Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Malaysia has taken formal delivery of its first submarine KD Tunku Abdul Rahman at the French naval base in Toulon, on Saturday. This major milestone for the RMN follows the completion, in late December 2008, of KD Tunku Abdul Rahman's final sea trials demonstrating remarkable operational and combat system capabilities. These trials included successful firings of Black Shark heavyweight torpedoes and missiles.KD Tunku Abdul Rahman is scheduled to arrive at the Sepanggar naval base in July this year. The second of the series, KD Tun Razak, is scheduled for delivery in late 2009.
Monday, January 26, 2009
HMS Malaya was one of five great fifteen inch gun, oil burning super dreadnoughts of the 1912 Queen Elizabeth class and was named after the British colony that paid to build her at a cost of almost three million Sterling Pounds. This division of large, fast, heavily armoured ships, powered by oil and carrying heavier guns than on any previous dreadnought, played a decisive role in the Battle of Jutland, the apex battle between the Royal Navy and the Imperial German Navy in World War I. The dominant naval weapon of the era was the great gun: the long barrelled naval cannon that fired a heavy shell down a rifled tube, lofting the spiralling projectile thousands of yards to plunge onto an enemy ship, piercing and penetrating heavy armour to burst inside turrets or hull, spreading fire, devastation, chaos and death. The new ships could deliver a knockout punch with their large guns; it remained to provide them with armour and speed. In these ships there was no skimping in armour; key areas such as the waterline and turrets were covered by thirteen and a half inches of solid steel. These ships could now deliver and take a punch but speed was wanted as the standard twenty one knots of a British dreadnought was not sufficient to overtake a fleeing enemy and bring them to battle. Armour would not be sacrificed for speed and the solution is oil fuel as it burns more fiercely than coal and gives more heat and steam created under more pressure drove the shafts and turned the propellers quicker thus achieving speeds of 26 knots. Immeasurably superior to any earlier battleship, they continued to form the backbone of British naval strength well into the Second World War. And HMS Malaya was present at the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet as a reminder that Malaya as one of the Dominion states had made her contribution to the war at sea. In World War II she served in the Mediterranean in 1940, escorting convoys and operating against the Italian fleet. Latterly she served escorted convoys in the Atlantic and from the UK to Malta and Cape Town until summer 1943. Malaya was withdrawn from service at the end of 1944 and placed in reserve and served as an accommodation ship. Sold on 20 February 1948 to Metal Industries, she arrived at Faslane on 12 April 1948 for scrapping.
The name Malaya was again resurrected after the war when the name was given to a LCT Mk3 that was inducted into service into the Malayan Naval Force on 18 April 1949, after conversion into a training and accommodation ship before entering service to serve as a training ship as the MS Malaya. The name was later transferred to an operational and training base built at Woodlands Singapore that was known as the HMMS Malaya in 1952 and was transferred to the newly independent Malaya in 1958 until being renamed as Kapal Diraja Malaya in 1961 after the navy dropped the old HMMS as a relic of colonialism. In 1984, KD Malaya that was serving as a support unit finally moved from Singapore to Lumut. Now serving as Fleet Headquarters, KD Malaya is still expected to be in the thick of action when the situation heats up even though she is now a stone frigate rather than a fire breathing combat ship that was her namesake, and therefore will carry on the fighting traditions as befitting the name.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
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.
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
Aircraft: Platform Aft
KD Rahmat In 1970
KD Rahmat in 1972
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Somali pirates last September captured a Ukrainian cargo ship, the MV Faina, loaded to the gunnels with heavy weaponry, including 33 Russian-designed T-72 battle tanks. Since then, American and Russian naval vessels have been shadowing the ship at its anchorage off the fishing village of Hindawao, 300 miles north of Mogadishu. This month there were reports that the ship's owners had agreed on ransom terms, but the Faina and its crew are still being held. NEWSWEEK's Rod Nordland interviewed Shamun Indhabur, who is thought to be the leader of the pirates who took the Faina, and the Sirius Star, a Saudi supertanker with $100 million worth of oil aboard. The interview was conducted by satellite telephone to the bridge of the Faina, through Somali translator Abukar al-Badri. Excerpts:
What's the situation on board the Faina now?
The pirates are different groups. Those in Puntland may have problems with the middlemen and sometimes kill them.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Anxious moment for heli crew
LUMUT: Confronted by pirates off the Somalia coast was a nerve-wrecking moment for our navy boys.
Commander Sazalee Shoib, commander of the Super Lynx helicopter unit, was watching over the MISC container vessel Bunga Mas Enam which had stalled due to mechanical problems in November last year.
Below, two skiffs (speedboats) filled with the pirates were already near the vessel with six other skiffs rushing to the scene.
Commander Sazalee said there was a possibility that the pirates carried rocket launchers and other weapons.
