SHAH ALAM: Happy eighth birthday LCS. Today (December 3) marked the eighth birthday of the first LCS – Maharaja Lela – as the first steel was cut on this day in 2014 at the premises of the IHC Metalix company in Amsterdam, Holland.
As Malaysian Defence reported previously:
Of course someone could also rightly claimed that the LCS actual birthday is Dec. 17 as it was on this day that the LOA for the six ships was signed in 2011. If one choose this date, the LCS is already ten years old (11) then. Or she would be five years old (sixth) if one used as the launch of the keel of the first LCS – Maharaja Lela – on March 8, 2016 .
Of course, today is not a day for celebration as Maharaja Lela and her five sister ships remained incomplete at the Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) in Lumut. The RMN is prepared for the resumption of the project but I guess we will have to wait and see what the PM10 administration do with it. Malaysian Defence opinion on the matter is clear though.
With no clear indication of the cost of the total project and the deadline for completing the ships, Malaysian Defence prefers the option of putting the equipment already bought on another hull. The Ada-class corvettes comes into mind.
One way forward for the government in completing the LCS – if it doesn’t want to scrap the project – is to award Naval Group with a contract to build a single ship to the specifications of the Maharaja Lela. If this could be done expeditiously, we will know for certain that the five ships at Lumut could be completed although not on budget and deadline. It was the correct way to do it back in 2011 (getting Naval Group to complete the first ship), if not for the sake of national interest.
— Malaysian Defence.