Navy to launch first LCS in Au­gust

New Straits Times - - Lima'17 -

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

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