28 April 2010

RMN To Acquire New Assets To Enhance Security In Malaysian Waters

28 April 2010
RMN will acquire 6 ASW helicopters, 3 multi-role support ships (LPD or LHD) and littoral combat ships (photo : XAirforces)

KUALA LUMPUR, (Bernama) -- The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) plans to upgrade some of its existing assets and acquire new ones to enhance security operations in the nation's waters.

RMN chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar said among the plans were to upgrade its patrol vessels and procure littoral combat ships (LCS), three multi-role support ships (MRSS) and six more anti-submarine helicopters.

He disclosed this at a special interview with the media in conjunction with RMN's 76th anniversary celebration tomorrow. Also present was his deputy, Vice- Admiral Datuk Mohammed Noordin Ali.

Abdul Aziz said the plans had been forwarded to the government through the Defence Ministry recently, and they were seen as important in modernising the nation's defence assets for the future.

On the upgrading of RMN's patrol vessels, he said it would be done using the latest technology before handing over the vessels to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

He said to replace the patrol vessels, RMN planned to procure littoral combat ships with high-powered diesel engines supplemented by gas turbines for better speed.

Abdul Aziz said the LCS are relatively small surface vessels for operations in the littoral zone (close to shore) and could be upgraded by incorporating anti-submarine warfare and anti-aircraft warefare capability.

As for the three MRSS planned to be procured, he said the vessels would be used to assist disaster relief and international peacekeeping operations.

Abdul Aziz said the targeted displacement was up to 18,000 tonnes and with a landing platform dock (LPD) or landing helicopter dock (LHD).

"The LPD is suitable for our needs and is cheaper," he said.

"There is no point having a big vessel but cannot be accommodated at our ports...so we focus on deployment and HADR (humanitarian assistant disaster relief.

"On the issue of hijacking of ships, Abdul Aziz said the BM5 Operation, a strategic collaboration between RMN and the Malaysian International Shipping Corporation (MISC), had ensured that no such undesirable incidents had befallen Malaysian merchant ships plying the Gulf of Aden.

On RMN's 76th anniversary celebration, Abdul Aziz said it would be held on a modest scale to remind the RMN community and the public of its history and achievements since its establishment on April 27, 1934.

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