Navy to launch first LCS in August
LANGKAWI: The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) is expected to launch its first littoral combat ship (LCS) currently being built under the “15-to-5 Fleet Transformation” programme in August.
RMN chief Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin said, at the moment, two LCS were being built at the Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd in Lumut.
“The (progress of the) LCS is as planned. We will be looking at launching the first in August. This will be a significant milestone for the navy and Boustead because the LCS is going to be the premiere class of service vessels,” he said.
The navy’s “15-to-5 Fleet Transformation” initiative aims to reduce its current 15 classes of vessels to just five — the littoral mission ship (LMS), multirole support ship (MRSS), LCS, patrol vessel (PV) and submarine.
A majority of the RMN’s current fleet are 30 years old and are sourced from six different countries — France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Sweden and Britain. These will gradually be replaced as it is too costly to be maintained.
The older ships will either be decommissioned or sold. Newer vessels, like the PVs, have been built locally through joint ventures at the Boustead Naval Shipyard.
With the building of the LCS well underway, the government inked a deal on Thursday that would also see Boustead Naval Shipyard involved in the building of LMS for the navy.
This, said Kamarulzaman, left only the MRSS, which had yet to materialise.
“If that can be materialised, it would complete the five classes under the transformation programme.
“But, we need to increase the number of ships for each class as we phase out the ageing ships.”
Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin