The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has bolstered its patrol craft capabilities with the delivery of the newly refitted ex-Sundang, marking the first of two ex-Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency vessels to be reintegrated into RMN’s operational fleet. This notable addition comes after a meticulous refit, emphasizing the Malaysian Navy’s commitment to modernizing and maintaining its maritime defense assets. The ex-Sundang, formerly known as KD Sri Sarawak, underwent a comprehensive overhaul to enhance its operational capabilities and extend its service life. The vessel is part of the venerable Keris-class, a series of patrol craft designed and built to fulfill the maritime defense requirements of Malaysia.
The Keris-class patrol craft, originally commissioned in the 1960s and 1970s with a total of 18 ships across two subclasses, have been a vital component of Royal Malaysian Navy’s operational fleet. The patrol crafts were ordered from Vosper Ltd (now VT Group). Four of these vessels remain in active service, serving as a testament to their resilience and enduring value.
These patrol craft have a rich history and have played pivotal roles in several major operations, including the Malaysia-Indonesia confrontation and Operation Terumbu, which contributed to the successful assertion of Malaysia’s territorial claims in the Spratly Islands. These vessels alsoplay a crucial role in countering low-intensity combat scenarios, including anti-piracy operations and border patrol duties.
It is worth noting that the vessel’s names, ex-Sundang and ex-Panah, were not mentioned in the latest release, possibly hinting at a forthcoming commissioning ceremony where these ships will be given their new identities, adding an element of anticipation and ceremony to their return to service with the RMN.
The reintroduction of these refurbished patrol craft underlines the RMN’s dedication to safeguarding Malaysia’s maritime interests and ensuring the nation’s continued maritime security. With their enhanced capabilities, the ex-Sundang and her sister ship, ex-Panah, will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in upholding the country’s maritime sovereignty and safety, while contributing to regional peace and security in Southeast Asia.