Singapore’s ST Marine launched the Republic of Singapore Navy’s sixth Independence-class littoral mission vessel on 24 March.
The Independence-Class littoral mission vessels (LMVs) are being built by Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine) Benoi shipyard, for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). Eight LMVs are scheduled to replace the ageing Fearless-Class patrol vessels of the RSN by 2020.
The LMVs can be primarily used in coastal security, maritime patrol and surveillance missions, as well as in secondary roles, including humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and search and rescue (SAR).
The LMV features a full-load displacement of 1,250 tonnes, has a length of 80 m, can accommodate a baseline crew of 23 including five officers, and embark a medium-lift helicopter on its flight deck. The ship is powered by four MTU 20V 4000 M93 engines, and can attain top speeds in excess of 27 kt, and a standard range of 3,500 n miles at 15 kt.
Weapons on board the platform comprise one Oto Melara 76/62 Super Rapid naval gun, two Oto Melara Hitrole 12.7 mm remote-controlled weapon stations (one each on the port and starboard sides), and a Rafael 25 mm Typhoon gun system mounted at the aft section.
Defence against hostile aircraft and precision-guided munitions is provided by MBDA’s VL Mica anti-air missile system deployed via a 12-cell vertical launching system (VLS) in the forward section.
The 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.
The first LMV, RSS Independence, was commissioned on 5 May 2017. The second and the third ships, RSS Sovereignty and RSS Unity respectively, were commissioned on 14 November 2017. The other two previously launched LMVs, Justice and Indomitable are presently undergoing sea trials.
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