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ARKIB : 06/05/2003

Defence industry must be developed in line with requirements

KUALA LUMPUR May 5 - Malaysia's defence industry must be developed in line with developments in the weaponry system involving multiple technologies, said Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) Chief Datuk Mohd Ramly Abu Bakar.

He said as an example, the RMN planned to use eight types of new and old missiles for its armada of warships, submarines and helicopters.

The diversification of missiles ranging from anti-ship to anti-aircraft types from various countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany would certainly pose logistical problems, he told reporters after a function celebrating the retirement of 43 RMN personnel in conjunction with the 69th RMN Day, here Monday.

"...the logistical problems are due to the fact that our defence industry is still developing and is not yet able to produce the spare parts needed," he said.

The missiles being used by the RMN now are the Exocet MM38 and Exocet MM40 (France), Otomat Mark 2 and Aspide (Italy) and Seawolf and Starbust (United Kingdom).

The RMN is also expected to acquire the Sea Skua missiles for the Super Lynx helicopters while six Meko 100 warships to be delivered by their German supplier are expected to be equipped with the RIM-116A missiles, and the Scorpene submarines that were being ordered would also be installed with the guided missile system.

Mohd Ramly said the RMN was currently happy with the capabilities of all its missiles.

"All our missiles and their launchers are in good condition. We also have no plans of discarding the Exocet MM38 missiles which have been used since the 70's," he said.

All the old variations would be used until stocks had run out, he said.

The RMN first used the missiles with the acquisition of the Sea Cats for the frigates KD Rahmat and KD Hang Tuah which were bought in 1966 while the Exocet MM38s were first used by the fast assault craft Spica M purchased from Sweden in 1979.

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