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Malaysia takes delivery of final littoral mission ship from China

LMS Rencong
Photo: Royal Malaysian Navy

Chinese shipbuilder Wuchan Shipbuilding, a part of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), has delivered the fourth and final littoral mission ship (LMS) to the Royal Malaysian Navy in a ceremony in Wuhan, China.

The handover of the ship comes almost exactly a year-to-date after the lead ship in the class was delivered to Malaysia.

The fourth unit was named Rencong and was delivered after starting construction in 2019 and launching in 2020.

Malaysia acquired the four ships under an RM1.17 billion (approx. US$265 million) contract from March 2017. Original plans envisioned the first two LMS being built and delivered in China in 2019 and 2020, while the other two vessels were to be built in Malaysia by Boustead Naval Shipyard. Malaysia subsequently revised the plan to accelerate delivery by having all four ships built in China.

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. In addition to the Keris-class LMS, the five new classes will incorporate Scorpène-class submarines, Maharaja Lela-class frigates, Kedah-class offshore patrol vessels and a Multi Role Support Ship.