Malaysia Flexes Its Naval Muscles in a Rare Display of Military Power

The country demonstrated the missile capabilities of its submarines and destroyers. 

In a rare display of military power, the Royal Malaysian Navy has demonstrated the missile capabilities of its fleet of submarines and destroyers in the South China Sea. 

According to Janes, an open-source defense industry intelligence and think tank, Malaysia used Exocet missiles to demonstrate its navy’s ship-sinking capabilities

Malaysia's Exocet Missiles in Launchers Aboard Its Warships

Photo by Shutterstock.

Analysts think it is a clear deterrent to countries seeking to expand its military reach in the South China Sea. Malaysia is among the claimants to the resource-rich waters of the South China Sea and the West Philippine Sea. Other claimants include China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Brunei. 

Participating in the demonstrations were Malaysia’s FS-1500 corvettes KD Lekir and KD Kasturik, and its Scorpene-class submarine, the KD Tun Razak

Malaysia's Missile Submarine, the KD Tun Razak

Photo by Shutterstock.

“The firings, which also involved the first known launch of an anti-ship missile from the Kasturi (Type FS 1500)-class corvette, KD Lekir, since the ship completed its upgrade in 2014, was carried out on 12 August as part of Exercise ‘Taming Sari 20/21,'” reported Janes. 

The submarine launched the Exocet SM39 Block II anti-ship missile while it was submerged, proving it a potent deterrent for belligerent paramilitary ships that could intrude in Malaysian waters. 

“The successful test firings of these missiles, which were all on target, is a clear demonstration of the navy's professionalism, ability, and readiness to deploy our assets and defend the country,” said the Royal Malaysian Navy on 15 August.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
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Mario Alvaro Limos is features editor-at-large at Esquire Philippines, and heads the Lifestyle and Esports content of as its section editor. Email him at [email protected] and [email protected]
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