(photo: Secure Malaysia)
Kuala Lumpur, (IMP) -- Malaysia needs more submarines to be able effectively safeguard the country's sovereignty, especially in the South China Sea, former Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) Chief, Admiral (Rtd) Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor said.
Currently, Malaysia has two submarines, the Scorpene, which are based at Teluk Sepanggar, Sabah.
"Come the time when the submarines have to be sent for repair or service which is going to take months. Having only two submarines can disrupt operations by the navy," he said when met by Bernama recently.
He said this when asked on the setting up of submarine fleets by several countries in the region, like Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia
Recently, Singapore commissioned the Archer-class submarine to operate alongside four Challenger-class submarines.
Mohd Anwar said the best way for RMN to address the problem was by acquiring six Gowind class vessels.
On a posting by a blogger, known as Shahpaskal on militaryofmalaysia.net, that the use of submarines was not suitable in the Straits of Malacca, he said:
"No submarines dare sail in the Straits of Malacca. If there is any conflict, with the aim of closing the strait as a passage for vessels, it will happen in the South China Sea or the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea," he added.
The submarines can be used for signal and electronic intelligence operations, he added.