The Royal Malaysian Navy’s third Keris-class Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) was launched today at Wuchang Shipbuilding Industrial Group, in Wuhan, China. The contract for the warships worth RM1.17 billion (nearly $285 million) was signed in March 2017. The four ships with displacement of 780 tonnes are scheduled to be delivered by 2021. The vessels can cruise at 22 knots. Wuchang Shipbuilding Industrial Group delivered the first LMS to the Navy in January this year.
The Royal Malaysian Navy will use the 69-metre long Keris-class warships for patrol, anti-terrorism, rescue, and protection of fishery activities. They will also support mine warfare, hydrography, and ISR missions. The initial plan stipulated that the first two units would be delivered from China, while the remaining two would be built in Malaysia by Boustead Naval Shipyard. The Malaysian government later negotiated a reduction in the price of the ships in exchange for all four ships to be built in China.