SHAH ALAM: Ides of March. According to Wikipedia, The Ides of March is the 74th day in the Roman calendar, corresponding to March 15. It was marked by several religious observances and was notable for the Romans as a deadline for settling debts.
The deadline for settling of debts seemed appropriate in the context of Malaysian defence as the MD530G light scout attack helicopters (LSAH) are expected to arrive in country in March, (though not necessarily exactly March 15), some six years after the contract was signed.
The RMN is also getting the first two Leonardo AW139 Maritime Operations Helicopter (MOH) in March as well though that contract was signed barely two years ago. The helicopters will be based at the Kota Kinabalu naval base as with the Scaneagles UAS gifted by the US.
Another delivery expected in March (again not exactly on March 15) is the upgraded CN-235 MSA of the RMAF. The aircraft would have been here last year but delayed by the pandemic.
What about the elephant in the room then? Even though the first LCS is expected only 2025, I am guessing that work on Maharaja Lela will be restarted in March as well. Why? RMN chief Admiral Reza Sany told Malaysian Defence on January 28 in Kota Kinabalu that the Cabinet will make the decision on the mechanics of the restarting the programme within the next two weeks. He did not reveal what were the mechanics of the restart, however.
I am hearing that we may well end up with two LCS in the end. I stand to be corrected of course. What about the settling of debts then? Of course if the government decides to fund the restart of the LCS, BNS will have to pay its debts, local or foreign suppliers and I am guessing it will happened in, yes, your guess is right, March. Though again not necessarily March 15.
It is interesting to note that BNS is also in play for the LMS Batch II project. The decision on the LCS will also give us clarity on the LMS Batch II project. As mentioned in the previous post, the first three LMS Batch II is expected to be funded this year or next year. The other five is expected to be funded in the next RMK.
— Malaysian Defence