Royal Malaysian Navy

The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) (Malay: Tentera Laut DiRaja Malaysia (TLDM) is the naval arm of Malaysia's armed forces. In terms of personnel the RMN is one of the largest fleets in South East Asia and is also considered as one of the more technologically advanced navies in South East Asia.The role of the Royal Malaysian Navy is to safeguard Malaysia's coastline, Malaysia's maritime strategic interest,her Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), her territorial waters and as well as defending Malaysia against all seaborne threats. All commissioned ships of the RMN have a prefix KD, which means Royal Ship. (In Malay, Kapal Diraja)


Straits Settlement Naval Volunteer Reserve

The Royal Malaysian Navy can trace its roots to the formation of the Straits Settlement Naval Volunteer Reserve (SSNVR) in Singapore on 27 April 1934 by the British colonial government in Singapore. The SSNVR was formed to assist the Royal Navy in the defense of Singapore, upon which the defense of the Malay Peninsula was based. Another reason behind its formation were political developments in Asia, particularly a Japanese that was increasingly assertive in Asia. The formation of a Penang branch in 1938 saw its expansion.

On 18 January 1935, the British Admiralty presented Singapore with an Acacia-class sloop, HMS Laburnum, to serve as the Reserve's Headquarters and drill ship. It was berthed at the Telok Ayer Basin. HMS Laburnum was sunk in February 1942, prior to the capitulation of Singapore at the beginning of the Pacific Second World War.

With the outbreak of the Second World War in Europe, the SSNVR increased the recruitment of mainly indigenous personnel into the force, to beef up local defenses as Royal Navy resources were required in Europe.

Members of the SSNVR were called up to active duty, and the force was augmented by members of the Royal Navy Malay Section. This formed the basis of the navy in Malaya, called the Malay Navy, manned by indigenous Malay personnel (similarly, the Malays were recruited into the fledgling Malay Regiment formed in 1936). The Malay Navy had a strength of 400 men who received their training at HMS Pelandok, the Royal Navy training establishment in Malaya. Recruitment was increased and in 1941 at the outbreak of the war in Asia, the Malay Navy had a strength of 1450 men.

Throughout the Second World War, the Malay Navy served with the Allied Forces in the Indian and Pacific theater of operations. When the war ended with the Japanese Surrender in 1945, only 600 personnel of the Malay Navy reported for muster. Post war economic constraints saw the disbandment of the Malay Navy in 1947.

Post World War II – Formation of the Malayan Naval Force

The Malay Navy was reactivated on 24 December 1948 at the outbreak of the Malayan Emergency, the Communist inspired insurgent war against the British Colonial government. The Malayan Naval Force regulation was officially gazetted on 4 March 1949 by the colonial authorities and the Malayan Naval Force was based at an ex-Royal Air Force radio base station in Woodlands, Singapore. The base was initially called the 'MNF Barracks' but later renamed HMS Malaya. The Malayan RNVR was reconstituted as a joint force comprising the Singapore Division and the Federation Division, by an Ordinance passed in Singapore in 1952.

The main mission of the Malayan Naval Force (MNF) was coastal patrol in order to stop the communist terrorists from receiving supplies from the sea. In addition, the Force was tasked with guarding the approaches to Singapore and other ports.

The MNF was firstly equipped with a River-class frigate HMS Test that was used as a training ship but by 1950 had in service an ex-Japanese minelayer HMS Laburnum, a Landing Craft Tank (LCT) HMS Pelandok ("Mousedeer"), motor fishing vessel HMS Panglima ("Marshall"), torpedo recovery vessel HMS Simbang and several seaward defence motor launches (SDML).

“Royal” Title

In August 1952 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, bestowed the title "Royal Malayan Navy" to the Malayan Naval Force in recognition of the sterling service in action during the Malayan Emergency. The King of Malaysia is the Supreme Commander of the Malaysian Armed Forces.


Malaya, soon after attaining independence on August 31 1957, had successfully negotiated with the British Government and had the British Royal Malayan Navy transferred to the independent Federation of Malaya on 12 July 1958. With the hoisting of the Federation naval ensign - the White Ensign modified by the substitution of the Union Flag with the Federation flag in the canton - the RMN was thus made responsible for Malaya's maritime self defence.

