Singapore’s ST Marine launched the Republic of Singapore Navy’s sixth Independence-class littoral mission vessel ‘Fortitude’ in a ceremony on Saturday, March 24.
The LMV Fortitude was launched at ST Marine’s Benoi Yard in a ceremony attended by senior officials from the defense ministry and armed forces.
Fortitude is part of an eight-vessel LMV program which started in 2013 with the aim of replacing the RSN’s current fleet of Fearless-class patrol vessels.
The 80-meter vessels displace 1,250 tonnes and are 2.5 times larger than the Fearless-class patrol vessels they are replacing.
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 launch of the sixth LMV Fortitude today brings us another step closer to the completion of the LMV program. The milestones to date could not have been achieved without the collaboration of the DSTA, RSN and our industry partners, and I extend my warmest appreciation to them,” said Ng Sing Chan, ST Marine president. “We are honoured to be able to contribute to RSN’s robust seaward defence of Singapore, which will be strengthened further when all eight LMVs are delivered in 2020.”
ST Marine has delivered four vessels till date, LMV Independence, LMV Sovereignty, LMV Unity and LMV Justice. The fifth vessel, LMV Indomitable was launched in 2017; the keel was laid for the seventh LMV and steel was also cut for the eighth LMV last year.
The RSN currently has three LMVs in service, the RSS Independence which was commissioned on the 50th anniversary of the Republic of Singapore Navy on May 5, 2017, and RSS Sovereignty and Unity which were commissioned on November 14.