Senin, Juni 07, 2010

Armed Forces to Get 3 Support Ships Worth RM 2.2bil (USD 650mio)

Galicia class (Spain)/Rotterdam class (Netherland) is offered to Malaysia for RM 800mio (photos : naval technology)

SINGAPORE: The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) will be acquiring three Multi-Role Support Ships (MRSS) worth RM2.2bil to provide faster humanitarian and disaster relief.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the MRSS would be a floating support system that would carry food, medical supplies, clothing supplies and utilities to areas affected by disasters.

“The vessel would also have a helicopter pad which would enable flexibility in the deployment of disaster relief supplies to affected areas.

“This way, we will be able to approach disaster stricken areas by berthing the vessel at a port or flying relief supplies to the areas from a nearby anchorage position,” he said.

He was speaking to pressmen after delivering a speech to delegates during the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Asia Security Summit held at the Shangri-La hotel here.

Ahmad Zahid also added that, currently, five ship builders have been accepted from several countries in Europe and Asia for the building of one of the three MRSS.

“The first MRSS will be built in a foreign country while the other two will be built locally,” he said.

He added that several Malaysian experts would also be sent to the chosen country to acquire the knowledge on the construction of the ships.

“These experts will then return to Malaysia and start the building of the remaining two ships there,” he said.

He also commented that the MAF would be conducting humanitarian and disaster relief training focused on civilian protection.

“The training sessions would either be conducted at the MAF peacekeeping training centre or we may set up a dedicated centre specialising in such training,” he said.

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