SHAH ALAM: The delay in nationalisation of Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) is also causing a delay in resumption of work for the first LCS – PCU Maharaja Lela. Confirming this today in a press conference in Parliament, Defence Minister DSU Mohamad Hasan said work on the first ship will only start once the Finance Ministry takes over the shipyard.
He said the delay will be for several months.
“It should be (completed in) May 2026, but it is now delayed to September or October of the same year, with a delay in the agreement,” he said in a press conference today. For the schedule of the LCS project after the sixth supplemental contract signed in May, see the graphic below from the PAC report.
He said that the construction will be done one ship at a time and the final one will be completed in the year 2029.
Once the first ship is completed, he said that it has to be taken from the dry dock to the harbour for four to five months of testing.
After that the ship will undergo the sea test. Once it’s passed the tests and the Royal Malaysian Navy is satisfied with the output, only then will it be delivered, he added.
The delay in resuming work is inevitable as it is likely that they wanted the work be conducted by BNS only after it is nationalised. This will prevent Boustead and LTAT be encumbered by any legal ramifications.
It appears that they also finally realised the folly of building the ships concurrently, presented previously as the best way to build the LCS in quick succession. This has been done before by other ship builders, but they only did it after the first ship has been fully tested and commissioned.
This is necessary as new builds – ships and planes, mostly – are always riddled with problems and challenges. Even Naval Group – the designer of the Gowind corvette – had not done it before. For a first-time builder – BNS – the decision to build all six ships concurrently was clearly an unwise and pricey decision.
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