søndag 22. august 2021

Analysts: Malaysia’s Navy Drill Sends Strong Message to South China Sea Claimants

Malaysia’s successful test-fire of three live anti-ship missiles last week clearly shows it is prepared to deal with intrusions into its South China Sea territory, analysts said on Friday. The Malaysian Navy’s “Taming Sari” exercise was noteworthy, as it was conducted following the intrusion of 16 Chinese military planes into Malaysia’s maritime airspace over the disputed South China Sea in May, said Lai Yew Meng, a regional security analyst.

“There is indeed a need to visibly demonstrate, via exercises like the Taming Sari, Malaysia's capabilities and national will to defend its sovereignty,” Lai, with Universiti Malaysia Sabah, told BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.

“This is especially significant following the [Chinese military’ planes'] overflight that ostensibly almost encroached on Malaysian air space at the end of May. Observers suggest that was a possible attempt by the Chinese military to test Malaysia's combat readiness and operational capabilities.”

The six-day exercise, which ended Aug. 12, was the first warfare drill since the COVID-19 pandemic began early last year. Malaysia held similar drills in 2019 and 2014. During the exercise, the Malaysian Navy’s submarine, KD Tun Razak, successfully launched one Exocet SM39 anti-ship missile, while two other ships, KD Lekiu and KD Lekir, launched one Exocet MM40 guided missile each.