The procurement for the first batch of the littoral combat ships (LCS) has been reduced from six to five vessels after the application to continue the project was discussed again by the government, navy chief Admiral Abdul Rahman Ayob said.
"Originally, it was six units of LCS, but when we re-applied and discussed the matter again, we agreed for the vessels to be reduced to five.
"The first batch has been set at five (units). This decision was made some time ago when the government decided to continue the LCS project (last year)," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur today.
Rahman said the sixth supplementary agreement on the LCS project would be signed soon, to enable the following process to take place and construction to be carried out as planned.
"It is okay now. There is nothing surprising, and we hope we can get these vessels according to schedule (because) we lack high-capacity assets like the LCS.
"The LCS can help us to strengthen (our capability) and carry out our tasks with excellence," he said.
In the meantime, Rahman said the procurement of the second batch of littoral mission ship (LMS) would be realised to safeguard the security and sovereignty of the country’s waters.
"We hope the application can be approved this year to enable us to carry out the procurement process, with every vessel to take at least three years to complete.
"This time, we need LMS with combat capability. That’s a significant difference from the four LMS we’ve acquired from China. For starters, we requested three units (for the second batch)," he said.