Kapt Khalid speaking to Commander Sazalee (left) at the Lumut naval base Thursday. The KD Mahawangsa is seen in the background.
So he kept a safe distance but close enough to show the pirates that he meant business.
“Under the rules of engagement, we are not allowed to fire unless fired upon first,” said Commander Sazalee when met at the naval base here yesterday.
The pirates, probably considering their options, decided not to do anything.
After an hour, they retreated upon seeing the warship KD Mahawangsa.
The KD Mahawangsa had sailed to the Gulf of Aden on Sept 7 last year to escort merchant ships plying the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden.
A filepic of the warship escorting the MISC trade vessel to its destination.
One of its mission was to escort the Bunga Mas Enam and another merchant ship to Djibouti, Somalia.
KD Mahawangsa commanding officer Kapt Khalid Jaafar said the container vessel had fallen an hour behind due to the mechanical failure. The vessel’s crew then radioed in to say that eight skiffs were approaching the vessel.
“I decided to send the Super Lynx team (to watch over the vessel) while we make our way back to the vessel,” Kapt Khalid said.
He said it was an anxious moment for him and his crew.
The KD Mahawangsa returned to base here on Dec 17 and was replaced by the KD Sri Inderasakti.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
O Allah! We seek Your assistance and ask for Your guidance, and we beseech Your forgiveness and return to You in repentance. We cherish faith in You and place our trust in You. We attribute all goodness to You. We are grateful to You and refuse to be ungrateful to You. We abandon and forsake all those who reject You. O Allah, You alone we worship, unto You alone we pray; unto You alone we prostrate, and for You alone we strive. Unto You alone we flee for refuge. We cherish hope in Your mercy and we fear Your retribution. Verily, Your punishment is bound to catch up with those who reject the truth.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Friday January 2, 2009By LESTER KONGPETALING JAYA: The Royal Malaysian Navy experienced its first combat in the new year when its Fennec helicopter drove off two pirate skiffs pursuing Indian crude oil tanker MT Abul Kalam Azad in the dangerous pirate-infested Gulf of Aden.KD Sri Inderasakti commanding officer Kapt Mohamad Adib Abdul Samad received a distress call at 6.30am (local time) from the Indian vessel. The vessel, with 40 crew members, was heading for the Suez Canal with a full load of crude oil, said RMN Fleet Operations Commander vice-admiral Datuk Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin yesterday.During the 40-minute combat, seven pirates on board the two skiffs were shooting rapidly at the tanker damaging the bridge, ship quarters and the radar, he said.To the rescue: The RMN Fennec helicopter gunship (above) drove off two pirate skiffs pursuing the Indian crude oil tanker Abul Kalam Azad (inset) in the dangerous pirate-infested Gulf of Aden.“It was a tense morning,” he said. “Sri Inderasakti received the SOS call from the Abul Kalam Azad about 15 nautical miles away at the time,” he added. In rapid response, Kapt Mohamad Adib dispatched the ship-borne Fennec helicopter gunship armed with twin general purpose machine guns and an elite Naval Special Forces (Paskal) airborne sniper.“The Abul Kalam Azad was also advised to make its way toward our ship for better protection. Sri Inderasakti too had turned and was heading to the scene by then,” Ahmad Kamarulzaman said. The Fennec, piloted by Leftenan Muliadi Mohd Noor reached the scene where the two skiffs were chasing the tanker and shooting at it with assault rifles. A Saudi Arabian navy vessel HMS Al Dammam, believed to be part of the European Union’s Coalition Task Force 150, had also dispatched its own Dauphin helicopter gunship at this point, he added.Both ships took turns to deter the pirates while giving the oil tanker cover, he said, adding that the skiffs then escaped south-east. The vessel then headed west, escorted by the Al Dammam. The encounter was the second time the Sri Inderasakti helped to foil hijack attempts by pirates in the gulf, the first one being the Chinese crane vessel Zhenhua 4 on Dec 18.2009/01/02By : Marc Lourdes and Joseph Sipalan
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia once again charged to the rescue of a cargo-laden ship in the pirate-plagued Gulf of Aden.
Yesterday, less than two weeks after rescuing a Chinese vessel from being plundered, the Malaysian navy saved an Indian tanker, MT Abul Kalam Azad, from a similar fate.The 92,000-tonne vessel was sailing in the gulf at 11.37am (Malaysian time) when it was attacked by pirates in two skifs.One of the boats had seven men in it, all armed with machine guns. They unleashed a barrage of fire at the bridge and accommodation area of the ship. They also tried to board it, all the while keeping up the attack.However, the ship began taking evasive measures and increased speed to the maximum. This was also when it issued a distress signal, which was picked up by Malaysian navy support ship KD Sri Indera Sakti about 15 nautical miles away.
