SHAH ALAM: No Quarter. RMN first of class LCS – Maharaja Lela – is expected to undergo harbour trials in late 2018 before moving on to sea trials ahead of her contractual deilvery date in mid-2019.
Maharaja Lela – was launched by Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, witnessed by Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah at the Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS), on Aug 24. Maharaja Lela was not afforded a traditional launch as she stayed on her platform which were lowered half way below the dockyard.
She sat on the platform used by BNS to raise RMN’s ships undergoing repairs at the yard. The platform which travelled up to 12 meters down, negates the use of a dry dock.
BNS LCS program director Kept Azhar Jumaat says Maharaja Lela will undergo final fitting before her harbour and sea trials. On whether or not BNS will be able to meet the delivery deadline, Azhar says “Insya Allah, we will do our best, it is a contractual obligation so we have to do it”.
Under the contract, BNS will have to deliver the second LCS in 2020, the third one by 2021 and the rest by 2023. Other BNS officials met at the launch ceremony expressed quiet confidence that the project will proceed smoothly going forward after their experience with the first LCS.
The ship building areas of the yard have been expanded greatly for the LCS project with four new hangars and gantry cranes added. There is also ample space to build the two LMS designed by CSIC which is expected to start in 2019.
Azhar says the second LCS was making progress and it was expected that it will be launched next year. The keel laying ceremony for the third LCS is scheduled this November.
Azhar, was the first RMN’s LCS program director took over the hot seat at BNS from Kept. Anuar Murad recently. He declined to comment on the technical aspect of the LCS saying that the matter should be taken up with the RMN.
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