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Royal Malaysian Navy receives final Keris-class vessel from China

The Royal Malaysian Navy's fourth Keris-class littoral mission ship, Rencong . (Royal Malaysian Navy)

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

The vessel was handed over on 18 December at Wucang Port in Qidong, China. It will be known in service as KD Rencong with pennant number 114 once it is commissioned.

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

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

Work on Rencong began in September 2019 and it was launched in December 2020.

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.

The class 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.

In response to questions from Janes on 20 December, the RMN said that Rencong is expected to be commissioned by the end of January 2022.

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