Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Practise Makes Perfect!

It is good to have maritime warfare exercise with foreign armed forces and during the week before Merdeka the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy conducted a combined maritime warfare exercise in the Malacca Straits called MASTEX 7/2009 . Malaysian navy ships KD Lekiu, KD Laksamana Hang Nadim and KD Mutiara joins their Australian counterparts Adelaide Class Frigate HMAS Darwin and Replenishment ship HMAS Success for the week long exercises. According the Joint Press Release by FOC RMN,this exercise is conducted annually and in this year it will start at Lumut Naval Base, for the Harbour Phase and the Closing Phase will be conducted in Port Klang. Last year it was held in the waters off Darwin Australia with the Adelaide Class Frigate HMAS Melbourne with an embarked Seahawk helicopter and Armidale Class Patrol Boat HMAS Maryborough, alongside Royal Malaysian Navy ship KD Jebat with a Super Lynx helicopter.

The bilateral exercise will provide the opportunity for both maritime powers to improve their interoperability and mutual understanding in common aspects of naval warfare. HMAS Darwin will also demonstrate the Royal Australian Navy's damage control and fire-fighting lessons learnt from recent work-ups and operational deployments. It is hoped by jointly practising maritime security exercises and anti-surface, anti-air and anti-submarine warfare techniques, the Navies of Malaysia and Australia will improve their effectiveness for any common taskings in the future.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A good week for our military

This has been a good week for our military as we received the last of our SU-30 MKM's to complete our first MRCA squadron, the arrival of our first submarine KD Tunku Abdul Rahman in Malaysian waters that was royally welcomed by our Agong and finally a report that says the contract for our CSAR Helicopter EC725 Cougar will finally be signed during the LIMA show this December. This is in addition to additional submarine purchase to be made under the 13th or 14th Malaysian Plan.

Even though the Defence Minister has said that his ministry is asking for a smaller allocation from the next national budget, it shows that capital purchases for Malaysian Defence will not be neglected. In fact there are rumours that the MIG-29N replacement aircraft purchase will be announced during the LIMA show, that will be break the mould in the type of aircraft and the numbers purchase. Befitting the fact that our new Armed Forces Chief is now from the RMAF isn't it?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kasturi Class SLEP Contracted

Credit : Huskers of Cari Forum

Further to my earlier post, I am glad that the SLEP for the Kasturi class frigates are finally contracted, especially since KD Kasturi has been stripped in readiness for the SLEP to commence. Hopefully after the modernisation, the Kasturis will finally revert to her true role as a frigate rather than a corvette as some currently classify the class.

August 12, 2009 18:40 PM

Boustead Unit Gets RM 703.823 Million Contract From Defence Ministry

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 (Bernama) -- Boustead Holdings Bhd has been awarded a contract worth RM703.823 million from the Defence Ministry to undertake the Service Life Extension Programme of Kasturi Class Corvettes.

The contract, received by its subsidiary Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd, is for an implementation period of 53 months, it said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia here today.

Boustead Holdings said the contract will not have a material effect on earnings for the financial year ending December 31, 2009, but will contribute positively to the future earnings of the group.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Second Phase Sea Trials For Tun Razak

Recently, only news on KD Tun Abdul Rahman has dominated the local news. According to this Spanish news release, The second Malaysian Scorpene Submarine, Tun Razak, has now been returned to the water after being dry-docked for two months. It is expected that she will continue with her second phase of sea trials early next month that will continue until early October. The official handing over ceremony of the submarine to the Royal Malaysian Navy is reportedly planned for the end of October.

Navantia began sea trials in waters off Cartagena of the second Scorpene submarine that the consortium formed by the French company DCNS and NAVANTIA is building for the Royal Malaysian Navy, and which had been christened ‘Tun Razak’.

The aim of this sortie was to commence checks on the operation of the different equipment that has been installed on the submarine. This first phase of trials will last until the end of April.

After a subsequent period of approximately 3 months during which the submarine will be in dry dock for routine maintenance work, the second phase of sea trials will be performed until October 25 of this year, the date scheduled for delivery of the Tun Razak to the Royal Malaysian Navy
Based on the earlier report above, it seems that the second Scorpene progress is going well and is on schedule. In this case it may be possible Tun Razak will taste the salty waters of our nation before the end of the year instead of March 2010 as initially expected. Looks like this year seems to be a busy year of inducting new assets to the fleet for the navy, with the commissioning of two Kedah class patrol vessels and the submarines.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

No Longer 27 Units Is It?

