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Malaysian navy proposes to equip Kedah-class corvettes with Naval Strike Missile

The Royal Malaysian Navy Kedah-class corvette KD Terengganu , seen here while operating near the Gulf of Thailand. The service is planning to equip two of the vessels in the class with Naval Strike Missiles. (US Navy)

The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has laid out an MYR214 million (USD48 million) plan to equip two of its Kedah (MEKO 100 RMN)-class corvettes with Naval Strike Missile (NSM) launchers.

Documents obtained by Janes indicate that the plan is being proposed as a three-part procurement project under the RMN's ‘Rolling Plan 4' of the 12th Malaysia Plan, which runs from 2021 to 2025. Rolling Plan 4 covers proposals that will be funded in the country's national budget for 2024.

The RMN operates six Kedah-class corvettes that were commissioned between June 2006 and December 2010. The corvettes were built under a technology transfer agreement arranged between Penang Shipbuilding Corporation (present-day Boustead Naval Shipyard) and a German consortium led by Blohm+Voss.

Each vessel is armed with a 76 mm naval gun in the primary position, a 30 mm cannon in the aft section, and two 12.7 mm machine guns.

The German-designed vessels are also meant to be equipped with four anti-surface missile launchers amidships and the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) close-in weapon system (CIWS). However, procurement programmes for these weapons never materialised and fixtures for these were provided for on a ‘fitted for but not with' basis.

The RMN's entire fleet of Kedah-class corvettes is now operated by the service's Eastern Fleet at Sepanggar Naval Base in Sabah, East Malaysia where they undertake constabulary missions in waters that include the South China Sea. Previously, all ships in the class were based at Lumut in West Malaysia.

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