Sundang Commissioned

KD Sundang on arrival at the KK naval base jetty. RMN

SHAH ALAM: The RMN today (March 5) commissioned into service its second LMS, KD Sundang at the Kota Kinabalu naval base at Teluk Sepanggar. RMN chief Admiral Reza Sany read out the commissioning credentials at the ceremony before presenting it to Sundang first commanding officer, Kdr Khairil Sarian.

Admiral Reza reading the commissioning proclamation of KD Sundang at the ceremony.

The ship arrived at the base on January 24, ten days after it was formally accepted by the RMN from the shipbuilder at the Wuchang port in Qidong, Shanghai. Due to travel restrictions and lockdown imposed by the Covid 19 pandemic, the ceremony had to be postponed until today. KD Keris – the first of class LMS was commissioned in January, 2020.

KD Sundang.

From the RMN.

Untuk rekod, KD SUNDANG yang terdiri daripada 45 orang kru telah mengharungi pelayaran sejauh 1,862 batu nautika bermula pada 17 Januari 2021 dan selamat tiba di PTKK pada 24 Januari 2021.

Sebagaimana LMS Pertama (KD KERIS), KD SUNDANG akan beroperasi di bawah pemerintahan Markas Pemerintahan Armada Timur di Sabah. TLDM dijangka akan menerima Kapal LMS ke-3 dan ke-4 pula pada bulan Oktober dan Disember 2021 bagi memenuhi keperluan pengoperasian sepertimana yang dinyatakan dalam Pelan Transformasi 15 to 5.

Fourth LMS at her launch in Wuhan, China today. RMN picture

It appears that the LMS programme will be the first RMN project to be completed on time and under budget in recent memory. Hopefully this will be the same for future projects like LMS II and MRSS. Hopefully it will also be safe enough for me to travel to Kota Kinabalu to cover the commissioning of the fourth and last LMS.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1717 Articles
Shah Alam

23 Comments

  1. Just out of curiosity, do either the navy or coast guard have one of those unsinkable vessels? You know the type of boat that wouldn’t capsize even when large wave hit said boat and make it to rollover?

    Reply
    Navy don’t have, the MMEA got a number of rescue vessels but not sure they are the type you’re talking about

  2. Great news..Now how about KM Tun Fatimah? Any news on her launch? ..Should be on track right? That ship is a much needed one to boost APMM morale and presence in the height of CCG continous appearance at BPA..

  3. China’s recently approved law of allowing CCG to use weapons against intrusion inside its own waters is quite worrying as our entire EEZ is considered Chinese territory by these crooks.

    MMEA should consider getting one or 2 of Bunga Mas size vessels should we encounter some of those 10 kTon vessels

  4. ASM – “China’s recently approved law of allowing CCG to use weapons against intrusion”

    Yes it is a matter of concern but it’s directed more at a certain country whose trawlers are active in the area (unlike us) and who has been involved in ramming and other incidents with the Chinese (unlike us).

    It’s also very related to internal Chinese politics; the leadership playing up to rhetoric and indulging in nationalistic chest thumping for internal reasons.

    ASM – “MMEA should consider getting one or 2 of Bunga Mas size vessels should we encounter some of those 10 kTon vessels”

    For what? To ram them or look more intimidating? Even if the MMEA gets 2 as you suggest; what happens if they deploy 4 or 6 with another 4 on standby?

    We continue doing all we can to monitor our waters and intercept intruders. We also hope that the politicians fund more patrol and other assets. What we don’t do is to Imitate or respond directly in the same manner; with what a much powerful country with much much resources is doing.

  5. ASM,
    There is no point out-muscling the Chinese, if Malaysia sends one 10k ton ship, they will send 2x 20k ships in response. It’s a David and Goliath battle and Malaysia can only play David……but play it to our advantage. The Chinese shooting at a smaller boat will only be to their detriment because they will then be really perceived as a serious big bully and in a post COVID world, China needs all the friend it can gather. China shooting on Malaysia will only harden the resolve of the US, UK, Australia and even the European. Big mistake and miscalculation on their part if they did.

  6. Tom Tom – “ shooting on Malaysia will only harden the resolve of the US, UK, Australia and even the European”

    It will drive Malaysia closer to the U.S….

    We have to bear in mind that we are not in a state of tensions with China : our policy is to maintain the status quo. We also have to bear in mind that how China goes about handling the issue differs from country to country.

    We’ve had it easier than Vietnam and the Philippines. Unless something drastically happens; we have to strive to maintain the status quo. We also have to balance the economic aspect in parallel with the security/sovereign one.

