More Details on KD Keris

KD Keris arriving at the Sepanggar naval base jetty for the welcoming ceremony

SHAH ALAM: More details on KD Keris. KD Keris is the first RMN vessel to be fitted with the MTU 4000 series engines, says its commanding officer, Commander Mohd Zulkarnain Mohd Rawi. Although he did not say it is likely that the other three Littoral Mission Ships (LMS) are also fitted with the same engine.

Keris is also the first RMN ship to be fitted with two diesel engined boats which launched and recovered from the stern of the ship while it is moving. The boats could fit 10 sailors at one time.

KD Keris two stern launch boats.

It must be noted that most of the RMN fleet including the missile and gun boats and also the Lekiu and Kasturi class frigates are also equipped with MTU engines. Even the two oldest vessels in RMN service, KD Sri Perlis and KD Sri Johor are also fitted with MTU engines, though these are likely around 55 years old already.
Sabah Governor Tun Juhar at the bridge of KD Keris.

The two MTU 4000 series engines on Keris, powered two fixed pitch propellors to a maximum speed of 22 knots. The ship is also fitted with three diesel generators and a single emergency diesel generators.
KD Keris 30mm CS/AN3 RWS

Mohd Zulkarnain, 39, is a former CO of KD Todak, an FAC (Gun) ship said the Keris is armed with a single 30mm CS/AN3 remote control gun. It is also fitted with two 12.7mm gun mounted on the deck area of the bridge. He spoke to the media after the welcoming ceremony for Keris at Sepanggar naval base, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, on January 17
The sensor on top of KD Keris.

The 30mm gun could be fired manually from the mount or remotely from the combat information centre. Keris‘s CIC is located behind the bridge, a layout similar to the Kasturi class frigates. Keris’s bridge equipment are a mixture of China and European with pinyin and English markings.
One of the two 12.7mm machine gun in the deck area behind the bridge.

According to the RMN’s handout, the ship’s equipment include an air/surface radar, navigation radar, an eletro optical tracking system (EOTS), a combat management system (CMS) and an eletronic support measure (ESM). The air/surface radar, EOTS, CMS and ESM are manufactured by China’s Jiangsu Automated Research Institute (JARI). The navigation radar and scanner radar are from Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine.
Sensors on top the bridge of KD Keris.

Keris was built at the Wuchang Shipbuilding Industrial Group at Wuhan, China. Her first steel was cut on July 31, 2018, launched on April 15, 2019, delivered to RMN on December 31, 2019. She was commissioned into service on January 6, 2020.

For the moment, she will be home ported at Sepanggar naval base.
KD Keris arriving at the Sepanggar naval base jetty for the welcoming ceremony

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2146 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Lightly armed but i think its good enough for starter..Not so ompong with radar,cms and esm albeit china made..

  2. Hmm lets see…

    1st time i see the CS/AN3 designation. Export designation of the H/PJ17?

    As predicted most of the electronics is from JARI. Interestingly it also includes the ESM. If the system works and cost effective, can it be retrofitted to our other FACs?

    On the 12.7mm HMG. Is that the Norinco CS/LM6? So now we got Ma duce from US, europe, korea and china?

    BTW can you get more info on the RHIBs? Length, width, manufacturer?

    As for the engines, just 2 MTU 4000 series engine? Even the smaller Damen FCS 5009 has 4 of those. Yes it would give operational cost savings, but still does not explain why its range is just 2,000 NM.

    I had close look at both 12.7mm guns but could not seen any markings so cannot identify them.

  3. Marhalim, still no additional info on the modular system?

    China dont built them so I guess we are not getting them

  4. I wouldn’t mind these to be lightly armed but the lack of even a pintle mount LML manpads is really concerning

  5. Can it be used against China?

    The maritime militia, yes, CG and PLAN it’s too small and underarmed

  6. Whilst it’s interesting in that we know more about its fit out; it’s also worrying that due to funds – or rather the lack of it – we were forced to go for such a varied solution. A Chinese CMS means that whatever Western we add later – if we do – will require integration and it remains to be seen what level of commonality these ships will share with follow on LMSs. On the modular systems from a technical viewpoint; we don’t have to integrate them to the CMS as they’ll have their own self contained systems but this will be a regressive move.

    Lest it be forgotten the whole idea behind the 5/15 is to reduce the RMN’s logistical/support trail.

  7. @Lee Yoke Meng
    What is important on this LMS concept aren’t the weapons that it comes with but what modules that could expand the functionality and lethality of this ship class. If the modules ain’t coming, this class is just another oversized and overpriced gunboat.

    “China dont built them so I guess we are not getting them”
    That even more piques my interest to know which 3rd party modular system we had built into the ship.

    “So now we got Ma duce from US, europe, korea and china”
    Ma deuce have been in production for so long I think its probably patent free by now. As I said before, we should look into reproducing Ma deuce ourselves as long we don’t need to pay royalties and such.

