Singapore Commissions Two Littoral Mission Vessels
The Republic of Singapore Navy's Littoral Mission Vessels RSS Sovereignty and RSS Unity were commissioned at RSS Singapura - Changi Naval Base - on Tuesday.
Singapore's Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen officiated the commissioning ceremony which he says marks a significant milestone in the Singapore Navy's continued transformation to strengthen its capabilities to safeguard Singapore's waters, protect its sea lines of communication and contribute to regional peace and security.
He said both the South China Sea and Strait of Malacca are key sea lines of communication. Seaborne trade in the Malacca Straits has grown steadily, alongside a rising recognition from non-Asean countries such as the U.S. and China that the seas in the region are critical to global trade and security.
Ng said, "Today, the Navy already contributes to regional and global security efforts… Going forward, the demands on our Navy will increase. Part of this reflects both rising trade as well as the military build-up of regional navies in our surrounding waters.
"The Littoral Mission Vessels represent a quantum jump compared to its predecessor, the Fearless-class patrol vessels. Whether it is speed, endurance, anti-air or Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4) capabilities, the Littoral Mission Vessels outperform by leaps and bounds the Patrol Vessels that were built in the 1990s."
Jointly developed by the Singapore Navy and the Defence Science and Technology Agency, the 80-meter, network-centric ships possess advanced radars and sensors, as well as a 360 degree out-of-window view and improved sense-making systems to enhance situational awareness and accelerate decision-making. They also have lethal and non-lethal options to deliver calibrated responses to deter and defend against various threats. Their mission modularity further allows the ships to be configured for a wide spectrum of operations.
RSS Sovereignty and RSS Unity are the second and third ships out of eight Littoral Mission Vessels that will replace the ageing Fearless-class Patrol Vessels which have been in service for more than 20 years. The first-of-class Littoral Mission Vessel RSS Independence was commissioned on May 5, 2017, and the remaining five are expected to be operational by 2020.