ST Engineering’s Benoi Shipyard launched the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)’s eighth and final Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV), Fearless, in a ceremony on January 26.
The launch ceremony was officiated by senior minister of state for defence Heng Chee How whose wife launched the LMV.
“The navy is every maritime nation’s first line of defence. A strong RSN is key to protecting our maritime sovereignty, and keeping our Sea Lines of Communication open,” Heng said at the ceremony. “Singapore’s maritime agencies work together 24/7 to monitor threats. The RSN augments this by conducting patrols around the clock – tirelessly – to keep our waters safe and secure. We do this to protect Singapore, Singaporeans, and our Singaporean way of life.”
Singapore’s LMV program is progressing well, the government has noted. Since 2017, five LMVs – RSS Independence, RSS Sovereignty, RSS Unity, RSS Justice and RSS Indomitable – have been commissioned. LMVs Fortitude and Dauntless, launched in 2018, are undergoing sea trials and will be commissioned later this year. All eight LMVs will be fully operational by 2020.
Designed and built locally, the Independence-class LMVs are jointly developed by the navy and Singapore’s Defence Science Technology Agency (DSTA), and equipped with smarter technology and sharper capabilities to enable the RSN to operate more efficiently and effectively. The 80-meter vessels displace 1,250 tonnes and are 2.5 times larger than the Fearless-class patrol vessels they are replacing.