On the day I beseeched here for the Government to continue with the building of additional patrol vessels for the Royal Malaysian Navy, the Prime has responded in this Bernama article that as expected this will depend on the affordability of the Government to continue the program despite the Ministry of Defence intention to continue. However what caught my attention is this is the first time it was officially stated that the number of units may now end at 18 units instead of the 27 units planned at the beginning of the program. This actually makes sense since the patrol vessels are being stationed at three different naval bases regionally, so to have three squadrons of six vessels each to patrol the area would be good enough.

I would rather use the savings from the deletion of the additional nine units to complete our frigate squadron to six, be it the same design as the existing frigates or of new designs. This is because however you may want the navy to be strengthened, additional patrol units is not the answer as no matter how you look at it, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency is actually being well equipped to undertake the intermediate and coastal patrol duties by getting their own offshore patrol vessels in addition to the Langkawi class (Ex-Musytari class) already in service. Therefore the navy should accept the number of eighteen units of patrol vessels for their fleet and now lobby for new strike units instead, be it the additional frigates or the Fast Attack Craft replacement in the form of Littoral Combat Ships, enabling the navy to concentrate on their core business, to engage enemy strike units with their own powerful strike force.

Friday, July 24, 2009

So Can We Proceed With Batch 2 Now?

Yesterday 23 July 2009 was the day the last unit of the Kedah Class Patrol Vessel, PV176 was launched and named as PV Selangor. It is a great comeback by the Boustead Naval Shipyard to ensure the completion of the first batch of PVs delivery despite the setbacks faced by the project in the early part of the projects. They have proven their mettle despite all the unfair critiscms and doubts thrown at their ability to finish the project with local expertise and materials. BNS now truly deserve the mantle of shipyard as they no longer act just as a dockyard for the navy ships repairs as per its reputation previously.

Credit : mcwood from milphotos

Nonetheless it is a bit puzzling to read in the article in The Star today above what seems to be a plea by the Chief Naval Officer Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar for the Government to proceed with the second batch of the patrol vessel, despite the Government pledging as per my earlier post that "once the first batch of six boats has been delivered to the RMN" as reported in this Bernama article. I personally expected that the contract or at least an MOU on this project would become one of the showpiece agreements to be signed at the LIMA 2009, especially since BNS had kept their end of the bargain. This is one promise the Government should keep as the justifications for the new batch of patrol vessels has been clearly stated by the Government in the article itself, notwithstanding the reasons given by the Admiral.

So if shortage of funds is a hindrance especially if this is due to a possible upgrading of its armaments, then lets proceed with the plain vanilla configuration as per the first batch as long as the vessels are builts. That is why it was designed as a fitted for not with platform, so that once funds becomes availables it can be up-gunned as required no matter how this concept has been pilloried by those ignorant of its value. We need the platforms for offshore patrol of our national waters, there is no need to second-guess that. What should be left now is a debate on how to name the new class, and can I venture it to be the Sabah class for both national unity and nostalgic sake.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Upgunning The CB90

Since the first four units of CB90h combat boats were bought by the RMN in 1999, it was generally assumed that the boats were only armed with heavy machine guns of .50 calibre mounted at weapon ring at the most. Although around 2001 the navy had tested the installation of Giat Industries 15 A Ultralight 20mm manual mount guns in Sabah waters, involving the firing of 1,200 shots at 600 to 1500 metres, nothing came out of this and the weapon was not installed on the combat boats. Thus even though these CB90s play an important role in the LIMA stations and in OPS PASIR, compared to other patrol boats the nation has these boats are relatively undergunned for their tasks as they have to depend on manually operated GPMGs while conducting their operations.

Nonetheless while trawling the internet, I came across a photo of two docked CB90s that I believe is in Sabah with their weapon system covered up. This piqued my interest and after further research, I found that the weapon system is the Bofors/BAE System Lemur remote controlled machine gun. This system actually debuted in LIMA 2005 and was demonstrated to the public, but I guess nobody picked up that the RMN had actually bought a few systems for their CB90s, possibly because these were based in Sabah waters as none of the CB90s based in the peninsular has been shown with the system installed. Personally I think that it was a good move by the RMN to installed such remote controlled system for the combat boats instead of manual guns since the boats can move at very high speed and I cannot imagine how someone can manually man a gun with all the pitching and yawing. Now if somebody can just tell me what calibre machine gun is used with the Lemur mount as it can be installed with a 7.65mm or 12.7mm machine gun or even an automated grenade launcher. Either way the combat boats are now better armed for their operations, so let's hope all of them will be similarly armed finally.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ouessant To Be A Museum In Malaysia?

