Keris Launched

First of class LMS, Keris, prior to its launch. RMN

SHAH ALAM: Keris launched. The first of class LMS, pre commissioning unit, Keris – pennant number 111 – was launched at the Wuhan shipyard in China this morning. According to a release by RMN, the Keris designation for the LMS was chosen in honour of its mostly retired Keris-class ships. Two of the Vosper made ships, KD Sri Perlis and KD Sri Johor, remained the oldest vessels in RMN service.

The launch of the first of class, came some six months after the keel laying of the vessel, a record for the RMN. Following the launch, the ship will undergo harbour and sea trials before handing over to the RMN, end of the year. It is likely that the ship will be commissioned into service, early next year.

First of class LMS, Keris, prior to its launch. RMN

Based on the above, we can assumed that the second LMS will also be launched, later this year, with the third and fourth – now to be built also in Wuhan – likely to be ready for service by late 2020.

Normah at the launch ceremony. RMN

The first of class was launched by Normah Alwi, the wife of the Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu. As reported last month, all four of the LMS will now be built in China.

The price of the original contract for the LMS was RM1.17 billion, it has now dropped to RM1.048 billion, a cut of some RM122 million. All four ships will also now be built in China instead of two in China and another two in Malaysia as off the original plan

RMN chief at the launch ceremony. RMN

According to the same RMN release, the four Keris-class ships will be stationed at the Eastern Fleet command at the Kota Kinabalu naval base. Although the release stated that the LMS project was part of the RMN 15 to 5 plan, it did not say whether the 14 more ships planned would continue.

A rear view of Keris. RMN

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2200 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. This is a great day for TLDM, getting a brand new ship on time and under budget. Yes the original budget is high for a patrol ship in the 1st place. Will the ship follow the same fate as its older namesake and be passed on to MMEA? Only time will tell.

  2. Congrats RMN for the newly acquired ship. The chinese really can build a good warship. The structure looks solid. May i know if the containers module can carry a standalone weaponry?

  3. just thinking out loud

    Is there any advantage to transfer the 57mm Bofors from FACs to the LMS, and put two 30mm RCWS on the machine gun pintle location? Is it something that involves minor modifications to the structure, or a major one? Was it even considered during the LMS design process? I believe it can be done as the ship’s base design, the bangladeshi BNS Durjoy is armed with chinese/russian 57mm gun at the front.

    Im for this as IMO this would be a better armament in fighting and destroying other small ships fighting insurgents or non-state actors.

    Api 69 or others care to comment?

    Wait for my post on the FAC

  4. ” The chinese really can build a good warship. The structure looks solid. ”

    Wow, expert on deck!

  5. @ AM

    Those are just novice civilian comments, like a few other comments here. Applaud their interest in defence matters, they will learn by their experience here.

  6. First off, don’t mind a layman viewpoint again.
    Almost a year into the new administration, many are eager for the impossible. Defence alone, I personally noticed, the choice of minister were based on equal power sharing. Poor fella was put on a crash course to “unimaginable” turn around, if I may say. Seriously, almost 10 years of almost neglect and we are hoping for miracles in less then a year.
    Like it or not, these China made ship, not logical to most here, will stuck with it for decades. The navy need to adapt and make the best out of it for simple acceptance by the previous navy heads. RMN need to move on. Along with it, we as outsiders can come out with suggestions/arguments but transferring assets from what already said, an over stretch navy to other agencies will not solve RMN problems. The new admiral recognized and face this shortage by adapting to what’s available on hand and maybe will make do with this Chinese ship for the time being.
    I don’t have a solution to hardship faced by our forces but I do hope we have men from the force who are focus on the nation future and FIRM in selling their vision to Tun.
    Just what I see and hope 8)

  7. The Defense Minister’s wife launched the ship, so she was there on an official capacity. Note that it is tradition for the launch of a ship to be by a lady.

    From the pictures, ship looks OK. Similar to other naval ships. Still have waviness to the hull due to the thin steel. Nothing spectacular technically. What is good is the ability to meet the schedule. But that is also not surprising as not much interference faced by the yard from outside ‘influencers’ in the selection of major equipment! Hahaha!