    On top of that economic aspects (oil & gas); the reason China desires the area is because it’s an extension of its contested zone. Having control of the Spratlys improves China’s ability to break out of the First Island Chain which can be used to box China in.

  7. It will be very interesting when the carrier QE 2 starts it’s maiden Pacific deployment….no doubt it will stop in Malaysia.

    Reply
    More likely a Passex only

  8. Azlan,

    I never suggested ramming them. Why getting bigger ship = ramming?
    The aim, as you mentioned, is to maintain the status quo, as well as to dissuade the C.O of that vessel from being overly adventurous.

    I mentioned 2 vessels as I think that quantity is adequate for other MMEA tasks. I know the futility of playing the numbers game against China

    If they deploy 4,6, 20 or 2000 then we would have no other choice but turn to the US.

    Marhalim, wasn’t there a collision incident previously involving a Kedah class and a CCG vessel? It took place during Lahad Datu siege I am not mistaken. Could you verify?

    Reply
    Not AFAIK

  9. Tom Tom

    I didn’t said anything about out-muscling the Chinese; my point of having ships about 10 kTons displacement is to dissuade them from blocking our ships’ movement, which may happen if the difference is significant.

    I know very well that we can’t play a numbers game against China. If they decide to send ships in bigger numbers and displacement, then the only way out is to have US come in to balance the equation. Hence that’s why I suggested 2 instead of 10, as I believed 2 is sufficient for this task and other roles MMEA has. MMEA itself has a requirement for 3 MPMS probably of around 6 – 8000 tonnes, so stretching it 10 ktons shouldn’t be a problem.

  10. ASM – “I never suggested ramming them. Why getting bigger ship = ramming”

    No you didn’t : I did …

    I mentioned ramming because that’s the main premise behind calls for bigger ships. We should only go for bigger ships if the mission sets call for a ship with extended range and endurance; not merely because the Chinese are doing so..

    ASM – “The aim, as you mentioned, is to maintain the status quo, as well as to dissuade the C.O of that vessel from being “overly adventurous”

    – Getting a ship the size of the Bunga Lima is not maintaining the “status quo” but reacting directly to China; playing its game without tangible benefits to us …

    – We can deploy a 50,000 dreadnought with 21 inch guns but it won’t deter Chinese CO’s from being “overly adventurous”. If they don’t think twice about butting heads with the likes of the USN and JSDMF; you seriously think deploying a much bigger ship will do the trick?

    ASM – “know the futility of playing the numbers game against China”

    Good to hear … There is also the “futility” of trying to directly match what China deploys: i.e. large ships. We do what we can based on our abilities/limitations. We gradually add more patrol assets; as well as UASs and land based sensors.

    ASM – “If they deploy 4,6, 20 or 2000 then we would have no other choice but turn to the US”

    The trick is not to give China the pretext to deploy large numbers of ships …

    We are not a U.S. treaty ally and China deploying larger numbers of ships in the contested waters may bot necessarily interfere with freedom of navigation; thus the U.S. might not intervene.

    ASM – “MMEA itself has a requirement for 3 MPMS probably of around 6 – 8000 tonnes, so stretching it 10 ktons shouldn’t be a problem”

    Actually it’s a “problem”. No MMEA base has jetties large or deep enough to accommodate a ship that large and with that draught. As it is the MMEA doesn’t even have enough facilities for what it currently has.

    ASM – “about 10 kTons displacement is to dissuade them from blocking our ships’ movement, which may happen if the difference is significant.”

    Unless one wants to use physical means (ramming) one does not need a ship of similar size/displacement to “block” another ship….

  11. ASM,

    There have never been any collisions involving Chinese ships. If you look at published satellite imagery; our ships normally maintain a separation of 2-3 NM.

    Collisions and attempted rammings have occurred with TNI-AL ships and Vietnamese trawlers.

  12. Azlan,

    You raised some valid points, although in this case we have to agree to disagree. I do believe having 2-3 vessels are necessary, mainly in the hot spot areas. Primarily to protect our fishermen as well as the oil rigs from harassment.

    On the topic of the bases, I think they could be upgraded to accommodate larger ships. Probably some, not all. In any case if such an order does go through it will take at least around 2-3 years before the first vessel is operational (assuming nothing goes wrong) so there should have plenty time to carry out upgrade works.

    “There have never been any collisions involving Chinese ships.”

    There was some discussion about it from a FB group post. The information seemed credible as the group moderators consist of some active duty personnel, I thought I have it checked over here

  13. Sure we cant win face off battle with the chinese..but still we need to be steadfast and show some resistance to them especially on our waters..And thats why the like of MMEA OPV,LCS and maybe a fully armed OPV are urgently needed..Dont get me wrong this ship Sundang is quite acceptable but we need to see the bigger pictures here.I do hope, the first of MMEA OPV will touch water soon..

