NARRATIVE BY MARK ROURKE/MARC NEWITT & IMAGES BY MARK ROURKE
On the maritime side of LIMA 2015 a demo from the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), Marines and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) was put on to show the skill of these forces in action and it didn’t disappoint. With an anti-terrorist extraction on a floating platform out in the harbour by the Marines which included a Westland Super Lynx 300, Eurocopter AS555SN Fennec helicopters and a P38 Interceptor Boat. Once the extraction had taken place this was followed up by a MMEA Eurocopter AS365 N3 Dauphin setting fire to the floating platform and a Bombardier CL-415MP water bomber putting out the flames.
The Awana Porto Malai maritime exhibition centre were showcasing 37 ships. Vessels that were in moored off Awana Porto Malai included ships from the United States, Thailand, Australia, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, South Korea, Singapore and host nation Malaysia. Just a couple of ships that were of interest included Pakistan Navy’s (PN) PNS Zulfiquor 251 Frigate and the RSS Stalwart Formidable-Class Frigate 72 of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).
The PNS Zulfiquor, which is named after the legendary sword of Ali who is the fourth Muslims Caliph, is the lead ship of her class and she was built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in Shanghai, China.
On 6th September 2014, PNS Zulfiquor was attacked and briefly captured by al-Qaeda and rogue Pakistani Navy officers before being recaptured by Pakistani forces. The attack was intended to use the frigate’s anti-ship missiles to attack the U.S Navy Fleet in the Arabian Sea. Ten militants, including four rogue Pakistani navy officers were killed in the ensuing operation to recapture the ship. One rogue officer detonated a suicide bomb inside the ship after being surrounded. Four other officers who were involved, but who did not participate in the attack, were later apprehended. PNS Zulfiquor has a flight deck and small hangar which houses a Harbin Z-9 Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) helicopter, which is a Chinese built helicopter developed from the Aérospatiale Dauphin.
The RSS Stalwart Frigate 72 entered service on 16th January 2009 and is a multi-role stealth frigate built by Direction des Constructions Navales (DCNS) and Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd. It is a derivative of the La-Fayette Class Frigate used by the Marine Nationale (National Navy) of France; it has a flight deck and enclosed hangar which has space for two medium-lift helicopters of which the Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk is used in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) role.