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Malaysia's Defense Ministry nears agreement on Littoral Mission Ships Batch II with Turkey.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by AirTimes on March 15, 2024, the puzzle surrounding Malaysia's acquisition of its second batch of Littoral Mission Ships (LMS) for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) appears to be resolving.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Turkish Ada-class corvette TCG Büyükada. (Picture source: Navy Recognition)

Statements made by the Defense Minister, Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin, in the Dewan Rakyat (the lower house of Malaysia's parliament) have shed light on the progress of this acquisition.

Minister Khaled Nordin announced that the procurement process for the second batch of LMS (LMSB2) is being conducted through a government-to-government approach with Turkey. The negotiation is directly with a Turkish government-related company, Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik (STM).

This move was greenlit by the Ministry of Finance on January 18, 2024, following which the Defense Ministry issued a letter of intent to the company on February 5, 2024. STM responded on February 8, 2024, agreeing to negotiate with the Defense Ministry on behalf of the government. Currently, detailed negotiations regarding the specifications of the ships and subsequently the pricing are underway.

Previously, the government had approved the acquisition of three LMS for the RMN to fulfill its combat needs. The LMSB2 is reported to differ from its predecessors by being equipped with air defense and surface-to-surface missiles.

While the deal has not been finalized, negotiations seem to favor the ADA class (MILGEM) ships offered by STM. However, according to Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Rahman, the Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy, the procurement paperwork for the LMSB2 is expected to be completed by mid-year.

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