Surfing the net to get further news on SSK Ouessant's fate, I am a little bit surprised to read a more recent French article as below that after translation seems to indicate that the SSK Ouessant is being prepared to be transported back to Malaysia to be displayed as a Museum ship and not retired as previously thought. Whether this is something that 'is lost in translation' or otherwise, let us wait if there will be any official announcement from the local authorities, probably during the welcoming ceremony of the KD Tunku Abdul Rahman in September.

The submarine Ouessant has fulfilled its mission - Brest

Saturday 11 July 2009
The last mission of the submarine Ouessant, and the departure of the first Malaysian Scorpene mark the end of the project "Ouessant Malaysia.

An end ... and a beginning

While a beautiful ceremony Thursday marked the return to the naval base in the last mission of the submarine Ouessant, the Tunku Abdul Rahman first submarine Scorpene type built by DCNS Cherbourg, Toulon left for Malaysia. The event marks six years of a human and technological rich and exciting for DCNS and Navfco. The project includes construction of two Scorpene submarines and maintenance of submarine Ouessant, the training of Malaysian crews.

Navfco owner of Ouessant

The training of Malaysian submariners is provided by the private company Navfco with staff seconded from the Navy. The Navfco has filed two crew submarine Scorpene, reserve personnel, instructors, staff of Staff

9 000 hours of diving

"More than 9 000 dive hours were devoted to training. We welcomed 170 students who have each made an average of 1 300 hours of diving. This happened in 3 phases: classroom training, simulator and the sea, "says Admiral against Christian Le Roux. "This 42 th release went very well, after four years, we are really in a school, it happens later between fellow submariners," said Captain Commander Benoit Lemire, commander of Ouessant.

A museum

In the coming days, we will proceed with the disarmament and ensure the safe Ouessant. However, its future seems sealed, an arrangement is underway between the two countries. Loaded on a ship dedicated the Ouessant join Malaysia to become a museum.

Six years and some key dates

30 October 2003: entry into force. 20 October 2005: the debut of Ouessant. 21 November 2005: start of training for Wednesday 9 July: End of the period of training at sea

Some figures

Major refit: 200 people, 400 0000 hours, 20 000 material visits, 150 000 hours of maintenance in post-major refit.

"This contract is a fundamental DCNS and its partners. This is the first time we offer a wide globalization of supply, "says Gérard Solve director DCNS Brest.
Below you can find the original article in French.
Le sous-marin Ouessant a bien rempli sa mission - Brest

samedi 11 juillet 2009

La dernière mission du sous-marin Ouessant, et le départ du premier Scorpène malaisien marquent la fin du projet « Ouessant Malaisie ».

Une fin... et un début

Alors qu'une belle cérémonie marquait jeudi le retour à la base navale de la dernière mission du sous-marin Ouessant, le Tunku Abdul Rahman premier sous-marin de type Scorpène construit par DCNS Cherbourg, quittait Toulon pour la Malaisie. L'événement marque six années d'une aventure humaine et technologique riche et passionnante pour DCNS et la Navfco. Le projet comprend la construction de deux sous-marins Scorpène, la maintenance du sous-marin Ouessant, la formation des équipages malaisiens.

Navfco armateur du Ouessant

La formation des sous-mariniers malaisiens est assurée par la société de droit privé Navfco avec du personnel détaché de la Marine nationale. La Navfco a ainsi formé deux équipages de sous-marin Scorpène, du personnel de réserve, des instructeurs, du personnel d'état-major.

9 000 heures de plongée

« Plus de 9 000 heures de plongée ont été consacrées à la formation. Nous avons accueilli 170 élèves qui ont chacun en moyenne fait 1 300 heures de plongée. Cela s'est passé en 3 phases : formation en salle de classe, sur simulateur et à la mer », explique le contre-amiral Christian Le Roux. «
Cette 42 e sortie s'est très bien passée, après quatre années, on est plus vraiment dans une ambiance scolaire, on se passe la suite entre confrères sous-mariniers », souligne le capitaine de frégate Benoit Lemire, commandant du Ouessant.

Un musée

Dans les jours qui viennent, on va procéder au désarmement et mise en sécurité du Ouessant. Toutefois son avenir semble scellé, un arrangement est en cours entre les deux pays. Chargé sur un navire spécialisé, l'Ouessant rejoindrait la Malaisie pour devenir un musée.

