LCS combat system may be obsolete in 10 years, says MP

An opposition MP has warned that the combat management system of the littoral combat ships (LCS) currently under construction may be obsolete within the next decade after a change of specifications.

(FMT) – Citing the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) report on the project, Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim said then defence minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had decided on the SETIS system instead of the navy’s choice of the Tacticos system.

“The SETIS system chosen by the minister is not only more expensive, it has yet to be fully developed, and is also at risk of becoming obsolete in five to 10 years.

“What’s even more unreasonable is that the system is incapable of integrating with most of the navy’s equipment,” the DAP organising secretary said in a statement.

Sim said switching from the initial Sigma-class ships chosen by the navy to the Gowind design of Naval Group of France in 2011 could have set Malaysia’s naval ship manufacturing industry back by years.

He said Malaysia missed out on the chance for technology transfer, pointing to how the Sigma-class was designed by the Dutch company Damen Shipyard, which was supposed to make Malaysia its manufacturing hub.

He said this would have allowed for important technology transfer for the local combat ship manufacturing industry while creating high-value jobs for Malaysians.

The LCS project has come under scrutiny after the PAC released its report which, among other things, found that not a single ship had been completed although Putrajaya had already spent RM6 billion.

Last week, PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh revealed that the defence ministry and contractor Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd had ignored the navy’s views on the project.