SHAH ALAM: Its confirmed, Malaysia is buying China-made warships. Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein speaking at the ministry confirmed today that the contract will be signed on Nov 5.
“On November 5, 2016, the Defence Ministry will sign a contract for the procurement of Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) with SASTIND (The State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense of China), which is an important essence of the official visit of the Prime Minister to China by the end of the month,” Hishammuddin says at a gathering at the ministry.
He did not explained further about the contract but said later on social media that procurement of the LMS means that the RMN’s 15-to-5 plan was going ahead.
Industry sources told Malaysian Defence that the government-to-government deal will involved four ships. Malaysian Defence have reported about the proposal for the LMS previously, here.
It is likely that two of the LMS will be built in China, with the other being built locally by Boustead Naval Shipyard. It is likely the contract signing will include transfer of technology, whereas BNS could build more the LMS locally as the RMN had planned to have 18 of the vessels to replace a number of vessels currently serving with its fleet.
As reported previously, the four Laksamana class will be retired, most likely one after the other. As for the equipment it is likely that they will be equipped with guns only. It will be wired for missiles though.
A Google search revealed SASTIND is a civilian ministry within the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, responsible for setting policy for defense procurement.
It was previously called COSTIND. SASTIND reportedly administered various companies which produced military equipment for the China’s military including its two major shipyards, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) and the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC).
The contract signing is to take place in China as part of the official visit of the Prime Minister which starts tomorrow to November 6.
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