Navy Wants The Govt To Solve LCS Issue

Maharaja Lela was sprayed with sea water as part of the launch gimmick. This was the closest she got to the sea.

SHAH ALAM: The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) wants the government to solve the issues surrounding the Littoral Combat Ship. According to Bernama, the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) hopes the government will be able to solve contractual issues regarding the procurement of six littoral combat ships (LCSs) because of the importance of maintaining sufficient assets for the country’s defence forces.

The multi-layered capabilities of the LCS. RMN graphics.

Navy Chief, Admiral Tan Sri Mohd Reza Mohd Sany said RMN hopes the government, through the Defence Ministry, will ensure the project continues in its effort to ensure Navy assets are always at the ready to defend the country’s sovereignty against enemy threats.

“As we all know, the Navy faces a severe lack of assets. I am told that this issue will be discussed at the Cabinet-level at the soonest time possible before a decision is made about the (LCS’ contract’s) direction,” he said at a press conference after officiating the K.D Peladok’s Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) 1/2020 Series Diploma Programme Convocation at the M. Sidek Shabudin Auditorium, RMN naval base in Lumut on Thursay (20 October, 2020).

He touched on the LCS project issue after the Defence Ministry said it considering ending the contract with the company responsible for supplying the six Navy assets after the first ship was not delivered on time. According to the original schedule, LCS 1 was supposed to be handed over in April 2019 but to date, none have been delivered.

The LCS major equipment detailed. RMN graphic

While the report has given us some inkling of whats going on behind the scene it does not indicate anything on what will happen. As you are aware the Defence Ministry has stated that it was looking at three options on how to proceed with the project: the first one to cancel the project, get Naval Group to become the lead in the project and the last one to get BNS to do it.
A CGI of the LCS.

Based on the report above, the RMN is clearly saying dont cancel it but it did no say anything on how it would like the project to go on.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2225 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. What could have thing for certain, pership price will skyrocket or worse we will only get 2 ship with rm6 bill already paid ( if lucky ) making it one of the most expensive light frigate around..sigh Malaysiaku

  2. Not to mention RM1 bill already paid to BNS that goes missing without a trace..What a farce

  3. Since the politicians used the narrative of “national interest” to build our warships locally, then they should proceed no matter what with the “national interest” strategy. Unless you can cancel “national interest”.

  4. No matter what is the option and path to be taken, the most important thing is at the end of the day (or should I say by 2025), TLDM will get the 6 ASW Frigates that it set out to get. Getting less or none at all is IMO not an option.

  5. off topic

    If Naval Group gets it right (ehem, they do have gorgeous translators… 😁), there will be 2 more nations that will use the Scorpenes, both of them our immediate neighbours.

    AFAIK they always used English in negotiations so there’s never a need to use translators

  6. National interest means to keep the intetest of the nation in everything we do. But just spraying money for the sake of national interest is not really for national interest. Imagine how much covid 19 vaccines can an additional 4 billion buy?. Or how many hospitals can be built?. Thats national interest.
    A contract has been signed. The contractor must comply with the contract. No more money yo be given to them to finish the project. If need be just appoint the designers to complete the built renting the yard from Boustead.

  7. It’s expected that the RMN would say what it did. The 6 multi role combatants are needed urgently and the government should make its decision ASAP.

    The delay in the programme has repercussions for the RMN which beyond not getting 6 multi role combatants which are intended to be its main surface combatants. Delays there will impact other areas.

  8. 1) Throw the BNS directors and the associated politicians in prison. Throw away the keys.
    2) Get Naval Group to complete the 5 hulls already started.
    3) Ensure from now on we don’t have scheming politicians who are in cohoots with greedy corporate figures to win these huge tenders. Instead, get the best ships out there for the little money that we have. Ensure SPRM does a background check on all the individuals bidding for the projects. Cross out the unsavoury types even if he/ she is close to the PM or Minister.

