The Royal Malaysian Navy will take its fourth delivery of the Chinese-built Keris class Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) following its completion. The new LMS has completed its construction phase and was safely lowered into the water at the Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group (WSIG) Ltd Shipyard, Wuhan, China to undergo a Port Acceptance Test Phase. The Royal Malaysian Navy said in a statement, adding that the worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic resulted in the postponement of the official LMS naming ceremony. The ceremony will be held simultaneously with the ship’s physical handover ceremony scheduled for November 2021. The crew of the fourth LMS is expected to be sent to China for familiarization training in early April 2021
The Keris class are a class of large patrol vessels (Littoral Mission Ship) of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) with a length of 69 metres (226 ft 5 in) and displacing 700 tons. The LMS is one of the five classes of ships in the 15 to 5 Fleet Transformation Program. LMS is capable of performing patrol duties, maritime surveillance, Search and Rescue (SAR) in addition to enforcing Malaysian maritime law.According to the contract signed in 2017, China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co Ltd would design and build a total of four LMS, the rest will be built in Malaysia by local company Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC). A total of 18 ships are planned. As of 2018, four ships have been funded by the Malaysian government. This fourth LMS will join the 11th LMS Squadron with KD KERIS (First LMS), SUNDANG (Second LMS) and Third LMS.
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. In September 2020, Malaysia planned that the next batch of the ship will be the new design from other company. Its includes a 68 m offshore patrol vessel concept from Netherland shipbuilder Damen known as the Damen Stan Patrol Vessel 6811, a 70.7 m offshore patrol vessel from US shipbuilder Swiftships, a 70.2 m offshore patrol vessel from German shipbuilder Fassmer and a 70 m offshore patrol vessel from local company Preston. While the joint venture between Malaysian company, Destini, and Netherlands-based shipbuilder, Damen, offered the proposal that similar to the ship that ordered by Malaysia Coast Guard which is a 83 m Damen 1800 OPV.