Kuala Lumpur: In a development which should alert Indian naval authorities, Malaysia's first French-built Scorpene submarine, has developed serious problems a mere five months after induction. These defects do not allow the submarine to dive. The Royal Malaysian Navy, however, has described the problem as ''minor.''
The defects in the submarine, KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, named after country's first prime minister, have delayed the submarine's tropical water trials by three months.
"The damage involves a part that channels water pressure movement which caused the submarine's failure to launch underwater," Royal Malaysian Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar told reporters.
Adm Jaafar said the submarine, which arrived in the country on 3 September last year, has not been allowed to submerge for fear it could be dangerous.
"It is only a minor fault and repair works are being conducted by the appointed contractor as its spare parts have been obtained," he said.
Abdul Jaafar said the contractor had guaranteed that repairs would be completed by next week, adding that the submarine would start its tropical water trials on 18 Feb.