SHAH ALAM: AS I had mentioned in my previous posting, the Damen Schelde entry for the SGPV/LCS tender had been the early favourite for programme. And it appears that the Navy seemed to prefer it to other candidates despite the fact that an almost similar vessel is being build in Indonesia for TNI-AL.
The Gowind by DCNS is the other short listed entrant and by all account would have scored a victory if not for its insistence on putting its own system on the ships and other French made weaponsm
The Shipyard is apparently backing the French ship. I was told the reason why but since my source cannot be identified I wont mentioned it here. Suffice to say that its a plenty and one needs cojones of steel to back away from it now especially with many local companies/patrons benefiting if they choose the Dutch ship. So basically its DCNS against the rest of Malaysia then.
Anyhow, the Navy is still expecting the Sigma to be chosen with non-French weapons and some French systems on board as its LCS. I am told one of the non-French weapon slated for the ships needed export clearance from the US and it had been cleared already.
By the way, this is the last time, I will be calling the ships as LCS. After this I will call them, frigates. A rose by any other name will still smell as sweet, as the Bard once said.
And notwithstanding the design chosen, the cost of the ship will be much higher than the one announced earlier.
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