KUALA LUMPUR: The impending arrival of the Perdana Menteri class submarines apparently has spooked some of our neighbours. Who else will follow us into the submarine route? If they only know that we lack the will and smarts to properly fund our armed forces, they might just ignore our seasonal procurement and concentrate on getting the good stuff.
It must be noted that the Vietnamese are also buying new ships for its navy, thanks largely to its economic miracle for the last 10 years. It is the first Asean country to field the Flanker and it also has at least two regiments of the S300 SAM.
Vietnam to Purchase 6 Russian Subs: Report
MOSCOW – Russia will build six submarines for the Vietnamese navy, the daily Kommersant reported April 27.
The St Petersburg naval dockyard Admiralteyskye verfi and Vietnam will shortly sign the contract, worth $1.8 billion, the report said, quoting sources close to Russian arms export agency Rosoboronexport.
It gave no time frame.
“Initially it was expected that the submarines would be bought by Venezuela, but Rosoboronexport refused to clinch the deal with that country, largely due to a recent meeting between Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his American counterpart Barack Obama,” Kommersant said.
Chavez, a ferocious foe of the United States under the George W. Bush presidency, showed signs of warming to Obama during the Americas conference earlier this month, telling the new U.S. president: “I want to be your friend.”
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6 boats for 1.8billionUSD doesnt sound like a lot. We paid I think 1billion Euros for 2 boats. Granted, apart from comissions/irregulartie, the Scorpenes benefit from newer technologies. And as the DCN and Izar marketing people will happily tell anyone as part of their sales pitch, the Scorpenes are built with higher grade steel and have better acoustic reduction capabilities. I wonder if these are Kilos or Amurs. The problem with most Kilos is a lack of an integrated combat management system, this has only been rectified on newer export models. As an SSK built for non-littoral work, the Kilos also have a deeper diving depth and longer endurance than the Scorpene.
I’m very curious as to where the crews for 6 boats will come from. More than anything it is meant as a deterent to China. Having lost the Paracel islands years ago, the Vietnamese will want to cement their hold on their Spratleys claims.
Marhalim: Its Eur 1.2 billion (50 per cent of which was paid by barter) we also paid for the Agosta submarine and of course training, the 40 SM-39 and 30 Blackshark torpedoes. Its fortunate the Vietnamese waited for submarines that were already manufactured, a recent news report stated that the Russian arms industry were having difficulties in completing their production of arms due to the financial crisis, apparently they were unable to purchase raw materials under credit….
after this may be we can see RTN buying submarines too…
Marhalim: They are buying an LST from Singapore during this years budget, perhaps a submarine deal will be inked soon….
Azlan, DID reported that it will be the Kilo class project 636. For further information:
China may well be the main reason for the submarine purchase but I highly suspect the age-old reason of keeping up with the Joneses also played a part, perhaps tipping the scale for the expansion of the Vietnamese navy.
As you know Vietnam.s increasing dependence on petro-dollar made them realise that they may well never compete with China but they must have enough capacity to deter other pretenders in the South China Sea…
Err, are we gonna get back that Agosta 70 or will it stuck in France?
Marhalim: No news yet, I believe we need to transport it back, so fulus is needed….
“Perdana Menteri” Class eh? 🙂
Marhalim: That is what is like to call them, although the norm is to call a class of ship by the name of the lead ship which is Abdul Rahman class. I believe the official RMN designation is PM class. Furthermore, although I believe we cannot afford a submarine fleet, at least by the PM designation it will mean that we will be buying more subs in the future…