The commissioning ceremony took place in Kota Kinabalu (Sabah region) in presence of the Chief of the RMN, Admiral Reza. Like the first-in-class ship, KD Sundang joined the 11th LMS Squadron and is now operating under the RMN’s Eastern Fleet Command which headquarters are in Sabah.
Sundang was launched in July 2019 and was set to be delivered in April 2020 but this has been delayed to January 2021 because of the pandemic. First-in-class KD Keris was launched in April 2019 and commissioned in December 2019 while the third and fourth LMS were launched in October 2020 and December 2020 respectively. Procurement of these LMS vessels is implemented under the Contract of the Ministry of Defense Malaysia with Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd which was signed on 23 March 2017 in collaboration with China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co. Ltd. (CSOC), China.
According to the RMN, the 3rd and 4th LMS are now set to be delivered in October and December 2021 to meet the operational requirements as stated in the 15 to 5 Transformation Plan.
About Malaysia’s LMS
For the record, the acquisition contract of the LMS was signed on 23 March 2017 between the Malaysian Ministry of Defense and Boustead in collaboration with CSOC, China. LMS is one of the five classes of ships in the 15 to 5 Fleet Transformation Program. LMS construction is characterized by “fit for purpose”. This coastal patrol ship is a modular concept that is capable of being configured for specific missions depending on the needs.
All four LMS units will join the RMN Eastern Fleet where they will reinforce the readiness and sovereignty of eastern Malaysia’s maritime waters. The LMS will also address the problem of asset obsolescence as well as maintenance schedule cycles existing RMN ships.
The acquisition of the LMS is through cooperation with China, a first in the history of the Royal Malaysian Navy. Through this acquisition, Malaysia can strengthen diplomatic relations with China in defense and economy.
According to Janes, LMS type vessels have issues with their combat system, the RMN having compiled a list of deficiencies that were observed while operating the first in-class-ship.
Length overall: 68.00 meters
Beam: 9.20 meters
Crew: 45 (+16)
Max speed: 22 knots
Range: 2,000 nautical miles at 16 knots
Endurance: Up to 15 days at sea
Operation: Up to sea state 5