Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Malaysia 2014 : Submarine Museum @ Malacca

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Klebang, Malacca, Malaysia - April 2014
We were en route on a cycling trip from Malacca Town to Tanjong Bidara when our buddy Chris (who is local to Malacca) led us on a short detour into the Klebang beach area to visit a submarine museum.
A submarine museum? Yes, there is one in Malaysia, and for those keen on naval interests it's an educational place worthwhile visiting.

The road to the museum leads of from a junction of Jalan Klebang Besar, about 4 km. from Malacca's Heritage town centre. From that jucntion it's about another 2 km. on roads built on reclaimed land. Entry charge is MYR1-00. 

The museum is on a open sandy beach area that has been fenced up. This is an area recently reclaimed from the sea, so newly reclaimed that Google Maps still show the area as sea. 

Further outwards beyond the museum grounds, construction for new development is in progress. This area presently looks like a desert, but in a few years to come landscaping will sprout and it should be a nicely shaded park.

Interesting is how they managed to get this huge vessel onto this spot. A photo shows the submarine on a barge still floating on water at what is presumably it's present location. Temporary canals must have been made on the reclaimed land for the barge to sail in. The submarine was delivered by a larger ship was unloaded onto this barge and transported in through these temporary canals. Probably the barge is now buried in the sand too, it's top concreted forming the walking platform around sub.


To make it easier for readers, I include a drawing of a submarine showing it's different parts. Note the illustration above is that of a nuclear submarine with missile, whereas the submarine we are visiting is of the diesel/electric engine type with on torpedoes weaponry.

As on approaches from the front, the submarine does look daunting, its outer black hull weathered by many and long voyages in the deep sea. Up close it's three-storey height looks towering.

 From the front/side angle view, it looks like a giant sperm whale, but perhaps looking more menacing. The forward hydro-plane for this sub is located at the top of the bow.

Rear side perspective view. The vessel is a French Submarine of the Agosta Class named the SMO Ouessant (S623). It was used as a training submarine for the Malaysian naval personnel.

Rear view of the submarine showing the rust, wear and tear. Perhaps they should give it a fresh coat of paint, this will at least bring it back to its look during its grandeur days.

Close-up rear view showing the propeller, aft hydroplane and the stabilizer fin with its rudder.

The submarine is secured with two strong steel trestles at the base so that it will not topple over. Visitors can walk around outside and inside safely.

Close up of a steel trestle showing how solid and strong they are.

At a centre portion below the submarine, with the sub giving shade, is a seating area where a TV screens a video documentary of the submarine and its history.

Two staricases lead to the mid-level of the sub. One for entry at the front, and the other for exit at the rear (or should I use the naval term aft, see I am no landlubber). Let's go up, let's see what is inside.


The moment one enters, one can feel how enclosed the inside of a submarine is; how tight the movement space is. Life in a submarine is definitely not for the claustrophobic.

At the front-most section is the torpedo room, showing the torpedo tubes.

Oddly, the passageway that runs through the submarine is not levelled, at certain points there are steps to be climbed. If running through the narrow passage is not difficult enough, one will have to climb up and down. I guess one will just have to get a hang of it.

Climbing up those stairs, I notice that there a sleeping bunks right at the top; space is valuable inside - all corners are fully utilized.  I don't think these are the regular sleeping quarters - probably they are there for crew on duty over long hours.

Crossing the next hatch doorway, I enter the Command Centre (Control Room). At the middle is a polished chrome shaft which should be the control for the periscope.

To one side is the Computer Room for firing of weapons such as torpedoes, missiles and bombs.

The control room for sailing the submarine.

The Damage Control Room...

... and nearby are the hose reel and fire extinguishers.

The Dining Room cum Living Quarters - notice the bunk beds that have been turned up. Many rooms in the submarine serve dual purposes.

More dining area (the bunk above have been turned down). Further down are more sleeping bunks.

The Kitchen.

The Engine Control Room. The engineer must really have keen eyes and be alert - so many meters to read, so many switches to control!

And right at the rear of the submarine is the Engine Room. This type on submarines run on diesel and batteries. Diesel engines are use while sailing on the surface and batteries while sailing underwater.

These are photos and posters that were found displayed inside and outside the submarine.

A poster showing submarines museums around the world.

Newspaper articles on the submarine.

Poster giving general details about the submarine.

Poster showing living quarters.

Poster showing technical operating rooms.

General specialisations of the submarine.

Technical specifications of the submarine.

The Damage Control Organization Chart.

Painting of a large modern war submarine.

Painting of USS Nautilus, the first atomic submarine.

Painting of a German U-Boat under attack.

Cross-sectional drawing of a German U-30 class World War II submarine.

Cross-sectional drawing of a Russian Krab Class mine-laying submarine.

View Malacca Submarine Museum Location Map in a larger map

Location of the Submarine Museum is off Jalan Klebang Besar, about 4 km from the Malacca Town cultural centre. If it looks like it's in the sea it's because it's on reclaimed land that has not been reflected in Google Maps yet.

GPS : 2.212165, 102.197887

Opening hours : Monday to Thursday - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Friday to Sunday - 9:00 am to 6:30 pm

Telephone : +606-2826526 / +606-2830926
Fax. : +606-2826745
email :

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