Two Sub Fleet?

SHAH ALAM: A two sub fleet. It appears despite the RMN 15-to-5 plan, the navy is not destined to operate four submarines in the near future. Infact, it is likely in 20 years time it will continue with a two-submarine fleet with new ones as the current Prime Minister-class are almost near retirement by that time.

This scenario was revealed by RMN Chief Tan Sri Kamarulzaman Badaruddin in an interview at Kota Kinabalu today. (Feb. 2, 2018) Of course he did not say outright but that was the implication when he stated this.

Chief of Navy Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin said the Navy plans to get one between 2031 and 2035 and another between 2036 and 2040.

KD Tun Razak preparing to leave Kota Kinabalu base for her 2016 maiden voyage from 5th to 12th January. RMN

If we go by the 2031 and 2035 timeline, KD Tun Abdul Rahman will already be in service for some 25 years already. It came home in 2009, almost ten years ago, two years after it was commissioned. Twenty-five years is a long time for a submarine even though she may not be at sea all the time- due to refits and other operational reasons.

KD Tun Abdul Razak commisioning in Spain back in 2009.

KD Tun Razak will be 27 years old when the fourth submarine is supposed to enter the fleet. It must be noted also that the timeline stated by the Chief was a best case scenario. And we all know that money does not grow on trees.

KD Tunku Abdul Rahman commissioning in France back in 2007.

Of course both could soldier on until 2040 but they need expensive SLEP to be able to do that. So for the next refit, in 10 years time, the government must decide whether or not to conduct a SLEP to enable them to continue in service for another 20 years until the new boats are procured and in service.

The hangar where KD Tunku Abdul Rahman undergoing its refit. Picture taken in January, 2016. TLDM picture

From The Star

KOTA KINABALU: The Royal Malaysian Navy plans to get two more submarines in the next 20 years as it prepares to face “new challenges”.
Chief of Navy Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin said the Navy plans to get one between 2031 and 2035 and another between 2036 and 2040.
“We are faced with new challenges in our efforts to safeguard the security of our waters.
“We are constantly improving our strategies and increasing our abilities to face these challenges,” he said during the handing over of duties for the Submarine Force Commander at the Sepanggar Naval Base here on Monday.
He said this is part of the Navy’s effort to modernise and keep its assets up to date to face current challenges.
Meanwhile, Kamarulzaman said the handing over of duties of the Submarine Force Commander between Capt Abdullah Sani Ismail and Rear Admiral Zulhelmy Ithnain will see Zulhelmy take on a heavy task in maintaining security at sea.
“Rear Admiral Zulhelmy will be shouldering the task of making sure our strategic assets are in the best condition to face any challenge,” he said.
He said the presence of submarines in Malaysian waters gave the country a maritime advantage, especially in dealing with issues such as the overlapping claims in the South China Sea.


Zulhemy (left) accepting his command from Abdullah Sani. TLDM

It is also of note that Kamarulzaman did not touch the elephant in the room while he was there at Kota Kinabalu naval base. Perhaps he was not asked about it by media. Oh, well.

Anyhow, the new Submarine Force commander Rear Admiral Zulhemy Ithnain was the CO of Tunku Abdul Rahman when she returned home in September, 2009. He was previously with Joint Force headquarters before returning to the Scorpene’s lair.

— Malaysian Defence

If you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *