New OPV, “Malaysia evaluates options for second batch of Littoral Mission Ships” –Janes

Janes reports that “The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has begun an initial process to evaluate possible vessel types for its second Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) project.”

Reportedly,

“The four proposals are namely a 70.7 m patrol boat concept from US shipbuilder Swiftships, a 68 m offshore patrol vessel (OPV) concept from Damen known as the Stan Patrol 6811, a 70.2 m patrol vessel from German shipbuilder Fassmer, and a 70 m patrol boat from Malaysian company Preston.

“Meanwhile, the proposal that has been forwarded by the joint venture between Damen and Destini is an 83 m vessel that is very similar to the OPV ordered for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA)..”

The real surprise here is that they are not continuing to build additional units of the Chinese built batch 1 ships. (More recent photos here, including the two stern launch boat slips. Text is apparently in Indonesia, but there was an option for translation that worked reasonably well.)

“The RMN has awarded a contract to China Shipbuilder & Offshore International Co. Ltd. to build the first batch of four (4) Littoral Mission Ship based on a 68-metere design. The first ship, the KD Keris (111), was commissioned with the RMN on January 2020, while the second ship, Sundang (112) was launched in China on July 2019….Under its 15-to-5 Transformation Program, the RMN plans to have 18 Littoral Mission Ship, although the decision to look for a new design for the second batch of LMS means the RMN itself is diverting from its original plan to only have 5 classes of ships in its inventory. (emphasis applied–Chuck)

The Chinese built ships are reportedly,

“…68.8 meters long, with a beam of 9 meters and draft of 2.8 meters. It displaces at 700 tons full load, and with a maximum speed of 22 knots and range of 2,000 nautical miles at 15 knots.”

I have only really been able to pin down one of the proposed designs, That of the 83 meter Damen design (photo below) currently being built for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (Coast Guard).

Front view of a scale model of an OPV-1800 vessel made by the Dutch company Damen. Photo taken during the 2018 Asian Defence and Security (ADAS) Trade Show at the World Trade Center in Pasay, Metro Manila. Photo by Rhk111 from Wikipedia

The Fassmer website talks about the 80 meter OPV we are familiar with, but there is no mention of a 70 meter design. Swiftships offers a 75 meter corvette, but no 70.7-meter design. Reportedly the Damen offer is a 68 meter stretched version of their 6211 design. It may be that they are referring to waterline length rather than overall.

There is not a lot of information about proposed capabilities. Sounds like they may have decided they need a flight deck for a helo or at least a UAV.

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