The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) was bolstered by the recommissioning of two Keris-class patrol craft into its fleet.
KD Sri Sabah and KD Sri Sarawak, both half a century old, returned into the RMN’s fold after undergoing extensive refurbishment to the tune of RM18 million.
The vessels were originally commissioned into the RMN in 1967 as KD Sundang and KD Panah after being among 18 purchased from Vosper Ltd since 1964.
KD Sundang and KD Panah were subsequently decommissioned and handed over to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) in 2006 – as KM Segantang and KM Kukup, respectively to meet the latter’s needs.
However, in 2022 the two vessels were returned to the RMN to support its operations pending the arrival of newer assets.
RMN chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Ayob officiated at the recommissioning of KD Sri Sabah and KD Sri Sarawak at the RMN Region 1 base in Tanjung Gelang, Kuantan.
Abdul Rahman also appointed Lt Cdr Mohd Fairuz Ahmad Fauzi RMN and Lt Cdr Anwar Redhwan Lokman Hakim RMN as commanding officers of KD Sri Sabah and KD Sri Sarawak, respectively.
As per tradition, Rahman’s wife Puan Sri Dr Norinah Mustapha christened Kd Sri Sabah, while RMN deputy chief Vice-Admiral Datuk Zulhelmy Ithnain‘s wife Datin Zamzelina Ahmad did likewise for KD Sri Sarawak.
Rahman said that the two vessels, that can sail up to 22 knots, were reintroduced into the RMN to continue protect the sovereignty of the maritime waters of the country.
“Both ships have undergone extensive sea tests and upgrades including replating, repowering and the fitting of modern equipment amounting to a total of RM18 million, aimed to ensure a more effective, safe and smooth operation and to improve the quality of life of the ship’s crew.
“The ships will be deployed in the east of Sabah, where the shallow and narrow waters will allow them to perform best.
“The RMN will also use both ships for training exercises to enhance the competency of the RMN crew.
“The ships are, however, not part of the RMN’s ‘15-to-5’ transformation plan which focuses on acquiring new assets.
“Nevertheless, this initiative has succeeded in preparing two ships needed for operations in a shorter time while waiting for new ships which are the Littoral Combat Ship dan Littoral Mission Ship Batch 2 to join the fleed,” Rahman said.
The two ships would be temporarily placed at the Kuantan Naval Base before starting service. at the RMN Region 2 headquaters in Sandakan, Sabah.
Rahman said that KD Sri Sabah and KD Sri Sarawak would join KD Sri Johor and KD Sri Perlis as part of the RMN’s 13th patrol squadron.
It is learnt that many of the aging Keris-class patrol craft the RMN handed over to the MMEA were subsequently put out of service and sunk into the sea as artificial reefs. – airtimes.my
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