Six ans et quelques dates clés

30 octobre 2003 : entrée en vigueur du contrat. 20 octobre 2005 : fin du grand carénage du Ouessant. 21 novembre 2005 : début de la formation à la mer. 9 juillet : fin de la période de formation à la mer.
Quelques chiffres

Grand carénage : 200 personnes, 400 0000 heures de travail, 20 000 matériels visités, 150 000 heures de maintenance en post-grand carénage.
« Ce contrat est une opération fondamentale pour DCNS et ses partenaires. C'est la première fois que nous offrons une globalisation aussi large de prestation », explique Gérard Solve, directeur de DCNS Brest.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fate Of Ouessant Determined

On the same day our first submarine started on her voyage home, the following translated French Article has announced the fate of Ouessant after she finished her mission of training the Royal Malaysian Navy Dolphins.

09/07/09: On 9 July 2009, having completed its mission of building schools, Ouessant, last diesel submarine operating in France, docked at the naval base in Brest. On this occasion, a ceremony was held, chaired by ALFOST. The Ouessant taught students from the Royal Malaysian Navy since November 2005. A total of 146 Malaysian sailors got their qualification submariner during 42 trips to the sea and over 9100 hours of diving with the Ouessant.
I have also managed to find another article about the end of SSK Ouessant service as follows:
DCNS contributes to creation of Malaysia's first submarine force (2009-07-10)


Following a major refit by DCNS, conventional-propulsion submarine Ouessant was recommissioned in November 2005 for an at-sea training programme for Malaysian submariners. The submarine had been decommissioned in 2001 after entering active service with the French Navy in 1978. During the training programme, SSK Ouessant logged 9,000 hours under water. Today, on returning to port after its final mission, SSK Ouessant will have completed a major contribution to the creation of Malaysia's first submarine force.

The contract signed by DCNS and the Royal Malaysian Navy in 2002 called for the delivery of two Scorpene submarines and an extensive crew training package by DCI/Navfco.

At-sea training has been a key component of this package. Given that SSK Ouessant was built in the 1970s and considering the demands of repeated training exercises, special attention was paid to the condition of each item of shipboard equipment.

Almost 170 Malaysian submariners benefited from training aboard the Ouessant. In the course of the four-year programme, DCNS ensured nearly 500 days of at-sea availability and the boat spent over 9,000 hours submerged.

Following their training aboard the Ouessant, the RMN's first submarine crew took control of their first boat, KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, delivered on 26 January 2009. Coming soon, the first RMN Scorpene set off on the voyage to its home port.

Thank you for a job well done and have a well deserved retirement!

She's On The Way Home!

Bon Voyage Mon Amis!

July 09, 2009 23:13 PM

Malaysia's First Submarine Begins Journey Home From France

KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's first submarine KD Tunku Abdul Rahman left Toulon, France on its historical maiden journey to Malaysia at 11 am Thursday.The Embassy of Malaysia in Paris in a statement sent here, said the submarine was waved off by Malaysia's Ambassador to France Datuk S. Thanarajasingam.Also present at the ceremony were Defence Attache Captain Khairuddin Mohd Ariff and officials from Malaysia's submarine project team as well as French senior navy officials led by Admiral Yann Tainguy.The submarine consisting of 35 crew members was commanded by Commander Zulhelmy Ithnain of the Royal Malaysian Navy.The submarine is expected to stop at Lumut and Port Klang for a few days before continuing the journey to Sepanggar Naval Base in Sabah. It will also transit at major ports such as Jeddah, Djibouti and Cochin, before reaching Malaysia.The submarine project started when Malaysia signed a deal to purchase two submarines in 2002.The first submarine was finally completed with the departure of KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, which is expected to reach its Malaysian home in Sepanggar by early September.-- BERNAMA

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Anti Air Warfare Readiness Proven

My fellow forumer in Cari, Standupper posted a Bernama report on the successful anti air missile strike by KD Laksamana Hang Nadim using her Aspide missile against a target being towed by a Lear Jet. The interesting part of the report is that missile firing test was not conducted during the bigger Taming Sari or Kerismas naval exercises that normally features such an event, but during routine weekly operational exercise "Perang Pangkor". This is not only as a cost saving exercise but is in line with the operational concept of the navy's combat assets, that is fully trained and ready to be mobilised when required. The success of this exercise also proves that the RMN fleet is ever ready to face any threats, especially in anti air warfare, one of the four dimensions of naval warfare now and strengthens the competency level and combat readiness of the fleet to handle any conflicts in our national waters.

