The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has laid out a MYR2.4 billion (USD524.84 million) proposal to procure an initial batch of three improved Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) vessels under the country’s next defence budget.
The vessels will be known as the ‘LMS Second Batch’ and the three units that have been proposed for funding under its 2023 budget will be the first vessels in a class of eight ships. The defense news and analysis company Janes reported that the plan is being proposed under the RMN’s ‘Rolling Plan 3′ of the 12th Malaysia Plan, which runs from 2021 to 2025. ‘Rolling Plan 3′ covers proposals that will be funded in the country’s national budget for 2023.
The Royal Malaysian Navy plans to acquire a second batch of at least three more littoral mission ships this year. The Navy chief Admiral Reza Mohd Sany said the budget allocation to acquire the assets is being worked out by the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Malaysian Defence, Minister Hishammuddin Hussein. Companies in several countries, among them China, the Netherlands, and Turkey, had expressed interest. The Royal Malaysian have shortlisted several proposals, a decision on the shipbuilder would be made when budget funds have been allocated. As of 2018, four Littoral Mission Ships have been funded by the Malaysian government.
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. A total of 18 ships are planned. The ships 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). 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. 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.