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Singapore to buy more littoral ships and upgrade patrol vessels

3rd March 2020 - 02:00 GMT | by Chen Chuanren in Singapore


In a bid to increase its capacity to protect Singapore’s sovereign waters and counter a spike in sea robberies, the Republic of Singapore Navy’s Maritime Security Task Force is looking to acquire new purpose-built ships to supplement eight Independence-class Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs).

At the parliamentary Committee of Supply debate, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said these ships will be acquired and delivered in the next few years, although he did not specify numbers for the programme.

An ‘indicative design’ drawing provided by the MoD showed a ship with a similar structural design to the LMV, but with a simplified sensor mast and removal of MICA-VL surface-to-air missiles. It retained a helicopter deck and rear ramp for RIB operations.

In the interim, four Fearless-class patrol vessels will be refurbished and upgraded until arrival of these ships. Currently, only two patrol vessels are still in service, RSS Gallant and Freedom. Most decommissioned ships have had their OTO Melara 76mm guns removed.

Ng said the ships will be used for dedicated and persistent deployments to protect Singapore’s territorial waters. Although most sea robbery cases are reported in the Singapore Strait, they generally occur outside the island’s territorial waters.

Additionally, to beef up its cyber-defence capabilities, a committee chaired by the Chief of Defence (CDF) and Permanent Secretary (Defence Development) will be set up to oversee development of an integrated cyber command and force, equivalent to a fourth service arm after the three major services.

The Chief C4I, a general position, will report to the CDF. The current Defence Cyber Organisation attained IOC in September 2019, and it has developed new threat-hunting and cyber-threat intelligence capabilities.

Chen Chuanren


Chen Chuanren

Chen Chuanren is Shephard’s Singapore correspondent, covering primarily land and sea systems. He served in …

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