Kuala Lumpur: Just five months after
induction, Malaysia`s first submarine, a French made Scorpene
has developed serious problems, raising question mark over
India`s acquisition of the same deepwater warfare machine.
The defects in the submarine KD Tunku Abdul Rahman,
named after country`s first Prime Minister, have delayed
navy`s tropical water trials which had to be stopped as the
vessel was found unfit for diving, Defence Minister Ahmad
Zahid Hamidi told reporters.
The submarine, the first of the two, was purchased for
a staggering 3.4 billion ringgits (USD 961 million). The
defects forced a three-month delay in the completion of the
trials with the manufacturer DCNS (France) having to extend
Navy Chief Abdul Aziz Jafar told Malay Mail that the
problems have emerged in the submarine`s cooling system last
December and then again last month.
"We hope the manufacturer rectify the faults so we can
complete the trials," he said. The Malaysian Navy is expecting
the delivery of its second submarine by May.
The acquisition of the submarine has been embroiled in
controversy with opposition claiming that huge kickbacks had
been paid to the ruling party leaders.
In a USD 3 billion deal signed in 2005, India is to
manufacture six Scorpene submarines under licence and
technology transfer at Mazagoan docks Mumbai.
The first of these submarines was expected to roll out
by 2012, but the delay in technology transfer has setback the
project by more than a year.
According to Malay Mail the contractual completion of
the Malaysian trials was to be completed by January 25, but
now DCNS has agreed to rectify all the faults so that the
trials can be completed by May.