Sea Platforms

Update: China launches Malaysia’s second Keris-class Littoral Mission Ship

17 July 2019

Key Points

  • China's Wuchang Shipbuilding has launched a second Keris-class patrol vessel on order for Malaysia
  • The ship is scheduled to be handed over to the Royal Malaysian Navy in April 2020

A second Keris-class Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) on order for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has been launched.

Sundang, seen here at its launch ceremony in Wuhan. (Royal Malaysian Navy)Sundang, seen here at its launch ceremony in Wuhan. (Royal Malaysian Navy)

The vessel, which has been named Sundang (112), was launched by Wuchang Shipbuilding Industrial Group at its Shuangliu facility in Wuhan on 12 July, according to media release from the RMN's strategic communications branch on the same day.

Sundang is part of a four-vessel contract, which was originally worth about MYR1.17 billion (USD289 million), that was signed between the Malaysian government and China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) in 2017. The contract is Malaysia's first-ever order for naval ships from China, and the programme's first of class, Keris

(111), was launched in April 2019 by the same shipbuilder.

Under the original contract, Malaysia's state-affiliated Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) was scheduled to construct two Keris-class vessels in Lumut, Perak, with assistance from Wuchang Shipbuilding as part of a technology transfer, and capacity-building arrangement.

However, the contract amount has since been revised down by the new administration in Putrajaya to MYR1.05 billion, and all four ships will now be built in China.

The Keris class 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. The platform can attain a top speed of 22 kt, and a standard range of about 2,000 n miles (3,704 km) at 15 kt.

Weapons that are expected to go onboard the vessel type include either a 20 mm or a 30 mm remote-controlled naval gun in the primary position.

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