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Chinese shipyard launches Malaysia’s first Littoral Mission Ship

15 April 2019
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Malaysia’s first Littoral Mission Ship, Keris, seen before its launch in China. Source: Royal Malaysian Navy

Key Points

  • The first Littoral Mission Ship on order for the Royal Malaysian Navy has been launched
  • Service is on track to receive the first-of-class by end-2019

China’s Wuchang Shipbuilding has launched the first Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) on order for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN).

The vessel, which has been named Keris after a traditional Malay weapon, was launched on 15 April at Wuhan, China. This first-of-class has been given the pennant number 111.

Keris is the first of four LMS signed under an MYR1.17 billion (USD286.1 million) contract between the Malaysian government and China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) in April 2017. It is Malaysia’s first-ever naval ship contract with China.

Under the original deal, Malaysia’s Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) was supposed to have constructed two vessels in Lumut, Perak as part of a technology transfer arrangement. However, the contract amount has since been renegotiated down by the new administration in Putrajaya to MYR1.05 billion, and all four ships will now be built in China.

The vessel type has an overall length of 68.8 m, an overall beam of 9 m, a hull draught of 2.8 m, and will displace about 700 tonnes at full load. It can attain a top speed of 22 kt, and a standard range of about 2,000 n miles (3,704 km) at 15 kt.

The LMS can be armed with a 20 mm or 30 mm naval gun in a remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) turret as a primary weapon and can accommodate two 12.7 mm machine gun positions on the deck area behind the vessel’s bridge.

The ship can also accommodate one 20 ft (6 m) containerised mission module on a multipurpose deck area in the aft section and can deploy and recover two rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) from launchers located at its stern.

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