KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, its official


KUALA LUMPUR: Datin Seri Rosmah Mansur, DPM Najib Tun Razak officially launched KD Tunku Abdul Rahman in Cherbourg France, yesterday. Pix courtesy of RMN
The boat will now undergo a commissioning period of at least two years before returning home.

It is hope that this time around, TAR would beat the jinx that had bedeviled RMN twice in the last decade. Long delays in the commissioning. The first was of course the Lekiu class frigates, by four years, if I remembered correctly.

The second was the Kedah-class PV, two of which were commissioned four years too late. Four more ships remained unfinished.

KD kedah and KD Pahang, Malaysian Defence believes remained incomplete. Based on the Auditor-General’s Report it remained to be seen whether the two main weapon system, the Exocet and RAM are actually workable. The base and wiring are done but since the launchers are not fitted, and there is nothing on record to say the missiles were fired, we cannot say for sure the systems are okay.

With hindsight, the decision to build and later fit the systems in Malaysia was a terrible mistake which denied us the opportunity to ensure that all systems fitted in the ships are workable when delivered.

We were lucky with the Lekiu class, as the manufacturer had to make sure that both ships passed all tests before both were commissioned. The Kedah class unfortunately had a lame manufacturer with nothing to lose or any face.

One thing both common to the Lekiu and Kedah-classes, which Malaysian Defence believes was the reason for the delays — untested electronic systems and softwares.

Malaysian Defence hopes its not the case with the Scorpenes. I must point out however that the first of the two Chilean Scorpene submarines had a long commissioning period.

It took about three years for the commissioning with rumors stating that the Chilean would dumped the subs if the problems were not resolved. Fortunately for the French and Spain and us(?) that it did.

But bear in mind, we have no idea whether the electronics, hardware and software on our Scorpene’s are the SAME as the Chileans.

With that in mind and with RMN score of 2 out 2 (delays involving new ships) I would wager a bet of RM50 to anyone.

My bet is that the KD Tunku Abdul Rahman would returned home in 2010. The official time-line in 2009. Anyone care to bet against me? Or would you’d dare to put up RM50 for 2011, 2012,2013… well you know.

If you agree with me just say so!

Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2185 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. I am not a betting man, but if I am to bet, I’d say the subs will be delivered after the official time line.

  2. The Scorpene is said to be available in 3 models ie basic, basic AIP and compact. Does anyone know which model we are acquiring?


  3. Officially its the basic version, based on an interview with an IZAR rep in Lima 05. He said Malaysia could always fit the AIP during the first refit (within 10 years time). He said it would be very easy, simply plug another hull section to the submarine.

    When we purchased the sub in 1999, the AIP system (French made was still in the infancy) the MESMA engine was not fitted to any subs until the Pakistani fitted it on its thrid Agosta 90B submarine last year. Pakistani is retrofitting the same engine on its two other Agostas.

    It is believed that the Indian Scorpenes would be fitted with with the MESMA engine.

    The compact version is being marketed by DCNS together with the basic and AIP now its tie-up with IZAR has lapsed.

    IZAR is selling another variant of the Scorpene, S80, no export orders yet apart from Spanish Navy

  4. i just want to know..is that our submarine is the new submarine or the second hand sub. coz i read the aticle from one sources mention the submarine is the second hand from old french retired sub.

  5. KD Tuanku Abdul Rahman is new as well as the second one to be known as KD Tun Abdul Razak. The second hand one, an Agosta 90B was used to train our submariners to get their dolphins (wings for submariners). These same submariners now need to certify themselves on the KD TAR so they can sail home on it, in 2009, hopefully.

    Unlike surface sailors, submariners need to certify for the boat they are going to be in service otherwise their dolphins are just dead weight.

    Thats the reason they cannot bring back the Agosta back, our submariners now are being certified for the new subs, if they have to bring back the second hand sub, they will be decertify for the Scorpenes!

  6. For information, KD Perak penant 173 is already in service. there are 3 more ship to deliver and 3 of them in final phase. The ship is KD Terengganu (174), KD Kelantan (175) and KD Selangor (176).

    Marhalim: Of course, they are, thats why they need to sign the contract for the kasturi SLEP otherwise, they have to let go some of workers at the yard…..

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