Malaysia is playing host to a marine visitor in the form of The Aconit, a French stealth frigate which made a stop at the Port Klang Cruise Centre in Westport as part of a peace mission to Asia.
Commander Jean-Pierre Helluy, appointed captain of the ship last August, said the ship sailed from Toulon, France, on March 5 and arrived at Westport on April 22.
The Aconit will be docked at the Port Klang Cruise Centre until tomorrow morning, April 29.
The presence of the frigate is part of the French government’s effort to protect its citizens in Asia-Pacific countries, whose number has increased by 220% in the last 20 years.
The Captain in the captain’s chair on the Aconit’s bridge
According to the Captain, “It was designed to offer security to French commercial ships, particularly in the Indian Ocean area where piracy is rampant.
“Armed with anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles, guns and a helicopter, the ship is designed to not only provide military support but take part in relief missions.
“The deployment to South-East Asia is aimed at achieving the same level of security for French ships and vessels.
“Malaysia,” he added, “is seen as an ally of choice for its stand on maintaining harmony amidst a multicultural and multi-religious society.”
On the way to Malaysia, the ship with its crew of 180 was reported to have performed an evacuation exercise to rescue some 60 people from a war zone in Aden.
The French flag flying at the Aconit’s helicopter landing deck.
The Jalur Gemilang flying from the Aconit’s mast
Source: The Star: French warship Aconit makes week-long call at Pulau Indah
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