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Singapore Launches Fourth Invincible-class Submarine

Our Bureau - : Apr 23, 2024 - : 7:46 pm

Singaporean officials have launched an Invincible-class submarine for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) at thyssenKrupp Marine Systems (tKMS) shipyard in Kiel, Germany, on Monday (Apr. 22).

Named Inimitable, the ship is the fourth Invincible-class submarine to enter the RSN service after the RSS Invincible, RSS Impeccable, and RSS Illustrious. Officially known as Type 218SG submarines, Singapore’s Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) ordered two in 2013, followed by two more in 2017.

“Singapore sits astride a focal point of international shipping routes. Close to 90,000 ships pass through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore each year, accounting for a third of global trade. The port of Singapore handled 39 million containers in 2023. The RSN plays an important role in ensuring the safe and secure passage of ships through the waters around Singapore,” said the Senior Minister (SM) and Singapore’s Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean who officiated the launch.

“The RSN recognised then that developing its own submarine capability was critical for it to achieve the strategic mission of protecting vital sea routes and securing Singapore’s access to the seas. I have watched with tremendous satisfaction the great strides our submarine community has made,” he added.

According to a press release by MINDEF, the Invincible-class submarines are a collaborative effort between the RSN, Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), and industry partner tkMS. They are designed specifically for operations in Singapore’s shallow and bustling tropical waters. With enhanced endurance and payload capacities, these submarines represent a significant advancement in maritime capability.

Following its launch, the submarine Inimitable will undergo a comprehensive series of sea trials before being delivered to Singapore. Meanwhile, its counterpart, Impeccable, which was launched in 2022, has returned to Singapore and is currently undergoing local sea trials as it progresses towards full operational readiness and eventual commissioning later this year.

It has been reported that an additional order for one more Type 218SG submarine was disclosed in 2021 without further statements from Singaporean officials.


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