Sunday, January 25, 2009

Finally She Becomes A Museum

After five years of being decommissioned in 19 December 2003 and being used as a static training ship while awaiting her fate, I am happy to note that the Royal Malaysian Navy has finally decided to hand over the Ex Rahmat frigate to the Perak State Department to be developed into a museum ship as part of an historical monument and recreational site for Lumut that will be declared as a Naval Town in April. This will be in line with the Perak Sultan's command to keep the ship within the state. Privatised to a local company, the plan is to be implemented in three phases, the first of which involves renovating the frigate into a maritime museum incorporating a boutique hotel, bistro, hanging bridge and jetty at a cost of Ringgit 2.1 million to be berthed at the Lumut Waterfront while phase two will involve developing a RMN museum, Rahmat square and shopping complex.

Although on a personal basis I find the plan for turning part of the ship into a boutique hotel and bistro incomprehensible and abhorrent for the status of such a ship, I guess this is the commercial revenue pay-off to be given to the private company that is investing in the project. I do hope however that Rahmat the museum ship itself will emphasise the contributions that she has made for the more than thirty years that she has been in service to the nation, and underline the fact that she is the first Frigate that was purpose built and designed to Malaysian needs, and the result was so good she inspired frigate derivatives used by other navies including Thailand. She was also the first ship to be fitted with surface to air missile system, making the RMN the first navy in the region to be so-equipped. I re-produce herewith her specifications and I hope you enjoy some of her early pictures to boot.

A Yarrow Mark 1 frigate, Rahmat was the first major purpose-built warship for the Royal Malaysian Navy. She was laid down in 1966 and was originally called the KD Hang Jebat. However her name was later changed to Rahmat due to superstitious reasons after she had a run of unfortunate events in the 1970's. At the time of delivery, Rahmat was a capable ship by the standards then prevalent in South East Asia (SEA), with a high level of automation and a design emphasis on simplicity that reduced manning requirements. She was initially delivered in 1972 with a quadruple Sea Cat Surface to Air Missile(SAM) launcher, therefore making the Royal Malaysian Navy one of the first navies to be SAM-equipped in SEA. The third Bofors 40mm then replaced the outdated launcher in 1983 during a modernisation re-fit where the director was also removed, thereby altering her original appearance. On board, there is also a provision for the embarkation of a helicopter with the incorporation of a McGregor hatch over the well deck. Originally configured as an ASW frigate, she was used as the navy's second training vessel in the same squadron as KD Tuah. Decommissioned in 2004, she is now playing a role as a static training ship while awaiting conversion to a museum ship.

Displacement: 1250 tons standard, 1600 tons full load
Dimensions: 93.9m x 10.4m x 4.5m
Guns: 1 x 114mm/45 Vickers Mk 5 DP, 3x 40mm/70 Bofors. (Range : Main 19 Km/12.5 Km, Aux : 12 Km/4 Km)
ASW: 1 x Mk10 Limbo Mortar (3 tubes) (Range : 900 metres)
Electronics: Sewaco-MA combat data system, Signaal LW.02, Decca 626, Kelvin Hughes MS32 Radars, One radar for the WM22 gun fire-control system, Graseby Type 174 and Type 170B sonars, ESM system with UA-3 warning and FH-4 jamming elements, 2 UK Mk1 rail chaff launchers, Link Y
Propulsion: Rolls Royce Olympus TM1B gas turbine at 20626hp or Crossley/SEMT-Pielstick SPC2V diesel at 4000hp to two shafts, controllable pitch propellers
Speed: 26 knots, range 9656 Km at 16 knots
Crew: 140
Aircraft: Platform Aft

KD Rahmat In 1970

KD Rahmat In 1971

KD Rahmat in 1972

1 comment:

Rahmat70screw said...

"She was initially delivered in 1972with a quadruple Sea Cat Surface to Air Missile(SAM) launcher, therefore making the Royal Malaysian Navy one of the first navies to be SAM-equipped in SEA"

You make me laugh with glee la brother...

Why don't you quote how many targets the seacat missiles destroyed or how many missiles were ever launched?

"The third Bofors 40mm then replaced the outdated launcher"

Why regress from missiles to conventional weaponary?

Some people write with fear, some write with favour while some others write with both fear and favour leaving facts to the imaginations.

Which one do you belong?