China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), has launched the first of a new class of four Royal Malaysian Navy littoral mission ships (LMS).
The vessel was launched on April 15 and was named Keris, with pennant number 111.
Keris is the first LMS to be built under a RM1.17 billion (approx. US$265 million) contract from March 2017.
Under the contract, Malaysia’s Boustead Naval Shipyard is cooperating with CSIC on the delivery of the ships.
Designed in China, the first Littoral Mission Ships are being built and delivered in China in 2019 and 2020. The remaining two vessels will be built and delivered in Malaysia in 2021.
The 68.8-meter vessels are part of the Malaysian Navy’s transformation plan that intends to bring down the number of ship classes operated by the navy from 15 to 5. Many of the current classes are now obsolete and present an expensive upkeeping challenge.
LMS will displace about 700 tons and will be capable of accommodating a containerized mission module aft.