26 Januari 2016
The RSN's first-of-class LMV, Independence, during its launch ceremony on 3 July 2015. Third vessel in the class was launched on 26 November 2015 (photo : Xinhua)
Singapore shipbuilder ST Marine has laid down the third of eight Independence-class Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs) on order for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), a company representative told IHS Jane's on 25 January.
A keel-laying ceremony for the 1,200-tonne vessel on 26 November 2015 at ST Marine's shipyard in Jurong was attended by the country's chief of defence force, Major General Perry Lim, and navy chief Rear Admiral Lai Chung Han.
ST Marine is building all eight vessels under a contract announced in January 2013 to replace the RSN's 11 Fearless-class patrol vessels that have been in service since the mid-1990s. The platform has been jointly designed by Saab Kockums AB and ST Marine.
The LMV has a length of 80 m, a beam of 12 m, and a draught of 3 m. Powered by two MTU 20V 4000 M93 engines, the 1,250-tonne platform has a top speed in excess of 27 kt and a standard range of 3,500 n miles at 15 kt. The platform can accommodate a baseline crew complement of 23 including five officers and has a mission endurance of 14 days.
The Independence-class ships will each be armed with one Oto Melara 76/62 Super Rapid main gun as a primary weapon, two Oto Melara Hitrole 12.7 mm remote-controlled weapon stations (one each on the port and starboard sides), and one stern-facing Rafael 25 mm Typhoon stabilised naval gun system. The vessels will also be equipped with a 12-cell vertical launching system (VLS) in the forward section that can deploy MBDA's VL Mica anti-air missile system.
The platform can embark one medium-lift helicopter on its flight deck and two rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) or the Protector unmanned surface vessel (USV) at its stern.