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RMN confirms procurement priorities for next five years

The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has confirmed its procurement priorities for the next five years while adding vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to its list of requirements.

Speaking on 22 January, RMN chief Admiral Reza Sani confirmed the service’s plans to acquire Multi-Role Support Ships (MRSSs) under the ‘Twelfth Malaysia Plan’ – which starts this year and ends in 2025 – to replace the RMN’s current logistics support ships, both of which are not fitted to carry out amphibious missions and are operating beyond their design age. Janes understands that the service aims to acquire at least two MRSSs by 2025.

He also reiterated that the RMN is aiming to acquire a second batch of Littoral Mission Ships (LMSs) – to add to the four vessels from the first batch – as part of the service’s 15-to-5 transformation programme.

As Janes reported in early November 2020 the service has issued requests for proposals (RFPs) to various local and foreign shipyards for the LMS Batch II programme but gave no information about the number of ships being sought.

It is believed that the RMN has a requirement for six more LMSs, all of which are expected to be bigger and better armed than those from the first batch. The service’s first LMS from the first batch entered service in January 2020, with the second one set to be commissioned this February.

The admiral said other procurement projects include a new ship bridge simulator and training system, more fast attack craft, anti-submarine-warfare (ASW)-capable helicopters, and additional multirole naval helicopters for its Maritime Operations Helicopter (MOH) programme. The RMN chief did not give further details but the service is thought to have a requirement for three more MOHs and six ASW-capable rotorcraft.

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