10 Juli 2009

Malaysian Submarine Delivery Delayed

9 Juli 2009
KD Tunku Abdul Rahman (photo : KLSReview)

The delivery of the Royal Malaysian Navy's (RMN's) first submarine KD Tunku Abdul Rahman by French naval defence company Direction des Constructions Navales Services (DCNS) has been delayed until September 2009.

The submarine was officially launched in October 2007 in Cherbourg, France, and was originally due to return from France to Malaysia this month. The official reason given by RMN chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafa for the delay was to allow the crew to carry out additional training for the voyage, and to allow the submarine's arrival in Malaysia to coincide with a state visit from either the French President or Prime Minister.

However, it is believed by industry sources that the actual reason for the delay is to allow DCNS to fix minor defects with the submarine that the RMN did not want to publicise because of its overall satisfaction with the DCNS's work, and French support of the Malaysian submarine programme.

The Scorpène class submarine was one of two ordered by the RMN in 2006 as part of its Future Fleet programme, along with a batch of Lekiu class frigates, New Generation Patrol Vessels and maritime patrol aircraft. The submarines, being constructed jointly by DCNS and its Spanish partner, Navantia, will be armed with Blackshark wire-guided torpedoes and Exocet SM-39 sub-launched anti-ship missiles.

The programme will also see the redeployment of a retired French Navy Agosta class submarine, for the training of Malaysian submarine sailors in Brest, France.

(Asian Military Review)

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