SHAH ALAM: The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) needs some RM40 million a year to operate the four Keris class ships, the so called Littoral Mission Ship (LMS). The figure is derived from an answer given by Senior Defence Minister DS Hishammuddin Hussein on July 27 in response to a question from Bukit Bendera MP Wong Hon Hai on the readiness and costs of operating the LMS and whether the newly delivered ships have major issues.
According to Hishammuddin, the daily cost of the ship which include maintenance, spare parts, fuel and food, based from July 2021 to June, 2022, amounted to RM1,200 per hour or RM28,800 per day. I got the RM40 million figure by counting the daily cost for 365 days for the four ships. (each ship costs some RM10 million a year).
Of course, no ship will be operational the full calendar year but its easier to illustrate the operational cost on annual basis instead of the day one (that is the reason I round up the figure to RM40 million instead of RM42.058 million which is the total amount). The operating cost will be higher if we include the cost of manpower but I guess the Defence Ministry would like to keep it to themselves,
Anyhow, on the readiness issue, Hishammuddin said so far, the four ships were able to sail whenever they are needed and there were no major issues affecting them. Any technical issues which had arisen had been solved by the ship’s crew while at sea or when they returned to port.
Apart from the LMS, a number of MPs also posed questions on the LCS especially the start date of the project and whether the revived project would be successful. Hishammuddin did not answer the questions directly, instead pointed out that the government had approved of the revival of the project.
He said currently the project was under the remobilisation phase in which Boustead Naval Ship (BNS) were in negotiations with its vendors and OEM. The project itself was being monitored by a monitoring committee. Hishammuddin did not say when the project will be restarted though.
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