Navy chief: Delayed LCS construction progressing smoothly, sea trials within next few months

KUANTAN: The country's first littoral combat ship (LCS) is expected to undergo sea trials by the middle of this year as part of the operational testing before going into active service.

Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Ayob said the construction of the LCS at the Lumut Shipyard was progressing smoothly after the project was revived last year.

"Works are progressing well and the first vessel currently built on a cradle is expected to be lowered into the sea for trial by May or June this year. This is significant progress for the navy and the firm responsible to build the vessel.

"After the sea trial, the ship has about 22 months to undergo other required operational testing for the entire system and other equipment. The first LCS is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2026," he told reporters after the naming and commissioning ceremony for the Royal Malaysian Navy's KD Sri Sabah and KD Sri Sarawak patrol craft at the Tanjung Gelang naval base here today.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rahman said if everything goes as planned, the navy will receive the second ship some eight months after the completion of the first LCS followed by the third unit.

"The success of the first LCS is critical and plays an important role in determining the continuity of the second and other ships. I hope the navy will receive the new vessels according to schedule," he said.

On the second batch of the navy's littoral mission ship (LMS), Abdul Rahman said the matter is still in the hands of the Finance ministry.

"It is still in the decision stages by the Finance ministry and I am expecting some good news for the navy soon," he said.

In 2022, the LCS, a multi-billion ringgit project was hit by delays when the Public Accounts Committee reported that none of the six ships had been completed although RM6.08 billion had been spent.


Last year, deputy defence minister Adly Zahari said the first LCS will be completed by August this year, before undergoing two tests, namely the harbour and sea trials.

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