The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has officially commissioned its first Archer-class submarine RSS Archer at Changi Naval Base, Singapore, which is expected to strengthen the navy’s operational readiness to maintain regional peace and stability.

Acquired by Singapore in 2005, the 60.5m-long diesel-electric vessel is one of two ex-Royal Swedish Navy Vaastergotland-class submarines.

Designed and built by Kockums AB, the submarine is equipped with air independent propulsion and advanced sonar systems to allow operation in shallow waters and submergence for long periods.

The vessel has undergone various system verifications and sea trials in local conditions as part of its operationalisation process and will join 171 Squadron under the RSN’s Fleet Command.

Singapore’s defence minister Ng Eng Hen said: "The strengthening of our submarine capability is in line with this overall development plan to allow the RSN to better exploit the underwater dimension in maritime operations."

The second Archer-class submarine, RSS Swordsman, is currently undergoing sea trials in Sweden.