Maharaja Lela is off the Hardstand, Part 2

PCU Maharaja Lela berthed adjacent to the shipyard. The crane of the right is on a rail track so it can move along the jetty. Mindef picture.

SHAH ALAM: A day after Malaysian Defence posted on PCU Maharaja Lela, Defence Minister DS Khaled Nordin visited the Lumut naval base and Lumut Naval Shipyard (Lunas) and announced that the LCS project was on track and on schedule.

Khaled said that the ship was down-slip on May 23 and not two days earlier as shown by the leaked pictures. He said the launch, Lunas had the approval of Naval Group of France – the design authority, Bureau Veritas – the verification and testing company- and the RMN, the client.

“Now the shipyard will install equipment for the ship’s combat management, communication and weapon systems. By December, the ship will undergo the harbour acceptance test before proceeding to Sea acceptance trials.

All is Well…

And as planned the ship will be handed over to the RMN in August 2026. Khaled also said that LCS 2 to LCS 5 were under schedule with the former expected to be handed over to RMN in 2027. The other ship’s delivery will take place within eight months of each other with the last LCS to be completed in 2029.
The LCS schedule from the sixth supplemental contract. PAC

RMN LCS director First Admiral First Admiral Franklin Jeyasekhar Joseff (in RMN uniform) explaining things to Defence Minister DS Khaled Nordin in the yet to be fitted bridge of Maharaja Lela. Khaled Nordin picture.


It must be noted that when the Minister said the LCS project was on track and on schedule, he meant that it was based on the sixth supplemental contract signed at LIMA 2023. And like Maharaja Lela, the project is not out of the woods yet, things could go sideways in a jiffy.

And as mentioned previously, with Naval Group given the task of finishing the design (with their personnel on site to supervise the built) instead of the previous method of the shipyard doing it, was the right move. Will this ensure the completion of the project? I guess we will have to wait and see. A bit of skepticism is necessary as what had happened in the past was not pretty.

That said hopefully the RMN will get the ships they wanted and not things that had to be completed whatever the cost.

Another angle of the empty Maharaja Lela bridge. On the right giving the briefing is Lunas LCS project director Rosnizam Che Putih. Mindef picture.

— Malaysian Defence

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  1. I hope it doesn’t leak.. He made the right call to handover the design & the gov agreed. What is the status of Mica? Any news?
    From the look of it no news is always a bad news. FFBNW?

  2. Its terrible to see even at launch, they left the bridge bulkheads rusty condition unrepaired. Im more surprised LUNAS had the gall to show this to the Menhan & admirals. Will they repaint it before doing all the interior fitments?

  3. Of course, otherwise it will be considered a defect when the RMN pre-and post delivery inspection teams made their rounds.

  4. Joe-Will they repaint it before doing all the interior fitments?
    For sure they will. The launch means Naval Group is satisfied pf the quality & specifications. All rhe cosmetic issues are the least of concerns

  5. Qamarul – ”All rhe cosmetic issues are the least of concerns”

    Rust and missing paint are not ‘cosmetic issues’; unattended they fester and spread.

  6. My view is the downslip checklist signed off by Naval Group, BV and the RMN only focused on the underwater parts related to flooding risk. Nothing to do with the readiness of the ship to undergo formal testing. A totally empty bridge without any trace of piping, cabling, etc. is not good. What HAT can be done in December with the ship in this state? What systems have been Set To Work? Has the switchboard been commissioned? Have all the support systems like fuel oil, lube oil, seawater cooling, etc been STW? Pictures of the engine rooms and machinery control room would tell a better story.

    As it is, I see a lot of shadow puppets being played… Hope I’m wrong.

  7. I wanted to ask about whether she was powered up or receiving shore power but alas the notice of the visit came just 12 hours prior.

  8. Remember when I was wary of the authenticity of the launching as I could not see the propellers? I worry the same thing is happening again. As I see it, in the state the bridge is, fitting out the ship ready to actually do meaningful testing will take at a year. STW will take between 6 – 9 months, HAT around the same time, platform SAT around 2 months, followed by combat system SAT around 3 months (including static and dynamic alignment) and LFT for all functional chains (excluding missiles) around 1 month. Fastest delivery possibly end 2026. More realistically add another 6 months to that, which will take us to mid 2027. Spare parts are readily available from the equipment from the other ships, which would reduce any issue of lead time for delivery.

    My prediction anyway.

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