14 April 2009

Malaysia To Buy Missile Corvettes Built For Iraq

9 April 1997

Malaysia is buying two of the Fincantieri-built Assad class missile corvettes that were ordered for the Iraqi Navy in 1981 but never delivered. An agreement on the sale of the 650 ton corvettes and logistic support was signed last week in Kuala Lumpur by Fincantieri's chairman and CEO Corrado Antonini and the Malaysian Finance Ministry's Under Secretary for Procurement, Abdul Aziz.

Laksamana Class of the Royal Malaysia Navy (photo : Naval Technology)

The value of the deal has not been disclosed. Two years ago a similar sale announced to Morocco was then worth $250 million. This, however, has apparently stalled as no ships have been delivered. According to Malaysia's Defence Minister Syed Hamid Albar, the two corvettes will partly meet the "immediate need" for newer ships. "Some of our ships are old and these will be phased out to meet the new demands and challenges," he said.

The two ex-Iraqi corvettes will supplement two new build Lekiu class missile frigates from GEC Marine/Yarrow Shipbuilders in the UK, which will enter service next year. The Fincantieri corvettes will be delivered in April 1997, after 16 months of work at Fincantieri's Muggiano shipyard.

The corvettes were originally relatively heavily armed, with Otomat Teseo Mk 2 anti-ship missiles, Alenia Albatros point defence missiles, 76 mm and 40 mm guns and a pair of triple torpedo launchers. However, it is likely the ships will be updated and/or customized before delivery. The Italian Navy will assist in crew training. The two corvettes now sold are part of a batch of four which has been offered for sale since early 1992.

Sumber : Jane’s

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