Royal Malaysian Navy Commissions Second Keris-class Littoral Mission Ship (LMS)
Royal Malaysian Navy Commissions Second Keris-class Littoral Mission Ship (LMS)

Royal Malaysian Navy Commissions Second Keris-class Littoral Mission Ship (LMS)

The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has commissioned the second of four Keris-class Littoral Mission Ships (LMSs) on 5 March in a ceremony held at the Sepanggar naval base, Kota Kinabalu. Named KD Sundang (pennant number 112), which has now joined first-of-class KD Keris (111) in the RMN’s 11th LMS Squadron, had arrived at the base on 24 January: 10 days after being handed over to the service at Qidong, near Shanghai. The 68.8 m-long vessel, which was laid down in October 2018 and launched in July 2019, was originally scheduled for delivery in April 2020, but both its delivery and commissioning were delayed due to government measures designed to limit the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

The Keris class is 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. A total of 18 ships are planned. As of 2018, four ships have been funded by the Malaysian government. The ships will be built by Malaysia and China companies under the joint development agreement. Malaysia and China agreed to jointly develop a Littoral Mission Ship and, two ships will be built in China by China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Co. Ltd, the rest will be built in Malaysia by local company Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC).

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The first ship was to be delivered to the Royal Malaysian Navy 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. Through this new contract all four ships will be built by China from the original contract, which was initially be two vessels built by China and the rest built by Malaysia. In September 2020, Malaysia planned that the next batch of the ship will be the new design from other company.

The new Littoral Mission Ship contract 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 ffshore patrol vessel that ordered by Malaysia Coast Guard which is a 83 m Damen 1800 OPV.

Royal Malaysian Navy Commissions Second Keris-class Littoral Mission Ship (LMS)
Sundang was commissioned into the RMN’s 11th LMS Squadron at Sepanggar in a ceremony held on 5 March.
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