After decommissioning its first Fearless-class patrol vessel RSS Independence in March this year, the Republic of Singapore Navy has decommissioned additional three vessels in the class in a ceremony on October 3.
RSS Sovereignty, RSS Unity and RSS Justice were the tree vessels to retire at Tuas Naval Base after 20 years of service.
The Fearless-class PVs, which have been operational starting from 1996, were the first warships wholly designed and built in Singapore. The three PVs were commissioned on 7 February 1998 by then deputy prime minister and minister for defence Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam.
Over the last twenty years, the ships had valiantly safeguarded Singapore’s maritime interests and territorial integrity through numerous operations at sea, such as maritime surveillance, and patrol and escort operations. They also participated in numerous bilateral and multilateral exercises with foreign navies. In addition, RSS Unity supported the advancement of the RSN’s naval combat systems as the Naval Technology Evaluation Ship.
The names RSS Sovereignty and RSS Unity along with their operational duties will be handed over to the new littoral mission vessels during a commissioning ceremony to be held later this year, whilst the mantle of RSS Justice will be taken up by its LMV counterpart following its commissioning in 2018.
The LMVs are faster, more versatile, and equipped with sharper capabilities to further strengthen the RSN’s effectiveness in seaward defence and the protection of Singapore’s sea lines of communication. The RSN’s fleet of LMVs will be fully operational by 2020.