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15-to-5 Transformation: LMS Batch 1 does not meet the requirements of RMN

LUMUT, 27 Apr – The Chief of Navy, Admiral Datuk Abdul Rahman Ayob explained that the acquisition of the Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) First Batch does not meet the current operational requirements of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN).

In this regard, he said, the procurement of LMS Batch Two will be equipped and meet the current and future needs in safeguarding the sovereignty of the country’s waters.

“The Second LMS Batch is one of the new alignments,

“The LMS that we mentioned in 15-to-5 involves 18 platforms. So, we have 4. However, we determined that the First Batch LMS did not really meet our needs,

“Therefore, we propose that the changes to LMS Batch 2 (LMSB2) which we feel are more appropriate and meet our present and future needs,” he said at a press conference after the 89th RMN Anniversary celebration at RMN Lumut Base, today.

He also aims for the alignment related to the 15-to-5 Transformation Plan to be completed this year and have some changes and improvements.

“Because the 15-to-5 discussion is still ongoing. But, the alignment is still being discussed. And we expect we will finish this year. There are some changes,

“Because that is one part of the alignment and realignment that we have done. What we will document in our 15-to-5 program,

“And it requires at least 5 or 6 presentations of the 5th Malaysia Plan (RMK),” he said.

Strictly speaking, all these strategic plans also depend on the government’s ability to spend on defense assets.

“So, we also consider the government’s commitment. It’s not just spending on defense assets, but there are many other things that they need to see and pay attention to,” he explained.

Previously, Abdul Rahman in his message stated that the 15-to-5 Transformation Plan will undergo some changes.

He explained that the change was made based on the current geo-strategic landscape and financial constraints and challenges in the defense industry so that the Plan produced 5 years ago, needs to be adjusted accordingly.

In the presentation of the 2023 Budget, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced the procurement of 3 LMSB2 ships for the RMN.

Abdul Rahman stated that the first LMSB2 ships will be received in 2027. Last year, RMN voiced their need to acquire LMSB2 ships to fill the combat capability gap while waiting for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project to be completed.

According to the Chief of Navy, he has identified the appropriate ship model to fill those requirements.

4 First Batch LMS ships (Keris class) were obtained from China and only equipped with 30mm cannon.

The LMS is part of the 15-to-5 strategic plan sequence where it acts as a support ship to the main thrust of the fleet. This ship is also designed to perform a constabulary role in peacetime.

In the original 15-to-5 layout, the LMS was designed to have modular features that would allow the ship to be upgraded to corvette-equivalent capabilities if needed.

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