KD Tunku Abdul Rahman Welcoming Ceremony.

KD Tunku Abdul Rahman commissioning in France back in 2007.

Port Klang: The King, the Supreme Commander of the Malaysian Armed Forces headed the official welcoming ceremony for RMN’s first submarine KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, at Port Klang, this morning.

The submarine, which took 54 days to sail from Toulon to Malaysia, with several stops, was commanded by Commander Zulhelmy Ithnain. Zulhelmy remained calm despite being berated by an irate 3-star admiral for taking his time to dock at the RMN hydrographic station at Pulau Indah.

It appears that they did not take into account that submarines are not like surface ships when it comes to pleasing royalty.

Nonetheless, it was a good job for the Commander and his 35 crew (plus one DCNS rep) for safely taking the one billion ringgit plus vessel home, in one piece.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2227 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. It’s rather small…..

    Marhalim: Yes its about the same size as the Dutch Walruss and the 209/1400 submarines. With a crew of 31 I did not expect it to be bigger….

  2. yes, it is small but it gives big punches to those hostile vessels. i think we should have more of this asset as deterence. we know one submarine existence can hold the advancing enemy fleet. it will give the time needed for our air force and army to prepare for further action.

    Marhalim: I agree that we need more submarines but actually we need more patrol boats than submarines. The problem is that we have no money and the Defence Minister had said after the welcoming ceremony that the next defence budget will be much reduced. If I recalled defence got RM13 billion, so MINDEF may well get Rm10 billion this time around….

  3. so the submarine is here…. how about the 2nd batch of the Lekiu class frigate and the NGPV program… and now the main focus should be on the procurement of Mid Range SAMs and new APV for the army and more flankers plus new helicopter for the air force. This all should be included in the 10th MP.

  4. In yesterday’s STAR, there was a photo of KD TAR and a caption from a reader saying something along the lines like ‘with our zero maintainance lets hope that KD TAR does not become a grave for our sailors’. The reader has a point but then amongst all 3 services in my opinon, the RMN has the best approach to mantainance, the army can’t even properly mantain its Pinzgauers due to the complex dry shaft and its Land Rovers. In another forum, someone pointed out that only 6 of the 16 Indian boats are operational at any given time.

    The Scorpene is small but then if you’re into littoral work, small is good. If im not mistaken, AMARIS actually offers the Scorpene in 2 different sizes. like chile, Malaysia went for Scorpene Compact. Diesel boats built for deep water work tend to be much larger, eg, Collins, Oberon and Kilo.

    Marhalim: On the maintainaince issue, MINDEF is still negotiating with DCNS and Bouestead for a long term contract. It is not cheap for a five-year contract, the companies are asking for EURO200 million, I guess thats the reason they are still negotiating……

  5. marhalim, the defence budget cut u mentioned earlier is for RMK or annual budget? if it is the budget for RMK, it is sad to hear since the sum will be divided through 5 years period of a RMK..mean that the budget will be around RM 2 billion annually..with that amount in our pocket plus our exchange rate, nothing much we can buy..maybe we should speed up the critical assets procurement like the nuri replacement..i agree with u marhalim, we should have more patrol boat..

    marhalim, any news on taming sari squadron u ask before? how bout the other taming sari, smart projectile which was under development of STRIDE,if i m not mistaken?

    Marhalim: No its the annual budget. I should have followed up the question with the RMK but I guessed I was too tired to think ahead! Well theres always next time. Azlan was the one was asking about the Taming Sari sqdn, no updates. Stride is below down the totem pole of MINDEF, one technologist says its even lower in standing than the National Service programme. Personally, I believed we should be concentrating on small arms and small caliber ammunition R/D instead going helter skelter on smart projectiles and such. I know its sound more sexy (smart projectiles) but its only in the small arms and small caliber ammunition that at least we got some expertise. Its better to expand on things that we know rather trying to reach for thing we dont know especially when we are short of funds….

  6. Marhalim, apart from the Cougar contract, have you heard of any deals to be signed this LIMA?

    Marhalim: The only deal that will probably be signed at Lima will be the maintainance contract for the Scorpenes, between DCNS and Bouested and the Govt. The rest remained hazy….

  7. Marhalim, sorry for being off-topic again. Someone asked about Tamingsari… According to Prasun Sengupta, Tamingsari is actually based on the Krasnapol-M and is a joint effort involving Malaysia, China and Pakistan.