Upon receiving the signal, commanding officer Capt Mohamad Adib Abdul Samad despatched a helicopter, reaching the tanker in less than 10 minutes.The helicopter was outfitted with a general purpose machine gun and also a sniper from the Paskal naval commando unit.The Malaysian helicopter was joined by a Dauphine-type helicopter of the Saudi Arabian navy, effectively scaring off the pirates.The captain of the Abul Kalam Azad had initially requested to join the Malaysian International Shipping Corporation convoy, escorted by the Sri Indera Sakti, but later accepted the offer from a Saudi Arabian naval ship to escort it to its destination.
International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre head Noel Choong said the crew of the Abul Kalam Azad reported seeing the pirates in military-style garb.However, asked if this could mean that the Somali military was involved in piracy, he was non-committal."It is hard to say because this is the first time we are hearing such a report." Choong said the increase in naval activity in the Gulf of Aden was making piracy increasingly difficult and this was causing pirates to become more desperate to get their hands on any ships they could."We wish to remind all ships to keep strict visual and radar watch because it is the only way they can escape." Asked if the gloomy global economic forecast for this year would result in an increase in piracy, he said it would not make much difference in African waters."Somalia, for example, is already poor and in bad shape. There is no deterrent to pirates there and, as long as there is no deterrent, attacks will increase anyway."However, in the Straits of Malacca, there are many poor people who will be affected badly. We don't know if it will be as bad as in 1997 (when piracy was rampant in the Straits of Malacca), but we can see that Indonesia is already stepping up patrols now." Choong urged the authorities to beef up patrols, especially in the Straits of Malacca, the South China Sea and in Bangladeshi and Indonesian waters.
KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 1, 2009) : A Malaysian military helicopter, taking off from a warship sailing nearby, scared away Somali pirates trying to hijack an Indian vessel in the Gulf of Aden on Thursday, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said.
The incident, the first of 2009, involved an Indian ship with a dead weight tonnage of 92,687 tonnes, said Noel Choong, an official from the Kuala Lumpur-based IMB."Two small boats carrying pirates came close to the Indian vessel and started firing on the bridge and the accommodation area," Choong told Reuters.
"The pirates tried to board the vessel repeatedly but failed, as the captain maneuvered the ship and increased its speed." A Malaysian warship, KD Sri Indera Sakti, which was about 15 nautical miles from the area, responded to the Indian vessel's distress calls and sent a helicopter which scared the pirates away, Choong said.
"We have been told that all crew members are safe, while the damage to the vessel is being assessed," said Choong, without saying how many crew were on board.
Last week, quick action by a German warship halted an attack on an Egyptian bulk carrier, while a Chinese commercial vessel was helped by a Malaysian warship earlier in December, he said.
The rescues are a sign that foreign navies patrolling the key shipping lane linking Europe and Asia are adopting more effective tactics against the surge in piracy in waters off Somalia. "Despite the increased naval presence, the pirates are still finding loop holes to attack ships like this, highlighting the need for more effective anti-piracy measures," said Choong. The rise in attacks on shipping prompted NATO ships to begin anti-piracy operations off the Somali coast in October, joined by other nations such as China and India.
In 2008, 111 ships were reported to have been attacked and 42 hijacked, Choong said. Fourteen of the hijacked vessels and more than 240 crew members are still being held by pirates. Nearly 20,000 ships pass through the Gulf of Aden each year on their way to and from the Suez Canal. - Reuters
Saturday December 20, 2008
By LESTER KONG
PETALING JAYA: Armed Somali pirates that boarded Chinese crane ship Zhenhua 4 were about to blow the bridge wide open when the Royal Malaysian Navy came to the rescue. Nine pirates ran helter-skelter without firing a single shot after there were surprised by the twin machineguns of KD Sri Inderasakti’s Fennec helicopter gunship.The crew on the Zhenghua 4 had earlier locked themselves on the bridge and held off the pirates, which came on two skiffs, for several hours.The Fennec gunship’s response was the first time an aircraft was deployed to engage pirates holding a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden. RMN Fleet Operations Commander Vice-Admiral Datuk Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin said the Sri Inderasakti was in the right place and the right time in the pirate-menaced Gulf of Aden on Wednesday when it received a distress call from Zhenhua 4.
