LUMUT: The newly-built KD Maharaja Lela, the first of six littoral combat ships (LCS) of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), was launched by Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim at the RMN base here.
The naming of the ship and launching ceremony was also graced by the presence of Perak Ruler Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah.
Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BN Shipyard), a subsidiary company of Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation Bhd (BHIC), is building the combat ships at a cost of RM9bil.
The LCS has a four dimensions combat capacity, with the durability to overcome electronic, surface, submersible and air threats, and possesses the latest in combat management systems.
The littoral ship is a small vessel intended for operations close to shore.
The 111m-long KD Maharaja Lela has a maximum speed of 28 knots (52kph) and is equipped with torpedo launchers, anti-surface and anti-air missile launching systems and medium-calibre cannons, among other devices, to boost security control over the country’s waters.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who was also present, said the ship was named after renowned Malay warrior Datuk Maharaja Lela, a territorial chieftain who led the Malays in the fight against British colonial rule in Perak in the 1870s.
He said the building of the first LCS for RMN showed the capability and competitiveness of local manpower in the heavy industry sector, specifically military technology.
“This is because it is the first LCS of frigate class fully built by a local company,” he added.
BHIC managing director Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor said this was the biggest combat ship in the RMN fleet and its stealth shape made it difficult to detect by radar.
He said the ship would be officially handed over to RMN in April 2019 after undergoing tests at the dockyard and sea, as well as firing tests. — Bernama