Voyage Home Delayed

Looks like its bad news for our Dolphins in KD Tunku Abdul Rahman who may have been looking forward to fasting and celebrating Eid Fitri at home. Jane's has reported in their webpage that the return of the Royal Malaysian Navy's (RMN's) first submarine, KD Tunku Abdul Rahman , to Malaysia has been postponed. The RMN CNO Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar told Jane's on 23 June that KD Tunku Abdul Rahman would now depart from France in August and arrive the following month in September, hopefully before Eid Fitri. Initial reports had stated that the submarine was due to arrive on 25th of the month but with the delay this will give the Works Ministry more time to better finish the submarine base in Teluk Sepanggar Naval Base that was only recently reported to be only 97 percent ready. This makes sense of the Works Minister statement that the naval base will only be handed over the RMN by the end of August. Never mind men, even if you all arrive after the Eid the celebrations will still continue. Eid celebrations is one month long anyway.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Historical Photos Liberated – Seaward Defence Motor Launches.

Going Out On Patrol (1)

HDMLs were originally intended for the defence of estuarial and local waters against submarines but they proved such a sea-kindly and versatile design After the war HDMLs were adapted for other purposes such as surveying or were allocated to RNVR units to provide valuable seagoing experience for this important part-time navy. Some were sold to countries such as Burma, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and became the backbone of their smaller navies.

From the Royal Malaysian Navy roots in the Straits Settlement Naval Volunteer Reserve (SSNVR) in Singapore, harbour defence motor launches had been operated for seamanship and navigational training. These were built in by Thornycroft in Singapore specifically for the Straits Settlement RNVR were outside the normal Royal Navy numbering system for HDML’s. Instead the 23 metre boats received names instead with the first being HMS Penyengat and followed by HMS Pahlawan, HMS Panglima, HMS Penghambat, HMS Pengail and HMS Panji. HMS Panji was later transferred to SSNVR Penang after the branch was established although it seems that the HDML’s mainly operated in the Georgetown area on the west coast of Malaya. There was a number of casualties for the class during the war, these were HMS Penghambat, HMS Penyengat and HMS Panglima while the other three supposedly managed to escape to Burma to join the Burmese RNVR and survived the war.(3)

Thus it is no surprise that the first craft to constitute the Anti Bandit Patrol in June 1948 during the First Emergency consisted of 4 Fairmile type motor launches salvaged from the dockyard, refitted and rearmed with Oerlikons on bow and stern, twin Vickers machine guns on each side of the wheelhouse, and a Lanchester for each crew member. Two were sent up each coast, ML1335 and ML1336 west, ML1333 and ML1334 east, with a remit to stop and search fishing vessels and junks for illegal arms and immigrants. They were crewed (15 each) by the crew of the frigates which were in dockyard hands for a refit like the HMS Loch Glendhu and HMS London. ML1333 operated from Kuantan, halfway up the Malay Peninsular to Tumpat on the Siamese border, and spent her time going up rivers and checking off shore islands for gun runners to the Malaysian Terrorists, mostly coming from Siam. The craft were kept at sea during this period and were supplied by HMS Surprise and given information by Army Spotter planes. (2)


It is fitting therefore that these HDMLs were later progressively transferred to the Malayan Naval Force from the RN's 200th Patrol Squadron in Singapore from 1949 as per the records below, although at the time they were reclassified as Seaward Defence Motor Launches or SDMLs:

Pennant Number (EX) Built Transferred Name Deactivated

SDML 3501 (ex HDML 1081) 8.10.41 1951 Sri Kedah 1959

SDML 3502 (ex HDML 1105) 3.43 1949 Sri Trengganu 1970

SDML 3505 (ex HDML 1333) 15.9.44 1958 Sri Pahang 1965

SDML 3506 (ex HDML 1334) 16.10.44 1950 Sri Negeri Sembilan 1966

SDML 3507 (ex HDML 1335) 2.1.1945 1950 Sri Perak 1966

SDML 3509 (ex HDML 1336) 30.9.44 1949 Sri Selangor 1961

SDML 3508 (ex HDML 1385) 8..43 1950 Sri Kelantan 1965


As my second posting in the Historical Photos Liberated series, I hope you are happy with my presentation of photos of the SDMLs in action in the 1950s.

