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Malaysian navy proposes revised fleet transformation plan

A Maharaja Lela-class littoral combat ship for the Royal Malaysian Navy undergoes construction at Lumut Naval Shipyard (formerly Boustead Naval Shipyard) in Lumut, Malaysia, in August 2022. The first vessel in the class was launched in early June. (Mat Zain/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has proposed updating its fleet transformation programme in response to delays to existing procurements and shifts in operational requirements and budgets.

Under the proposal, which is yet to be approved by the government, the RMN will push back some platform procurements and add mine-countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) and hydrographic survey vessels (HSVs) to the '15-to-5' fleet transformation plan that was launched in the mid-2010s.

The addition of four MCMVs and two HSVs will form the backbone of a new support task group in the RMN's revised fleet plan alongside multirole support ships (MRSSs), which were a requirement under the legacy plan.

Other naval task groups in the revised plan – unveiled at the DSA exhibition in Kuala Lumpur in May – consist of those for surface ships and submarines. The support task group also includes training ships for administrative purposes, the RMN said.

The proposal also revises the number of vessels that will be procured across the country's five-year economic Malaysian plans from 2021 through to the middle of the century. The revised plan outlines the acquisition of 29 vessels by 2040, down from 42 under the legacy plan.

The new plan does not provide details for procurements during 2040–50. In total, the revised plan proposes 61 vessels for the RMN, up from 55 under the legacy plan.

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