Meko Combat Littoral Ship (Meko CLS) from Thyssen Krupp Marines (photo : TKM)
Vessels Purchased Through Agreement With Boustead - ZahidKUALA LUMPUR, (Bernama) -- The acquisition of the Second Generation Patrol Vessel Littoral Combatant Ship (SGPV-LCS) was not made through open tender because it was a continuity of the privatisation agreement signed between the government and Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) on Dec 11, 1995, the Dewan Rakyat was told.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said through the agreement, the government was planning to build 27 of the second generation patrol vessels.
"It is in line with the government's aspiration to develop the national maritime industry, using the existing infrastructure to become the catalyst in the development of technology and heavy industry.
"It has also created many job and business opportunities to the vendors," he said in reply to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut) during question time.
Lim wanted to know the latest cost borne by the BNS to build the vessels and whether there was a tender process involved before the contract was given to BNS.
The minister said an international market survey revealed that a vessel with the ability comparable to the LCS was priced at between RM1.5 billion and RM2.7 billion each, but the government had yet to finalise the actual cost.
He said BNS was proven capable of building the six patrol vessels which were currently being used by the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN).
"LCS's specifications differ from the six original patrol vessels in several aspects as the LCS is bigger and faster. It is also equipped with three-dimensional warfare equipment like cannons, missiles and torpedoes," he said.
With the rapid development of technology, the RMN would need an LCS with state-of-the-art equipment like the sonar system for submarine detection and anti-submarine torpedoes, which would help in the operation of the two RMN submarines to safeguard the sovereignty of national maritime areas, he said.
Replying to Lim's supplementary question on the rationale behind the acquisition of the vessels, Ahmad Zahid said:
"It is a necessity, not because there is a threat or anything like that. Our neighbouring countries are also in the midst of increasing their naval capabilities, so Malaysia should not be left out and I think the government has never been rhetoric in matters of national defence."