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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Spotlight to fall on first Scorpene submarine

KUALA LUMPUR: Next Tuesday, the biggest armada of warships and other vessels in the history of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (Lima '09) will be anchored off Porto Malai.
Ninety-six such vessels from nine countries have confirmed their participation -- roughly three times more than when the exhibition was inaugurated in 1991.

That year, the majority of the 30-odd vessels were anchored, not in Porto Malai, but at the Kuah jetty, and the only foreign participants were the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) destroyer HMAS Torrens and two Indonesian high-speed patrol craft.

It is a testament to how much the maritime segment has grown that it now boasts of equal billing with the aerospace segment, attracting as wide a range of vessels as the air show attracts aircraft.

The star of this year's maritime show will, without a doubt, be KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first of the Royal Malaysian Navy's (RMN) mighty Scorpene submarines.