SHAH ALAM: KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, RMN’s first submarine is undergoing its first major refit. Based on the pictures taken by the RMN during the visit of its chief, Admiral Ahmad Kamarulzaman Badaruddin, it is an extensive one though nothing official has been announced on the things to be replaced on the submarine.
By all accounts – a refit or overhaul – extends a submarine’s life by repairing its hull and modernising its combat capability. It involves examining, repairing and even replacing parts of the hull; replacing worn-out cabling and piping ; and replacing or upgrading major weapons, sensors and communication systems.
Boustead DCNS Naval Corp Sdn Bhd, received the RM1.232 billion contract to provide the the refit services to KD Tunku Abdul Rahman and KD Tun Razak, it was announced on Nov 16, 2015. The company is a joint venture between Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd’s (BHIC) with French ship builder DCNS SA.
In a statement released then, BHIC told Bursa Malaysia that Boustead DCNS Naval Corp Sdn Bhd, a 60:40 JV between BHIC’s unit BHIC Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd and DCNS SA, had received and accepted a letter of acceptance (LOA) from the Government at a total dual currency contract price of 169.859 million euros (RM799.28mil) and RM432.404mil (inclusive of goods and services tax).
The contractual refit period for each submarine is 18 months from the respective start dates. BHIC, is 73.15% owned by the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT).
It is expected that once KD Tunku Rahman refit was completed, KD Tun Razak will undergo the same programme.As only one submarine will be operational during this time period, no submariner’s training could be conducted, according to a DCI blog. Even at sea days will be limited.
It was for this reason, RMN has always call for an extra submarine or two so its underwater service could be operated optimally. As usual funding is the big hurdle.
Meanwhile, during the visit to the Kota Kinabalu base, Kamarulzaman also accepted the Bunga Mas 5, the auxiliary naval ship gifted by MISC Bhd. Previously Bunga Mas 5 was used by the RMN to escort Malaysian ships in the pirate infested Gulf of Aden. It will now be used as another floating base to augment the Tun Azizan ship already based in ESSCOM.
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