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Royal Malaysian Navy receives third Keris-class Littoral Mission Ship

The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has received the third of four Keris-class Littoral Mission Ships (LMSs) ordered from China as part of a contract awarded in 2017 and renegotiated in 2019.

The 68.8 m-long vessel (pennant number 113), construction of which began in September 2019, was launched by China's Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group in Wuhan on 28 October 2020 and is expected to be inducted into the RMN in the coming weeks.

Before the handover, the ship, which apparently has yet to be named, underwent a series of port acceptance tests and sea trials. Once inducted into service the vessel will be part of the 11th LMS Squadron, which will be home-ported at Sepanggar naval base at Kota Kinabalu in the state of Sabah in the Malaysian part of the island of Borneo. Sepanggar also serves as the headquarters for the RMN's Eastern Fleet.

The vessel will then join first-of-class KD Keris (111), which was commissioned in January 2020, and second-of-class KD Sundang (112), which entered service on 5 March of this year.

The fourth vessel was launched in Wuhan in late 2020 and is slated to be handed over to the navy in December, the RMN said in a 14 September statement.

The LMSs are part of a contract signed in 2017 between Malaysia's Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) and the China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co. Ltd (CSOC) that marked the Southeast Asian country's first order for Chinese-made naval vessels.

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