ST Engineering’s Marine unit has launched the eighth Independence-class littoral mission vessel (LMV), designed and built for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).

The new LMV was launched at a ceremony held at ST Engineering’s Benoi shipyard.

Heng Soon Poh, spouse of Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How, launched the vessel and named it Fearless.

Senior officials from the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces also attended the launch ceremony.

ST Engineering Marine president Ng Sing Chan said: “Six years ago, together with MINDEF, RSN, and Defence Science and Technology Agency, we embarked on this journey to design and build these eight state-of-the-art Independence-class LMVs.

“This is the last of the eight to be launched and named. For this project to come to this stage is yet another testament to our deep engineering capabilities in large-scale engineering projects.

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"For this project to come to this stage is yet another testament to our deep engineering capabilities in large-scale engineering projects."

“The deployment of the Independence-class LMVs by the RSN will ensure that our sea lines of communications are kept open for international trade and put Singapore in a prime position in maritime security.”

ST Engineering has so far delivered multiple vessels, including RSS Independence, RSS Sovereignty, RSS Unity, RSS Justice, RSS Indomitable and LMV Fortitude.

The company is under a contract, which was signed with MINDEF in 2013, to design and build eight LMVs for the RSN.

The LMVs can support coastal security, maritime patrol and surveillance missions conducted by the Singapore Navy. In addition, they can be used in support of humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and search-and-rescue (SAR).

The eight LMVs are designed to replace the Navy’s Fearless-class patrol vessels by 2020.

Built by the ST Engineering Group in the 1990s, the Fearless-class patrol vessels are propelled by waterjets instead of conventional propellers and are deployed to ensure the coastal security of Singapore.