Mindef signs deal for three Turkish LMS

Market research: Mohamed Khaled (second from left) listening to an explanation from a Turkish arms industry official at an arms factory in Turkiye. — Bernama

ANKARA: The Defence Ministry (Mindef) has handed over the letter of agreement (LOA) for the purchase of the second batch of three Littoral Mission Ships (LMS) to Turkiye defence company, Savunma Teknolojileri Muhendislik (STM).

The handover ceremony was carried out between Mindef deputy secretary-general (development) Dr Mohd Bakhari Ismail and STM general manager Ozgur Guleryuz, witnessed by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Turkish Defence Industry Secretary Prof Haluk Gorgun at STM headquarters here on Monday.

Mohamed Khaled said the project will take about three and a half years to complete, and Malaysia will receive all three ships by the end of 2027.

“We are confident that this project will be completed within the set time because the company is owned by the Turkiye Government and chaired by their president, so there is a guarantee from the government,” he said at a press conference after the handover ceremony, reported Bernama.Mohamed Khaled was on a five-day official visit to Turkiye since Sunday.

He said the Defence White Paper’s planning outlines that the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) needs 18 LMS to patrol the country’s waters, which consist of the South China Sea, the Sulawesi Sea, the Straits of Malacca, and the Sulu Sea.

“With the acquisition of this second batch of three LMS, it is hoped that it will help us reach the 18 ships needed for RMN. So, the approach of handing over the LOA to Turkiye depends on their ability to complete it within the set time; if it cannot be completed, it will affect all plans,” he said.

The construction and equipping of the ship will be carried out in Turkiye, involving the cooperation of 50 companies from the Turkish defence sector. The ship will be integrated with advanced systems and equipped with advanced weapon systems, sensors, and command and control systems that enable TLDM to carry out various missions effectively.

The second batch of LMS is an Ada-class corvette, a type of patrol and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) vessel equipped with advanced anti-aircraft missiles. It has a displacement of approximately 2,500 tonnes, a length of 99.56m, a keel of 14.42m, and a draft of 3.94m and is powered by a 31,640 kW (42,430 hp) Renk Codag engine.

With a maximum speed limit of over 26 knots and a cruising distance of 4,000 kilometres at 14 knots, it can accommodate 111 crew and has a maximum endurance of 14 days. It is also equipped with a helipad and hangar to store and operate ASW helicopters or medium-sized carriers as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Earlier, Mohamed Khaled signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two governments regarding Government-to-Government (G2G) procurement for Turkiye-Malaysian defence products.

“This kind of MoU has never been made by Malaysia with any country but was made with Turkiye because it reflects the close relationship between the two countries and a relationship based on trust, respect and the desire to help each other.

“I believe the signing of this MoU will benefit both countries, especially Malaysia because Turkiye is a sophisticated military power today with outstanding defence technology and is one of the most advanced military asset manufacturing countries in West Asia,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Khaled said that to prove their commitment to implementing the MoU, the two countries agreed to establish a special committee that would be formed within the next six months to plan strategic initiatives and monitor the progress of the MoU implementation.

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