More Funds For STRIDE In RMK12

SHAH ALAM: The Defence Ministry has proposed more funds for the Science & Technology Research Institute For Defence (STRIDE) for the next Malaysian Plan, RMK12 which starts next year. Defence Minister DS Ismail Sabri said STRIDE had received RM96.18 million in RMK11 for research and development work for the defence industry.

“The Defence Ministry has proposed an allocation of RM607.5 million for STRIDE for RMK12, for consideration by the Prime Ministers Department for the period between 2021 to 2025. “The Ministry is looking funding proposed R&D into the threat of biological weapons and collaboration with the other agencies,” he told Parliament today in his winding up speech for the 2021 budget today.

Firing the METIS-M ATGM during a demonstration at PULADA on Nov. 21, 2020. BTDM

Unfortunately that was the only part of the RMK12 which Ismail touched in his prepared speech. I had not expected much really as rumours swirl that 2021 budget may well be used by politicians hell bent on unseating the current administration. Anyhow, the extra funding proposes, according to Ismail was an initiative to develop self reliance of the local defence industry.

Army chief Gen Zamrose Mohd Zain (right) inside a Gempita CBRNE of the 12 Skn Rejimen Jurutera Di Raja during a demonstration at Gemas on Nov. 23.

For more information on the demonstration, go here.

What about the elephant in the room then? Ismail said the LCS project as off Nov. 1 was at 57.1 percent completed compared to 90.11 per cent as envisaged in the original schedule, a delay of 33.10 %.

As for the individual ships, LCS1 is at 60.60 per cent; LCS2 48.09 %; LCS3 43.75 %; LCS4 36.49%; LCS5 22.09% and LCS6 0 %. See my story LCS stories for context.

Maharaja Lela at the BNS facility in October, 2018. She is still missing her mast and other items. She is likely rusty after undergoing limited harbour trials.

Ismail also said the ministry has also decided to off-set RM80.64 million claimed by Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) as liquidated damages (LAD) for its failure to deliver the first ship on time. The Auditor General in its latest report stated that the Defence Ministry had failed to seek LAD from the shipbuilder for not delivering the ship on time.

The LCS major equipment detailed. RMN graphic

As for the direction of the project, Ismail said the matter had been referred to the Cabinet for further action and decision. Another item answered by Ismail was on the National Service programme. He said the ministry was of the opinion that it should be reinstated but they were waiting for the Cabinet to make the call.

— Malaysian Defence

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