LIMA 2023: Malaysian navy to take delivery of additional fast interceptor craft

by Manasvi Shanker Sharma

The Royal Malaysian Navy will operate a total of 19 fast interceptor craft built by local firm Gading Marine, following a second-batch order of 13 vessels. Four of the six vessels ordered in the first batch are pictured above. (Royal Malaysian Navy)

The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) will start taking deliveries of a second batch of 18 m fast interceptor craft (FIC) from local firm Gading Marine later in 2023, the company told Janes at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2023 in Malaysia, held from 23 to 27 May.

In April 2021 Gading Marine completed deliveries to the RMN of an initial batch of six FICs – known as G2000 Mk I vessels – under a USD19.5 million contract signed in 2020. In 2022 Gading Marine signed a follow-on contract with the RMN for 13 additional FICs. The value of the second-batch contract has not been disclosed.

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India test-fires extended-range BrahMos on soon-to-be-commissioned destroyer

by Ridzwan Rahmat

Firing of the Brahmos-ER. (Ministry of Defence, India)

India has carried out another test fire of its extended-range (ER) BrahMos PJ-10 supersonic cruise missile from a Kolkata/Visakhapatnam (Project 15A/15B)-class guided destroyer, the country's Ministry of Defence (MoD) disclosed on 27 November.

The missile was fired from the programme's sixth hull, which will be in service as INS Imphal once it is commissioned. It was fired as part of the vessel's pre-commissioning trials, the ministry added.

India's BrahMos PJ-10 is based on the Yakhont (3M-55E) supersonic cruise missile, which is the export version of Russia's domestic P-800 (3M-55) Oniks.

The weapon has been in service with the Indian Navy for more than a decade, and the ER variant of the BrahMos PJ-10 is believed to have a maximum range of in excess of 500 km, which is an improvement over the older variant's estimated range of about 300 km.

Besides the Project 15A/15B vessels, the BrahMos PJ-10 is also deployed from the service's Rajput-class destroyers and Talwar (Krivak III)-class Batch II frigates.

Meanwhile, Imphal

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French DGA orders first seven OPVs for French Navy

by Kate Tringham

Graphic depiction of the French Navy's new offshore patrol vessel. (Naval Group)

The French defence procurement agency, Directorate General of Armament (DGA), has ordered seven new multi-purpose offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the French Navy.

Announcing the milestone on 23 November the DGA said the acquisition covered three contracts totalling EUR900 million (USD985.03 million), which were signed on 17 November.

Under the contract awards, the ships will be built by a temporary shipbuilding consortium comprising Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN), Piriou, and Socarenam; Naval Group will be responsible for project management and the development and supply of the combat management system; and Thales will supply and integrate the maritime surveillance sensor suite.

Under current planning, the first new OPV is planned to be delivered in 2026.

“The first stage of the offshore patrol vessel programme, based on the acquisition of seven vessels, will fill a gap in the second-tier vessel segment, taking into account the decommissioning of offshore patrol vessels that have already taken place, and will initiate the ramp-up of these vessels on each of the three metropolitan coasts – Brest, Toulon, and Cherbourg,” the DGA said.

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Norway, Germany to pursue joint development of supersonic strike missile

by Richard Scott

The 3SM Tyrfing missile is expected to utilise solid-fuel ramjet propulsion. (Kongsberg)

Norway has disclosed plans to jointly develop a new long-range, high-speed naval strike weapon with Germany.

Announcing the move on 24 November, Norwegian Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said the projected SuperSonic Strike Missile (3SM) – given the name Tyrfing (a magic sword in Norse mythology) – was entering preliminary development pending a more substantive investment decision next year. Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, which has previously developed the Naval Strike Missile (NSM), will lead the 3SM development programme, with the aim to have the new weapon ready for delivery in 2035.

Previously known as the Future Naval Strike Missile (Project 1081), the 3SM programme stems from study work undertaken to define requirements for a common missile development to meet the long-term naval strike needs of both Norway and Germany. “Germany is our most important European partner for co-operation on defence equipment and a majorly important ally in NATO,” said Gram in a statement. “The government is now proposing that a decision will be made to initiate the first initial design phase of the project.”

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