  9. Many of our hulls are more than 20 yrs old. What Gomen can do is to complete whatever number we can with the remaining budget (of course bring Bullshit Naval to court) and let Naval Group finish the balance with a revised contract. We are seriously being left behind by our neighbours in term of new equipments and technologies. TLDM need the LCS. period

  10. A bit more off topic

    Seems like Philippines are making serious discussions with Naval Group on the Scorpenes. It is said that if The Philippines orders the Scorpene, the submarine would be from the Indian shipyard (Magazon dockyard) that is currently building the Kalveris for Indian Navy.

    If that is the case, the line for the scorpenes in India would still be open to build the scorpenes for the Philippines, enough time for us to decide if we want another scorpene in RMK13 2026-2030.

    Modules could be built in Magazon dock, and assembled in Sepanggar submarine maintenance facilities. With the major components (pressure hull) brought in from Magazon dock, the assembly process is very similar to the refit process we have done for our current Scorpenes. Our submarine hangar is also similar to the assembly hangar for the Brazilian Scorpenes, so the possibility of doing it here in Sepanggar is something doable.

  11. Any other shipyards are capable support or take over the project? Any additional subs for RMN after this?

  12. Maybe we should stop this idea of local assembly or local production until such time there are truly exist local companies that could really do it competitively or when our budget for defense is equivalent to SG perhaps3

  13. Too late to cancel but the people responsible behind the conundrum must be answerable. Dont give them more money they dont deserve due to their own fault or incompetence. Let them finish whatever can be salvage from the project, and at the same time let NG finishes the rest. The navy can get their ships faster perhaps.

    For the prospective second batch of 6 LCS to meet the 15 to 5 proposal, just get them direct from South Korea, no matter if they are from different class or design. The koreans might build them at a fraction of the cost and time compared to our local shipyard.

    Costlier and longer time needed to get locally produce weapons and equipments for the sake of national interests that lead to nowhere, after trying for so so many years, definitely show we are not capable and simply not ready to be known as an innovation and producing nation of weaponry. We need to be realistic, just get all the armed forces requirement off the shelves, faster and cheaper.

  14. As I said before, the TLDM needs these boats. The Government have to find a solution (whatever that is) that can get them into TLDM hands as soon as possible. If that requires NAVAL to come in and take control with fresh funds from the Government, then so be it.

    The main priority is getting past the issues delaying & stopping the project and getting them into TLDM service ASAP.

    Once that is completed, the Government MUST seek restitution from Boustead even if it results in liquidating the company, then so be it.

  15. Wanted to comment about this but had no time to really do it.
    Case for beefing up maritime assets

    Anyway here is my quick take on this

    1) faster hulls and missiles are not the whole answer. To secure our maritime domain, within our available means (this is an important point), the task should be mainly borne by MMEA. Equip and fund MMEA to really do its task, this does not need to cost a fortune. Double the operational budget, and just maintain existing development budgets and it can be done. I have written about it before (yes can be tweaked further to take into account latest developments)

    2) Clear results are needed. There should be 2 important tasks that needs to be clearly defined
    i) peacetime maritime security (MMEA)
    ii) defence and deterrence (TLDM, so no need PV for TLDM. PV for MMEA would be much more cost effective and fit for the task.)

    3) To cultivate maritime culture among our rakyat. No use to brag about our maritime history and heritage when we as a people are no longer connected to our seas. Need to start educating our young on having the sea as a way of life. We have good O&G manpower resources development, but what about fisheries, shipping engineering, marine tourism? More can be done to develop these fields. Need to have a holistic fisheries development plan, to encourage more youths to the industry. Grants for fishing vessels should be given out to people. A federal authority like Felda should be created for the fishing industry to create more downstream activities. Need to develop our cities to get the rakyat to love the sea/water. Cities like Kuala terengganu, Melaka, Kota Kinabalu, Georgetown or even Putrajaya needs to have more activities that would link the people to the water. Boating activities for the youth, watersports, etc needs to be encouraged, and be accessible to all walks of life. Schools need to have watersports activities. Cities by the water should have watersport clubs that regularly do activities to give watersports experience to the masses.

