KUALA LUMPUR: Really. I missed this story below when it first came out on Sept 7. I only noticed it after Dr Chandra Muzaffar commented on it on Bernama website.

From what I read, Malaysian Defence believes the Navy chief statements were taken out of context by the reporters. Clearly the good admiral was not advocating that our submarines would be used extensively in the shallow waters of the straits, even if we lacked patrol vessels.

Indeed by getting Dzirhan Mahadzir (Janes Malaysian correspondent) to comment, made the story more readable, but the premise of the story remained dubious at best.

Nonetheless, Malaysian Defence would get the heads-up when he ran into the good admiral. Too bad I am not flying to Paris this week…

Scorpenes to watch over straits

KUALA LUMPUR: The country’s two French-made Scorpene submarines are expected to be deployed to the narrow Straits of Malacca – one of the world’s busiest shipping routes and a favourite haunt of pirates.

This will be the first time Malaysia would use its newly-acquired submarines, named KD Tunku Abdul Rahman and KD Tun Abdul Razak, to protect the country’s important sea routes, given its geographical setting as a maritime nation.

While I understand that diesel electric submarines are well suited for littoral warfare, getting them to look for pirates in the shallow and narrow and darned busy Malacca Straits, is for the lack of a better word – simply dumb. (Edited on Sunday 21 Sept as half of the post went missing as my Maxis Broadband service constantly gets disrupted! AAAGh, and I thought Streamyx was bad!)

–Malaysian Defence

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

About Marhalim Abas 2226 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Maharlim,

    What do you know about the Thales AMASCOS deal? Some reports indicated that AMASCOS would be fitted on 2 Cn-235s and 2 Beechcrafts. Doesn’t make any sense to me.

    MArhalim: New to me. I will check. But certainly its a much better deal than buying the Cl415, although one must checked the price of the deal before declaring its all kosher. I have seen a Beechcraft flying over Subang, with what I believe is a new ventral pod under the fuselage. It went too fast before I can get the camera. If its true, it may well the MP capability, the air force and navy have been asking for the last two decades….

  2. KUALA LUMPUR: The armed forces are placing emphasis on network-centric warfare as it enhances its global defence systems to keep up with other developing countries.
    Its chief, General Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Zainal, said global defence systems had become highly digitalised and Malay- sia had to keep pace. For this reason, the armed forces was seeking to include up to eight airborne early-warning and control system (Awacs) for all-round surveillance. NST 16/9/2008

    Marhalim: The latest I heard was on the AEWC is that Saab had been chosen. The services wanted a jet AWACs but not enough funds were available. When the actual purchase will be completed is of course another question….

    The Chinese SAM system purchase were reported but never completed.

  3. Actually I myself was quoted out of context or something must have happened during the subbing :), I actually said that you could deploy a small assault team from our sub or a larger team from a distance through surface vessels if you had a larger number of enemy combatants.

    Marhalim: Thanks for chiming in. In your case, the reporter completely misquoted you! And Zul is one of the good guys….I hope I dont ran into him at the mosque any day now!

  4. Forgot to add, the AMASCOS deal was announced a year or two ago and covered conversion of two of the beechcraft and probably a follow-on for the other two when the first two are completed.

    MArhalim: ShahF had chimed in the issue, its the deal with Airod. I completely forgot about it since I was confused as Azlan (another reader) had stated that the deal involved CN235s also. I believe the Beechcraft flying with the ventral pod must be part of the deal. I believed the upgrade was part of the Eye of Sky programme for Selat Malacca

  5. ”The modular architecture of the AMASCOS system makes it possible to incorporate any combination of sensors, including radar, FLIR, ESM/ELINT, Automatic Identification System (AIS), anti pollution sensors, an acoustic subsystem and datalinks, as selected by the customer. The system is designed for all types of aircraft, from long-range maritime patrol aircraft to surveillance planes, and including naval helicopters.

    AMASCOS, together with the Ocean Master radar, has been selected by Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia. AMASCOS is currently being offered for all the major maritime patrol and surveillance programmes worldwide. ”

    Marhalim: Sorry for the earlier confusion. I totally forgotten about the deal with Thales and Airod. Its only the Beechcraft that are being fitted with these system. One tend to forget contracts like this as they always forget to update such deals. This will be included among things that I will follow up when I got the time…

  6. When you see buzzwords like networkcentric and digitized, stop reading and send the article to Refuse Bin. Why? Simply put, there’s no reason to highlight these things in the contemporary context. When Somali pirates in Puntland are sending their surveillance info by e-mail, coordinating by SatCom and navigating using GPS, it’s pretty much superfluous to talk about all this like it is something avant garde.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.