The Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN) first littoral mission vessel (LMV), Independence, has joined its fleet at Tuas Naval Base after successful completion of its sea trials.
Independence is one of the eight LMVs, which are expected to replace the RSN's existing Fearless-class patrol vessels (PVs) from the 182/9 Squadron.
RSN navy chief rear-admiral Lai Chung Han said: "The homecoming of LMV Independence marks the conclusion of almost two years of the construction phase. It also marks the beginning of about 11 to 12 months of installation, checkout, integration and testing (ICIT)."
The LMVs are designed to engage in a range of maritime security operations for the RSN and protect the navy's sea lines of communication more effectively.
The vessels are larger in size, can operate with a small crew, and are suited for a range of mission modules while meeting specific requirements.
All the eight LMVs are expected to be fully operational by 2020 and will be commissioned into the 182 SQN.
Lai added: " Now, as we're in the advanced stages of our third Generation transformation, the return of LMV Independence to 182 SQN marks a major milestone for the squadron and its new logo (which says) Sharp and Vigilant, which rightly encapsulates what the squadron will do; Remain sharp and vigilant 24/7, safeguarding our water and protecting our nation."
The LMVs are being built locally by Singapore Technologies (ST) Marine, together with ST Electronics and DSO National Laboratories.
The Defence Science and Technology Agency, which is also the systems integrator, is managing the RSN's LMV programme.