From then on it became Malayan owned and administered. The designation “Royal” in Royal Malayan Navy was now in reference to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. When the navy was transferred to Malaya, all the assets (the ships, the bases and jetties and personnel) were inherited by the Malayan government.

The new force shouldered the responsibility with only an operational and training base at HMMS Malaya and a small coastal fleet of one LCT, two Ham-class inshore minesweepers, one coastal minelayer and seven MLs (the ex-RN 200th Patrol Squadron) on transferred from the Royal Navy.

On 16 September 1963 the naval force was renamed Royal Malaysian Navy with the formation of Malaysia. The RMN was gradually strengthened after the formation of Malaysia. 18 “Keris”-class patrol boats were ordered from Vosper, and these formed the mainstay of the navy for years to come. These boats were driven by maybach diesels and capable of . The Keris patrol boats are confined to coastal patrols and had short endurance. An offensive capability was acquired with the purchase of four Vosper "Brave" class fast attack craft. The “Perkasa” Fast Patrol Boats were built for the RMN by Vosper Thorneycroft in 1967, powered by three Rolls Royce Marine Proteus gas turbines as the main power plant with two diesel auxiliary engines for cruising and manoeuvring. These were armed with four 21" torpedoes and one 40 mm Bofors gun forward and one 20 mm cannon aft. It had a maximum speed of and was driven by triple propellers.

The Royal Navy transferred a Loch-class frigate HMS Loch Insh (F433) to the RMN in 1964 and renamed KD (Kapal di-Raja, "His Majesty's Ship") Hang Tuah. In 1965, during the Indonesian Confrontation, Hang Tuah took over guardship duties off Tawau from HMS Yarra. The ship served the RMN until decommissioned in the 1970s and scrapped.

Malaysianization of the Navy

When the trials and tribulations of Indonesian Confrontation settled down in 1966, especially after the signing of the agreement between Malaysia and Indonesia, Tunku Abdul Rahman and his colleagues decided to Malaysianise the top posts in the navy and air force. They initially offered these posts to two senior Malaysian army generals, who declined for two main reasons. Firstly they felt that they were not professionally qualified and secondly because they did not want to jeopardise their own careers in the army.

Tunku and his colleagues then decided that they would select two officers, one from the navy and one from the air force, and appoint them chiefs of the respective services. They were fully aware of Rear Admiral Datuk K. Thanabalasingam's age but decided, nevertheless, to appoint him and take the risk. This exercise created history not only because Malaysians for the first time were appointed to these two top posts but also because of his age -- he was 31 years old and a bachelor.

Under Thanabalasingam and with Tunku Abdul Rahman's foresight and will, they were responsible for initiating the gradual transformation of the navy from a coastal navy (brown water force) to an ocean-going navy (blue water navy).

1970's Onwards

In 1977, the RMN acquired the frigate HMS Mermaid from the Royal Navy to replace the decommissioned Hang Tuah. The ship was also named KD Hang Tuah(F72) and retained HMS Mermaid’s pennant number. KD Hang Tuah is a 2,300 std ton light patrol frigate armed with twin 102 mm guns. Hang Tuah gradually reverted to a training role and currently continues in that role for the RMN. KD Rahmat (ex-HANG JEBAT) (F24) joined the RMN in 1972. The 2,300-ton ship was a one-off Yarrow light frigate design for the RMN. The ship was originally named KD Hang Jebat but renamed after initial propulsion problems during pre commissioning trials. It was the first Malaysian naval vessel equipped with a missile (Seacat) system. Rahmat was decommissioned in 2004.

The RMN purchased several types of missile boats in the 1970s and 80s. These were four Combattante II attack boats purchased from France and four Spica M from Sweden. Both classes were armed with the Exocet MM38 missiles. The RMN also acquired two 1,300-ton OPVs of Korean design. Sealift requirements were met by the purchases of several ex-United States Navy World War II-era LSTs.

