Second LCS over 64% complete, says Khaled

KUALA LUMPUR: The construction status of the second Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) has currently reached 64.66% completion, says Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

He said total payments made for the construction of the second LCS are based on the signed contract, which stipulated payments were not made according to the progress of each ship individually.

"Instead, payments are made according to the overall progress of the LCS project as recommended by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Investigation Committee on Public Governance, Procurement and Finance (JKSTUPKK).

"In line with this, the government has paid RM7.15bil, equivalent to 63.69%, compared to the original payment plan of 68.43% based on the contract, according to the current progress of the procurement of all five LCS ships," he said in Parliament on Monday (June 24).

He was replying to a question from Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (Perikatan-Tanah Merah) who inquired about the latest percentage of the construction of the second LCS and the total payments made by the Defence Ministry to Lumut Naval Shipyard (Lunas).

Mohamed Khaled also said that the current status of the third LCS is at 56.48%, the fourth LCS at 51.10%, and the fifth LCS at 42.33%.

He expressed confidence that the five LCS ships can be delivered to the navy within the planned timeline, starting from August 2026.

To a supplementary question from Ikmal Hisham, who wanted to know whether the government is interested in acquiring the recently decommissioned HMAS Anzac from Australia for temporary use by the navy, he said the ship is not suitable for temporary use.

"After review, the navy concluded that the ship in question is not suitable. This is based on issues such as equipment commonality and the acquisition cost, which would not be beneficial to the government, especially if we proceed with the procurement.

"The procurement process is expected to take a long time, until 2027, by which time we will already have been supplied with the first and second LCS ships. These ships will be handed over to the navy and begin operations in 2027," he said.

Furthermore, Mohamed Khaled said the government has recently procured three Littoral Mission Ships (LMS) from Turkiye, which are expected to be completed by the end of 2027.

"So, five ships will begin service with the navy, and since almost all the HMAS Anzac ships use different equipment, we have decided it is not suitable and not in the interest of the government and the people," he said. – Bernama

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