Naval Warfare

Royal Malaysian Navy’s First Littoral Combat Ship Scheduled for Delivery in August 2026

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Royal Malaysian Navy’s First Littoral Combat Ship Scheduled for Delivery in August 2026

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Royal Malaysian Navy's First Littoral Combat Ship Scheduled for Delivery in August 2026
Royal Malaysian Navy's First Littoral Combat Ship Scheduled for Delivery in August 2026

The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) is set to receive its first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) also known as the Maharaja Lela-class frigate in August 2026. A recent visit to the Lumut Naval Shipyard (LUNAS) provided an opportunity to receive a briefing and observe the progress on the construction of the nation’s inaugural LCS. The first LCS was successfully launched into the water on May 23, 2024, marking a significant milestone as scheduled for May this year. This launch is crucial for testing the vessel’s stability and integrity.

Following this successful launch, the construction process continues with the installation of equipment and system integration. These steps will precede the Harbour Acceptance Test (HAT) and Sea Acceptance Trial (SAT) expected to take place at the end of the year. According to the plan, this first LCS will be handed over to the RMN in August 2026. The construction progress for the second to the fifth LCS is also on schedule, with the final vessel expected to be delivered by 2029.

The Maharaja Lela-class littoral combat ship (LCS) 1 is expected to be handed over to the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) in August 2026
The Maharaja Lela-class littoral combat ship (LCS) 1 is expected to be handed over to the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) in August 2026. (Photo by Lunas/ Lumut Naval Shipyard)

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), is a class of six stealth frigates being built for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN). First announced as the Second Generation Patrol Vessel (SGPV) in 2011, the ships are based on an enlarged version of the Gowind-class corvette, designed by Naval Group, formerly known as DCNS of France.The contract has been finalised and it has been decided that all six ships will be built by local shipbuilder Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC) for the RMN at a ceiling price of RM9 billion (US$2.8 billion), starting from 2015.

With the ships being 111 metres (364 ft 2 in) long and a displacement of 3,100 tonnes (3,100 long tons), it would be the largest and most modern surface combatants in the Royal Malaysian Navy to date once delivered, being longer and more capable than the Lekiu-class frigate. The Bofors 57 mm gun will be mounted in a stealth cupola similar to the ones mounted on the Swedish Visby-class corvettes. This frigate also equipped with two MSI DS30M 30 mm cannon as a secondary gun. Kongsberg has received a Letter of Award for NSM (Naval Strike Missile) ships equipment.

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