    Based on my observation, I could be wrong, I am guessing Keris, at least, was not built with any modules in mind. They have to clear the area behind the bridge where the two 12.7mm guns and their armoured ammo lockers are located to put anything else there…

  8. Thats too lightly armed for even a police boat. At least a 40 mm or a 75 mm super rapid gun.
    With such light arms even the Sulu terrorist n kidnapers are not scared. Dont talk about china coast guard ships. At least arm the two HMG post with a 50 calibre Gatling gun or a 20mm Gatling gun

  9. Kapal PC lama pon guna 40/70mm…dah ade yg baru sepatutnya pakailah 57mm or yg lagi sesuai..
    Kalau macam ni baik serah je kat APMM je.
    Ni bukan Standard kapal perang… lebih sesuai untuk halau bot nelayan asing boleh la…X – RMN

  10. Lee – “With such light arms even the Sulu terrorist n kidnapers are not scared””

    Seriously? Kidnappers/militants/bandits of the type that enter Sabahan waters wont be “scared” by 30mm and 12.7mm rounds? A 30mm or 12.7mm round can cause sufficient damage to any kumpit. It’s not as if the intruders are entering our waters in boats with armoured plating and are armed with high calibre weapons.

    As to dealing with state intruders in our EEZ – if things get hot – the threat is not an exchange of fire but the possibility of ramming ….. If you’ve noticed; the bulk of Chinese coast guard/maritime agency ships don’t even have a main gun ….

  11. @Lee Yoke Meng
    In its basic config as a patrol boat it is sufficient for the 30mm. I don’t think any non-state actors have boats that could withstand such calibre of fire. And with the EOTS, the chances of getting a hit is far higher than with the 40mm manually trained guns of the past so we don’t need its near hit damage effect, a 30mm round smack into the right place will be more sufficient than manually splashing 40mm rounds, moreso during a chase. I suspect the 50 cals are to ward off boarder skiffs, rather than an offensive weapon.

    I see. I was hoping the first module could at least be another CS/AN3 protecting the ship’s rear.

  12. Pintle mounted MGs are intended to cover arcs not covered by the main gun or for close in threats; as well as covering boarding crews if a foreign trawler/kumpit has been intercepted.

    Unless the ship was moving slowly or optics were fitted using a pintle MG at a fast approaching target wont be easy; which is why some have mini guns; for the sheer volume of fire to stop a target.

  13. I am little bit disappointed. No anti ship armament, i.e. missiles, torpedoes etc? Instead of 30mm, can’t the ship be fitted with the same gun from the Kedah class? Also it seems to me there’s no air defence either….seems more a like coast guard cutter than a warship.

    I’m beginning to wonder whether these were the original specs or were renegotiated when the construction was moved to China..

    On the other hand can’t we simply build more Kedah class vessels and upgun them instead?

    No lah it’s the same ship basically just read back my old articles

  14. @…
    If our Navymen had to think twice before expending a round or not because of the price, then god help us all.

  15. Is just like a dry desert welcome with a small rain falls…
    RMN is very welcome it even it not the best. Since it already choose this design, let go forward with more (we only can HOPE because 15to5 and CAP55 is not same path with MOF)

  16. @ asm

    The cost of building new kedah class vessel and uparming them would be somewhere near to the LCS Gowinds. So which one do you prefer? Unless you go for chinese equipments.

    LMS should not be a substitute for a frigate. Although as it is the LMS is woefully underarmed, we should not create a mini gowind or even a laksamana facsimile.

    Some of my writings here about the kedah class, LMS and 15 to 5 in general

  17. This, as it currently stands, the Keris-class is basically only an expensive OPV.

    Also, I’m not sold on the ‘mission modules’ container concept. If a particular LMS that has been equipped with MCM gear for almost its entire service is pressed for emergency surface combat duties with SSM gear, who would then crew the ship? The current MCM crew? A new surface combat crew? Train the current crew for both duties?

    Mind you this is a small ship with a small amount of crew, they would not have the luxury of having different specialized crews for different combat duties as in larger ships.

  18. militarymadness – ”Also, I’m not sold on the ‘mission modules’ container concept.”

    Neither are the RMN and other navies. Some navies have embraced the concept, some have adopted a wait and see approach and some refuse to touch it with a barge pole. I’ve actually asked for opinions from RMN, RN and USN people; opinions are mixed, from a bit of hesitation and uncertainty to outright refusal.

    In our case, we have no choice due to lack of funding; we’re forced to go for the modular systems approach. Others, like the Danes, went for it because they felt that it suited their specific requirements. Their programme was well managed, adequately funded and had adequate support from the local industry. The whole idea of having modular payloads is dependent on having ships fitted with the right payload to be at the right place at the right time. One can have all the modular systems one needs and all the flexibility and costs savings but ultimately a ship at sea fitted with a ASW payload isn’t very useful if it encounters surface threats – period/full stop.

    ”Train the current crew for both duties?”

