SHAH ALAM: RMN’s fourth LMS has been successfully launched in Wuhan, China today (Dec. 16, 2020). Like her other three sister ships, the fourth LMS – pennant number 114 – was launched at the Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group (WISG) shipyard in Wuhan, the RMN said in a release.
Like her sister ship – pennant number 113 – the ship would now undergo acceptance trials in Wuhan prior to delivery planned in November 2021. The third LMS was launched on October 28. Work on both ships had been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic which was first detected in Wuhan, in late 2019. The whole province was put on lockdown on January 23, this year and only emerged from it on April 11.
RMN said the fourth LMS will be handed over and commissioned into RMN in November 2021, two months after the third LMS undergo the same process due to pandemic. It said the RMN crew assigned to the ship will travelled to China as early as April, 2021 to undergo familiarisation training.
I was told that the BNS and RMN personnel based at Wuhan to oversee were present at the launch ceremony. They returned to Wuhan after the lockdown on the province were lifted by the Chinese authorities.
Like its previous release, RMN did not state any developments on the delivery of the second LMS, Sundang, which commissioning had been delayed due to the pandemic. The ship was supposed to return to Malaysia in April. It is likely the ship is berthed at Qidong, Shanghai where she had been sent for her sea trials.
The government signed a contract with Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) for the supply of the four LMS, in 2017. BNS contracted with China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Corporation (CSOC) for the design and manufacture of the LMS. Originally two of the LMS were to be built in China with another two built at the BNS facility in Pulau Jerejak, Penang.
However a revision of the contract terms in early 2019 saw the contract price reduced and the last two LMS to be built in China.
— Malaysian Defence