KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia --- The Malaysian Navy reports that Malaysia's first Scorpene class submarine, delivered in September 2009, has developed problems that have left it unable to submerge. "The submarine can still dive but when we detected the defects, we were advised that it should not dive," Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said. "The defects are still covered by warranty, so the supplier and contractor are repairing them," he added.
This is the third fault found with the Scorpenes built for Malaysia. Malaysian Navy commander Abdul Aziz Jaafar said the first problem to emerge involved the submarine's cooling system This problem was discovered last December. This delayed the submarine's voyage from France to Malaysia.
During January 2010 another defect was identified, in a different system. These faults have already delayed the delivery of the second submarine, the KD Tun Razak. This submarine was originally scheduled for delivery in late 2009 but will now enter service in May 2010.
There is one consolation for the Malaysian Navy. To a submariner, being on the surface and unable to dive is much better than being submerged and unable to surface.