German naval company ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) has launched the Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN) second and third Invincible-class or Type 218SG submarines.

On 13 December, the company hosted a combined launch ceremony for both the vessels at its shipyard in Kiel, Germany.

The event was presided by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen along with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other senior officials from the two countries.

Submarine sponsor Ho Ching, the wife of the Singaporean Prime Minister, launched the two vessels simultaneously during the event.

The second and third Type 218SG submarines are named ‘Impeccable’ and ‘Illustrious’, respectively. 

The two submarines will now undergo intensive trials, with their final delivery to the RSN expected to start from 2023.

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Lee Hsien Loong said: “Our collaboration on this strategy capability underscores the depth of partnership and the trust between our navies and our defence industries.”

In December 2013, the Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) awarded a contract to TKMS to build the first two Type 218SG submarines for the RSN.

Later, MINDEF awarded another contract to TKMS in 2017, for building two more submarines of the same class. 

The first submarine of this class, named Invincible, was launched in 2019. Currently, the fourth vessel, Inimitable, is under construction.

Equipped with several customised solutions and latest technologies, the four new Invincible-class submarines will replace the RSN’s existing Archer-class and Challenger-class fleet.

After the launch ceremony, TKMS signed a teaming agreement with Singapore-based ST Engineering to provide in-service support and warranty services for the four Invincible-class diesel-electric submarines.

The agreement aims to ensure that the submarines can receive required sustainment and support services in Singapore throughout their service life.