    A few months ago in this forum, I mentioned how despite many people keep harping on
    about how Singapore was such a threat, I personally felt that Indonesia has been in the past and continues to be a security challenge for us. From the formation of Malaysia, right through the present day, relations have been tricky. Today’s papers have news about how some segments in our larger neighbour sees us.
    On the other hand, in terms of economics, history and politics, there’s more that binds Malaysia and Singapore together. This is realpolitik, driven by reality.

    Marhalim: Aah those missiles I saw on the back of a STRIDE pick-up during Merdeka Day parade last year. It was the last time I saw them. I do not know the latest on the missiles but personally in the days of missiles being sealed for 10 years in their own containers until it is to fire , I do not see the need for such archaic missiles…..

  8. I think perhaps before we go for a guided 155mm round, we should perhaps consider replacing the Model 56 105mm pack howitzers and go for motorised 155mm guns. During trials held in India, Kranapol didn’t do well. It seems STRIDE was approached by a Chinese company in 2005 to participate in joint development. The Chinese allegedly got the blueprints from the N.Koreans.

    Since we’re on the subject of artillery, perhaps the key 3 questions we should ask are;
    1. Are officers in RMR and RRR battalions trained to call in fire support?
    2. How long do artillery units take to respond to a fire call?
    3. Are our artillery units trained to perform rolling barrages and shift fire rapidly? The problem with artillery units [as proven in the 1st Gulf war with Arab armies] in a lot of small armies is that they spend most of their time practising to fire on pre-registered targets and simply are not trained to shift fire.

    Marhalim: I do not know much about our artillery doctrine and tactics but from what I gathered from talking with the artillery boys, they seemed to be the poor cousin to the infantry, which in turn being treated the same by the special forces. I found this “puak” mentality disturbing.

  9. 1. Yes, but they don’t have a FDC and the time to target is in practice very,very long.
    Artillery prefers to shoot for their FO.
    2. Now on par with calling for fire in Afghanistan and Iraq. I.e. long , long after the mission is of any use.
    3. Theory tahu. Tapi kurang live fire experience. Jarang skali dapat regimental shoot. We have never conducted a brigade shoot.
    Very sukar to roll a barrage with one battery only ler.
    Puak arty is very bengang now. Semua allocation pergi mafia Infantri. Their SP Regiment tak jadi, replacement arty tak jadi etc.
    GK most certainly is not anak manja. That would be the Infantri.

    Marhalim: I am not saying that GK is anak manja but they seemed to be the top of the totem pole, in every aspects…

  10. I’ve just realised that every year, only 10th Para Brigade trains with USMC during CARAT, and of course PASKAL. What about the other 20+ RMr/RRR battalions? Back in the 80’s, the Aussie and Kiwi armies went for the Light Gun [locally called Hamel] because their Model 56s were to worn out to operate. Yet it seems the Malaysian army’s Model 56’s still have life left.

    MR T, i assume the problem in Iraq/Afghanistan in getting rounds on target in a timely manner is due to strict rule of engagements?

    Marhalim: Its the RR that mostly involved in CARAT exercises not 10th Para. This year’s CARAT ex 9th RMR took part. Mindef did not want local press to cover such events as they perceived US troops presence here might sparked protests… I look down the barrel of a Model 56 two years back. The rifling still looked brand new to me (untrained eye) although from the outside the gun looked worn out as they have not been painted like the Fh70s and G5s.

  11. We don’t shoot them enough to wear out the barrels but you cannot get spares for their suspension equipment which has always been a weakness of the design.

    FH-70s are all deadlined. Sebab cannot get spares kononnya. I could buy a complete demilled FH-70 from the UK for about 7000 pounds. And there are warehouses full of surplus FH-70 in Germany. Tapi, komisyen tak lumayan!

    Iraq/Afghan is all about ROE and higher echelon idiocy. In OIF they had steel on target in 23 seconds! (call to splash)

  12. Armada magazine reported that Saudi approached the Malaysian government a few years ago… It seems the Saudi army had some unused FH-70s in a warehouse they wanted to get rid of. In Janes, Malaysia is also listed as having received 50 Rock Arsenal 105mm M-102’s.

  13. i’m not sure that’s why i’m asking hehehe. Maybe rumors only. But some of our navy always talk about this issue

    Marhalim: Sabar, Sham, I will write about the issue shortly….

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