KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 5): The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) will realise the construction of the littoral combat ship (LCS) project for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) to strengthen the defence of national waters.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said his ministry's mission is to "complete the ships" by 2024.
“We will base our consideration purely on commercial consideration. We want to make sure the ships are completed. If it is not all six, four would be enough, so long as they are completed during my tenure in Mindef.
“I will continue the efforts implemented by Mindef, the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) as well as various other agencies, and the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Economy as well as the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT), in realising the completion of the LCS,” he said.
He was delivering the defence minister’s 2023 message at Wisma Pertahanan here on Thursday (Jan 5).
Mohamad said he had consulted the MOF, Ministry of Economy and Mindef, so as to be able to explain the actual situation of the LCS issue.
“We are not interested in suing anybody or putting someone behind bars. What I’m interested in is to see the ships in our waters by July 2024,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mohamad said the defence development capability and capacity would continue with government allocations to Mindef amounting to RM17.4 billion for operating and development expenditures.
“A total of 281 procurement plans with a projected value of RM8 billion are for the MAF's military asset maintenance and spare supplies.
“Among them are 155-millimetre self-propelled howitzers, restoration of KD Laksamana, KD Jerai and KD Lekir for the RMN, as well as maintenance of C130 aircraft, and spare supplies of RMN aircraft.
“It is also to continue with the agenda to acquire maritime patrol aircraft and medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aircraft systems and light combat aircraft, apart from ensuring the priority of acquiring the littoral mission ships would receive due consideration of the MOF and Ministry of Economy,” he said.
He said all projects planned must be expedited, especially those involving one-off or special programmes, which have to be paid in the current year.