RMN Chief: LMS capable of conducting 80% mission for lCS

LANGKAWI: The Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) purchased by the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) is capable of conducting 80% of the missions for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).

RMN Chief Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin said it was also much cheaper than the LCS.

"The purchase of the LMS is subject to our budget but it is not an asset which can be compared to the LCS which is used for combat, war and such, and is of course, more expensive because the LCS' capability is much higher," he told reporters when met at Resort World Langkawi today.

The four LMS which will bought from China will be jointly built by Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd and China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co Ltd.

The cost of purchasing the ships will be fully borne by the RMN under the Transformation 15-5 Programme.

The programme is part of several initiatives planned for 'saving efficiency' whereby RMN will replace old ships which require high operating and maintenance costs, with new, more sophisticated ships with lower operating and maintenance cost.

However, Ahmad Kamarulzaman said, depending on need and affordability, the RMN hoped to increase the capabilities of the LMS by adding guided missiles to it to increase combat strength.

"What is more important now is the maritime aspect, such as the threat of encroachment from militants, cross-border crimes, and increasing our capabilities especially in the Sulu Sea," he said.

When completed, the LMS will be based at Maritime Region Two or the Armada 6 in the Sulu Sea to guard national waters. — Bernama