, rated at 24.5MW sustained power. The engines drive two shafts with Kamewa controllable pitch propellers. The ship can attain a speed of 28kt and has a range of over 5,000 miles.