The Royal Malaysian Navy’s KD Tun Razak submarines has returned to service following the completion of an 18 month-long in-country refit programme. IHS Janes reported the submarine had been conducting sea trials since late 2019 following the completion of the refit, which was carried out by the Boustead DCNS Naval Corporation (BDNC): a joint venture between Malaysian naval engineering group Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation and French shipbuilder, DCNS (now called Naval Group).
The Royal Malaysian Navy has again stressed that its two Scorpene submarines remain in good condition as part of its fleet to protect the country’s maritime borders. Royal Malaysian Navy Strategic Communications Department said in a statement yesterday that its two diesel-electric attack submarines – KD Tunku Abdul Rahman and KD Tun Razak – have so far recorded 11,600 hours underwater. It further reiterated the Scorpene’s unique features and technology, built to model the French navy’s nuclear submarine, Le Triomphant.
Royal Malaysian Navy possess two Scorpène-class, also known as the Perdana Menteri-class, submarines. The Malaysian Scorpène-class vessels have been modified to enhance their ability to operate in the warmer and more saline waters of Southeast Asia through a process called “tropicalisation.” The first boat, Tunku Abdul Rahman, was launched in October 2007 and commissioned in January 2009. The second boat, Tun Abdul Razak, was launched in October 2008 and commissioned in November 2009.
This class of boats emphasize underwater maneuverability and stealth, with design features including a teardrop or “Albacore” hull form (with fin-mounted hydroplanes and cross-configuration tailplane), and very low acoustic, magnetic, electromagnetic and infrared signatures. These vessels are 66.45 meters long with a 6.1-meter-wide beam and can travel up to 20 knots when submerged. They can remain submerged for about 50 days without surfacing. Their weapons systems are capable of launching anti-ship SM 39 Exocet missiles with a range of 50 km from their 533 mm torpedo tubes.