LUMUT: The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) wants to acquire state-of-the-art technology, with autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) such as the Bluefin-21 top of its wishlist. Fleet Commander Vice-Admiral Datuk Abdul Hadi A. Rashid said such assets would come in handy in underwater search and rescue (SAR) operations.
The Bluefin-21 is currently being used to search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean. Hadi said the AUV's ability to scour the lower depths of the ocean was one of its strong points, especially to facilitate large scale operations in deep waters. “This does not mean we are lacking when it comes to high tech equipment but there is always room for improvement,” he said at the navy’s Media Day event here.
RMN's current assets only allow for undersea SAR operations at a maximum depth of around 100m.
Hadi, however, admitted that the costs of acquiring the latest SAR and weapon technology would be huge.
The RMN, he said, would optimise its existing assets to the fullest, as the RMN was fully committed to the successful completion of its operations.
A total of 32 journalists participated in the two-day media event, which saw them spending a day with RMN personnel on board the KD Hang Tuah moored at the base here. Hadi said coverage on RMN's operations by the press had attracted more young people to join the navy.
“The press is a strategic partner for the RMN. They continue to tell our stories to the public which in turn builds the people's confidence and support. We are here to serve the nation, and the public's continued support is very important to us,” he said.