A French-made SMD Ouessant Agosta 70 class submarine, acquired for training purposes when two Scorpene submarines were bought from France, is now lying as an open-air museum piece in Malacca.
Thanks to blog reader tuakee for the video link. The Agosta was built in 1978-1979 and is believed to have been decommissioned by the French Navy in 2001. It was also believed to have been rehabilitated by DCN in 2004 for the training of Malaysian crews from 2005 to 2009 at the NAVFCO Submarine school at the Centre d’Instruction Naval (CIN) Brest, France.
The Asia Sentinel reported that the Scorpene submarines contract was divided into four components:
According to financial statements, the cost of the program was divided into
– The contrat Scorpene, about ?670 million, for two Scorpene submarines, built in France and Spain, and delivered in July 2009 and July 2010 ;
– The contrat Formation, signed in 2003, to train 156 submariners over four years.
– The contrat Ouessant for the rehabilitation of an Agosta-type submarine which has never seen service and is now a museum in Malaysia. The two together amount to 313 million euros/
– The contrat Malsout, provided logistics for the installation of Malaysian navy personnel, over 200 people located in Brest and Cherbourg, from December 2002.
The agreement for the transfer of ownership from France to Malaysia was signed in May 2011.
From the website of the Malaysian Embassy in France:
A signing ceremony for the transfer of ownership of the Agosta 70 type submarine formerly known as FNS Ouessant submarine, from the Government of the French Republic to the Government of Malaysia was held at the Embassy of Malaysia in Paris on Friday, 23 September 2011. The Agreement of the transfer was already signed earlier in Kuala Lumpur on 16 May 2011.
2. At the signing ceremony, H.E. Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Zainal, Ambassador of Malaysia to France represented the Government of Malaysia while Mr. Yves Blanc, Director of International Development, French Ministry of Defence represented the French government. The Embassy’s Defence Attaché, Captain Ismail Abdullah together with Malaysian Embassy officials and French senior navy officials were also present at the ceremony.
3. The Agosta submarine was used for the training of the first Malaysian submarines crews from 2005 to 2009. The training was done following the contract signed by Malaysia for the acquisition of two French Scorpene submarines in 2002.
4. The Agosta submarine will be transported on a floating dock back to Malaysia on the first week of October organized by Felda Transport. It will be handed over to the Malacca State Government which later will be converted into a museum at Klebang.
Embassy of Malaysia
24 September 2011
The open-air museum in Malacca reportedly cost RM12.5m and has reportedly drawn over 50000 visitors since 1 January 2012 – perhaps curious to find out where our tax ringgit has gone.