SHAH ALAM: Here we go again. It appears that the government is considering its options to save the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project. Defence Minister DS Ismail Sabri told Parliament today that they were looking at three options to salvage the project to ensure the completion of the ships
He said the first option was to appoint Naval Group of France (currently subcontractor ) as the rescue contractor to salvage of the project through a deed assignment from Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) – the company holds the contract for the project – using the balance of funds from the ceiling cost of the contract (RM9 billion) to complete at least two ships.
LCS PCU. Maharaja Lela. Her name could be seen on the stern. Picture taken on Aug. 25. 2017.
The second option was to allow BNS to complete the project with the balance of funds from the ceiling cost (again RM9 billion), to ensure at least two LCS are completed.
The keel of the LCS 3 with the Maharaja Lela in the back at the ceremony in December, 2018.
The third option was to cancel the contract with BNS altogether and the government salvaging the project. The third is similar to the one taken by the government when it appointed BNS to revive the NGPV project.
The keel of LCS 3 (left)and LCS 2 (right) in the ship building hangar at BNS last December, 2018.
Ismail also confirmed that the government had already paid RM6 billion to BNS. This was also revealed by the previous Defence Minister last year.
One of the mounting for the proppeler shaft of the LCS,
Based on the schedule, he added two of the LCS should be delivered already. However as of 31 July, 2020 not a single ship has been completed with the progress of the project at 56.7 per cent compared to the original schedule of 85.73 per cent, a delay of 29.06 per cent or 31.1 months.
The progress of the 1st LCS as posted on Twitter by the RMN LCS team in 2016.
The current status of the ships are LCS 1) 59.79 per cent; LCS2) 48.09 per cent ; LCS3) 43.75 per cent ; LCS4) 36.49 per cent and just 20 per cent on the LCS5. Work has not started at all on LCS6 as the current status as revealed by Ismail was 0 per cent.
The LCS major equipment detailed. RMN graphic
Ismail also said that the government will not pay BNS debts although the company had requested for it.
“However, the government will pay for the rights of the design and the completion of the detailed design while at the same time we are claiming the rights for the blocks and hulls and other equipment of the LCS already purchased by BNS as the government had already paid RM3 billion for them.
A graphic promoting the keel laying ceremony of the first LCS. RMN
What ever the steps taken to revive the project, Ismail said it will not affect the contributions and funds of the Armed Forces Provident Fund (LTAT) which subsidiaries are involved in the project.
It is clear from the above the NGPV fiasco has been repeated as I had predicted on various posts. Again, I am not celebrating that my prediction came true, far from it. It must be noted that Ismail did not explained why they chose for two ships to be completed for two of the options. I am assuming that this was because the two ships are already joined (we know one is already joined) together with others are long way off from being completed. The keel of the sixth has not been laid down yet! It is also likely that the funds for the four will come from RMK13! I must say much of the blame for the fiasco should be laid on the politicians who insisted that all six ships be built locally instead of choosing the prudent route of getting one built by Naval Group in France. They also failed to supervise the project to ensure that the little amount of funds we reserved for national security are prudently spent.
— Malaysian Defence