Malaysia Becomes DCNS’ 1st Customer for Gowind Ships

The Gowind action corvette  is equipped with a suite of anti-air and anti-surface sensors and weapons systems including air defence and an...

The Gowind action corvette  is equipped with a suite of anti-air and anti-surface sensors and weapons systems including air defence and anti-ship missiles. (Naval Technology)
In October 2010, Malaysia’s Boustead received a letter of intent from their government for 6 “second-generation patrol vessels.” Now South Africa’s DefenceWeb reports that DCNS and its local submarine & surface ship partner, Boustead Naval Shipyard, have won a contract worth $2.8 billion to supply 6 Gowind family ships to Malaysia, which will be the type’s 1st paid order. Deliveries are expected to run from 2017-2020, if all goes well.

To win, DCNS reportedly beat Dutch firm Damen, whose scalable SIGMA ships have been purchased by neighboring Indonesia; as well as TKMS of Germany, who supplied Malaysia’s 6 existing MEKO 100 Kedah Class OPVs and its 2 Kasturi Class light frigates. What’s less certain so far is the Gowind ships’ exact configuration, and equipment set…

The Gowind family isn’t a single design. It’s a family of ships with some common systems and design elements, designed to scale from inshore patrol needs to heavy corvette/ light frigate designs. DCNS has been exploring partnerships with lower-cost foreign shipyards as part of its overall export strategy, and had been negotiating with Bulgaria along those lines. Memoranda now give it footholds in South Africa as well as Malaysia.

Gowind Control/120 Designs like FS L’Adroit, on loan to France for 3 years as a promotional exercise, are 1,100t offshore patrol vessels, with minimal armament. L’Adroit carries only a light autocannon and non-lethal weapons, for instance. Gowind Presence inshore patrol vessels are even smaller.

On the other hand, Bulgaria’s interest in Gowind ships involved fully-armed 2,250t Gowind Combat/200 corvettes, carrying 57mm guns, vertical-launch cells, anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles, and a helicopter up to the 10-ton class.

The DefenceWeb report is very unclear concerning Malaysia’s choice, except to state that the shipbuilders wanted DCNS’ SETIS combat management system, while the Royal Malaysian Navy wants the Thales Tacticos systems already on one of Malaysia’s Kasturi Class light frigates. It did not state how this conflict was resolved.

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