A Chinese state-owned shipbuilder has shed more light on its Littoral Mission Ship proposal for Malaysia
Details point to a lightly armed platform that can be quickly configured for a wide spectrum of missions
An official from China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC) has disclosed further details of the Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) configuration it is proposing for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN).
The company, which will be working with Malaysian shipbuilder Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) on the project, is also displaying a model of the LMS for the first time at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition in Malaysia that runs from 21 to 25 March 2017.
According Pengfei Ren, a deputy general manager from the company's No 2 Military Product Department, the LMS will have an overall length of 68.8 m and displace about 680 tonnes at full load. The vessel will have a top speed of 22 kt, and a standard range of about 2,000 n miles at 15 kt.
The LMS can be armed with either a 20 mm or 30 mm naval gun in a remote-controlled weapon station (RWCS) turret as a primary weapon, and can accommodate two 12.7 mm machine gun positions on the deck area behind the vessel's bridge.
The platform can carry one 20 ft containerised mission module on deck in the aft section, and can deploy and recover two rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) from launchers located at stern. This gives the ship the flexibility to be configured for a variety of missions including search-and-rescue, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) and maritime surveillance operations.
Pengfei was however not able to give an estimate on the ship's complement, saying that this is still under discussions with the Malaysian government and BNS.
He has also declined to say if the platform's main weapon system will be sourced from China.
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