With the arrival of the countrys' first Scorpene submarine tomorrow September 3, 2009 at Port Klang, the Royal Malaysian Navy has now entered into a new dimension in maritime warfare. Being a maritime nation, the acquisition of the submarine though late, will heightened the defence posture of the navy of our territorial waters and beyond. This added dimension in naval warfare capabilities will not only influence the teachings at our naval institutions, but more significantly influence joint warfare studies at all Armed Forces institutions, where in the past submarine warfare particularly at the Armed Forces Staff College and the Defence College was purely academic and is of lesser importance.
The first submarine named after the nation's first Prime Minister Tengku Abdul Rahman was jointly built by DCNS of France and Navantia of Spain. The second submarine expected to arrive in March next year is named after the second Prime Minister Tun Razak. The construction of both the submarines began in 2002 at a cost of a whooping RM 3.4 billion, that became a contentious issue by the opposition during the March 8, 2008 General Elections. Both the submarines will eventually be located at its new ultra modern base at Sepanggar Bay, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Here I wish to congratulate Cdr Zulhelmy Ithnain and his crew of 35 submariners for being the first group of submariners to form the RMN's submarine fleet, and this will be documented in the annals of the RMN; to be fondly remembered by the future generation of officers and men of the RMN.
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