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Singapore receives first Invincible-class submarine

24th July 2023 - 14:37 GMT | by Chen Chuanren in Singapore

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Singapore's Invincible-class submarines will refresh its underwater fleet. (Photo: MINDEF)

The first-in-class boat remains in Germany to assist with training.

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has taken delivery of its first Type 218SG Invincible-class submarine in a homecoming ceremony held at Changi Naval Base on 20 July.

The second-in-class Impeccable was shipped via a heavy load carrier on a two-month journey from Kiel, Germany, to Singapore, arriving on 8 Jul.

Impeccable was launched along with Illustrious on 13 Dec 2022. The Singaporean MoD said the submarine would continue to conduct a ‘series of local sea trials and workup towards full operationalisation’.

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Shephard understands that local sea trials will test the submarine and relevant cooling systems in the warmer tropical waters, which cannot be done in the Baltic Seas, as well as the sensor and combat management systems in the world’s busiest sea lanes.

The Invincible-class combat management systems are updated with data analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities.

This supports functions such as automatically plotting and classifying sonar contacts and provides navigation and tactical recommendations to operators, reducing crew workload.

The Type 218SG also features a newly designed electric rudder drive, enabling the boats to make quick and precise movements in the shallow littoral waters around Singapore.

The lead boat Invincible will remain in Germany to support RSN submariner training.

The arrival of the Impeccable also signals the beginning of the end for the Challenger-class SSKs, which has been in service with the RSN since 1997 to build up its submarine knowledge and capabilities. Two remain, alongside two Archer-class boats.

The Invincible-class will eventually replace these ex-Swedish submarines.

Due to Covid-19 supply chain-related disruptions, deliveries slid two years from 2021 to 2023.

Chen Chuanren

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Chen Chuanren


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

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