First LCS Down Slip Delayed?

Mindef secretary-general DS Isham Ishak being briefed inside PCU Maharaja Lela by RMN LCS director First Admiral Franklin Jeyasekhar Joseph.

SHAH ALAM: In his testimony to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in January this year, Defence Ministry secretary-general DS Isham Ishak said that the first LCS – PCU Maharaja Lela – is expected to be put into water (down slip) on schedule this May.

That said, he said a slight delay might occur. That slight delay has occurred as according to Defence Minister DS Khaled Nordin the detail design has yet to be completed. The detail design is only expected completed either in June or July, instead of this May, he told Parliament on March 12.

Ready for more work? The latest picture of PCU Maharaja Lela on March 11. Lunas.

Although, Khaled did not said it outright, it is likely the plan to put PCU Maharaja Lela into water – the industry term is down slip – this May is to be delayed until the detail design has been finalised either in June or July. That said they could put her into water this May as to follow the schedule and complete the detail design in June or July.
LCS schedule based on the sixth supplemental contract. PAC

Despite the delay, Khaled said the plan for the harbour acceptance trials was on schedule for this November.
LCS on shore testing facility at Lunas. Lunas picture.

Malaysian Defence comments:

Based on his statements that the final design is delayed by 22 days, I opined that the harbour acceptance trials this November will also be delayed. It must be noted that once PCU Maharaja Lela is put into water – this May or June or July – only then most of ship’s equipment from guns to electronics can be put into the ship. This is the time for the builder’s trials commenced. As the ship had been laid up on the dockyard for some seven years, only then any faults can be discovered, checked and rectified. I am doubtful that the harbour acceptance test can take place within six months of the down slip – six if it is conducted in May. Shorter if it happens in June or July.

The Ministry of Defence officials walking inside Lunas facility. Behind them is KM Langkawi and KD Lekiu.

It is interesting note that the ministry secretary-general visited Lumut Naval Dockyard (Lunas) on March 11 to observe for himself the LCS project. He was given a tour of the yard and its facilities as well as a visit to Maharaja Lela. Pictures posted by Lunas showed that LCS 1 has been painted and the ship is looking ready for launch, some one from the ministry said on social media.

It must be noted that Isham told the PAC in its last proceedings that he was sent to the ministry to fix the LCS project by PMX.

–Malaysian Defence

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  1. Usually in a project, any delay should be covered with a recovery plan. Some things that are planned for later could be rescheduled to be done earlier pending waiting for the delayed part to be settled. As long as the ship can float, it can be down slipped. But work on the ship while floating of the parts that still needs the design to be approved will be delayed.

    BTW any news of the OP program progress of KD Laksamana Muhammad Amin ?

  2. What type of overhaul of MMEA’s / Malaysia Coast Guard’s KM Langkawi received? Any new weapons installation?

  3. KM Langkawi is undergoing routine refit i believe, as is KM Banggi in Miri Sarawak.

  4. Not surprising. In one of the recent updates to the PAC, someone from the company had the “tidak apa” or “apa pun boleh” or the “delay then delay lah” attitude by saying they had many months to complete the final 4% of the detailed design – very proud local team can design complex ship. Yet it seemed loss on most that Naval Group only approved around 80% of the design at that time. So 1) The local design team took their own sweet time yet could not finalise the detailed design, and / or 2) Did not factor Naval Group’s approval in the project timeline – either Naval Group hasn’t been paid or Naval Group can’t approve the changes without rework by the local design team. The “tidak apa” attitude permeates even at MINDEF level, where instead of putting the hammer down on the shipyard to find ways to claw back the 88 days’ worth of delays, merely used “cue cards” given by the shipyard to taichi and wayang. Not to be mean, but its fasting month – progress with the detailed design and physical work should slow down for the next 30 days, which means the number of days delayed will increase.

  5. Once again our ministers & ministries spend more time lawatan to see the ship but still did nothing except giving empty promises. I ady warned and my prediction became true that the project will be delayed due to the incomplete design works. All those datelines they gave are nothing more than syiok sendiri. In the end they cannot be trusted, janji dicapati.

    Just like the boat been repainted for this visit, all of it is just wayang.

    A Govt that is really serious to solve this problem would have taken it by the horns long ago.

  6. Now is Ramadan & next will be Eid. Most likely delayed until unknown. Again… the detailed 3d design. Absolutely rubbish

  7. The “tidak apa” attitude permeates even at MINDEF level (kel)
    It’s this attitude that one sees repeated at MinDef.
    I recalled so many years ago back in 2010/2011? when an ex-army friend and his enterprising in laws tried their very best to interest MinDef in their military grade quad-copters.
    The Tidak Apa and lackadaisical attitude drove them to drop the effort after several fruitless attempts where the MinDef officials are more interested in the lunches and hi-teas hosted plus their sheaves of design plans. I among the few friends have warned them to never leave any design notes (at least just leave the concept notes) with the officials.
    Honest folks aren’t too many in that ministry it seems…

  8. Taib – ”It’s this attitude that one sees repeated at MinDef.”

    Why is anyone surprised? How we conduct defence matters is a reflection of a long list of other things which have gone terribly wrong in this country. In the 1970’s and 1980’s things weren’t that bad; we got what we needed and yes politics were at play at funding was a perennial issue but we knew what we needed and we knew what we could not achieve; there was a realistic and holistic assessment.

    Taib – ”I recalled so many years ago back in 2010/2011? when an ex-army friend and his enterprising in laws tried their very best to interest MinDef in their military grade quad-copters.”

    It’s a tight circle and it’s hard for outsiders to get in. Even if you know the right person you have to offer the right thing at the right time. Even then various things can go wrong; i.e. someone with better connections offering a competitive product; the first pages of a proposal mysteriously missing; a new top dog having different ideas; funding being diverted elsewhere; specs being altered arbitrarily; etc.

    The list of local companies which actually had/have something to offer as opposed to just being agents or middle men is a long one but since when does merit count for anything? I know what your friend when through because I use to dabble in the circuit; in a very inconsequential way.

    Taib – ”Honest folks aren’t too many in that ministry it seems…”

    What you expect? It’s the system we have; ingrained after so many decades. Everyone from top down wants part of the cake.

  9. I think the only ones whom are surprised at this outcome are those that trust our ministers & politicians.

  10. As of now per DefMin Khaled Nordin,the govt already paid 7.02 billion to LUNAS/BNS for this LCS project or about 64 percent from total contract value just to be in this mess.I would love to see how PMX will Bs us in the future when he need to increase the contract value again or reducing the ship numbers again

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