China’s Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group delivered first of the four ordered Keris-class littoral mission ships (LMS) to the Royal Malaysian Navy on Tuesday.
LMS Keris, the lead ship of the class, was handed over to Malaysia at a base in Qidong, East China's Jiangsu Province, the manufacturer announced on its official WeChat account.
The initial contract for the boats worth RM1.17 billion (nearly $285 million) was signed in March 2017. The four ships with displacement of 780 tonnes are scheduled to be delivered by 2021. The vessels can cruise at 22 knots.
The initial plan stipulated that the first two units would be delivered from China, while the remaining two would be built in Malaysia by Boustead Naval Shipyard. The Malaysian government later negotiated a reduction in the price of the ships in exchange for all four ships to be built in China.
Malaysia will use the 69-metre long Keris-class warships for patrol, anti-terrorism, rescue, and protection of fishery activities. They will also support mine warfare, hydrography, and ISR missions.