PORT KLANG: French navy intelligence ship Dupuy de Lome arrived here for a six-day visit to enhance bilateral ties between the naval forces of France and Malaysia.
The ship, with a crew of 101 personnel on board, arrived at the Boustead Cruise Centre terminal at about 9am yesterday from Goa, India.
The vessel was welcomed by Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) officials and was followed by a meet-and-greet session.
Measuring 101m in length and weighing 3,100 tonnes, the ship was commissioned in 2006 and is named after the 19th century French naval architect Stanislas Charles Henri Dupuy de Lome.
His extensive study and work in iron shipbuilding and steam navigation for battleships were instrumental in making the French Navy stay ahead technologically at that time.
Originally built in the Netherlands, Dupuy de Lome was designed for sea intelligence to replace French transport ship Bougainville, which was converted in 1998 to collect electronic intelligence.
It is equipped with the Signal Intelligence and Communication Intelligence System, which is capable of intercepting all signals, including communications between people or electronic, including satellites. It is also designed to collect signals and electronic communication beyond enemy lines.
Led by Commander Louis Tillier, the crew is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on National Hydrographic Centre director-general Rear Admiral Datuk Fadzilah Mohd Salleh tomorrow.
A RMN spokesman said that it was the first visit by the French vessel to Malaysia.
He said the courtesy visit would help strengthen defence and diplomatic ties between Malaysia and France.
The Dupuy de Lome’s next port of call will be Singapore.