The Royal Malaysian Navy (Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia; TLDM or RMN) recently conducted live firings with two surface-launched Exocet MM40 and a submarine-launched SM39 anti-ship missiles in a move to test both its readiness and capabilities. The Royal Malaysian Navy attack submarine KD Tun Razak has launched an anti-ship missile, Exocet SM39. The Royal Malaysian Navy guided missile frigate KD Leiku (FFG30) and guided missile corvete KD Lekir (F26) also launched the Exocet MM40 missiles. The firing trial was witnessed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Taming Sari Exercise is a maritime warfare exercise that tests aspects of planning and implementation by the Royal Malaysian Navy. The 6-day exercise is the largest military exercise involving 1,080 members of the Royal Malaysian Navy, the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA). The last time Royal Malaysian Navy conducted Exocet missiles firing was back in 2019 when guided missile corvete KD Kasturi (F25) fired a single Exocet MM40 missile.
The Exocet is a French-built anti-ship missile whose various versions can be launched from surface vessels, submarines, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. The Exocet saw its first wartime launch during the Falklands War. MM40 deployed on warships and in coastal batteries with range 72 km for the Block 2, in excess of 180 km for the Block3. The missile is housed inside a watertight launched capsule, which is fired by the submarine’s torpedo-launch tubes. On leaving the water, the capsule is ejected and the missile’s motor is ignited. It then behaves like an MM40.
It is guided inertially in mid-flight and turns on active radar late in its flight to find and hit its target. As a countermeasure against air defence around the target, it maintains a very low altitude during ingress, staying one to two meters above the sea surface. Due to the effect of the radar horizon, this means that the target may not detect an incoming attack until the missile is only 6,000 m from impact. This leaves little time for reaction and stimulated the design of close-in weapon systems (CIWS).