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EDGE Group’s Abu Dhabi-based shipbuilding subsidiary, ADSB, launched a new corvette design at the LIMA defence exhibition in Llangkawi on 24 May 2023, with the company’s director of shipbuilding and engineering, Francesco Lo Monaco, confirming that the design is aimed squarely at the Royal Malaysian Navy’s (RMN’s) Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) requirement.

Designed to perform a wide range of coastal missions, the 920 CP, as the new corvette is being called, is 92 m long and incorporates a stealthy low profile. Propelled by combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) powerplant arrangement, it achieves a top speed of 28 knots and an endurance of over 4,500 nautical miles at cruising speed.

Although the nominal 920 CP design features a helicopter deck and hangar, Lo Monaco told ESD that the design offers a high degree of modularity, so that it could, for example, be built with or without the helicopter hangar, or with a smaller hangar for rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicles rather than helicopters, thus allowing more space for other mission systems.

A model of ADSB’s new corvette design, which the company is pitching to Malaysia for the Royal Malaysian Navy’s LMS requirement. (Photo: P Felstead)

ADSB is also remaining as flexible as possible on the particular weapons and sensors that could carried by the 920 CP.

“ADSB is an integrator,” said Lo Monaco, “so we evaluate with the client what system is the best; we don’t advocate a particular system.”

Regarding Malaysia’s LMS requirement and how the contest to fulfil it will progress, Lo Monaco said, “The design we are offering has been stated to fulfil the requirement. We don’t really have a timeframe, but from our point of view we are ready.”

The RMN already operates four LMS vessels that were built in China. While these Keris-class ships were originally intended to be the first four of a class of 18, a change of government in Malaysia in 2018 led to the LMS programme being revised. In September 2020 it was announced that the next batch of LMS vessels would be a new design from another provider.

Peter Felstead