SHAH ALAM: Defence Minister DSU Mohamad Hasan had more to say in Parliament yesterday about the LCS apart from what was reported earlier. As Parliament has yet to publish its official Hansard (statement) Malaysian Defence had to rely on what was reported by Air Times again.
The report said the Cabinet will have to give its approval for the SAM system before it is procured. Mohamad also raised the possibility that another type of SAM could be procured instead the MBDA VL MICA.
Menteri Pertahanan, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan hari ini menyatakan misil pertahanan udara (Surface-to-air Missile, SAM) untuk Kapal Tempur Pesisir (LCS) akan memerlukan kelulusan oleh pihak Jemaah Menteri.
“Bagi perolehan SAM, belum ada dalam kontrak lagi,” katanya semasa menjawab soalan di Dewan Rakyat, hari ini.
Beliau menambah, perolehan tersebut akan memerlukan kelulusan kabinet.
“Kita akan buat dan kita akan memerlukan kelulusan kabinet untuk memperolehi dari OEM mana dan jenis,” katanya.
Beliau menambah, perolehan sistem persenjataan lain seperti misil anti permukaan sudah pun dilaksanakan.
“Kita akan lakukan apabila dapat mengenal pasti sistem yang mana yang baik yang terbaik
yang boleh diletakkan di atas LCS tersebut,” ujar beliau.
This is of course, nonsense, as BNS has already procured the MICA launchers, as Malaysian Defence has posted on various occasions. The missiles has not been bought as the government has dithered about it since 2011. (Lethal weapons must be bought by the government as in the case for the NSM anti ship missiles). For the sake of argument – I am not infallible – even if BNS has not bought the MICA launchers (it has) then the shipyard would have to spend more money to integrate the new SAM system into the LCS (apart from paying for the missiles and launchers).
From the PAC report, integrating new systems on board the LCS – SSM, IPMS and decoy – were the reasons that the cost of the whole project had gone up beyond the RM9 billion price ceiling. Also from the PAC report, we also know that a former RMN chief fought long and hard to get another SAM system (ESSM) but in the end, BNS decision to buy the MICA was upheld by the then Prime Minister.
Apart from the cost issue, if BNS has not bought the MICA launchers, the shipyard must also find a way to seal part of the hull which were cut to accommodate the VLS launchers. And recut it if the government buy another SAM system. The Gowind 2500 -of which the LCS is derived from – was from the start designed with the VL MICA in mind. And we have not talked about the torpedoes for the LCS.
So, the cheapest option for the government is to allow BNS to install the MICA launchers and not buy the missiles, which is the current situation, really. This means we are following the Fitted-For-but-Not Equipped With – concept as with the Kedah class. Which means that the LCS is not fit for purpose in the first place.
— Malaysian Defence