    As to putting a 57mm as the A-gun and putting 30mm RCWS at the 12.7mm locations, some structural changes will be necessary for the increased weight and forces acting on the ship. Also, not sure if a 30mm RCWS can fit. It is kinda large. Better a 12.7mm RCWS. In addition, assume will also increase cost for integration to the Chinese CMS.

    No one here has any issue on who launch the ship.

  8. The naresuan frigate of royal thai navy is a chinese build ship with western electronic systems and cms. Think it was mostly by saab.

    Is it possible for saab to change the system in the new keris class? Hypothetically speaking.

    Then again the requirement for rmn lms, do they need helipad albeit without hangar?

    The upgrades to the Saab systems after the vessels are almost 10 years in service

  9. No matter who launch the ship, some one need to be there.
    Tahniah TLDM

    Again no one here has said anything about who launch the ship

  10. @ Nihd

    ” do they need helipad albeit without hangar? ”

    IMO no. They have plenty frigates and OPVs with helipads, and not many helicopters to go around anyway. The LMS is supposed to be mid sized maneuverable fighting ships working close to shore, or around islands and bays, bringing the fight to other small ships and boats.

  11. Marhalim,

    joe did remark on minister’s wives going on holiday…..
    just wanted to put the record straight….

    Not a problem. I deleted the comment

  12. Prepare for more chinese defence deals in the future…

    China recently in march signed for rm3.7bil worth of palm oil.

    Revealing this, China’s ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian said the republic was going a step further by also eyeing bilateral offset deals that involve defence, aerospace, security, maritime, construction and financial services.

  13. @ marhalim

    Yup but?

    Seems suddenly all news on this is gone…

    That’s the but for…refer to my story on the F-35 in Sabah, it’s the same thing all over again

  14. We should be thankful that our big allies like australia and usa are really accomodating to all our peculiar requests.

    UK, Japan and France as well…

  15. mr… and mr marhalim

    is this got to do with new govt policy???or other things?

    It’s the government policy, of course. It wants to be seen as neutral and not aligned to any country. That said two years ago, the same thing happened also as the government was not keen to advertise its ties with its western counterparts.

  16. Buying Chinese (currently) is the only economical sense though it will cause other logistical issue to ATM. With around 3 million tonne of unsold process palm oil, China apart from India, Pakistan and African countries, are seen as beacon to solving this issue. Russia only use less than 200k tonne of palm oil a year while the chinese about 8x of that.

    Pakistan also has a fiscal crunch, she will prefer cash than palm oil

  17. “Buying Chinese (currently) is the only economical sense though it will cause other logistical issue to ATM. ”

    Which is economically disastrous in the long term. We will have to operate and support the fighter for something like three decades.

  18. TLDM needs a new hydrographic ship

    An admission that the current LMS design unsuitable to replace a dedicated hydro survey ship?

    IMO this is why we need the LMS to be a 2 ship design. LMS-A for the existing keris-class ship, and LMS-B for missions like mine counter measure, mine-laying, fast troop vessel, HADR, hydrographic survey.

  19. Just for historical reference. From my research.

    The names of former Keris-class Vospers (total 14 ships)

    KD Keris, to KM Lang – reef terengganu
    KD Sundang , to KM Segantang
    KD Badek , to KM Jarak – reef ?
    KD Renchong , to KM Kuraman – reef labuan
    KD Tombak, to KM Siamil – reef ?
    KD Lembing, to KM Ligitan – reef ?
    KD Serampang, decommisioned 2004
    KD Panah, to KM Kukup
    KD Kerambit, to KM Pemanggil – reef labuan
    KD Beladau, to KM Bidong – reef pulau rawa
    KD Kelewang, to KM Simpadi – reef ?
    KD Rentaka, to KM Satang
    KD Sri Perlis – active TLDM
    KD Sri Johor – active TLDM

    All of the Vospers with APMM have been retired, AFAIK

  20. @ marhalim

    Yes all MMEA vospers has been decommissioned. All to be made into artificial reefs, but I did not get to track all of their final resting places. BTW all of the 40mm bofors are removed and stored before being made into artificial reefs. Any news on their future use?

    No idea, based on what I saw on KM Kukup it’s likely they are scrapped

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