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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Submarine completes dive successfully

Malaysia’s first submarine, the Scorpene-class KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, successfully underwent underwater trials in the South China Sea yesterday.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said a technical team was aboard during the submarine’s dive to monitor its progress under water.

“The dive was successfully completed by 4pm. Everything was pronounced to be okay,” Dr Ahmad Zahid said in an SMS.

The trials were carried out at the Royal Malaysian Navy base in Teluk Sepanggar, Sabah.

It was earlier reported that the KD Tunku Abdul Rahman was unable to dive after a mechanical defect was discovered by engineers.

The problem forced the delay of its test in tropical waters, which was supposed to be completed at the end of last month.

Last week, Zahid said the technical defect, which affected the submarine’s high-pressure air valve system, had been rectified by the manufacturer and contractor under a warranty agreement.

The submarine arrived in Malaysia in September last year.

A second submarine, KD Tun Abdul Razak, is expected to arrive on May 31.

Both submarines were acquired for a total of RM3.4bil and jointly manufactured by French and Spanish shipbuilders.