The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has launched the first of eight littoral mission vessels (LMV), Independence, at Benoi shipyard of Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine).
The new vessel features enhanced capabilities to strengthen the RSN's ability to ensure seaward defence.
Equipped with advanced radars and sensors, as well as a bridge with a 360° out-of-window view, the LMV will have an all-round visual awareness of its immediate surroundings in congested waters.
Singapore Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen said: "The LMVs are uniquely Singaporean, having been planned, conceptualised and built locally to meet our requirements."
Dr Ng also said that a strong and capable navy is critical in securing country's economic lifeline and protecting its sea lines of communication.
The vessels' integrated command centre includes the bridge, combat information centre, and machinery control room, which increase the ships operational effectiveness and efficiency.
The networked-centric ship also features a number of sense-making and decision support systems.
Delivery of the new LMV is scheduled for 2016 and the vessel is expected to be fully operational by 2017.
In May, construction of the second vessel in this series began following a keel-laying ceremony.
The eight LMVs, which will replace the existing Fearless-class PVs, are scheduled to be fully operational by 2020.
Image: The Republic of Singapore Navy's first Littoral Mission Vessel, Independence. Photo: courtesy of Government of Singapore.