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Singapore Navy unveils new flotilla to boost security capabilities

27 Jan 2021 (Last Updated January 27th, 2021 11:58)

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has launched its new ‘Maritime and Security Response Flotilla (MSRF)’.

Singapore Navy unveils new flotilla to boost security capabilities
Crew of Maritime Security and Response Vessel (MSRV) Guardian lining the deck. Credit: MINDEF/Government of Singapore.

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has launched its new ‘Maritime and Security Response Flotilla (MSRF)’.

An inauguration ceremony of the RSN’s MSRF was held at RSS Singapura – Changi Naval Base.

Made up of new purpose-built ships, the flotilla strengthens Singapore’s maritime security capabilities and helps tackle expanding and evolving threats.

The new ships will start operating from 2026.

Initially, the flotilla will operate four Sentinel-class Maritime Security and Response Vessels (MSRVs) and two Maritime Security and Response Tugboats (MSRTs).

MSRV Sentinel (55), MSRV Guardian (56), MSRV Protector (57), and MSRV Bastion (58) are the four Sentinel-class MSRVs.

MSRV Sentinel and MSRV Guardian entered service on 26 January, while MSRV Protector and MSRV Bastion will be refurbished and operational in the next few months.

The future purpose-built vessels, which are still in the conceptual design stages, are expected to be larger than the MSRVs. They will be designed for ‘lean manning with modular capabilities’.

These ships will work with RSN’s littoral mission vessels and unmanned surface vessels (USVs).

MSRF commander lieutenant colonel Lee Jun Meng said: “The MSRF will strengthen Singapore’s ability to deal with maritime security threats that have grown in scale and complexity through the years.

“The additional capabilities will provide us with more flexibility and a wider range of responses, and allow us to be deployed for greater persistence to safeguard and protect Singapore’s territorial waters.”

In January last year, the RSN commissioned three of its newest Independence-class littoral mission vessels (LMVs) at Tuas Naval Base.