KOTA KINABALU: Welcome Home, Keris. KD Keris RMN’s first LMS was welcomed home at the Sepanggar naval base here today. Sabah Governor Tun Juhar Maharudin welcomed Keris 45 crew members led by her first commanding officer Cdr Zulkarnain Rawi.
Speaking to the media following the ceremony, RMN chief Adm. Mohd Reza Mohd Sany said the navy wanted more LMS either built overseas or locally. He did not say however whether the government had given the nod for more LMSs.
The LMS class ships was an important development for RMN, Mohd Reza said as it allowed more hulls to be operational considering most of fleet consisted of old ships with high maintenance costs. Due to the limited number of ships, RMN last year had to operate KD Baung for some 260 days at sea last year.
“I hope the people will reminded of the sacrifices made by the crew of the ship when they talked about the navy and the investment needed to keep our ships at sea. Mohd Reza said Sundang, the second of class LMS is scheduled to arrive at Sepanggar this April. The two other LMS – yet to be named- are expected to sail home in May and August, 2021.
Keris was commissioned into service on Jan. 6 at Qidong, Shanghai, China where the ship was officially delivered to the RMN on Dec.31, 2019.Work on the other two LMS are underway at the Wuhan shipyard where Keris and Sundang were built and are expected to be launched by mid of next year.
The government signed a contract with Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) for the supply of the four LMS, in 2017. BNS contracted with China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Corporation (CSOC) for the design and manufacture of the LMS. Originally two of the LMS were to be built in China with another two built at the BNS facility in Pulau Jerejak, Penang. However a revision of the contract terms in early 2019 saw the contract price reduced and the last two LMS to be built in China.
— Malaysian Defence