China’s Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group has delivered the first of four littoral mission ships (LMS) to the Royal Malaysian Navy (Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia or TLDM), marking the high-level military cooperation between China and Malaysia. A delivery ceremony for the ship has built for is held in Qidong, East China’s Jiangsu Province on December 31, 2019. Malaysia and China agreed to jointly develop a littoral mission ship and, two ships will be built in China by China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Company, the rest will be built in Malaysia by local company Boustead Naval Shipyard.
The littoral mission ship, named Keris is a class of large patrol vessels of the Royal Malaysian Navy It is smaller than similar littoral combat ships developed for coastal combat for the United States and Singapore navies. The shipsan be armed with guns and used for patrols, anti-terrorism activities, rescue missions, protection of fisheries and able carry up to three standard ISO containers for mission modules including mine warfare, hydrography and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) duties. 18 littoral mission ship are planned but as of 2020, four ships have been funded by the Malaysian government.
KD Keris (111), which was launched in Wuhan on 15 April, is expected to be inducted into the Royal Malaysian Navy on 6 January at Qidong before sailing to the Royal Malaysian Navy Sepanggar base at Kota Kinabalu, which is located in the state of Sabah in the Malaysian part of the island of Borneo. ThIS SHIP has an overall length of 68.8 m, an overall beam of 9 m, a hull draught of 2.8 m, and will displace about 700 tonnes at full load. The platform can attain a top speed of 22 kt, and a standard range of about 2,000 n miles (3,704 km) at 15 kt. Weapons that are expected to go onboard the vessel type include either a 20 mm or a 30 mm remote-controlled naval gun in the primary position.
If Malaysian NaVY is satisfied with the littoral mission ships, it could place additional orders for LMS or other types of warships that suit its needs, and hina’s Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group will be fully capable of meeting that demand. The second and third by 2020 and the fourth by 2021. This new design will be offered by Boustead to the Royal Malaysian Navy for the next batch after all the four early designs were jointly made by Malaysian and Chinese companies. The Littoral Mission Ship acquisition program was revised in early 2019 to reduce the procurement costs and shorten the delivery process.