Malaysia firm wins $2.8 billion navy ship deal

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A Malaysian shipbuilder says it has won a 9.0 billion ringgit ($2.8 billion) deal from Kuala Lumpur for six naval vessels developed by French manufacturer DCNS.

In a filing with the local bourse late Friday, Boustead Naval Shipyard said it was given a letter of award by the Malaysian defence ministry to build and deliver six "second generation patrol vessels littoral combat ships".

"The delivery of the first of class ship is estimated in 2017 with follow on ships every six months thereafter," it added.

Last week Boustead said it had been selected by Malaysia's navy to build the corvettes, which DCNS says can stay at sea for three weeks and are designed to navigate coastal areas and island groups to fight piracy and patrol fisheries.

The vessels are 100 metres (330 feet) long and can each transport one EC275 helicopter made by Eurocopter, a subsidiary of EADS.

DCNS already had a relationship with Boustead through a joint venture in 2009 to maintain two diesel-propelled Scorpene submarines used by the Malaysian navy.

DCNS has previously sold 11 frigates to Malaysia's neighbour Singapore, five of which were built in the city-state.

© 2011 AFP

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