RM40 Million A Year To Operate The Keris Class

The fourth LMS, KD Rencong entering the RMN Kuantan base in early July 2022. RMN

SHAH ALAM: The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) needs some RM40 million a year to operate the four Keris class ships, the so called Littoral Mission Ship (LMS). The figure is derived from an answer given by Senior Defence Minister DS Hishammuddin Hussein on July 27 in response to a question from Bukit Bendera MP Wong Hon Hai on the readiness and costs of operating the LMS and whether the newly delivered ships have major issues.

Sailors from a Keris class LMS conducting a fire drill during an exercise held in July 2022. RMN

According to Hishammuddin, the daily cost of the ship which include maintenance, spare parts, fuel and food, based from July 2021 to June, 2022, amounted to RM1,200 per hour or RM28,800 per day. I got the RM40 million figure by counting the daily cost for 365 days for the four ships. (each ship costs some RM10 million a year).
The third LMS, KD Sundang during an exercise held off Kota Kinabalu in late July 2022. RMN

Of course, no ship will be operational the full calendar year but its easier to illustrate the operational cost on annual basis instead of the day one (that is the reason I round up the figure to RM40 million instead of RM42.058 million which is the total amount). The operating cost will be higher if we include the cost of manpower but I guess the Defence Ministry would like to keep it to themselves,
The crew of a Keris class LMS in the CMS. RMN

Anyhow, on the readiness issue, Hishammuddin said so far, the four ships were able to sail whenever they are needed and there were no major issues affecting them. Any technical issues which had arisen had been solved by the ship’s crew while at sea or when they returned to port.
A sailor during an exercise off Kota Kinabalu waters in late July 2022. RMN

Apart from the LMS, a number of MPs also posed questions on the LCS especially the start date of the project and whether the revived project would be successful. Hishammuddin did not answer the questions directly, instead pointed out that the government had approved of the revival of the project.
The most recent picture of LCS PCU Maharaja Lela taken in November 2021. BNS via LinkedIn.

He said currently the project was under the remobilisation phase in which Boustead Naval Ship (BNS) were in negotiations with its vendors and OEM. The project itself was being monitored by a monitoring committee. Hishammuddin did not say when the project will be restarted though.

— Malaysian Defence

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  1. To clarify that is RM 40mil for the 4 boats, right? 10mil per boat.
    So the big question is: Is RM 40mil a reasonable sum to run these ships? Considering they are threadbare with basically guns.

  2. “Considering they are threadbare with basically guns”

    Irrespective of whether “threadbare” there are petrol, maintenance and other costs. Missile systems don’t tend to cost much annually with regards to upkeep [periodical checks don’t cost much as opposed to the need to relife them or other things which happens after “x” years]; i.e. Seawolf only requires regular nitrogen checks with the VLS. We don’t know if the stated costs includes salaries.

  3. Is it true that RMN are proposing to arm 2 out of 6 Kedah class with NSM? Seems like Janes already reporting it too..If this true Kedahs still need to be upgraded first right? And if this is indeed true can we all assume that LMS batch 2 already die a premature death?

  4. Firdaus -“? And if this is indeed true can we all assume that LMS batch 2 already die a premature death?”

    No.. Why would it? We can “assume” that it’s to compensate that the LCSs are still years away and that even if ordered next year the LMS Batch 2s are also years away from delivery.

  5. Actually, I’m really curious on what happens to the equipment purchased for the LCS? As-in, have they all been paid for, delivered, can they be repurposed for other uses? Also will the manufacturers replace ordered but undelivered equipment with newer versions when the LCS is ready – they have a newer version or no longer produce the versions ordered. If the equipment have already been delivered based on the 2019 schedule, wouldn’t it be rusted, environment / weather damaged, or even just dead from not being used, by 2025?

  6. No, all of the equipment are bound by the contractual agreement. There is no way the OEM will simply replace things for the sake of replacing them

  7. That’s my point. If govt furnished equipment has been paid for, it was based on a 2019 delivery schedule. But the first LCS won’t be ready until 2025. So what happens to the paid for equipment? Does it mean, in 2023/2024 the govt has to top up the LCS budget just to replace damaged govt furnished equipment if already delivered? Or will the manufacturers say, I am sorry, we no longer manufacture the version you ordered. You will need to top up $XXX to get the new one.

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