The Royal Malaysian Navy’s second Keris-class littoral mission ship (LMS) was launched in Wuhan, China, by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) on July 12.
Named Sundang (with pennant number 112), the LMS is the second of four ships in the class ordered under a RM1.17 billion (approx. US$265 million) contract from March 2017.
The initial plan stipulated that the first two units would be delivered from China, while the remaining two would be built in Malaysia by Boustead Naval Shipyard.
This changed earlier this year, however, as the Malaysian government negotiated a reduction in the price of the ships in exchange for all four ships being built in China.
LMS Keris, the lead ship, was launched in April and is expected to be delivered in December, this year. LMS Sundang will undergo further outfitting and trials before being delivered in April 2020, according to the Malaysian Navy.
All four units are scheduled to be delivered by 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. The ships will support mine warfare, hydrography, and ISR missions.