Currently, the backbone of the Royal Malaysian Navy’s 24th Corvette Squadron is four Laksamana-class small missile corvettes.
Playing an important role in protecting national security, the Royal Malaysian Navy is equipped with many types of warships originating from Europe. Currently, the backbone of the Royal Malaysian Navy’s 24th Corvette Squadron is four Laksamana-class small missile corvettes, which is based on the Fincantieri Type 550 corvette design.
The ships were originally ordered by the Iraqi Navy, but the contract was stopped by United Nations sanctions, following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. In October 1995, the Malaysian Ministry of Finance signed a contract with Italian company Fincantieri for the supply of two missile corvettes for the Royal Malaysian Navy. Two more missile corvettes were ordered in February 1997.
Some specific aspects of the ships’ design were modified and the ships were refitted to meet the requirements of the Royal Malaysian Navy. Accordingly, the ships have a displacement of about 675 tons, a length of 62.3 m, a beam of 9.3 m, and a draft of 2.8 m.
The ship has four MTU 20 V 956 TB 92 diesel engines developing 14.8MW sustained power driving four shafts. The vessel can reach a top speed of 36 knots, a maximum sustained speed of 34 knots and an economical speed of 18 knots. The range at 18 knots is 2,300 nautical miles.
The main armament of the class is the MBDA Otomat Mark 2 long-range sea-skimming missile with six missile launchers installed on the stern deck, three pointing to port and three pointing starboard. The missiles are armed with a 210 kg high-explosive warhead, fitted with impact and proximity fuses. The speed of the missile is Mach 0.9 and the range is 120 km. A medium-range air defence is provided with the semi-active radar homing MBDA Albatros SAM system, providing defence against aircraft and incoming anti-ship missiles.