Notes :
1) Contributed By Daniel Spence, Sheffield Hallam University.
2)Related to me by Richard Lloyd, Editor of the HMS Ganges Association,

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

KLSR Reports On OPS Fajar Ships Return

Kuala Lumpur Security Review has reported on the return of KD Sri Inderapura from Operasi Fajar 4/2009 today. Catch the news here. In addition, the article contains the belated news on the return of KD Hang Tuah last May. Since there was no sensational news during their deployment, I guess there will be not much coverage, if any in the mainstream media of KD Sri Inderapura's return.
Mea Culpa : At least The Star had a small article on this.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Kredit Kepada Standupper Dari Cari.


LUMUT, 22 Jun – Kerjasama dan perkongsian strategik di antara TLDM dan MISC kini direalisasaikan dengan pelayaran Kapal Auxiliary Bunga Mas 5 (BM 5) ke Perairan Teluk Aden pagi ini.

Perkongsian strategik ini menggabungkan kekuatan pasukan tetap ATM yang terdiri daripada anggota TLDM, TDM dan TUDM dengan krew BM 5 yang telah diserapkan ke Pasukan Simpanan Sukarela TLDM (PSSTLDM) untuk melaksanakan operasi menjaga keselamatan kapal-kapal dagang Malaysia yang berkepentingan di Perairan Teluk Aden.
Pengoperasian Kapal BM 5 telah melakar sejarah tersendiri apabila pertama kali di Malaysia sebuah kapal dagang ditransformasikan menjadi sebuah kapal Auxiliary TLDM bagi merealisasikan hasrat dan impian negara khususnya ATM dalam mengamalkan konsep Pertahanan Menyeluruh (HANRUH) sepertimana yang terkandung dalam dasar Pertahanan Negara.

BM 5 bersaiz 132.8 meter panjang dan berkelebaran 22.7 meter berupaya beroperasi dalam kelajuan lebih 17 knot. Kapal Auxiliary ini turut dilengkapi dengan hangar bagi menempatkan pesawat SUPER LYNK dan juga Bot Tempur milik TLDM untuk melaksanakan operasi defensif mahupun ofensif jika diperlukan.

Untuk tempoh 3 bulan pertama, BM 5 diletakkan di bawah Pemerintahan Komander Ahmad Zaki bin Abdullah PSSSTLDM. Kapal memulakan pelayaran dari Jeti Operasi Pangkalan TLDM Lumut pada jam 8.10 pagi ini bersama 59 anggota kapal yang terdiri daripada 21 orang krew tetap kapal yang telah diserap dan dilatih sebagai PSSTLDM dan diperkuat dengan kehadiran Tim Pasukan Khas Laut (PASKAL), Krew Pesawat SUPER LYNK milik TLDM, anggota dari Tim Perubatan TDM termasuk anggota penembak tepat dari Tim GGK dan Tim Pasukan Khas Udara (PASKAU).

Siri kejayaan Operasi Fajar yang dilaksanakan oleh TLDM sebelum ini telah terbukti di mana tiada kapal MISC ataupun kapal berkepentingan kepada negara yang dirampas sepanjang operasi dilaksanakan sejak Ogos 2008. Sehingga kepulangan KD SRI INDERAPURA untuk penugasan kali kedua di Teluk Aden, yang dijangka tiba di Pangkalan TLDM Lumut tengahari esok ( 23 Jun), TLDM telah menugaskan 5 buah kapal TLDM di Perairan Teluk Aden sejak bermulanya misi pada Ogos 2008.

Bagi menangani cabaran kekangan aset TLDM dan juga kos pengoperasian yang tinggi, konsep kerjasama strategik di antara TLDM dan MISC dihasilkan. Perkongsian strategik dengan menyerapkan salah satu kapal MISC ke dalam inventori TLDM bagi melaksanakan penugasan operasi ini, merupakan satu langkah bijak dan penyelesaian jangka panjang terhadap keselamatan aset dagangan negara. Kehadiran kapal Auxiliary yang telah dipertingkatkan keupayaannya ini, diyakini dapat memastikan kepentingan aset maritim Negara di perairan Teluk Aden tidak diancam.

