Tuanku Zara launches RMN's first littoral combat ship

LUMUT: The newly built KD Maharaja Lela, the first of six littoral combat ships (LCS) of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), was launched by Raja Permaisuri Perak, Tuanku Zara Salim at the RMN base, here today.

The naming of the ship and launch ceremony was also graced by the presence of the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah.

The royal couple and invited dignitaries present including Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation Bhd (BHIC) managing director Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor, then watched KD Maharaja Lela sail out to sea for the first time.

The building of the six LCS is by Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BN Shipyard), a subsidiary company of (BHIC) at a cost of RM9 billion.

The LCS has a four-dimensional combat capacity with the durability to overcome electronic, water and air threats, besides having the latest combat management system.

The ship, 111m long, has a maximum speed of 28 knots and is equipped with torpedo launchers, anti-surface and anti-air missile launching systems and medium-calibre cannons, among other devices, to boost security control over the country's waters.

Hishammuddin said the name Maharaja Lela for the combat ship took after the name of renowned Malay warrior Dato' Maharaja Lela (a territorial chieftain and penghulu in Pasir Salak) who led the Malays in the fight against British colonial rule in Perak (in the 1870's).

He said the building of this first LCS for the RMN showed the capability and competitiveness of local manpower in the heavy industry sector, specifically military technology.

"This is because it is the first LCS of frigate class fully built by a local company, Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd," he added.

Ahmad Ramli, meanwhile, said this was the biggest combat ship in the RMN fleet with its stealth shape and difficult to detect by radar.

He said the ship would be officially handed over to RMN in April 2019 after undergoing tests at the dockyard and sea, as well as firing tests. — Bernama