KOTA KINABALU: The highly awaited second Littoral Mission Ship (LMS), KD Sundang finally arrived at the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) Naval Base in Sepanggar, here today.
Chief of Navy, Admiral Tan Sri Mohd Reza Mohd Sany was present to officially receive the patrol vessel after it made a 1,862 nautical mile journey from Wuchang port in Qidong, Shanghai China on Jan 17.
Mohd Reza said KD Sundang is the second of five Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) after the first LMS, KD Keris arrived at the Sepanggar Naval Base on Jan 17.
Mohd Reza said LMS is part of the RMN’s ’15 to 5’ fleet transformation programme, which involves reducing its current 15 classes of vessels to just five – namely, the LMS, Multi-Role Support Ships (MRSS), Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), Patrol Vessels (PV) and submarines.
“Today we received Kapal DiRaja (KD) Sundang, the second LMS ship which is capable of carrying out various missions in accordance with the needs of our current maritime operations.
“The remaining two LMS are scheduled to be delivered by October and December of this year respectively,” he said, at the accreditation ceremony of KD Sundang today.
According to Mohd Reza, RMN’s plan is to acquire a couple more LMS while the type and maker of the vessel has not been decided.
Mohd Reza however said all LMS will be stationed at the Sepanggar Naval Base which is appropriate with current operation needs, including deploying assets to the East Coast of Sabah and the South China Sea.
The ship was built in October 2018 at the Wuchuan manufacturing base in Wuhan and launched in July 2019. The ship was supposed to be delivered to the RMN on April 12, 2020 but was delayed to January 14, 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
KD Sundang’s 48 crew led by commanding officer, Commander Khairil Sarian, underwent five-month training in China.