To support your claims, you have tried to pull the wool over the Rakyat by giving the comparative purchase prices for these vessels as below, as I beg to differ :
Roisin Class OPV
Protector Class OPV
Firstly please pay close attention to the nomenclature of your referred ships. Both these ship classes originates from the Mauritian Vigilant Class OPV launched in 1995, with the Roisin class launched in 1999 and the Protector in 2006 but only accepted in 2010 by the New Zealand Navy as they did not meet their specifications.
On a base level, these ships are 80 meters and 86 meters gunboats respectively with no modular capabilities and can and will only be armed with one 76 mm main guns and supporting machine guns while the Kiwi ships only 25mm main gun, thus their function purely as patrol gunboats. Please keep this in mind. The cost of the Roisin is 20 million pounds in 2000 while the cost of the New Zealand Dollars 90 million per ship for the Protectors is not finalized as per the NZ Ministry of Defence own web posting. Thus the price may actually be more than stated.
b. Greek Super Vita Roussen Class
These vessels are classed as Fast Attack Craft as they are indeed only 62 meters long and fully laden 580 tons and the equivalent in the RMN fleet would be the Laksamana class. Nonetheless as they are well armed, they are also termed as small corvettes and in military terms should not be compared to a gunboat. Nonetheless as I will clarify later, this vessel can be a good comparison to the proposed SGPV project. Reuters reported in 2008 that the cost for additional two vessels cost the Hellenic Navy Euro 299 million while Janes reported the initial price for the first three units was Sterling Pound 200 million in 2000.
c. K130 Braunschweig Class Corvette, Germany
The K130 class is a 90 metre corvette that was delivered in 2010 for the last unit. It has a displacement of 1900 tons and is a well armed ship that would be comparable to our Kedah class once these are upgraded to its full modular FFNW capabilities, as they share the same MEKO geneology. Mind you that Jane’s announced the contract price in 2000 for the five K130 was DM1.9 or US$925 million equivalent at that time, and this contradicts the price of US$108 million each given by Mr Tony Pua In addition the development cost of this project was supposedly distributed amongst other shipbuilding projects like the F124 frigates being built by the same consortium at the same time.
SAAR V Corvette
Freedom Class LCS
These are 86 meter 1300 tons vessels with the last unit delivered in 1994 with the sticker price of USD260 million each. However what Mr Tony Pua neglected to highlight that a 2009 proposal by Northrop Grumman to supply an expanded version of Saar 5 corvettes was rejected as the cost would have been USD450 million each. The Israeli procurement also serves as a good guide for the export price of the USN LCS which Mr Tony Pua claims as being built at a cost of less than US300 million in 2004 but would have cost US darling Israel a whopping USD600 million after integration with Israeli systems while the ship itself would have cost USD480 million per vessel when the Israelis could only afford USD300 million each.
All the above facts I have reference to reputable defence sites like Jane’s and Naval Technology and well documented These ships are being offered as procurement price comparisons to the announced 102 meter long and 2300 tons SGPV/LCS. The problem I have with such simple comparisons are as follows :
a. These ships are smaller corvettes or gunboats as compared to the proposed fully armed and equipped SGPV/LCS. Even the comparable LCS from the United States cost more than the SGPV/LCS. Only on this factor alone can I beg to differ on Mr Tony Pua’s assessment.
b. The price given as comparison are either inaccurate as per the K130 figures or the vintage is at least a decade old without giving due consideration for inflation as demonstrated by the latest price proposal for the upgraded SAAR V.
c. In addition, it was not highlighted the vintage of the designs compared which are also based on a decade old design base. Even though the final design for the SGPV has not been announced yet, we can surely expect that this will be based on the latest technologies.
I am sure Mr Tony Pua and those hard core supporters will not accept the reasons given above to invalidate Mr Tony Pua’s claims, when even now they still believe we bought second hand submarines that cannot dive when all evidence points to the contrary. Nonetheless I hope those who read this can at least make your own judgement rationally and at the very least, make more investigation into the claims rather than accepting it at face value.