KD Sri Langkawi (A1500), ex-USS Hunterdon County (LST-838), KD Sri Banggi (A1501),ex-USS Henry County (LST-834), and KD Rajah Jarom (A1502), ex-USS Sedgwick County (LST-1123), were replaced by KD Sri Indera Pura (A1505), the ex-Newport-class LST USS Spartanburg County (LST-1192). Additional sealift capability is provided by two 4,300-ton, 100-meter Multi-Role Support Ships, KD Sri Indera Sakti (A1503) and KD Mahawangsa (A1504).

Minehunting capabilities are provided by 4 Mahamiru minehunters. These are Italian LERICI-class minehunters of 610 tons displacement. Hydrographic duties are handled by KD Perantau and KD Mutiara. A Naval Air Wing was also founded with the purchase of ex-Royal Navy Westland Wasps. Four ships of the RMN have been officially decommissioned and handed over to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. The vessels are patrol boats KD Lembing and KD Sri Melaka, and offshore patrol vessels KD Marikh and KD Musytari. MMEA had received a total of 17 vessels from the RMN fleet to equip its enforcement operations. 6 of the vessels were transferred in August 2005 and 7 were handed over in January 2006.

RMN Current Fleet

In the late 1980s, another renovation was taken by the Royal Malaysian Navy. Four Laksamana Class corvettes were purchased from Italy. These compact ships were originally built for Iraq but were not delivered due to international sanctions put in place against Iraq.

A prominent addition to the fleet were two Lekiu Class frigates. Based on the YARROW F2000 design, the two 2,300-ton frigates are armed with Exocet MM40 II SSM and the Sea Wolf VLS point defence SAM system with accommodation of one Westland Super Lynx helicopter.

Complementing the two Lekiu frigates are two German-built Kasturi class frigates which were delivered in the early 1980s. These vessels together with other 2 Mahamiru (Lerici) Class minehunter had been scheduled to receive the Service Life Extension Program (SLEP).


THALES Naval Division has been selected as the contractor of the Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) involve of the Kasturi Class corvettes - KD Kasturi, KD Lekir and two Mahamiru (Lerici) Class minehunters - KD Mahamiru, KD Ledang. The corvettes will receive radar and fire control upgrade while the minehunters will receive the new wide band sonar, 2022MkIII. The programme aim to extend the service life of these surface combatants by another 10 years.

RMN Future Fleet

The RMN Future Fleet programme is component of second batch of Lekiu Class frigates, Scorpene submarines, New Generation Patrol Vessels (NGPV) and maritime patrol aircraft. The ultimate goal is to build a six vessels squadron of each class by year 2020.

Scorpene submarine

Two Scorpene submarines were ordered by the RMN in 2006. The construction of two Scorpene submarines are to be built jointly by the French shipbuilder, DCNS, and its Spanish partner, Navantia. They will be armed with Blackshark wire-guided torpedoes and Exocet SM-39 sub-launched anti-ship missiles.

The submarine program also includes the redeployment of an Agosta class submarine retired from French Navy, for the training of submarine crews. The training of 150 Malaysian sailors, mainly in Brest, France, represents an important aspect of the program.

In 2006, the RMN had launched a nationwide competition in order to select the names for the Malaysian first two submarines. On 26th July, RMN announced these vessels will be named after the historic people in Malaysia's history. The first hull will be name as KD Tunku Abdul Rahman and the second hull KD Tun Razak. Official naming ceremonies are schedule to be held in the near future. These vessels are classified as Perdana Menteri Class in service with RMN The first vessel, KD Tunku Abdul Rahman was launched on October 24 2007 at the DCNS dockyard, Cherbourg, France

Kedah Class New Generation Patrol Vessel

In 1996, Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) planned to acquire a total of 27 New Generation Patrol Vessels (NGPV) to full fill its future requirement. The Germany Blohm + Voss MEKO 100 based design was selected and a contract of 6 NGPVs was signed in 2003. However due to management failure of the main contractor, PSC-Naval Dockyard Sdn Bhd (PCS-ND), progression was seriously delayed and led the program into crisis. This may also affect the initial planned total number of NGPVs to be decreased. However under the intervention of the Malaysian Government, Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd took over the PCS-ND, thus regaining momentum for the program.

