PETALING JAYA: Construction of the first two of four Littoral Mission Ships (LMS) are progressing well with the keel-laying taken place at a shipyard in Shuangliu, China.
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, who is on a four-day work visit in China, witnessed the keel laying ceremony on Tuesday (Oct 23), accompanied by Chief of Defence Forces Jen Tan Sri Zulkifli Zainal Abidin and Royal Malaysian Navy assistant chief of staff First Admiral Shamsuddin Ludin.
The vessels are currently being constructed at the Wuchang Shipbuilding Industrial Group (WSIG), an experienced shipyard in building warships for the navies of various countries.
According to information from the ministry, four LMS warships are to be built for the Navy, with two to be constructed in China and two other in Malaysia through technology transfer and sharing between both countries.
Twenty Malaysian personnel are involved in the vessels’ construction - 12 from the Navy and eight from the Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS), an associate company of Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd (BHIC).
In a statement, BHIC said that the procurement contract to jointly build the warships was signed on March 23, 2017 between BNS and the Malaysian government, with China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co Ltd (CSOC) acting as a partner shipyard of BNS.
“The LMS is a new class of Navy warships that will bolster Malaysia’s maritime defence, as part of the Navy’s 15 to 5 Transformation Plan to replace ageing warships and creating a lean, fit-for-purpose armada.
“Together with the Littoral Combat Ships currently being built at the BNS, the LMS warships will be a significant addition to boost the Navy’s ability to secure the nation’s maritime borders and promote naval diplomacy,” it said.
The LMS warship is capable of operating in multi-mission roles, as it has the ability to carry up to three standard ISO containers containing mission modules, as well as stern launch boats for quick reaction missions.
BHIC executive deputy chairman and managing director Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor said that BNS was proud to contribute to national security through the building of these formidable assets.
“The LMS project showcases Malaysia’s capabilities in shipbuilding and high technologies. It also highlights local skills and talents in constructing sophisticated vessels,” he said.