The cost of maintaining the country’s two submarines, KD Tunku Abdul Rahman and KD Tun Abdul Razak, by the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) is estimated at RM50 million yearly.
Deputy Defence Minister Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad said the cost also covered support services and logictics for the Scorpene submarines and did not include the cost of spare parts.
Replying to a question from Ibrahim Ali (Independent-Pasir Mas) in the Dewan Rakyat today, he added that the maintenance contract for the two national strategic assets was awarded and executed by a joint-venture company, Boustead DCNS Naval Corporation Sdn Bhd, involving a local company and maker of the Scorpene submarines.
Abdul Latiff said it was a six-year contract between the government and the maintenance company.
“Each submarine is being maintained at a cost of RM25 million yearly to ensure that the two assets can be used at any time
“If it (maintenance) does not meet the expectations of RMN, we can penalise (the company), in accordance with the agreement signed.” Malaysia had ordered the Scorpene submarines costing RM3.4 billion in 2002 and were jointly built by DCNS of France and Navantia, a submarine-building company from Spain.
KD Tunku Abdul Rahman arrived in Malaysian waters in September 2009 from France, and KD Tun Razak at the RMN base in Teluk Sepanggar, Sabah in July 2010.
To another question from Ibrahim, Abdul Latiff said the technical fault involving KD Tunku Abdul Rahman as reported (by the media) had been overcome from the submergence test conducted on Feb 22, 2010.
It was reported that the mechanical problem was detected on Jan 17, last year during maintenance work carried out at the Teluk Sepanggar base.
Abdul Latiff reminded all quarters not to expose the weaknesses or shortcomings of national defence assets to outside elements, like what had often been done by the opposition.
“The technical problems faced by the submarines are normal problems which could also be experienced by other submarines in the world. I feel that in national defence and security matters, we should share secrets,” he said.
Abdul Latiff noted that KD Tunku Rahman made a successful SM 39 missile launch last July at a depth of 55 metres and hit its target 40 km away.