SHAH ALAM: Any plan B for the RMN? So far we have been told that the LCS project revival will be a successful with two ships to be delivered to the Royal Malaysian Navy by 2025. This was reported by the Public Accounts Committe report on the LCS.
And the Defence Ministry doubled-down on the delivery timeline with its senior minister Hishammuddin Hussein informing the Dewan Negara on August 8, that the two ships will be ready for the RMN within two years time. From Bernama:
KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 8): The government will report the schedule and progress of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) construction project in stages, said Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
He said his ministry was given six months to mobilise efforts to revive the project, and he believed the first ship would be delivered to the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) within two years.
“We will look at how we can ensure that the promised ships are delivered to the RMN and those who are guilty are brought to justice.
“I will report (inform) to the public the phased schedule for the construction of the ship,” he said during a question and answer session at the Dewan Negara sitting this morning.
However, we have heard Hishammuddin said the same thing on many occasions – during his first and current, second stint – at Jalan Padang Tembak and all of those have been proven incorrect. The PAC report bared it all. So can we believed what was the minister had said on August 8?
It interesting to note that Naval Group had offered to take over the project completely with BNS taking a less important role. The offer was declined though with the government putting LTAT as the lead to revive the project. So what will happened if Naval Group decided not to proceed with the revival then? As Naval Group is the design authority for the LCS, the project will go nowhere without its involvement. (the Government had mulled giving Naval Group the lead to revive the project but decided against it)
We have to wonder whether the Defence Ministry has a Plan B for RMN in case of the worse scenario. There is a real chance that LTAT and BNS might not be able to finish the ships as specified by the RMN. (According to the PAC report, BNS CEO stated they are confident that they can complete the ships. His statement was backed up by the fourth LCS RMN projec team head).
Will RMN have to accept the LCS even just to ensure that it got two ships for RM9 billion (and the other four if they were satisfied with the first two)? So Boustead and LTAT did not suffer much losses? This is the most likely scenario as RMN had to accept the Kedah class even though it was never fully satisfied with it. It was for this reason, it went looking for another hull….
It must be noted LMS Batch II is not the plan B, a replacement for the LCS. It is always been RMN’s plan to have five type of ships in its future fleet.
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