Melaka, submarine visit


Today, I’ve decided to visit a special museum, a submarine. I’ve never had the occasion to see how it looks inside so I’ve been cycling those 7km from Melaka city centre and got here. The entrance is 3MYR ($1) which is very cheap. There is no guided tour unfortunately but for the price we cannot complain :-)


This is the entrance of the museum.


I’ve paid my ticket and I’m starting the visit now.


SMD Ouessant submarine is essentially one of the Agosta class submarine owned by the French Navy and it was included in the Scorpene class buying package. This submarine has been developped by Arsenal of Cherbourg during 1978 who worked with French Navy until 2001. The status of SMD Ouessant is being activated during 2002 when the government of Malaysia signing the buying contract for Scorpene class with a shipbuilder firm from France, Armaris (formely known as DCN) and the partner from Spain, Navantia (formely know as Bazan or IZAR). Throughout 2005 until 2009, the submarine has become an underwater training platform for the trainee in Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) before starting Scorpene class real conventional submarine.

According to the source from France, “Malaysia’s Ouessant Project” which involves SMD Ouessant and its 156 Scorpene class trainees, has officially ended on 11th July 2009 and it was the last training mission for SMD Ouessant. However, it has been the first mission when Tuanku Abdul Rahman sailed to Malaysia from dockyard of Direction des Constructions Navales Services (DCNS) Cherbourg, Toulon with this submarine.


It’s an electric-diesel warship (SSK) made in France. It has been classified as non-nuclear submarine. This submarine also being used in Spanish Navy and Pakistan Navy instead of Royal Malaysian Navy. SMD Ouessant is using air-independent propulsion as the supported system. As for the beginning, SMD Ouessant was constructed by Arsenal de Cherbourg firm with 4 units of Agosta 70 which are FS Agosta, FB Beveziers, FS la Praya and FS Ouessant. The FS Ouessant was purshased by the Royal Malaysian Navy between 1977 and 2001. The newest model, Agosta 90B was built by the Pakistan Navy.


In the Scorpene class buying package, it was stated that all the crews will be fully-trained by the staff of non-governmental firm which is NAVFCO that consists of half Rroupe DCI (Defense Conseil International) and most of them are former French Navy. The firm gladly handed two Scorpene submarine, additional staff and professionals trainers for the training session. All the crews need to complete their 9000 hours for underwater drilling with FS Ouessant submarine which has already become one of the three training phases which are lecture, simulation and submarine training.


We first enter by the front door (well certainly made for the museum purpose). He they must store the torpedos. The scorpene class cubmarine is one of the conventional warships which capable carry 10 torpedos and 30 land mines destroyer. This Scorpene submarine also has been equipped with 6 tubes of missiles which are anti-ship missile and anti-submarine torpedos. Both can be launched at one time without boundaries.

This is scary, bloody humans!


Again, the room where the torpedos are stored.


And just above them, the crews can sleep! or cannot…


The main control panel. Wow, this is a lot of switch here!


The rest of the room with certainly radar screens.


The control panel from the other side.


There is only one main corridor and rooms are spread on both sides.


A storage room with more controllers.


The bedroom of the commander officer.


The dinning room :-)


The bedroom for the crew.


The bathroom ;-) Everything is compact and tiny.


Another access to the crew bedrooms. Some cashier in between to put your Laptop, phone and other books (of course not :-).


And we continue walking straight.


The end of the crew bedroom with a dining room.


closer look.


The kitchen!


dThis guy tries to hide from the camera. Come on, get to work!


The bathroom with a tiny shower.


Heading towards the back of the submarine.


Ah, onather control panel. Which one controls what? The guy put his arm on the sign…

This submarine can be functioning between 100 metres and 200 metres depth to watch over the Malaysian Ocean. The strait of Malacca, South China Sea, Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea are needed to be guarded from any invasion by the enemies.

The speed of this submarine is 20 knot and it has been armed with advanced navigation system which is known as SUBTICS.


The engine room.


Unfortunately we cannot use the top door… I would be too complicated I guess if 10 person want to see this.


Many cables and pipes run along the ceiling. Every centimetres is important of course.


There is a video showing how they moved this submarine from France until here, this precise place. There is no subtitles so I can’t understand everything. The four guys front of me could but they are all watching their phones…


A rough preview of the submarine in 3D but it’s too small to get the details.


That visit was interesting :-) In fact, I liked the technological side of it and I’m conscious this piece of metal is made for war purpose. Some would say it’s only to maintain peace or prevent attack but if we would spend all this money on ecological purpose and all be friends it would be even better. It’s a dream…

I’m now leaving the area. Here they are building more entertainment projects and it seems abandoned. They might run out of money for the moment…


I’m cycling along the beach looking for a place where to have something to eat.


Over there, more beach but more high buildings. I was able to eat around here and I’m now coming back the guesthouse.

2 thoughts on “Melaka, submarine visit

  1. Visite intéressante. Il ne faut pas être claustrophobe quand même. J’imagine les marins au fond de l’eau dans leur boite à sardines. Il faut un moral d’acier, et une sacré motivation dis donc .. ou un très très bon salaire !

  2. Just thinking of living in there makes me throw up. Airplane is bad enough for me….
    Imagining the surface is far away… I go crazy.

Leave a Reply