Friday, 11 March 2016

RMN moves to strengthen country’s maritime security

LUMUT, March 9: The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) is set to consolidate all its naval units from 15 classes to five in an effort to strengthen the country’s maritime security.

Navy chief Datuk Seri Ahmad Kamaru­l­zaman Ahmad Badaruddin said this is part of the RMN’s transformation programme to stren­g­then its armada and also to be cost effective.

“The replacement process will be done in stages. We will focus on the abilities of the local industry and from 15 classes we will consolidate it to five classes.

“The five classes are New Generation Patrol Vessels (NGPV), Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), submarines, Littoral Mission Ships (LMS) and Multi Support Ships.

“This will be done in accordance with the allocation set by the Government,” he said after accompanying Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to launch the keel-laying ceremony for the first of six LCS’ at the Boustead Naval Shipyard here yesterday.

The RMN is set to be bolstered by six LCS built by Bousted, an associate company under Bousted Heavy Industries Corporation Berhad (BHIC).

The six ships, estimated to be worth RM9bil, will be equipped with superior four-dimensional warfare capabilities for electronic, air, surface and underwater threats integrated with state-of-the-art systems.

One interesting part of the ship is its stealth capability, which reduces radar reflection to minimise visibility and detection and it is also capable of rapid launch and recovery of boats.

BHIC executive deputy chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor said the shipyard has contributed significantly in enhancing the assets of the armed forces and naval sector.

Hishammuddin said the LCS will be the biggest combat ship built in the Malaysian armada and added that even though the economy is slow, the security and defence aspect of the country will not be compromised.

The first LCS vessel is expected to be completed in early 2019, with subsequent vessels to be completed at 10-month intervals thereafter.

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