The "Kasturi" Class Light Frigate
(or large corvette) is a class of two light frigates in service with the Royal Malaysian Navy
The class comprises two ships, the KD Kasturi (F25) and KD Lekir (F26). The class is named after the lead ship of the class, in honour of Hang Kasturi who is one of the five famed warriors of the Malacca Sultanate. Though smaller than the Rahmat class, the Kasturi class has more punch and is more offensively capable.
The ships were built by the Blohm + Voss (HDW) shipyard in Kiel, Germany. Blohm + Voss also built the first two Meko A100 New Generation Patrol Vessel of the Kedah class OPV (of a planned 26 ship class) at their Hamburg facility for the Royal Malaysian Navy.
Kasturi and Lekir were launched on 14 May 1983 and commissioned on 15 August 1984. Both ships are presently serving with 22 Corvette Squadron and homeported at TLDM Lumut.
The Colombian Navy's four-ship Almirante Padilla Class is based on the same Blohm + Voss FS 1500 design, but with a different weapons and electronics suite.
The Kasturi-class have a potent 100 mm/55 DP main gun, while the anti-ship capability is provided by the MM40 Exocet
SSMs. However, the Kasturi class lack am anti-aircraft missile system, and rely on MANPAD
systems for air defence. The FS1500 design, which is modular, allows for future upgrades which has been planned, but none has been announced by the Malaysian Navy.
During LIMA 2007, Boustead Heavy Industries Sdn Bhd, the current builder of the Kedah class received a Letter of Intent from the Malaysian Government for the Kasturi Service Life Extension Programme. However, no date for the programme has been announced as of 1 February, 2008. It was expected that the 100 mm gun would be replaced with a medium calibre gun (either the 76 mm Oto-Melara or the Bofors 57 mm gun. The aft gun would be replaced completely and a two MSI 30 mm guns would replace the Emerlec guns. No SAMs are expected to be fitted on the ship.
The Kasturi class is powered by a CODAD propulsion
system, provided by four MTU diesels driving two shafts and developing 21,460 hp driving two Controllable Pitch propellers. This gives a maximum speed of 28 knots, and a range of probably 7,000 nm at 14 knots.
The Kasturi class does not have a hangar facility, and thus does not have an embarked helicopter. The landing platform aft is suitable for an AgustaWestland SeaLynx 300
or the Eurocopter Fennec
Service life extension
A Service Life Extension Programme was awarded to Thales in 2007. The upgrade program includes:
- TACTICOS CMS
- Thales DA-08 air search radar
- Mirador-IR optronic director
- MAV marine navigation radar
- 2 × Eurotorp B515 with A244S Whitehead ASW torpedoes
- DR3000S ESM suite
- Link Y MK 2.5
- TERMA SKWS decoys
- 8 × MBDA Exocet MM40 Block II
- ATLAS Electronik DSQS-24C hull mounted sonar