Pirates on the loose: Pirate boats (top) being seen near the Chinese ship ‘Zhenhua 4’ in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday in this handout photo, while the Chinese vessel’s crew (right) prepare to attempt to repel boarders. — Reuters“And the response from Sri Inderasakti’s response was swift,” he added.Relating the incident, Ahmad Kamarulzaman said that the RMN ship received the distress call from the Chinese ship at 8.30am (local time).“Commanding officer Kapt Mohamad Adib Abdul Samad immediately despatched the Fennec gunship. “At the same time, a request from the European Union’s CTF150 taskforce also came in for us to lend assistance and do whatever was necessary to deter the pirates because we were the nearest vessel to the Zhenhua 4,” he told The Star when contacted in Singapore. Covering 45 nautical miles at 80 knots per hour, the Fennec piloted by Leftenan Muliadi Mohd Noor and air quartermaster Petty Officer Haniffaa Haironi reached Zhenhua 4 in less than 15 minutes.“After quickly assessing the situation, Haniffaa fired several warning shots across the bow of the Zhenhua 4. This created panic among the pirates,” he said.One of the pirates’ skiffs also sank in the battle but not from the Fennec’s gunfire, said Ahmad Kamarulzaman.Not long after, Dutch warship HDMS Absalon of the European Union’s CTF150 taskforce arrived to escort the Zhenhua 4 to its destination.Ahmad Kamarulzaman said that the RMN is sure that there were other pirate vessels in the area as the gunship crew saw what they believed to be the “mother ship.”.The Inderasakti had taken over from the KD Mahawangsa on Dec 12 in the ongoing Ops Fajar to safeguard Malaysian merchant vessels plying the dangerous Gulf of Aden.
According to a duty officer at the Piracy Reporting Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a nearby Malaysian warship was alerted and sent a helicopter to the scene. When the helicopter fired around the Chinese boat, the pirates panicked and fled in a speedboat.The Malaysian warship did not apprehend the pirates, Mody said, because international rules are still unclear about where the pirates could be detained and how they could be tried. "That's the main reason the navies don't pick up pirates," he said. "Once you've got them, what do you do with them?"
September 24th, 2008 by Marsha
Haritu Bi called.. Walaupun dapat cakap lebih 15 minit tapi rasa tak puas sangat.. Bi tengah tunggu TLDM untuk konvoi bersama lalu Teluk Aden.. Pfffftt.. Bi kata semalam nyaris kena kejar dengan lanun Somalia tu so diorg patah balik.. (Translation : That day Bi called..Even though could only talked for 15 minutes but still not so satisfied..Bi is waiting for the RMN convoy through the Gulf of Aden...PFfftt...Bi said yesterday nearly got chased by the Somalian Pirates so they turned back...)
Confirming the pirate hijack of a Malaysian tug boat off Yemen yesterday, the National Security Council is now awaiting the latest development on the incident.Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the council had not received any report on the hijack and was worried over the fate of the crew.He said Malaysia had reported the hijack to the United Nations and pressed the need for drastic measures to be taken against Somali pirates."The council is expecting a report either tonight or tomorrow morning," he told reporters after attending the ministry's Excellent Service Awards here.AFP reported that pirates had hijacked a Malaysian tug boat and a Turkish cargo ship yesterday, and attacked three other vessels in the Gulf of Aden in the past week.The tug boat with 11 crew on board was heading to Malaysia from West Asia.In three other incidents last week, Somali pirates attempted to hijack a Singapore tanker, an Italian cargo ship and a Greek ship.Meanwhile, Rais described the United Nations Security Council resolution to combat piracy as "powerless"."Merely announcing it is of no use, it must be followed up with physical force," he said.
In LUMUT, Acting Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) chief Vice-Admiral Datuk Mohammed Noordin Ali said that next February, the RMN would cease ongoing 'Ops Fajar' operations to protect the country's commercial vessels from pirate threats in the Gulf of Aden near Somalia.He said the decision was also agreed upon by Army chief Gen Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Zainal.Mohammed Noordin said any decision to resume operations would depend on the prime minister, defence minister and the National Security Council.He said the decision to stop the operations was mainly due to its exorbitant costs and RMN obliogations to protect the sovereignity of the national waters.Mohammed Noordin said this after receiving RMN vessel 'KD Mahawangsa' which had returned from Ops Fajar at the RMN Lumut base today.Another RMN vessel, 'KD Indera Sakti', is expected to conclude the operation in February.'Ops Fajar' was launched after Malaysian International Shipping Corporation (MISC) vessel MT Bunga Melati Dua was hijacked by Somalian pirates in the Gulf of Aden while heading to Rotterdam from Dumai, Indonesia on Aug 19.Ten days later, another MISC vessel, MT Bunga Melati Lima, with 36 crewmen, was also hijacked while crossing the same waters.Meanwhile, a Wisma Putra source identified the two ships as those of the AMD 1 cargo ship and Masindra 7 tugboat.The source said that a National Security Division meeting was held at 2.30pm today to discuss the matter.No Malaysians were involved in the incident as the crew members of both vessels were Indonesians, he said.-- BERNAMA
KD Mahawangsa Leading Her Convoy Through The Gulf
A Super Lynx On Eagle Valencia's Deck Indicating Her Size