    4) subs main reason is not for patrols. it is for deterrence, and as our counter strike capability should our EEZ be attacked. the 8 number of subs. How? When? At most IMO we can only plan for a total of 3 subs by 2030.

    5) securing our maritime areas in peacetime should be the primary tasks of surface ships. I am looking at a total large surface vessel fleet of:

    – 20 MMEA OPV
    – 10 to 15 TLDM Frigates (no need for PV in TLDM)

    to enable malaysia to have at least 10 ships always at sea with:
    – 4 ships off sabah/sarawak SCS
    – 2 ships off east coast peninsular SCS
    – 2 ships selat melaka
    – 1 ship ESSCOM
    – 1 ship overseas mission

    Along with multitudes of small/medium patrol crafts (LMS, NGPC, FIC etc) in near shore areas.

  16. “Based on the report above, the RMN is clearly saying dont cancel it but it did no say anything on how it would like the project to go on.”

    Govt have 3 options then till now still KIV. The bean counters and those signing off the needed documents waiting Cabinet?

    Good that TLDM as end user have clearly stated their stand. This “sick project” alas have to be delivered, overtimed,overbudget and just2 within specs.

  17. Kamal,

    First of all we have to have a clear idea of what we intend to achieve in the long run and to be honest with ourselves as to what we really can achieve and what tangible benefits there will be.

    – Is the main intention in doing it locally to provide the RMN with the desired capability or are we under the illusion that we can actually export it price competitively at a later date?

    – Will all the resources we invested in creating the needed facilities to enable production (paid for by the taxpayer) justify the investment?

    – Can the yard in the future make the transition from merely locally constructing something with 100 percent reliance on a foreign technology partner to being able to offer added value; whether in offering enlarged variants with improved features or something else?

    – What happens when politics/national interests selects a design for production but after ‘x’ number of years, after the first batch has been delivered; the RMN finds that it’s operational requirements have evolved due to
    changing threat perceptions and a different design is needed?
    Do we continue buying the existing design merely so we can recoup the investments made in the yard and to keep it in business even though there is no operational need for anymore of the existing design?

    A lot of long term factors at play and a lot depends on our policy. Do we have a new defence policy; one which is intended to provide the services the capabilities they need or do we continue with out highly flawed nether here not there policy in which national interests; including the needs of the local industry; takes precedence over that of the armed services and taxpayer?

    If we can’t get various fundamental prerequisites right and when politics plays such a major part (it does everywhere but there must be limits); is it surprising that we keep repeating the same mistakes and the state of the MAF doesn’t truly reflect the resources we’ve invested in it over the years?

  18. P.S.

    Kamal – “ or when our budget for defense is equivalent to SG perhaps3”

    Firstly, that will never happen : even if the economy improves significantly; we’d never allocate as much as Singapore for various reasons. We’ve allocated cash for a mere handful of MPAs and UASs (despite the clear and vital need) and its only thanks to the U.S. taxpayer that the RMN has an organic UAS capability and that 3 CNs are being converted : this is a reflection of just how much a priority defence is.

    Secondly, if we don’t change the way we do things; raising the defence budget will not make a difference as we won’t be getting the best use out of our cash due to our highly flawed defence policy. If only it were as simple as raising the defence budget.

    People have various ideas/opinions on whet we should do; what we should buy, how we should acquire things, etc. For me, it’s about first getting the basic fundamental prerequisites right; i.e. having a holistic and realistic defence policy in place geared towards meeting the interests of the nation in order to be able to handle the types of threats we face and are likely to face. In the 1970’s and up to the 1980’s we got things right; we got what we needed based on what we could afford. After that the rot started setting in. “National interests” took front place.

  19. “Kepentingan negara”

    Yang penting adalah “know how” sahaja, bukan nya taukeh2 nya.

    Kerajaan hanya perlu skill & kemahiran kekal didalam negara. Kekalkan Jurutera2 & Naval Arkitek, Pekerja2 mahir.

    TLDM (Kerajaan) “tapau” sahaja lah Yard BNS.. denda late delivery pun belun tentu boleh bayar tu..

