Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has revealed that the cost of acquiring the four Invincible-class submarines is approximately $1.8bn (S$2.4bn).

This was confirmed by Singaporean Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen in a parliamentary statement released on 9 January.

The statement was issued in response to Singaporean Member of Parliament (MP) Gerald Giam Yean Song’s questions regarding the cost of four Invincible-class or Type 218SG vessels being acquired for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).

Ng Eng Hen said: “As a general rule, MINDEF does not provide the precise amounts for cost of acquisition or maintenance of our military assets as it might indirectly disclose the capabilities of components such as added weapon or protection systems.”

However, in reference to the Turkish and South Korean militaries that have acquired similar submarine, Ng Eng Hen revealed that the cost of each submarine can be estimated at approximately $450.84m (S$600m) at the time finalising the deal.

“Maintenance costs per year is usually 2% to 3% of the capital cost of platforms,” the statement added.

Responding to Yean Song’s another question enquiring about the reason to replace the RSN’s existing Archer-class and Challenger-class submarines, Ng Eng Hen said the new fleet will also fulfil the country’s security challenges needs for the next three decades.

The new vessels will bolster RSN’s capabilities to maintain maritime security in the region.

The future fleet of Invincible-class submarines is being constructed by German naval company ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS).

The contract for building first two submarines was awarded to TKMS in 2013, followed by an additional contract for acquiring two more vessels in 2017.

Last month, TKMS launched the second and third Type 218SG submarines that were named ‘Impeccable’ and ‘Illustrious’, respectively.