The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has launched the fourth littoral mission vessel (LMV), Justice, at Singapore Technologies Marine's (ST Marine) Benoi shipyard.
Singapore State Defence Senior Minister Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman said that the LMVs demonstrate how the RSN is "looking ahead to the next 50 years to make sure it stays relevant and ready for the challenges ahead."
Osman said: “The RSN has designed the LMV to conduct a wider range of operations in a more complex environment. It will give the RSN greater mission flexibility and sustainability."
ST Marine is building eight LMVs in total to replace the navy's Fearless-class patrol vessels under a contract awarded by Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) in 2013.
The first three LMVs are named as Independence, Sovereignty and UNITY respectively, and are currently undergoing sea trials.
Independence will be commissioned during the RSN's golden jubilee celebration on 5 May.
Justice is expected to be fully operational by next year, while all the eight vessels are scheduled to be completely operational by 2020.
The LMVs will play a major role in enabling the RSN to transform its naval fleet in order to keep Singapore’s seas safe.
RSN’s LMVs are faster and more versatile than previous models, and are equipped with stronger capabilities intended to help the Singapore navy further boost its effectiveness in seaward defence.
The vessels can also be quickly configured with mission modules to take on a wide range of operations, thereby enabling crew members to provide calibrated responses using lethal and non-lethal options to deal with maritime threats.
Image: Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman delivering a speech at the launch of fourth littoral mission vessel, Justice. Photo: courtesy of Singapore Government.