The Republic of Singapore Navy held a decommissioning ceremony for Fearless-class patrol vessel RSS Independence on March 8, at Tuas Naval Base.
Not counting the 2003-stricken RSS Courageous, RSS Independence is the first of 12 vessels in its class to be decommissioned ahead of the arrival of new littoral mission vessels.
The 20-year-old vessels will gradually be decommissioned as new LMVs join the fleet.
RSS Independence and its sister ships were the first warships wholly designed and built in Singapore, under a collaborative effort by the RSN, the Defence Technology Community, and the local defence industry.
RSS Independence was commissioned on 22 Aug 1998 by then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, to take over the operational duties of Patrol Craft RSS Independence to safeguard Singapore’s maritime interests and territorial integrity.
The new Independence-class LMVs are being built by ST Marine under a contract signed with the Singaporean ministry of defense in 2013 to design and build eight LMVs for the RSN.
The vessels started deliveries from 2016 and are expected to be fully operational by 2020.
First LMV, RSS Independence, was commissioned and two more vessels were launched in 2016. ST Marine has further two vessels under construction.