MRSS acquisition should be expedited, says navy

MRSS acquisition should be expedited, says navy
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LUMUT (Nov 30): The acquisition of two Multi-Role Support Ships (MRSS), which is expected to be received in 2024, needs to be expedited without further interruptions, says Joint Forces Commander Lt Gen Datuk Indera Yazid Arshad.

He said there is a need to procure the ships urgently to conduct more effective operations, considering the fact that the existing assets are almost 40 years old.

“The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) hopes that the government will continue to work on improving the assets of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF), in order to safeguard the country’s maritime territories. This MRSS is indeed very important, not only to the RMN, but also to the Malaysian Armed Forces and the country.

“These assets are important to ensure that the needs of logistical operations, as well as support for humanitarian aid and natural disasters, or better known as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), in the country and abroad can be implemented more effectively,” he said.

He said this after the ceremony to send off KD Mahawangsa to Lebanon to resupply assets and personnel to the Malaysian Battalion (MALBATT) 850-10 to carry out the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) mission.

Yazid said that in order to strengthen operations, the RMN would need at least four MRSS, with two each for the Western Fleet (Lumut) and the Eastern Fleet (Sabah).

In September 2021, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein — the minister of defence at the time — in a written reply in Parliament, outlined several matters on the acquisition of new assets for the MAF, among them that the government would procure two MRSS ships for RMN, expected to commence in 2024.

This is to meet the MAF’s operational needs through the enhancement of its strategic sealift capabilities between Peninsular Malaysia, and Sabah and Sarawak.