The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has commissioned three of its newest Independence-class littoral mission vessels (LMVs) at Tuas Naval Base.

Named RSS Fortitude, RSS Dauntless and RSS Fearless, the three ships are the final of eight LMVs planned to be acquired.

With this, all eight LMVs are operationalised to the 182 Squadron within four and a half years since the first vessels were launched.

The RSN’s eighth LMV was launched by Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering) at Benoi shipyard in January 2019.

The Independence-class LMVs will strengthen the navy’s capabilities and safeguard Singapore’s waters. The vessels will be deployed to conduct search-and-rescue operations and round-the-clock patrolling.

The vessels will also protect Singapore’s sea lines of communication to promote regional peace and security.

In January 2013, ST Engineering was awarded a contract for the development and delivery of eight LMVs.

Designed and built locally, the littoral vessels are fast, mission-flexible ships fitted with advanced radars and sensors.

The LMVs incorporate sense-making systems that help speed up the decision-making process and increase situational awareness.

The diesel engines used for the ships were supplied by Tognum.

Minister for manpower and home affairs Josephine Teo said: “The LMVs will play a vital role in strengthening the RSN’s ability to defend our everyday.

“They are quintessentially Singaporean, being designed and built in Singapore by Singaporeans, for Singaporeans.

“Testament to our people’s determination to defend our way of life despite our constraints, the vessels are ingeniously designed to overcome manpower limitations.”

The LMVs replace the Fearless-class patrol vessels, which have been serving for 20 years.

The RSN and the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) had jointly developed the LMV project, which began in 2010.

Construction of the first LMV, RSS Independence, commenced in September 2014. It was commissioned in May 2017.