The Royal Malaysian Navy (Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia) has started reevaluating possible vessel types for its second batch of Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) project. British Jane’s International Defence Review confirmed from Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) sources that the RMN has received 5 offers, which includes Fassmer, Swiftships, Damen, and Malaysian company Preston. The Littoral Mission Ship class are a class of large patrol vessels of the Royal Malaysian Navy with a length of 69 metres (226 ft 5 in) and displacing 700 tons. A total of 18 ships are planned. As of 2018, four ships have been funded by the Malaysian government.
Germany’s Fassmer offered a 70.2-meter design, while American shipbuilder offered a 70.7-meter long, 11.3-meter wide patrol vessel design based on their current line-up that can be armed with a 40mm cannon. Malaysian company Preston offered a 70-meter patrol vessel design. Dutch shipbuilder Damen and Malaysian company Destini offered the Stan Patrol 6811 design, which is an lengthened version of their existing Stan Patrol 6211 large patrol boat equipped with a 40 mm naval gun in the â€˜A’ position, and 12.7 mm machine guns for point defence.
The Royal Malaysian Navy has awarded a contract to China Shipbuilder & Offshore International Co. Ltd. (CSIC) to build the first batch of four (4) Littoral Mission Ship based on a 68-metere design. Malaysia and China agreed to jointly develop a Littoral Mission Ship and, two ships will be built in China by (CSIC) , the rest will be built in Malaysia by local company Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC). The first ship was to be delivered to the RMN by 2019, the second and third by 2020 and the fourth by 2021. After the government changed in 2018 Malaysian general election, the Littoral Mission Ship acquisition program was revised in early 2019 to reduce the procurement costs and shorten the delivery process.
The second batch of Littoral Mission Ships will be more than 75 metres (246 ft) in length and will incorporate new capabilities to fulfill the Royal Malaysian Navy’s requirements. This new design will be offered to the Royal Malaysian Navy for the next batch after all the four ships of the initial design were jointly constructed by Malaysia and China companies. It will have low radar cross section with stealth design and the addition of a flight deck to accommodate a medium-sized helicopter. A total of 18 ships of this class are planned to be ordered by the Royal Malaysian Navy.