PLAN TO BUILD FAST-ATTACK MISSILE BOATS MIGHT BE DELAYED: MND
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Dec. 5 (CNA) A plan to build a fleet of 30 new fast attack missile boats might be delayed due to complaint by a private shipyard against the state-run China Ship Building Corporation (CSBC), which was awarded the construction contract, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Monday.
To date, only one prototype boat has been built out of the "Kuang-Hua Six" plan worth NT$13.2 billion (US$394 million) . The CSBC, winner of the tender in which private shipbuilding companies Jong Shyn and Ching Fu took part, was awarded a contract June 24 to build the remaining platforms.
However, Jong Shyn Shipbuilding contested the results of the tender, claiming that the procurement committee favored the CSBC, making the tender unfair. The plea was not accepted, so the company further appealed to the Public Construction Commission under the Executive Yuan, claiming that the decision attributing the contract to the CSBC was defective.
Navy Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Lee Hai-tung said the "Kuang-Hua Six" plan might be delayed following the Jong Shyn Shipbuilding company's contesting of the decision.
Lee explained that the MND assigned the case to the Bureau of Investigation under the Ministry of Justice (MJIB) in October, and the MND asked the CSBC to suspend the contract in November.
The MND's Procurement Center and Evaluation Committee evaluated the CSBC as the best tender following discussions in mid-November, Lee said.
Under current regulations, Jong Shyn can still file complaints with the procurement committee or the Public Construction Commission or even file a law suit, Lee said.
Against this backdrop, Lee said the plan may be delayed.
The "Kuang-Hua Six" plan is to build 150-ton fast attack missile that could be platforms for four Hsiungfung II surface-to-surface missiles.
(By Taijing Wu) ENDITEM/J
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