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Malaysia Reschedules First LCS Delivery To 2026

Yulian Ardiansyah - : Sep 14, 2022 - : 6:05 pm

After repeated delays, the fate of five from six Maharaja Lela-class Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) seems to be set with the first ship to be delivered in early 2026.

“The Cabinet last April decided to continue the LCS project because it is an asset that is very much needed by the navy to ensure the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and maritime interests of the country are always preserved,” said Malaysian Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Tan Sri Affendi Buang, on Tuesday (Sep. 13).

“Based on the planning, the first ship is expected to be handed over to the Navy in January 2026, the second ship in September 2026, the third ship in May 2027, the fourth ship in January 2028, and the fifth ship in September 2028,” he added without mentioning the schedule for the sixth LCS.

He also said that the construction process of the first ship has been resumed earlier this month involving local subcontractors and equipment from original equipment manufacturers (OEM).

Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC), a Malaysian industrial group, received a contract worth MYR9 billion (USD2.8 billion) in 2011 to build six Maharaja Lela-class LCS. After missing the deadline to deliver at least two ships in 2020, the Malaysian parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) conducted an investigation that revealed as many as MYR1.4 billion of funds for the project have been misappropriated.

PAC investigation has resulted in the arrest of the former BHIC managing director on 16 August 2022. Following this, a proposal has been made to the cabinet for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to probe the scandal further.

The Maharaja Lela-class LCS is a 111 meters long, 16 meters wide, 3,100 tonnes displacement frigate design that was developed based on French’s Naval Group Gowind-class ships. The ships are expected to have a maximum speed of 28 knots, and a range of 5,000 nautical miles under 15 knots cruising speed. Each ship will be crewed by 138 personnel and has an endurance of 21 days at sea.

The design called for an armament combo of a Bofors 57 mm main gun, two MSI DS30M 30 mm cannons, 16 Sylver Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) for surface-to-air missiles, two sets of Naval Strike Missile (NSM) launchers, and a pair of triple torpedo launcher tubes for anti-submarine warfare.


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