After a long wait of 18 months, the first 2 two hulls, KD Kedah commissioned in June 2006 and KD Pahang commissioned in August 2006. The remaining vessels were reported to be back on track. The third hull, KD Perak and the fourth hull, KD Terengganu had set for sea trial since November 12th and December 6 2007, respectively, and will be commissioned by June and July, 2009. The program also anticipates the fifth and the sixth hull to be launched by December, 2008 and July, 2009, respectively. Subsequently good progression of the program has regained interest in the Malaysian decision makers to order the second batch of 6 NGPVs. Navy Chief Admiral Datuk Abdul Aziz bin Jaafar had recently unveiled that the navy is interested to have the second batch of NGPV ASW configured. The ASW configured NGPV is expected to be able to coordinate operations with the Scorpene submarines.

Second Batch of Lekiu Class Frigate

The Malaysian Minister of Defence, Najib Razak, announced at the Farnborough Air Show that Malaysia would be buying 2 frigates from the United Kingdom . The Evening Times published on 20 July 2006 reported that the Clyde shipyard has won a contract to help build two Lekiu Class warships for Malaysia The two frigates will be completed at Labuan Shipyard and Engineering in Malaysia as a condition of the deal.The new frigates are said to be benefit from the latest U.K.Type 45 (T45) destroyer technology transfer. . However RMN had denied the report and said the authorities had not decided where to assemble the frigates. While the price of procurement and technical speculations are yet to be decided, Annual Report 2006 published by MoD anticipates the new frigates to have a larger displacement than the current Lekiu Class and capable of area air defence

Maritime Patrol Aircraft

Currently, RMN has no fixed wing patrol aircraft and is dependent on the RMAF’s fleet of four Beechcraft B200T maritime patrol aircraft to execute long-range patrols. This procurement will enable RMN to focus on operational maritime surveillance whilst the RMAF focuses on a strategic surveillance role, through the acquisition of Airborne Early Warning aircraft. However there is no budget allocated for this procurement until RMK 9 .

Anti Submarine Helicopter

Navy chief Admiral Datuk Abdul Aziz Jaafar unveiled an intention of the navy to acquire at least six ASW helicopters as a compliment to the soon to be commissioned Scorpene submarines. The navy is looking forward to include the procurement into the RMK 10. However he also admitted that the plan is still at the preliminary discussion stage.

Vision and Mission


  • To Be A Quality Navy


  • Prepare and Deploy Naval Forces To Protect Malaysia's Maritime Interest In Peace and Ensure Victory In War

Commanders of the RMN

Chief of Navy

  • Admiral Datuk Abdul Aziz Jaafar

Admiral Datuk Abdul Aziz Jaafar assumed his appointment as the Chief of Navy on 1 April 2008.Profiles Admiral Datuk Abdul Aziz Jaafar was born in Sungai Udang, Malacca on 7 May 1956. He joined the service in 1974 and was then commissioned into His Majesty's service as a Sub-Lieutenan in 1977. He had his secondary education at the Sekolah Menengah Masjid Tanah and later at the Royal Miliritary College, Sungai Besi.

Throughout his 31 years in service, Admiral Datul Abdul Abdul Aziz has held various appointments both at sea and ashore. He was the Chief of Staff to the Fleet Operations Commander in 2001. In July 2002 he assumed duty as Commander, Naval Region 2 in Labuan. In July 2005 he was appointed as Assistant Chief of Staff Human-Resources in RMN Headquarters. He was appointed as Fleet Operations Commander for 6 months on 27 January 2006 until 28 July 2006 before taking up his last job as the Assistant Chief of Staff Defence Operatons and Training at the MAF Headquarters.

Admiral Datuk Abdul Aziz was a commissioning crew for 4 RMN ships namely KD PAUS in Hong Leong-Lurssen, Malaysia (1976), KD SRI INDERA SAKTI in Bremen, Germany (1980), KD KASTURI in Kiel (1984) and KD LAKSAMANA MUHAMMHAD AMIN in LA Spezia, Italy (1999). He has command of 3 RMN ships before, such as KD BAUNG in 1986, KD MUSYTARI an Offshore Patrol Vessel from 1994 to 1996 and KD LAKSAMANA MUHAMMAD AMIN from 1999-2001. He was the Senior Officer Afloat while commanding RMN Missile Corvette KD LAKSAMANA MUHAMMAD AMIN from 2000 to 2001.