Panglima Armada, Laksamana Madya Dato’ Ahmad Kamarulzaman bin Haji Badaruddin hadir menyampaikan amanat dan kata-kata semangat serta peransang kepada krew BM 5 sewaktu mengucapkan selamat belayar dan bersama mengiringi kapal keluar hingga di Perairan Barat Pulau Pangkor pagi tadi. Beliau hadir dan pulang dari kapal BM 5 menggunakan pesawat TLDM. Dalam ucapan beliau, Panglima Armada turut menekan dan mengingatkan mengenai kepentingan pelayaran ini kepada aset maritim negara di Perairan Teluk Aden.

BM 5 dijangka beroperasi di Perairan Teluk Aden selama 3 bulan sehingga penghujung September 2009 ini. Turut mengiring BM 5 di Perairan Pulau Pangkor pagi tadi ialah aset baru dalam inventori TLDM, KD PERAK.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy Huntings!

I have heard that our KD Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR) was recently involved in war games with one of the French SSNs after weeks of preparations that resulted in only turning in for sleep in the early mornings for the crew. It was a complete privilege for the crew in being able to track the SSN all the way through out the war game period.

Alhamdulillah, KD TAR won 10 - 0 against SSN Rubis despite early worries whether our crew and boat can beat the O’Higgins record of 6-1 wins against the French SSN previously, that resulted in nervousness in our crew when going into the games. I understand that the 10-0 win meant that our boat could hold contact for a given period, with enough time to establish a firing solution in order to conduct a simulation firing against the SSN, where later it was received and acknowledged through Underwater Transmission (UWT) that the target fired against was the opposing boat.

When the inspectorate staff from the French Navy ALFOST embarked in KD TAR for the final week tactical examination, they had admitted their defeat and that based on the post battle report, the other submarine could only track KD TAR 5 times during the whole period of two days two nights of war gaming.

This is extremely good news for the crew of our newest naval service and they are now starting to understand what a fantastic submarine we have. May this high level of service continue. Bravo Zulu to the crew of KD Tunku Abdul Rahman and may they have a safe journey home.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Let's Revisit The EC725 Purchase

A visitor named Reezo had left a message in my previous posting in this blog highlighting the details of the Brazilian purchase of their EC725 fleet. The main aspect of this report that attracts me is the fact that the purchase price of the fleet has been corrected and is now almost triple the original reported price as shown below :

June 30/08: Brazil and France sign an agreement in principle for Eurocopter to build helicopters in the South American country via its subsidiary Helibras. Brazil’s Defense Minister Nelson Jobim reportedly said that the country intended to buy 50 “Super Cougar” models, the first of which would be delivered in 2010. The deal’s value was initially reported as $1.2 billion, but reports put the signed contract at $2.7 million equivalent.
Now since this was the main weapon of the purchase opposition in their efforts to scuttle the EC725 purchase, this report nullifies the assertation that there seemed to be something wrong with Malaysia's own proposed purchase price for our EC725 fleet. I do not want to go into a unit price comparison as this will definitely be an apple to apple comparison even if the full specifications of the two helicopters can be obtained, but the fact remains that the price off-quoted by the opposition has now been proven wrong but it seems that this fact is somehow being hidden by the opposition and our purchase now remains in limbo, either because we really do not have the money to purchase the helicopters even though it has been budgetted for that the new Minister of Defence had to announce that the Ministry has to look at new and creative ways to finance the purchase, or that the whole matter is being kept in the back burner as a convenient conflict avoidance ploy.

In the meantime, Brazil has confirmed their order to become the first export customer followed recently by Mexico that bought six units for 168 million euros for a transport version of six units while France herself has placed EUR 220 million contract for 5 more EC725 Caracal helicopters for combat search and rescue, special forces, and medium utility roles. Compare this again with the Eurocopter's bid price of Euro233.3 million for 10-12 CSAR units to Malaysia and judge for yourself if there really is anything fishy with this tender as being claimed by the opposition to the helicopter purchase that ultimately will save not only the people to be rescued but the crew that operates the new helicopters.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Enters Another Guardian Of The South China Sea

I am happy that after waiting for so long, KD Perak was finally commissioned today. As an old friend remarked in the comments section of a previous post, the date was last delayed because the vessels was only handed over three days after the targeted date even though she was accepted by the Navy five days earlier. Nonetheless the time was well spent to spruce up the ship and get her shipshape as can be seen from the fine photograph above courtesy of Standupper from MPSA forum.

