Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine) has launched the third Independence-class littoral mission vessel (LMV), Unity, for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).

The company is building eight LMVs in total for RSN, under a contract awarded by MINDEF in 2013 to replace the navy's Fearless-class patrol vessels.

Delivery of these vessels will begin this year and the RSN will begin operating all the vessels from 2020.

"We are making great strides in the LMV programme."

ST Marine president Ng Sing Chan said: “The launch of the third littoral mission vessel, Unity, is yet another gratified moment for ST Marine.

“We are making great strides in the LMV programme, made possible only with the hard-work and commitment from the project teams from MINDEF, RSN, DSTA and our many other partners. We are honoured to be given the opportunity to prime this contract and showcase our engineering expertise and the ability to manage large scale engineering systems.”

Unity has geared up to enter into harbour acceptance trials.

The first LMV, Independence, returned to Tuas Naval Base on 26 May this year and is performing the checkout, integration and testing (CIT) for its on-board weapon systems.

Meanwhile, the second LMV, Sovereignty, is preparing for sea trials.

These 80m-long LMVs are warships equipped with advanced combat capabilities and technologies to further strengthen the RSN’s ability in protecting our sea lines of communication.

ST Marine said that the highly manoeuvrable LMVs can operate in confined and congested littoral waters effectively.

Image: Launch of the third littoral mission vessel, Unity. Photo: courtesy of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd.