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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Scorpene (Perdana Menteri Class) submarines

To-date, I will rate the purchase of Scorpene submarines, or Perdana class subs as the best buy made by the Navy.
It is today the world's most advanced diesel submarine, and would only be overtaken by Singapore's newly-made purchase, just signed Oct this year.

While the price tag seems to be too high, as compared to another submarine offered by the Russians (Kilo class submarine), you could not compare what is the latest design against a 20, almost 30 year-old design. Going along with the car analogy today, you can't compare the quality of a 1980's Honda Accord against a 2007 Toyota Camry.

As for allegations that the allegations that the submarine could not dive. The Navy has clarified that this was due to minor errors that was easily rectified by the French maker as it was still in warranty period. This problem was actually an anticipated problem, due to the thermal difference of European waters and Malaysian waters. The RSN's Sjoormen class subs had the same problem in the early days of operation.

This allegation got worse as another of the contract contender had bought 2 used yet dilapidated Zwardvis Zwaardis class submarines, hoping that they could get easy bucks by selling them to the Navy. As the subs were not according to our Navy's requirements, they later were sold off as scraps.
It is also seldom highlighted that in Dec 2011, LGE had boarded KD TAR for a 90 min dive. Though never mentioned, the dive area is believed to be somewhere nearer to Indian Ocean as LGE took a boat ride from Langkawi island.

Toothless allegation can be easily encountered. In 2010, the Navy had tested the submarine's weaponry by launching a SM39 Exocet torpedo at a 40m long target. It was demolished.
Armed with this weapon, was why in March this year that China's PLA - Navy did not try to further provoke Malaysian Navy vessel KD Terengganu (do correct if I'm wrong) which was entasked to escort 4 China's PLA - Navy vessels which tried to conduct a military exercise at James Shoal, located only 80km from Bintulu town.

First published on Facebook via comment section on the We are Not Malaysian Zombies wall.  Graciously saved by my dearest friend, Lim Sian See and tagged to my wall on 31 December 2013.

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