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.
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.
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
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.
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