Singapore Navy launches second littoral mission ship

The Republic of Singapore Navy has launched its second littoral mission vessel (LMV) at the Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine) Benoi Yard.

The second of overall eight ships in the class was launched April 16 and named Sovereignty.

The eight LMVs are set to replace the RSN’s aging Fearless-class patrol vessels which have been in service for about 20 years. The lead ship, Independence, was launched on July 3, 2015.

According to ST Marine, the 80-meter vessels with a displacement of 1,250 tonnes are 2.5 times larger than the current class of patrol vessels in service with the Republic of Singapore Navy.

On the progress of the first LMV, Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Chew Chun-Chau, Head of the LMV Project Office, revealed that the ship would be joining the RSN soon: “The installation of the combat systems for the first LMV began right after launching. This was followed by harbor acceptance tests and platform sea trials. With the completion of the platform sea trials, the ship will be delivered to the RSN in May.”

According to the RSN, Sovereignty is expected to be commissioned in 2017 and all eight LMVs to be fully operational by 2020.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean said: “The LMVs represent a considerable increase in capability. At the high end, they are able to operate naval helicopters, which our patrol vessels today are unable to do; they can operate UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) as well.”

“At the lower end they have the Long Range Acoustic Device and water cannons to deal with the lower levels of maritime threats that the LMVs may encounter. All in all, the LMVs represent a significant increase in capabilities with a reduction in manpower requirements.”