Our Bureau
12:50 PM, March 17, 2015

Malaysia is planning to buy two variants of C28A Chinese warships for its navy, a local defense media website quoted industry sources as saying last week.

“The deal for the two warships was supposed to be signed during the Prime Minister’s visit to China last year during 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries – but was cancelled at the last moment due to various issues, one of them was funding concerns. Despite the cancellation, Malaysia remained keen on the plan and it might revive after funding is made available,” malaysiandefence.com website quoted unnamed sources from the defense ministry as saying.

The exact kind of warships that Malaysia is supposed to be buying is still not known. Malaysia may buy variants of C28A corvettes by China Shipbuilding Trading Co (CSTC).

The C28A is about 120 meters with a beam of 14.4 meters with a standard displacement of about 2,880 tons and a full-load displacement of more than 3,000 tons.

The C28A bound to Algeria are designated as corvettes whereas Pakistan’s F-22P vessel with similar displacement is designated as frigates. RMN also has a DCNS designed frigate with similar displacement.

Both CSTC and PNS Zulfiquar (F-22P) are participating in LIMA 2015.

Janes had reported that the C28A was an evolution of Pakistan’s F-22P frigates on the basis that Algerian naval teams visited Pakistan to see that frigate’s operations first-hand. The report also said the C28A also appears to borrow design elements from the Type 054A frigate of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy.

“It was likely only the hull and related machineries will be sourced from China while the ship’s main combat systems will be procured from Western companies. Despite the disagreements about the hull design, all of the sources noted that whatever design was chosen, the ships will be fitted with MTU or MTU-derived diesel engines,” sources told the website.

If the procurement is approved, it is expected that the ships will be funded during the 11th Malaysian Plan and delivered within four years of the contract signing.

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