02 September 2009

First Scorpene has Arrived in Malaka Strait

2 September 2009

KD Tunku Abdul Rahman (photo : The Sun)

Malaysia's First Submarine Is Now In Melaka Strait

KUALA LUMPUR -- The country's first submarine, KD Tunku Abdul Rahman (KD TAR), has arrived in the Strait of Melaka and is now heading towards Port Klang for the official welcoming ceremony Thursday.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah as well as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Chief of Defence Forces Tan Sri Azizan Ariffin and the chiefs navy, air force and army will attend the event.

Royal Malaysian Navy public relations officer Lt-Comm Masliza Maaris, when contacted, said members of the public would be able to watch the ceremony live through the "Hello On Two" programme on TV2 from 7.50am.

The KD TAR is captained by Commander Zulhelmy Ithnain and has 35 crew.

Masliza said the Scorpene submarine would be at the Pulau Indah naval base until Friday before sailing to RMN's base in Lumut.

KD TAR is scheduled to set sail for Sepanggar Bay near Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, where it will be permanently housed on Sept 17.

The submarine would also be displayed at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2009 (Lima '09) on Dec 1-5, she said.

The KD TAR arrived home after a 55-day journey starting July 11 from Toulon, France, and made port of calls in Jeddah, Djibouti and Cochin.

Malaysia purchased two Scorpene-class submarines at the cost of RM3.4 billion in 2002. They were jointly built by DCNS of France and Navantia of Spain.

Both submarines are named after the country's first and second prime ministers.

The country's second submarine, KD Tun Razak, which will be commissioned in October 2009, is expected to sail home in January next year and arrives two months later.

Scorpene, a conventional combat submarine, is equipped with six torpedo tubes where guided missiles can be launched simultaneously.

The submarine, with a 20 nautical knot speed, also has anti-ship missiles and anti-submarine torpedoes.


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