Admiral Datuk Abdul Aziz has atended various professional and career courses locally and abroad. Among the courses were International Navigation Specialization Courses, United Kingdom in 1980, Malaysia Armed Forces Staff Course in 1991 and Naval Command Course at the Naval War College, United States in 1995. Whilst undergoing this course, he pursued his MA studies majoring in International Relations at the Salve Regina University graduating with distinction.

Admiral Datuk Abdul Aziz is married to Datin Sarah Tun Abdul Ghafar. He has a wide range of interests. He is a keen golfer and an avid reader. His favourite subjects are sports, international relations, leadership and management.

In recognition of his services, Admiral Datuk Abdul Aziz has been bestowed the Darjah Mulia Seri Melaka (DMSM) by the HE the Governor for the State of Malacca which carries the title of Datuk, the Malaysian Armed Forces award "Pahlawan Angkatan Tentera"(PAT), the National award " Johan Setia Mahkota"(JSM) and "Kesatria Mangku Negara"(KMN) and the State Award "Bintang Cemerlang Melaka"(BCM).

Naval Strategic Administration

First Admiral Dato' Pahlawan Dr ZAINAL ABIDIN BIN HAMDAN

Naval Assistant Chief of Staff

Assistant Chief of Staff - Logistic
Rear Admiral DATO' PAHLAWAN Ir HJ. JASAN APHANDI BIN SULAIMANAssistant Chief of Staff - Human Resources
First Admiral ANUWAR BIN MAD SAID Assistant Chief of Staff - Planning and Operation
First Admiral MOHAMAD ROSLAN BIN MOHAMAD RAMLIAssistant Chief of Staff Administration

Navy Formation Commander

Fleet Commander
First Admiral ABDUL AZIZ BIN MD DOMCommander Naval Region 2
First Admiral SYED ZAHIRUDDIN PUTRA BIN SYED OSMANCommander of Naval Region 3
First Admiral Abdul Ghani OthmanCommander of Naval System Control
First Admiral YAHYA BIN HASHIMCommander of Naval Education and Training
Rear Admiral MUSA BIN OMARCommander of Naval Support

Ranks of The Royal Malaysian Navy

This is the list of ranks that is currently used in the Royal Malaysian Navy, from the highest rank to the lowest rank.

Flag Officer

Rank Admiral Vice Admiral Rear Admiral First Admiral
Malay Laksamana Laksamana Madya Laksamana Muda Laksamana Pertama

Commissioned Officer

Rank Captain Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Sub Lieutenant Acting Sub Lieutenant Midshipmen Cadet
Malay Kepten Komander Leftenan Komander Leftenan Leftenan Madya Leftenan Muda Pegawai Kadet Kanan Kadet

Naval Air Assets

The Westland Wasps were retired from service in 1999. As a replacement, RMN now has 6 AgustaWestland SuperLynx 300 Mk100 helicopters which are operated by the 501 Squadron and another 6 Eurocopter AS 555 Fennecs which are operated by the 502 Squadron. Both squadrons were managed and supported at their main base, KD Rajawali.


The RMN's Fleet HQ is called KD Malaya, in Lumut, Perak. Other bases are located at Tanjong Gelang, Kuantan, Pahang, which also serves as HQ Naval Region I and KD Sultan Ismail at Tanjung Pengelih, Johor, where the Recruit Training Centre is located. Bases are also located in Sungai Antu ,Sarawak; Labuan; and Sandakan, Sabah. The principal submarine base is located at Teluk Sepanggar, Sabah, which also serves as HQ Naval Region II.

Another base is also being constructed on Pulau Langkawi, Kedah to provide the RMN with readier access into the Indian Ocean. Ready access into the Pacific Ocean is available via the existing base at Semporna, Sabah.

