The Republic of Singapore Navy’s first Type 218SG submarine is scheduled to be launched later this month in Germany, in a ceremony attended by Singapore’s defense minister Ng Eng Hen.
The defense minister will attend the 55th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich on February 16, before attending the submarine launch ceremony in Kiel on February 18.
The yet-to-be-named air-independent propulsion (AIP) submarine will be launched by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems who is to build a total of four units under a contract from May 2017. The steel cutting ceremony for the first two boats in the class took place on January 12, 2018.
As revealed by the Singapore defense ministry, TKMS has also started construction on the third and fourth submarines in January this year.
Singapore’s four new Type 218SG submarines will replace the navy’s current Archer-class and Challenger-class submarines.
The RSN has operated the current submarine fleet, built in the 1960s, for about two decades and gained operational experience in local waters. Type 218SG will be the first new-build submarine tailored to meet the RSN’s operating conditions. They are projected to be delivered from 2021 onwards. According to defense ministry specifications, the new boats will measure 70 meters in length and displace 2,000 tonnes.
In addition to crew training in Germany, the RSN is also developing a submarine trainer suite (STS). The STS is currently in the design review phase and will comprise a command team trainer, steering and diving trainer, virtual procedural trainer and maintenance trainer.