KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) is expected to acquire several new assets, including 18 fast interceptor craft (FIC) and three maritime operation helicopters, says Admiral Datuk Mohd Reza Mohd Sany.
The RMN chief said the FIC and the helicopters, which cost more than RM400mil, will be delivered in stages.
“We are in the process of signing the contracts with the relevant parties to ensure we will be able to acquire the assets as soon as possible.
“We will acquire suitable assets as and when the need arises but it also depends on the country’s financial capabilities,” he said at a press conference at Wisma Pertahanan yesterday.
The FIC, according to Admiral Mohd Reza, is fast and able to go areas where other bigger ships and vessels could not, such as in shallow waters.
“The FIC will be placed at Sabah’s east coast, and will be able to intercept hostile ships faster.”
Meanwhile, the helicopters are more of a utility aircraft to transport personnel, especially the the Navy Special Squad (Paskal),” said Admiral Mohd Reza.
He added the littoral mission ships (LMS) project in China is running smoothly, with the first two ships expected to be completed next year.
“The ships will be placed in Kota Kinabalu to boost coastal security,” he said.
On another matter, Admiral Mohd Reza said the navy has successfully tested guided missiles in South China Sea.
In an exercise codenamed “Exercise KerisMas” held between July 1 and 18, the navy fired Exocet MM40 Block II guided missile from KD Kasturi and the Sea Skua guided missile from the Super Lynx aircraft.
“The last time such a test was conducted was in 2014. After five years, it gives us a chance to test the readiness of the guided missiles, missile platform, as well as the personnel assigned.
“The guided missiles were fired and they were on target.
“While this is not unusual, it is very important to the navy as it proves our assault capabilities to the public and other countries in the region,” he said, adding that the successful firing of the missiles justified the investment on military assets.
“It shows that we are always at the highest form of readiness in ensuring that our assets and weapons systems are functioning at optimum level,” he said, adding that the Exocet MM40 has been in the navy’s inventory since 2000.
“Its maximum range is 38 nautical miles but it was fired some 25 nautical miles during the exercise.
“Meanwhile, the Sea Skua guided missile, which has been in our inventory since 2001, can reach
8 nautical miles and we hit the same distance during the exercise,” he said.
Exercise KerisMas involved 3,000 personnel, 12 ships, a submarine and four helicopters belonging to the navy, four Royal Malaysia Airforce aircraft, other than assets from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.
Besides missile firing, the exercise also included rehearsing for various war scenarios, including anti-aircraft battles, air combat scenarios, and anti-submarine warfare.