Singapore to splash $1.8 billion on four Invincible-class submarines

The Singaporean Ministry of Defense has unveiled the costs of purchasing four new Invincible-class submarines.


As informed, each submarine costs around $450 million (S$600 million) at the time of purchase, or $1.8 billion (S$2.4 billion) for a fleet of four submarines ordered.

This amount is comparable to a fleet of 12 F15s in the RSAF. Maintenance costs per year are usually 2-3% of the capital cost of platforms, according to the officials.

The information was revealed as part of the statement issued in response to Singaporean Member of Parliament (MP) Gerald Giam Yean Song’s questions regarding the cost of the vessels.

These new four Invincible-class submarines will increase considerably the SAF’s ability to maintain maritime security in our region, one of the world’s busiest SLOCs.

They will replace the Challenger and Archer submarines that are now more than 60 years and 40 years old respectively.

“The RSN bought these older submarines to gain experience and expertise. Having operated them for over 20 years, it is timely to now acquire the new Invincible-class submarines that are better suited to our operational environment and security challenges for the next 30 years,” the ministry noted.

To remind, two Invincible-class submarines (or Type218SG) were launched last month at the thyssenkrupp Marine Systems shipyard (TKMS) in Kiel.

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According to TKMS, the vessels are designed with a low acoustic signature. The external air-independent propulsion system allows the boats to remain underwater for a longer duration.

With a length of approximately 70 meters and a displacement of around 2,000 tons, they are currently the largest submarines ever built at TKMS.

Once further intensive trials have been conducted, the two submarines Impeccable and Illustrious will be handed over from 2023 onwards.