Keel Laying Ceremony for 1st LCS

SHAH ALAM: THE keel laying ceremony for the first LCS is scheduled next week, March 8 at the Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) in Lumut. Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein is expected to be the guest of honour.

From Wikipedia “Laying the keel, or laying down is the formal recognition of the start of a ship’s construction. It is often marked with a ceremony attended by dignitaries from the shipbuilding company and the ultimate owners of the ship.

What is a keel? From Wikipedia “A structural keel is a beam around which the hull of a ship is built. The keel runs in the middle of the ship, from the bow to the stern, and serves as a basic foundation or spine of the structure, providing the major source of structural strength of the hull.”

A graphic promoting the keel laying ceremony. RMN
A graphic promoting the keel laying ceremony. RMN

The first LCS is expected to be commission into RMN in 2019. Although the navy described the LCS as a frigate, many others called her a ‘corvette”. Indeed her sister ships in the Egyptian Navy – to be built by DCNS – to the same design although with probably different weapons and sensor fit are described as corvettes.

Anyhow Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC), the parent company of BNS seemed to think that it is a corvette or PV class. This is based on the rendering of the LCS on its website, complete (below) with the pennant number 177.

A screen grab of the BHIC website featuring the LCS graphic and pennant number 177.
A screen grab of the BHIC website featuring the LCS graphic and pennant number 177.

177A

177 is the next pennant number from the Kedah class. Does this mean that the LCS will be name after the remaining states in Malaysia? The two patrol boats based in Sandakan, KD Sri Johor and KD Sri Perlis, are still in service , however.

KD Sri Perlis. Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas
KD Sri Perlis. Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

Will the first two LCS be named after the two states so these long serving boats could finally be retired? So many questions and so little answers!

— Malaysian Defence

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