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KD Tunku Abdul Rahman

Diesel-Electric Attack Submarine

Naval Warfare / Ships

Malaysia operates two of the conventionally-powered French-Spanish Scorpene-class attack submarines including the KD Tunku Abdul Rahman.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 8/9/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
KD Tunku Abdul Rahman is a conventionally-powered attack submarine currently in active service with the Royal Malaysian Navy. The vessel was ordered in June of 2002 and laid down in December of 2003. She was launched in October of 2007 and formally commissioned in January of 2009. The builder was DCNS Cherbourg of France with Navantia of Cartegena, Spain.

KD Tunku Abdul Rahman belongs to the Scorpene-class of submarine developed under a joint venture between France and Spain. The entire class currently (2014) numbers four boats with some nineteen having been planned at one point. Four have since been cancelled and two are currently under construction as of this writing. Lacking the power and longevity of competing nuclear-powered brethren seen through world naval powers, the Scorpene-class can be seen as something of a "budget" attack submarine solution marketed to more "budget-conscious" navies of the world. It has been adopted by the navies of Brazil, Chile, India and Malaysia.
As built, KD Tunku Abdul Rahman displaces 1,600 tons when surfaced and 1,740 tons when submerged. Propulsion is by way of 2 x SEMT-Pielstick 12 PA4 200SM DS diesel engines with 1 x Jeumont Industrie electric motor developing 4,700 horsepower to a single shaft. This arrangement provides the vessels with a top ocean-going speed of 12 knots when surfaced and nearly 21 knots when submerged. Range is approximately 6,000 nautical miles (6,900 miles) surfaced and 360 nautical miles (410 miles) submerged. The boat can reach depths of nearly 1,000 feet. Her entire crew complement numbers 32 sailors and officers. Processing systems include an I-band navigation radar system as well as sonar and a Thales DR3000 tactical Electronic Support Measures (ESM) receiver. ESM is used to detect, identify and locate radiated electromagnetic energy sources emerging from potential undersea, on-sea and oversea threats.

Outwardly, the boat takes on a conventional submarine shape with a rounded bow and tubular hull shape, tapered at the stern. Dive planes are featured along the sides of the sail which is well-contoured to the upper section of the hull and contained various communication and sensor stems. Her length is 217.9 feet with a beam of 20.3 feet and draught of 17.8 feet. A rudder system is identified at the extreme aft of the vessel where the propeller also resides. Finish of the entire boat is of an all-black coating.

As an attack submarine, KD Tunku Abdul Rahman is outfitted with 6 x 533mm torpedo tubes with eighteen reloads of "Black Shark" torpedoes manufactured by Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei. These can be replaced with a stock of SM.39 Exocet anti-ship missiles or up to thirty naval mines as required.

KD Tunku Abdul Rahman arrived in Malaysia during September of 2009 and continues to form a critical, all-modern component of the Malaysian navy.


Ship Class [ Scorpene-class ]
Ships-in-Class [ 19 ] Ship Names: Carrera (SS-22); O'Higgins (SS-23); KD Tunku Abdul Rahman (Malaysia); KD Tun Abdul Razak (Malaysia); Unnamed Indian Navy (S50); Unnamed Indian Navy (S51); Unnamed Indian Navy (S52); Unnamed Indian Navy (S53); Unnamed Indian Navy (S54); Unnamed Indian Navy (S55); Riachuelo (S40) (Brazil); Humaita (S41) (Brazil); Tonelero (S42) (Brazil); Angostura (S43) (Brazil)
National flag of Malaysia Malaysia
- Blue Water Operations
- Fleet Support
- Hunter
- Direct-Attack
218 ft (66.45 m)
Width / Beam:
20 ft (6.10 m)
Height / Draught:
19 ft (5.79 m)
Displacement (Surface):
1,600 tons
Displacement (Submerged):
1,740 tons
2 x SEMT-Pielstick 12 PA4 200SM DS diesel engines with 1 x Jeumont Industrie electric motor developing 4,700 horsepower to 1 x shaft.
Speed (Surface):
12 kts (14 mph)
Speed (Submerged):
21 kts (24.17 miles)
5,648 nm (6,500 miles; 10,461 km)
6 x Alenia Whithead Black Shark Torpedoes in bow tube launchers. Can be replaced with Aerospatiale SM39 Exocet anti-ship surface-to-surface missiles or up to 30 x naval mines.

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