False claim in LCS purchase

In the dock: The littoral combat ships in Lumut

PETALING JAYA: The quotation for the littoral combat ship (LCS) project’s combat management system (CMS) was based on “inaccurate information” but the government still went ahead with the procurement.

The procurement division had said the quotation for the CMS Setis system was RM270mil and it included the cost for the system and integration process, the declassified report by the Special Investigative Committee on Procurement, Governance and Finance report said.

The cost was said to be lower than the other contending model, the CMS Tacticos, which cost RM349.45mil.

This, however, was not true.

“In actuality the RM270mil cost of the CMS Setis does not include the system and integration system and currency hedging as reported by the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) to the secretary-general of Mindef in a letter dated July 26, 2011,” it said.

It was said that then defence minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had approved the procurement of the CMS Setis system from DCNS, which is now known as French Naval Group, for RM479.4mil, an increase of RM209.4mil.

This was done although the CMS Setis system was under development at that time and only used by the French and Moroccan navies.

The CMS Setis system was compatible with only one of the navy’s equipment and would have become obsolete in between five and 10 years.

The report noted that, in comparison, the Thales Group’s CMS Tacticos system would have cost RM349.45mil and could be integrated with 10 out of the 11 RMN equipment.

The issue of obsoleteness also does not arise with the CMS Tacticos system which was used by 16 countries.

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