Malaysian Navy gets its first submarine

January 29th, 2009 - 2:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 29 (IANS) Malaysia has taken delivery of its first submarine, a Scorpene built by French military shipyard DCNS in partnership with Spanish shipyard Navantia. It has been christened KD Tunku Abdul Rahman after the country’s first prime minister, the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has announced.

Malaysia’s second submarine, named KD Tun Razak after the country’s second prime minister, is expected to be delivered in October, official news agency Bernama said.

The Scorpene, a conventional submarine built in Cherbourg, France, can dive to a depth of between 100m and 200m, the statement said.

It also said the submarine was equipped with six torpedo tubes, anti-ship surface missiles and anti-submarine torpedoes, adding that the vessel could carry 10 torpedoes and 30 mines, The Star newspaper said.

The submarine programme also includes the redeployment of an Agosta class submarine retired from the French Navy, for the training of submarine crews.

The training of 150 Malaysian sailors, mainly in Brest, France, represents an important aspect of the programme.

The RMN Future Fleet programme is a component of second batch of Lekiu class frigates, Scorpène class submarines, New Generation Patrol Vessels and maritime patrol aircraft. The ultimate goal is to build a six vessels squadron of each class by year 2020.

Like other former British colonies, The RMN has its origins in the British naval presence in Malaya and the rest of Southeast Asia. It is one of the more advanced navies in the region whose task includes defending its part of the Straits of Malacca, which is a major sea lane that has witnessed piracy.

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