    Biar Naval Group ambil alih (sewa yard dari TLDM) beri syarat 90% pekerja kejuruteraan tempatan

    Lead Engineer & Asisstant Naval Arkitek pun tempatan. Chief engineer & Naval Arkitek bagi Naval Group


  20. @nimitz
    I believe the bean counters are waiting for the political show to fully played out so they can finally see if those signatures are still valid or not. Just like the MD530G saga, On then Off then On again.

    All of them should take heed of Agong’s advice. Enough is enough.

  21. The bean counter is here to tell you… it won’t change until there is more systemic change. Brace yourself for more cuts.

    These 6 “front line” frigates were meant to replace 2 Lekius, 2 Kasturis and 4 Laksamanas, which range from 25 to 40 years old. Now hardly even 4 can be completed. That is at least a 50% reduction in the frontline fighting strength.

    If this goes on, for the next generation of ships 30 years down the line, we will struggle to build 2 ships of similar displacement and capability. Another 50% cut. And so on and so on. It is pure mathematics.

    But the last time I heard from someone here that the sitting Govt has been doing an absolutely brilliant job managing the finances of the country, so… please continue.

  22. So, what was the exact reason for the delay and insufficient funds? was it mere incompetence or any other reasonable excuses? Sorry, I missed the train. Is there any data as of today? like what makes the already paid billions somehow not enough? It was all very murky as far as I know.

    I think it is only fair to slap those responsible with punishment for this whole fiasco if it were up to me. We don’t have to protect these people under the guise of “national interest” as obviously these people have no other interest other than themselves.

    Kalau hanya pandai buat sampan tu buat je lah sampan, tak payah lah nak sibuk buat kapal perang. Tak payah malu pun buat sampan. Ukur baju dibadan sendiri. Adoi.

  23. @ chua

    Making a hard decisions when shit already hits the fan and managing finances is 2 different things. Right now none of our leaders (both PH and PN) have made any decisions on the Gowinds for the past 3 years! So tone down on your political slant.

  24. @ chua

    ” These 6 “front line” frigates were meant to replace 2 Lekius, 2 Kasturis and 4 Laksamanas, which range from 25 to 40 years old. Now hardly even 4 can be completed. That is at least a 50% reduction in the frontline fighting strength ”

    SGPV LCS program is not designed as a replacement for existing vessels. It is to increase the capability of TLDM. That said, our current fleet numbers is inadequate to fulfill all of our maritime security needs.

    Laksamanas replacement was the LMS (what happened to the rest of the class? Just 1 delivered to malaysia as of now)

    Lekius and Kasturis are not planned to be retired in the next 10 years at least.

  25. National interest should be equated to getting the best that money can buy based on the spec of the user service.
    National industry, national policy that cant be shifted should instead be dispensed with. Because resuing a failed project will never be to national interest. Not once but twice already. If national interest says we need to develop lical ship building industry, let the private sector do it. Give private sector the help they need ( not contracts ya). Let them compete. Thats the only way. No more parts made overseas ( even the metal has to be cut overseas in this case) what technology transfer are we talking of.
    Compared to Singapore their spanking new 6 LCS are locally fesigned n made by their local shipyards. All completed on time n on budget.
    They dont get another GLC to build them

    The local shipyard is a Singapore GLC. We don’t build enough ships or anything else to have a dedicated steel making factory to do it here. The steel making factories locally are mostly for industry use

  26. @ lee yoke meng

    Nearly 100% of Singaporean military industry is GLC.


    Its really 101 per cent actually

  27. Chua – “… it won’t change until there is more systemic change”

    Not “systematic” but deep rooted changes which can only occur if there is a genuine desire to do so – hard to do given how deeply entrenched/ingrained various practices and policies are: as well as how things are so heavily driven by political considerations rather than ensuring the MAF gets the capability it needs and the taxpayers their money’s worth.

    Lee – “National interest should be equated to getting the best that money can buy based on the spec of the user service”

    Based on what comes closest to meeting the particular requirements of the end user: in turn based on whet we can afford.

