23 Juni 2010
KD Tun Razak (photo : The Hindu)
KUALA LUMPUR: The country’s second Scorpene submarine, KD Tun Razak, is heading for a momentous homecoming at the Royal Malaysian Navy base in Lumut on July 2.
The sultans of Perak and Selangor, Sultan Azlan Shah and Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, are expected to grace the ceremony along with Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and military top brass, said a Defence Ministry spokesman. The Sultan of Selangor is captain-in-chief of the RMN.
It is understood KD Tun Razak is presently in the Indian Ocean after departing from Toulon in France on April 30 following successful sea trials in the Mediterranean. The country’s first submarine, KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, arrived at Port Klang on Sept 3 last year.
It has since become operational after overcoming minor hitches during tropical water trials in Malaysian waters.
Both SSK diesel-electric powered submarines of the Perdana Menteri-class will operate out of their main base — Teluk Sepanggar in Sabah. More than 150 RMN submariners were initially trained at Brest, France, to man the two submarines. Once here, KD Tun Razak, commissioned into the RMN at Cartagena, Spain in November last year, will undergo tropical water and operational trials.
Both the SSK submarines and an Agosta-class second-hand vessel boat were procured following an agreement with DCNS and its partner Navantia under a RM3.4 billion package in June 2002. The Scorpenes were jointly built at the Navantia shipyard in Spain and DCNS facility in Cherbourg, France. Each Scorpene submarine is 67.5m long, has a displacement of 1,550 tonnes, is manned by a crew of 31 and can sail for 45 days.