Malaysia dispatches missile corvette to monitor China Coast Guard 'intrusion'

1:31:00 AM
KUALA LUMPUR, -- The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has deployed a Laksamana (Assad)-class guided-missile corvette to monitor a China Coast Guard (CCG) patrol vessel in the South China Sea, a RMN spokesperson confirmed to IHS Jane's on 9 June.

The 62 m corvette, KD Laksamana Hang Nadim (F 134), was deployed on 3 June in response to the presence of a Chinese vessel near what Malaysia refers to as Gugusan Beting Patinggi Ali (South Luconia Shoals), the spokesperson said. "As with all intrusions into Malaysian waters, the Chinese vessel is being monitored in accordance with our operating procedures", she added.

South Luconia Shoals is a collection of coral reefs located roughly 84 n miles off the Eastern Malaysian state of Sarawak. The area is referred to as Nankang Ansha in China and is claimed by Beijing as part of its maritime territory under the 'nine-dashed line' demarcation.

"The Chinese vessel has been warned to leave the area and our ship is monitoring it very closely", said the RMN spokesperson. The RMN declined, however, to give further details on Laksamana Hang Nadim 's operations or to reveal the current position of the Chinese vessel, adding only that the corvette was being accompanied by several Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency vessels.

A photograph of the CCG vessel was also posted on Facebook by Shahidan Kassim, Malaysian Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, taken from a Malaysian Coast Guard surveillance aircraft. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on 8 June, the minister said that the issue of the CCG vessel's presence would be raised by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

According to IHS Jane's Fighting Ships , the CCG vessel depicted in the photograph is the 77 m Haijing 1123 , which was commissioned in December 2010. The vessel has a top speed of 20 kt and a gross tonnage of 1,149 tonnes.

Laksamana Hang Nadim is armed with one Oto Melara 76/62 Super Rapid main gun and two Breda twin 40 mm cannons. The corvette is also fitted for Otomat anti-ship and Aspide surface-to-air missiles.

IHS Jane's reported in April that Malaysia is considering installing Chinese-made equipment - which may include surface-to-surface missile launchers, fire-control radar, machine guns, and a combat management system - on its Laksamana-class corvettes, including Laksamana Hang Nadim .

The Royal Malaysian Navy KD Laksamana Hang Nadim (F134) guided-missile corvette.

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