SHAH ALAM: Missile firing exercise, updated. The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has deleted its Facebook posting on the missile firing exercise in the Straits of Malacca next week.
Malaysian Defence had reported earlier today on a post on the MMEA Facebook page which says the RMN is to hold the exercise from Apr. 2 to Apr. 5. It says the exercise is to be held in waters some 21 nautical miles west off Penang with an exercise area of 30 square nautical miles.
A graphic of the NOTAM posted by APMM on Facebook page, which has been deleted.
The post had stated that marine vessels and also aircraft to avoid the area during exercise. Despite the deletion of the post it is likely that the exercise will go ahead as schedule as a NOTAM has been registered with the Marine Department.
The Marine Department NOTAM page list has an entry for “Firing Exercise At Butterowrth Offshore Penang” posted on Mar. 27. The notice only stated a firing exercise is to be conducted by the RMN from Apr. 2 to 5. The coordinates seemed to be the same as indicated by the graphic posted earlier by MMEA. It also advised mariners to avoid the area and those in the vicinity to navigate with extra caution.
As a side note, the area reserved for the exercise is a common range used by the RMN and RMAF, likely to be inherited from the British. It is a very short distance for the units flying out from the Butterworth airbase. It is likely that the posting was deleted as it included a graphic which showed the range in a manner that even laymen like us could pin point the exact location. In comparison, the map coordinates like the one in the NOTAM posted by Marine Department, requires more work to determine the location.
What I wrote earlier..
The RMN itself has not issued any statement but it is likely that this will be the 2018 version of Eks Angsa, a joint exercise conducted by the navy and RMAF. That said this could be just another RMN readiness exercise which seems to be all the rage nowdays
KD Lekiu launching a Sea Wolf SAM in an exercise in 2014. TLDM picture.
As for Eks Angsa the last one conducted in the Malacca Straits was back in 2012 where the Exocet and Sea Skua missiles were fired from KD Lekiu and a Super Lynx helicopter, respectively. The 2012 exercise was a tri services one with the Army and RMAF joining the navy. RMAF F-18Ds fired Maverick and Harpoon missiles.
Two years ago, the exercise was held in Sabah.
A RMN Super Lynx firing a Sea Skua missile. RMN
It is likely that the Lekiu and Kasturi class ships will be involved in the exercise as they are the only RMN ships known to be carrying missiles, the Exocets (both class) and Sea Wolf (Lekiu class only).
One of the two B515 triple torpedo launcher on KD Kasturi as seen in early 2014. These torpedo launchers were taken from the Laksamana class. Picture by Malaysian Defence.
Perhaps they will also include torpedo firings from the frigates as well. The Army might also be involved as back in Eks Angsa 2012, the Astros MLRS also conducted live firings from the Tanjung Antu range near Lumut.
An MLRS firing rockets at an exercise.
* The MMEA deleted the post as off 8pm Mar. 27, 2018.
* This post has been updated with the NOTAM from the Marine Department and to dispel any notion that this is a new range.
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