Malaysia receives first littoral mission ship from China

Chinese and Malaysian officials at the ceremony to hand over the Keris to the Royal Malaysian Navy at the Wuchang shipyard in Shanghai today. (Twitter pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) officially received ownership of its first littoral mission ship (LMS) from China today.

The vessel, which has been named Keris, is the first of four LMS under a RM1.17 billion contract signed between Putrajaya and the China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co Ltd (CSOC) in 2017 — the country’s first-ever naval ship contract with China.

Construction of the Keris started on July 31, 2018 in Wuhan, China, and the vessel was launched in April at the Wuchang shipyard in Shanghai before being handed over to RMN today.

The vessel will be commissioned at the same location on Jan 6.

“The Keris successfully went through several tests in port and on the sea before being handed over to the government,” stated RMN in a statement today.

“A committee of four government representatives, led by Ahmad Husaini Abdul Rahman, the secretary of the procurement section at the defence ministry, checked the vessel’s documents and went on a demonstration of its abilities today.

“For the record, the LMS is one of the five classes of ships in the RMN’s 15-to-5 Transformation programme and is one of the four LMS agreed upon by the defence ministry, the Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd and CSOS in 2017,” it added.

The second LMS vessel, the Sundang, is scheduled to be handed over to RMN in April while the remaining two LMS vessels will be handed over in the middle of 2021.