  14. @ASM
    What your describing is more like forward sea-basing ie KA Tun Azizan or PL Tun Sharifah Rodziah. They can’t act on their own, they still need escorts or patrol ships to support.

  15. ASM – “I do believe having 2-3 vessels are necessary, mainly in the hot spot areas”

    It is necessary to have 2-3 ships; as well as other ships which can be deployed at short notice. Hence my comments about focusing on more manned and patrol assets rather than much much larger ships which are not needed from an operational perspective.

    ASM – “On the topic of the bases”

    They are limited and what is already budgeted and planned for is to cater for what the MMEA has or plans to have and that does not include ships with a 5-7,000 tonne displacement.

    Firdaus – “we need to see the bigger pictures here.I do hope”

    Rest assured. I’m sure most of us are seeing the “bigger picture”.

  16. Firsdaus – “ still we need to be steadfast and show some resistance to them especially on our waters”

    Which the RMN and MMEA has long been doing …..

    Firdaus – “ get me wrong this ship Sundang is quite acceptable”

    No it’s certainly not “acceptable” ..

    The 4 were intended to be the initial batch of a class of fully fitted out secondary type combatants for both wartime and peacetime duties. Due to various reasons there will only be 4 and they are not fully fitted out.

    The only good thing is that they take some pressure of the RMN in that new/extra hulls are available.

  17. @Firdaus
    You don’t fight fire with fire, moreso if yours is only a matchstick compared with their bonfire. If we were to get large ships they will bring in even bigger ships to counter. If we were to arm out MMEA ships, their CCG will come with even more armaments.

    How is your idea an effective way to counter CCG and to prevent things escalating?

  18. Oh yeah i forgot we should do nothing right? Its not like plan or ccg enters or crouching our waters right? they just hovering at BPA while asserting their claim on our waters while we deciding to fight with matchstick ,bonfire and whatnot

  19. Firdaus – ”forgot we should do nothing right”

    A silly meaningless cliche which should be put to rest.

    The RMN and MMEA are doing everything possible to detect, intercept and monitor each intrusion and have been for years now. Whilst there are various things we can do and whilst everybody has his own idea as to what we should do; the fact is we are doing the best we can in line with our limitations and geo-political realities.

    Firdaus – ”its not like plan or ccg enters or crouching”

    Correct actually, PLAN ships do not enter our territorial waters …. Chinese Maritime Agency ships enter our waters;
    they stay on station and ignore our calls to leave but they do not interfere with freedom of navigation and do not harass RMN or MMEA ships; unlike the case with others.

    Firdaus – ”to fight with matchstick ,bonfire and whatnot”

    [1] We are not in a state of tensions with China
    [2]Sovereignty issues have to be balanced with economic issues. The economic effects of Covid 19 will pale in comparison compared to what they will be in the event of trouble in the Spratlys. We are China’s largest trade partner in ASEAN and China is the largest or 2nd largest investor. Maintaining one’s sovereignty and well being includes defending territory but also maintaining economic stability as well.
    [3] We’ve been active on the diplomatic and legals fronts; pursuing and defending our claims. Not as if we’ve been passive.
    [4] The best we can do is progressively improve our capabilities to monitor/safeguard our overlapping claims; whilst also having some level of deterrence based on our abilities. Unfortunately thanks to the politicians this is not happening.

  20. @Firdaus
    Rather than overt action, we’re well adept at diplomacy and soft power of persuasion. A bully, ones such as China, only wants one thing; recognition and a response.

    By giving them that, we are only legitimising their acts. We, otoh, have a track record of solving issues and diffusing situations via backchannels. It is not perfect and won’t fully stop them encroaching, so we need have some adequate response, but its a heck lot better than a Mexican standoff with a far larger CCG & Navy that has more teeth than ours.

  21. Im just realised as i saw someone mentioned it at a blog..is it true that as of now tldm only got 2 missile equipped ship in lekiu class? Is it really okay for us as a maritime country to have only that many missile equipped ship? Even Lekius nowadays only carrying the missiles that deemed outdated already..the seawolf and block 2 exocet..Or does tldm’s corvette/missile boats still carrying missiles nowadays?

    Reply
    Its wrong the Kasturis carries the Exocets as well as does the two submarines.

  22. Firdaus – “it really okay for us as a maritime country to have only that many missile equipped ship”

    What sort of question is that? Of course it’s not “okay” …. A lot of other things are also not “okay” but it’s the state of things. Is it “okay” that with the exception of Brunei, Laos and Cambodia; all other ASEAN countries have more fighters than us?

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