List of Naval Bases

  • TLDM Lumut, Perak (Fleet HQ and location of Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd)
  • TLDM Tanjung Gelang, Pahang (HQ Naval Region I)
  • TLDM Tanjung Pengelih, Johor (Recruit Training Centre (PULAREK)) (KD Sultan Ismail)
  • TLDM Labuan
  • TLDM Sungai Antu, Sarawak
  • TLDM Sandakan, Sabah
  • TLDM Semporna, Sabah
  • TLDM Sepanggar, Sabah (HQ Naval Region II)
  • National Hydrographic Centre, Pulau Indah, Selangor (KD Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah)

Ship Names

All RMN Ships carry the prefix KD for Kapal di-Raja meaning His Majesty's Ship. The Training vessel Tunas Samudra however carries a KLD prefix for Kapal Layar di-Raja for His Majesty's Sailing Ship.

Ships and Weapon systems

Surface Vessels



  • 2 Kasturi class corvettes
    • 25 KD Kasturi
    • 26 KD Lekir
  • 4 Laksamana class corvettes
    • 134 KD Laksamana Hang Nadim
    • 135 KD Laksamana Tun Abdul Jamil
    • 136 KD Laksamana Muhammad Amin
    • 137 KD Laksamana Tan Pusmah

Offshore Patrol Vessels

  • 4 Kedah class offshore patrol vessels
    • 171 KD Kedah
    • 172 KD Pahang
    • 173 KD Perak
    • 174 KD Terengganu
  • 4 Handalan class patrol boats (Swedish Spica-M class)
    • 3511 KD Handalan
    • 3512 KD Perkasa
    • 3513 KD Pendekar
    • 3514 KD Gempita

Fast Attack Craft

  • 4 Perdana class missile boats (French La Combattante II 4AL class)
    • 3501 KD Perdana
    • 3502 KD Serang
    • 3503 KD Ganas
    • 3504 KD Ganyang
  • 6 Jerong class patrol boats (German Lürssen TNC 45 class)
    • 3505 KD Jerong
    • 3506 KD Todak
    • 3507 KD Paus
    • 3508 KD Yu
    • 3509 KD Baung
    • 3510 KD Pari

Mine Counter-Measure Vessels

  • 5 Mahamiru class minesweepers (Italian Lerici class)
    • 11 KD Mahamiru
    • 12 KD Jerai
    • 13 KD Ledang
    • 14 KD Kinabalu


  • 2 Perdana Menteri class submarines (French/Spanish Scorpène class)
    • KD Tunku Abdul Rahman
    • KD Tun Razak

Auxiliary Vessels

Landing Craft

Combat Support Ships

Hydrographic Survey Ships

  • 255 KD Mutiara
  • 151 KD Perantau

Training Ships

  • 76 KD Hang Tuah (training frigate)
  • KLD Tunas Samudera
  • MV Fajar Samudra (training yacht)
  • MV STS Puteri Mahsuri (training yacht)


  • 4 KTD Penyu
  • 6 KTD Sotong
  • 8 KTD Kepah

Air Assets

The SuperLynx 300 is configured for Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW), Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Over The Horizontal Targeting (OTHT) roles. It is equipped with the MBDA Sea Skua antiship missile.

Current Fleet of the RMN

  • Squadron 21 Frigate
  • Squadron 23 Frigate
  • Squadron 22 Corvette
  • Squadron 24 Corvette
  • Squadron 26 Mine Counter Measure Vessel
  • Squadron 31 MPCSS
  • Squadron 32 SEALIFT
  • Squadron 36 HYDRO
  • Squadron 1 FAC (M)
  • Squadron 6 FPC (LABUAN)
  • Squadron 13 PC (SANDAKAN)
  • Squadron DIVING TENDER
  • Squadron TUG

Transferred to Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency

Musytari class offshore patrol vessels

  • 160 KD Musytari
  • 161 KD Marikh

Keris Class Patrol Craft

  • ex-P 40 KD Lembing
  • ex-P 3147 KD Sri Melaka

Special Forces

The special forces arm of the RMN is known as PASKAL (Pasukan Khas Laut). In peacetime, the unit is tasked with responding to maritime hijacking incidents as well as protecting Malaysia's numerous offshore oil and gas platforms. Its wartime roles include seaborne infiltration, sabotaging of enemy naval assets and installations and the defense of RMN vessels and bases. This unit is analogous to the US Navy SEALs.

See also


External Links

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