    Lee – “once but twice already”

    Twice? Much more than that.

    On numerous occasions the government has has to step in to “rescue” companies which otherwise would have folded and left the services in a lurch.

    Also, time and time again we buy “locally” and pay more under the illusion it helps the country when all its doing are keeping companies afloat – under the guise of “self sufficiency” and building the local industry.

  28. @ marhalim

    ” Its really 101 per cent actually ”

    Oh yes when you consider US and European defence entities like VT halter Marine and Timoney Engineering is also owned by Singapore GLC.

    @ azlan

    ” Not “systematic” but deep rooted changes which can only occur if there is a genuine desire to do so ”

    One of the important things for a leader is to feel empathy towards its subject (and not to think just about himself), and also the feeling of responsibility to fulfil the leadership, and strive to make the country in a better condition than before.

  29. @Lee Yoke Meng
    If SG Armed Forces don’t buy what their local defence industry produces, even they will fail. The thing is, SG strong economy & currency plus their push for self reliance allowed them to accept the inefficiencies of having local defence industry. We OTOH can’t afford such liberties.

    Something went wrong with LCS project. It could be technical, it could be management or it could be both, but neither isn’t something we cannot resolve and continue onwards. We need a Parliamentary audit on the project and table the results for all to know and debate how to move forward.

  30. Yea,Gov should consider asked the Naval Group to take back the project from BNS, previously 1st OPV project also facing the same pblm b4 and this is 2nd time another 3rd time? never learned from mistake…. Apa mcm???

  31. My guess? Just as happened in the NGPV, from 21 expected hulls to just 6 delivered, for the 6 LCS, it will be 6 reduce to 4. If i recall 2 hulls can be completed. 3rd laid but need lots more work. 4th is probably the new-new hull. Savings from last 2 hulls covers part of the cost overruns. Govt still has to top up but much less than completing all 6 hulls. Extreme worst case? Forget about the 4th hull and get 3 done. Wait for conditions to improve than fund the last 3 or get smaller and cheaper ships to augment. Or go to Europe and raid their Navies for second hand, not too old (by Malaysian standards) and decently equipped (guns and missiles).

    If they scrap and redo a new tender, it’ll still go back to PSC-Naval Dockyard to lead the whole program. This is just how Malaysia navy ship programs are handled.

    At least assigning a new contractor means the the incumbent cannot bid on it.

  32. @fadiman
    BNS rescued the SGPV project. Mana tau they would face similar problems with LCS project.

  33. @joe

    Yes no doubt that BNS rescued NGPV project but now who will rescues them then…billion of RM jeopardize the people tax payer…

  34. @fadiman
    If rescuing them like Proton pre-Geely or MAS, no point. That is throwing good money into bad investment. Better to sell off BNS or at least the controlling stake to a professional shipbuilder (like NAVAL) so they can finish the ships and onwards run the shipyard professionally. We can see how Proton turned around when the controlling stake is under Geely and the management being run by professionals. This is what I want to see in BNS.

    I don’t think as a state owned shipbuilder Naval Group can or will be able to buy out BNS or if given a stake for free. The operational costs is very high. That’s why even Naval Group remains a state owned company

  35. @Marhalim
    Well it can be NAVAL, or any other like DAMEN or ThyssenKrupp, or Dalian Shipbuilding, or whatever. As long they have the credentials, resources and plan to turn around BNS.

    Does it matter if they happened to be state-owned by other countries? Enough is enough with the national pride. National pride has failed us in this context here. Better to let professionals run the business like a business and not like a GLC.

  36. Even to finish 2 ships bns will demand (suck) more monies from the govt for if LCS initial ceiling price was not ridiculous enough they want to make it into a Rm4billion ship each..

  37. Do not give the Retired General Army or The High Ranking Army Officer the Executive Power, rather just appoint them as Project Advisor. The Accountability should lies to The Professional. Bila terlampau banyak sudu dalam kuah, pasti ada yang tertumpah ke atas lantai, make things worst habis semua kuah tumpah ke atas lantai.

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