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Malaysia commissions final Chinese-built littoral mission ship

The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has commissioned its fourth and final Keris-class littoral mission ship (LMS).

The vessel, which is now known as KD Rencong with pennant number 114, was commissioned on 28 January at the RMN's naval base in Kota Kinabalu.

Rencong is part of a contract for four Keris-class LMSs signed in April 2017 between the Malaysian government and the trading subsidiary of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation.

Work on the vessel began in September 2019 at Wuchuan Shuangliu Manufacture Base in Wuhan, and the boat was launched in December 2020. It was handed over to the RMN on 18 December at Wuchang Port in Qidong, China.

The LMS programme is Putrajaya's first order for naval ships from China. First-of-class KD Keris (111) was commissioned in January 2020, while the second vessel, KD Sundang (112), was inducted into service in March 2021. The third-of-class, KD Badik (113), was commissioned in October 2021.

The Keris class inherits a large part of its design from the Bangladesh Navy's Durjoy-class attack craft, which is also designed 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 it displaces 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.

Each vessel is armed with a CS/AN3 30 mm multi-purpose naval gun from the Chongqing Chang'an Industrial Group in the primary position and two CS/LM6 12.7 mm heavy machine guns from the Sichuan Huaqing Machinery Company Limited.

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