RMN commander Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin said KD Lekiu would set sail with the other warships next month. Pic by NSTP/EMAIL

KUALA LUMPUR: In a first, a Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) ship will join warships from countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and India in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (Rimpac) 2018 in Honolulu, Hawaii, United States, in July.

RMN commander Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin said KD Lekiu would set sail with the other warships next month.

He said the ship would take part in the Passage Exercise (Passex) and other programmes.

“KD Lekiu has been to Rimpac as an observer. This is the first time the ship and its crew of 27 will be participating in Rimpac for three months“ Kamarulzaman said at the Defence Services Asia (DSA) Exhibition and Conference and National Security Asia (Natsec) 2018 at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre here today.

He said 51 vessels and five submarines from 16 countries were expected to take part in Rimpac.

KD Lekiu’s participation, he said, demonstrated RMN’s commitment to boost defence cooperation and diplomacy, while displaying a high level of professionalism.

“This will indirectly boost the relationships and cooperation of the security forces and strengthen the global maritime defence sector,” he said.

Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the Colt M16A1 rifle used by the General Operations Force would be replaced with the Advanced Colt Carbine-Monolithic.

He said this would ensure that they were well-equipped to fight crime.

“The armed forces and police discussed many defence and security issues,” he said at the event, which attracted 50,000 trade visitors.

“We also received input from defence experts that will be considered before more changes are made within the force to protecting the country’s security.”

More than 1,500 exhibitors from 60 countries took part in the event.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said yesterday that the country had signed agreements worth more than RM18 billion. Hishammuddin also announced that the 17th DSA would be held at the venue from April 20 to 23. — Reports by By Mohd Fauzi Abdullah, Mohd Azam Shah Yaacob and Kalbana Perimbanayagam

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