SINGAPORE: Two more littoral mission vessels (LMV) from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) have become fully operational, with a commissioning ceremony held at Changi Naval Base on Tuesday (Nov 14).
The RSS Sovereignty and RSS Unity are the second and third LMVs in the fleet, after the RSS Independence was commissioned six months ago.
Designed and built locally, the LMVs are equipped with smarter technology and sharper capabilities, and the commissioning of the latest vessels marks “a significant milestone in the RSN’s continued transformation to strengthen its capabilities”, the navy said.
In his speech at the commissioning ceremony, Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen highlighted the need to adapt and prepare for future challenges as the range of threats and spectrum of missions have expanded.
He noted that the Singapore navy already contributes to regional and global security through taking part in joint patrols in the Strait of Malacca, as well as being part of international efforts to counter piracy in the Gulf of Aden.
“Going forward, the demands on our RSN will increase. Part of this reflects both the rising trade as well as the military build-up of regional navies in our surrounding waters,” said Dr Ng.
He added that the LMVs are future-ready ships built to respond to different mission requirements, and fulfil the navy’s role in keeping Singapore’s sea lines of communication secure and accessible for the nation’s economic growth and prosperity.
“The LMVs represent a quantum jump compared to its predecessor, the Fearless-class patrol vessels. Whether it is speed, endurance, anti-air or Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4) capabilities, the LMVs outperform by leaps and bounds the Patrol Vessels that were built in the 1990s,” said Dr Ng.
There will be eight LMVs altogether that will replace the ageing Fearless-class Patrol Vessels which have been in service for more than 20 years.
The remaining five LMVs are expected to be operational by 2020.