Malaysia has received the first of two Scorpene subs it purchased from France. The Scorpene is a modern French-Spanish diesel-electric submarine (a variant uses air-independent propulsion) that displaces 1,700 tons, has a top speed of 37 kilometers per hour, and is armed with six 21-inch torpedo tubes with eighteen torpedoes or SM.39 Exocet anti-ship missiles. Each sub has a crew of 31.
Last year, 119 Malaysian sailors and officers completed a four year course in operating submarines. Another 143 sailors are still undergoing training. The large number of sailors are being trained to allow for those who will get out of the navy, or may not prove up to the job. Malaysia is also getting an older Agosta sub as a training boat.
The Malaysian crew took possession of their Scorpene (the "Tunku Abdul Rahman"), in France, and will take the sub back to Malaysia, after several months of training on the boat, later this year. The second boat, the "Tun Razak". will be ready for its Malaysian crew before the end of the year.