    The idea is to have crews multi trained – great on paper but hard in reality [like many things]; especially given that ASW and MCM are skills that take years to acquire and need regular practice if those skill sets are to be maintained. Even with the Kasturis and Lekiyus; even though both are multi role combatants; only rarely do crews get to practise ASW; to be expected given the RMN is a under resourced peacetime navy with various reponsibilities. At least with the MCMVs; even though they are regularly used for routine patrols; at the discretion of the CO; MCM is regularly practised. A solution would be to have a cadre that spends most of its time gaining proficiency in one or 2 skill sets; the idea being that this cadre can put to sea when needed. The problem is that this cadre would also need regular time at sea to maintain its skills and manpower can be an issue …

  19. @…

    I wasn’t asking for a mini gowind, but it seems to me that the capability gap between LMS and the other vessels in the fleet (Laksamana, Kasturi) seems to be quite wide. If you can’t arm them with cruise missiles, at least add some torpedoes or larger calibre cannons. IMHO the armament is too light for a warship, and more in line to something the coast guard would use. And are we sure that our use of Chinese made sensors would not render us vulnerable to them, especially as we have frequent encroachments by the CCG?

  20. ASM – “fleet (Laksamana, Kasturi) seems to be quite wide””

    The Laksamana was for users who wanted the firepower of a frigate on a corvette size hull and like the Kasturi was intended to be a multi role ship. Thus they can’t be directly compared to the LMS.

    ASM – “MHO the armament is too light for a warship””

    First ask what’s the purpose of a main gun in a vessel of this type and when fully fitted out what roles is it intended to perform? Only when those questions are answered can it be said for certain whether the gun is indeed too “light” or not.

    ASM – “And are we sure that our use of Chinese made sensors would not render us vulnerable to them””

    This is a question that’s been asked many, many times. If the Chinese wanted to jam or disrupt the sensors and comma; they would do it; irrespective of whether they are sourced from China or elsewhere.
    The Keris is fitted with a basic sensor fit and until it’s fully fitted out it will be used for a variety of peacetime duties. It’s not as if we’re deploying a Chinese made SSK against a surface group or using high end Chinese sourced equipment to target them.

    We are all agreed that we didn’t get our money’s worth for the price paid. Some can even argue that a 57 or 76mm gun would have offered more flexibility.
    The point however is that even not fully fitted out, the LMS has a vital role to play in the larger scheme of things and is badly needed to take some of the strain off the existing assets. The question really is how we intend to fit them out (to me this remains to be seen) and how we go about handling the requirement for the 2nd LMS batch.

  21. Uboat,

    Seriously? If the Chinese wanted to snoop or eves drop on us; they have various ways of doing it. They wouldn’t have to resort to placing “bugs” on board.

    It’s a LMS for crying out loud : not a SSBN, ELINT platform or satellite ….

  22. regarding jamming issue, we also cant get close and just look from far whenever US warship sail through Malacca Strait unless ship CO want to experience blackout. our current ship equipments are not jamming proof

  23. Compared to the Singaore LMS ours definitely under armed. Their main gun looks like a 76mm super rapid gun

  24. Rugi lah beli kapal besar tapi tak boleh joint combat. Kena kencing dengan china jual besi terapung je. Sekurangnya kena ada armarment seperti gun dan missile utk jadikan kapal combat ready. Malaysia tak sepatutnya beli kapal dari china. Conflict of interest. Tapi najib peduli apa dia dah jadi barua china, semata mata nak kan investment dari china

  25. scorpio “regarding jamming issue, we also cant get close and just look from far whenever US warship sail through Malacca Strait unless ship CO want to experience blackout. our current ship equipments are not jamming proof”

    Patently false because firstly, the Malacca Straits are the most congested straits in the world and jamming this multitude of ships would cause a collision, potentially involving the ship itself and bottlenecking the straits. All other ships from friendly and hostile nations would experience the jamming and it would be widely reported, yet nothing of the sort has been reported. In the first place, only satellite positioning and communications can be jammed. The ship does not “experience blackout” as you claim.

    There was however, an incident when an Indonesian coast guard ship arrested a Chinese fishing ship illegally present in Indonesian waters, and was in turn jammed by an Chinese coast guard ship and forced to release the fishing crew.

    “Technically, the Chinese vessel was operating illegally in Indonesian waters, too. So the Hiu Macan 001 arrested the crew and proceeded home. Curiously, a Chinese research vessel appeared and began following her, according to an overview of the incident by Scott Bentley at The Strategist blog.

    Several hours passed. Then a much larger Chinese ship arrived  —  the CCG3210.

    The tough ship signaled the Hiu Macan 001 and demanded her crew hand over the fishermen. Hiu Macan 001’s captain then discovered that his satellite communications gear ceased to function. Outgunned by a larger, much more threatening Chinese ship  —  and unable to talk to headquarters  —  he complied with the demand.

    Communications were restored after CCG3210 left … with the Chinese crew.”

    I suggest that you just use your Chinese name next time.

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