KUALA LUMPUR: As mentioned by Simon, I am posting this, so every one who wants to talk about the replacement for the Sri Inderapura and perhaps the two other LPD in RMN, KD Mahawangsa and KD Inderasakti, can have their say. I will open another one if the comments get merrier.
First of all, can we afford the South Korean landing helicopter platform, the Dokdo-class, MAF favourite choice for the MPSS or perhaps the politicians choice, the French-made Mistral-class? With helicopters and landing ships, we will probably need to pay RM3 billion for a Dokdo class ship or RM3.5 billion for the Mistral. The annual running costs will get even the best connected crony envious…..
Perhaps we should go for the Indonesian-LPD built by the Koreans for USD19.9 million or around RM70 million per ship. With helicopters and landing ships, we probably be spending RM200 million tops. So we can get five LPDs instead of one Dokdo or Mistral.
The Endurance-class LST is also a proven design with four in service with RSN and another set to join the RTN. The Thais bought it for US$182 million (RM697 million) so we can get two for the cost one Dokdo.
We can also get a Chinese LPD probably for the same price as the Endurance class LST. The one offered to us back in 2007 the Type 071 reportedly cost some US$150 million plus. There are other LPDs of course, like the Rotterdam/Galicia class LPDs, Mewerde commercial-derived designs and HDW designed ships but these ships could also cost around USD300 million each.
Choices, choices. My personal choice? A modified, smaller version of the Dokdo costing not more than RM200 million per ship so we can get more helicopters on board plus a good C4I system so the ship can become a flagship as the main requirement stated for the MPSS by the armed forces. With helicopters and landing ships, it will cost RM500 million per ship and we can get two of these vessels instead of one Dokdo or Mistral.
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