01 September 2016
Singapore has laid down its fourth Independence-class warship. Progress indicates that the republic is on track to operate all eight platforms by 2020. (image : RSN)
Singapore shipbuilder ST Marine has laid down a fourth Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV) on order for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), the country's Ministry of Defence confirmed with IHS Jane's on 31 August.
The platform, which is a part of an eight-vessel contract signed between the Singapore government and ST Marine that was announced in January 2013, was laid on 26 May at ST Marine's shipyard in Jurong. First- and second-of-class, Independence and Sovereignty , were launched on July 2015 and April 2016 respectively.
The LMV has been jointly designed by Saab Kockums AB and ST Marine. The ships will replace the RSN's fleet of 11 Fearless-class patrol vessels that have been in service since the mid-1990s.
The 1,250-tonne platform features a length of 80 m, a beam of 12 m, and a draught of 3 m. Each vessel is powered by two 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.
The LMV can accommodate a baseline crew complement of 23, including five officers, and features mission endurance of 14 days.
The vessel's offensive capabilities are provided by one Oto Melara 76/62 Super Rapid main gun, two Oto Melara Hitrole 12.7 mm remote-controlled weapon stations (one each on the port and starboard sides), and one Rafael 25 mm Typhoon stabilised naval gun system at the rear of the bridge section.
For defence against hostile aircraft and precision-guided munitions, the LMVs have been equipped with a 12-cell vertical launching system (VLS) in the forward section that can launch MBDA's VL Mica anti-air missiles.
The platform's aft section features a flight deck that can accommodate one medium-lift helicopter, and a launch and recovery system for two rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs), or the Protector unmanned surface vessel (USV).