The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has launched its new littoral mission vessel (LMV), Sovereignty, during an event at the Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine) Benoi Yard.
Sovereignty is the second of eight LMVs that will be introduced into the RSN to replace the ageing Fearless-class patrol vessels (PVs), which have been in service for around 20 years.
The first LMV, Independence, was launched on 3 July 2015.
Designed and built in collaboration among the RSN, the Defence Science & Technology Agency (DSTA) and ST Engineering, LMVs are expected to strengthen RSN's ability in the seaward defence of Singapore.
The LMVs feature advanced combat capabilities and technologies, such as an integrated command centre that brings together the ships' bridge, combat information centre and machinery control room, and a range of lethal and non-lethal options to deter or defend against various threats.
Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean said: "The ability to design and build our own ships to include a lot of indigenous technology indicates the importance of engineering for Singapore.
"The ability to do that means that we can optimise the platforms that we have, whether they are ships, whether they are aircraft, (or) land capabilities, to make sure that we can tune the equipment to our own needs and also use a lot less manpower and capitalise on the well-trained and well-educated people that we have.
"All in, the LMVs represent a significant increase in capabilities with a reduction in manpower requirements."
Sovereignty will enter service in 2017 and all eight LMVs will become fully operational by 2020.
Image: Singapore Navy launches second littoral mission vessel, Sovereignty. Photo: courtesy of Government of Singapore.