KD Perak denotes a significant milestone for the Patrol Vessel by being the first fully constructed locally by Boustead Naval Shipyard. Despite the long delay from her launching date of 12 November, 2007 until her commissioning today, this was not as long as the initial two vessels built overseas but completed locally demonstrating the shipyard has managed to improve their delivery process although this can be further improved. As it is, the seemingly impregnable wall around the delivery status of the next patrol vessel number 174 PV Terengganu hopefully does not hide major problems to finish her. Instead it is hoped that progress on the vessel instead has been accelerated and her own commissioning will soon be announced to alleviate the Navy's shortage of surface units.

It was announced that the KD Perak will be home ported in Tanjung Gelang Naval Base in Kuantan to undertake patrol in the South China Sea, part of the new Navy strategy to position two units of patrol vessels under each of the Command Naval Region (MAWILLA) from this initial batch of patrol vessel. Thus she will join her predecessors in becoming a guardian of Malaysian national interest in the South China Sea. The timely completion of all the vessels in this first batch should allow the building of the second batch to proceed, hopefully upgraded to either an Anti Submarine Warfare or Anti Air Warfare platform according to the more pressing requirement. This is in the event that the first batch will maintained as pure gunboats if monies cannot be found to upgrade the vessels to either platform eventually.

Edited 5 May 2009 : Utusan Malaysia today reported that the CNO Datuk Seri Abdul Aziz Jaafar expressed his hope to receive further surface assest to fill the critical shortage of surface assets at all the Navy's MAWILLA's during the commissioning ceremony. He hoped that three other patrol vessels by Boustead Naval Shipyard can commissioned as soon as possible. He announced that PV4 (Terengganu) will be commissioned on October 2009 while the sixth patrol vessel will be launched at the end of July 2009.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

PV Perak To Finally Commission Tomorrow?

Despite what a visitor to one of my blog mentioning that she was supposed to commission on the 28th May 2009 after multiple postponement and failing to do so, a more reliable press source has advised me that PV Perak will finally be commissioned tomorrow on the 3rd of June, 2009 and take to the seas as KD Perak. Let's wait for the formal commissioning ceremony shall we.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Launch Of A New Kind Of Naval Ship

Bunga Mas Lima In MISC Colours (photo credit :

Further to my earlier posting, it has now been confirmed that the Royal Malaysian Navy will now operate a new class of ship, the naval auxiliary ship. The latest news announced today regarding Ops Fajar is that MISC Ship Bunga Mas Lima has been launched as a naval auxiliary ship after modifications in Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Sdn Bhd (MMHE), a subsidiary of MISC, MMHE shipyard, Pasir Gudang, today. Despite my earlier speculation, the ship is actually a 699 TEU container ship and has been renamed as Naval Auxiliary Ship TLDM BM5 and will be now tasked for escort missions in the Gulf of Aden. As a result the KD Inderapura now operating in the Gulf will return home as scheduled this month.

The Naval Auxilary TLDM BM5 (photo credit : standupper @ cariforum)

To be crewed by a mix of MISC seamen, navy men and Paskal special forces, the MISC seamen has been absorbed as Malaysian Navy reserves and has had basic military training. They will be responsible for the navigation and maintenance of the ship while the naval men is charge of the security arrangements. As for the ship itself, she operates under international law as a naval auxiliary under military control and enjoys sovereign immunity privileges.

Another View of the Ship (photo credit : standupper @ cariforum)

For MISC, the delivery of the ship is a sign of their commitment to the safety of their shipping operations and crew especially in the pirate infested Gulf of Aden. For the RMN, the operation of the ship embodies the realization of a very component of the concept of Total Defence stated in the National Defence Policy.

This blog wishes the ship and the crew Godspeed in their service and congratulate all the parties involved in finding an amicable solution to resolving the security issue for our shipping in the Gulf.

Postscript : For More photos of the ship being converted, please visit this blogspot page.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Paging PV Perak !

I wonder what is happening to the commissioning date of PV Perak that was supposedly delayed to this month from March 2009 and December 2008 initially. The delay in March would be understandable by looking at the web available photos above where even in March photos taken from the Ferry to Pangkor showed PV Perak still having items under wraps although overall it looks complete. The fact that is worrying to me now is that the most recent web available photo taken on the 11 May below now shows the patrol vessel being dry docked. I hope that this is for final completion works rather than major construction works remaining as otherwise it is possible the commissioning ceremony for the vessel will be further delayed. Such delay would be very worrisome if any potential confrontation in the region suddenly flares-up as the RMN would need all their assets to be available then. And this is not even talking about PV Terengganu that so far there seems to be no news on her development. So Paging PV Perak! You are urgently required to be commissioned so that you can enter your operation theater! (Pardon the Pun!)