The Malaysian Navy has successfully completed underwater trials in the South China Sea for its first submarine, the Scorpene Class KD Tunku Abdul Rahman.

A technical team was on board during the submarine’s dive to monitor its progress under water, according to Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Early reports said that the submarine was originally unable to dive after a mechanical defect was discovered by engineers, according to The Star Online.

Last week, however, the defence minister confirmed that the technical defect, which affected the submarine’s high-pressure air valve system, had been rectified by the manufacturer and contractor under a warranty agreement.

The submarine arrived in Malaysia in September 2009 while a second submarine, KD Tun Abdul Razak, is expected to arrive on 31 May 2010.

Malaysia purchased the submarines, jointly manufactured by French and Spanish shipbuilders, for a total of RM3.4bn ($1bn).

The underwater trials were carried out at the Royal Malaysian Naval Base in Teluk Sepanggar, Sabah.