Saturday, November 28, 2009

LIMA 09: Scorpene sub takes pride of place

KUALA LUMPUR: The billion-ringgit SSK Scorpene submarine KD Tunku Abdul Rahman will be the star among the 96 warships and vessels at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace 2009 (Lima '09) exhibition.

Royal Malaysian Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar said the submarine was part of the fleet of vessels at Porto Malai, venue of the maritime segment of the exhibition.

He said the line-up includes vessels like the multipurpose combat support ship KD Sri Indera Sakti, frigate KD Lekiu, corvettes KD Lekir, KD Laksamana Hang Nadim and KD Laksamana Tan Pusmah.

The others are the new-generation offshore patrol vessels KD Kedah and KD Perak, fast-attack missile craft KD Perdana and KD Gempita, hydrography vessel KD Perantau, mine counter-measure vessels KD Ledang, KD Jerai and KD Kinabalu and training vessel KLD Tunas Samudera.

Aziz said the public would be able to view some of its warships and those of foreign navies and maritime participants, with a shipping agency coordinating tours.

"Some of the ships will be out of bounds for security reasons. But rest assured, members of the media stand a good chance of boarding our submarine KD Tunku Abdul Rahman for a tour."

The submarine KD Tunku Abdul Rahman on its arrival at the Kota Kinabalu Naval Base in  Sepanggar. — NST picture by Edmund Samunting
The submarine KD Tunku Abdul Rahman on its arrival at the Kota Kinabalu Naval Base in Sepanggar. — NST picture by Edmund Samunting

Aziz said Thailand was sending HTMS Songkhla, Singapore RSS Formidable, the United States USS Mustin, Australia HMAS Glenelg, South Korea ROKS Dokdo and ROKS Chungugong Yi Sunshin, Pakistan PNS Moawin and PNS Khaibar and India INS Kesari.

"Lima 2009 will see the navy chiefs from 13 countries gracing the event, along with representatives from 18 other foreign navies," he said.

In conjunction with Lima '09, the Malaysia Industry-Government High Technology organisation will have an open forum to encourage investment opportunities and business partnerships in the local aerospace and maritime industries.

Prior to the launch of the exhibition proper, two conferences will be held -- "The changing nature of maritime security: challenges and the application of technology" and "Air power in maritime security".

Another highlight will be the Tourism Carnival where there will be food, beverage, handicraft, cultural performances and music at Awana Porto Malai and Pandak Mayah in Kuah.

The RMN is also taking advantage of Lima '09 to showcase itself in conjunction with its 75th anniversary. Among the events lined up are the RMN Gallery that will include the launch of the book Maritime Defence Strategy, and a fleet review involving 15 RMN vessels, four Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) vessels, two marine police vessels and nine foreign ships.

"Traditionally, the fleet review is held prior to going to battle. Now, during peacetime this has been reduced to a ceremonial event," said Aziz.

There will be "live" demonstrations by the RMN's special forces, MMEA, Fire and Rescue Department, Royal Customs Department, Fisheries Department and private companies.

Aziz said the RMN Region Three maritime headquarters -- KD Sultan Badlishah -- would be opened by the Sultan of Kedah Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah on Dec 2. Also present will be the RMN captain-in-chief, the Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

The RMN's Gelombang Biru (Blue Wave) will compete with 19 local and foreign musical groups in the "Battle of the Bands" on Dec 4.

*Taken from NST Online

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