The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has commissioned two more Independence-class Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs), RSS Justice and RSS Indomitable during a ceremony held at the Tuas Naval Base on 26 September.
Built by Singapore Technologies Engineering Marine Justice and Indomitable (with pennant number 18 and 19 respectively) are the fourth and fifth of eight 1,250-tonne LMVs – derived from Saab’s FLEXpatrol multimission patrol vessel design – that are progressively replacing the RSN’s ageing Fearless-class patrol vessels, which have been in service since the mid-1990s. The ships are assigned to 182 Squadron and function as part of the Singapore’s Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF).
The vessels’ armaments include an Oto Melara 76 mm main gun, along with two Oto Melara Hitrole 12.7 mm remote-controlled weapon stations on either side of the bridge and a Rafael 25 mm Typhoon gun system on the bridge’s aft section. Protection against hostile aircraft and precision-guided munitions is provided by MBDA’s VL Mica anti-air missile system deployed via the ships’ 12-cell vertical launch system (VLS) in the forward section.
The vessels are manned by a baseline crew of 23, including five officers, and can operate for up to 14 days at sea. The vessels can also be quickly reconfigured for a diverse range of missions including search and rescue (SAR) and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations using containerised mission modules.
They are also equipped with a stern dock and associated launch-and-recovery system that can deploy up to two 11 m rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs), as well as an aft deck that can accommodate a medium-lift helicopter. That said, Jane’s previously reported that only four LMVs will be configured for helicopter operations, with the remainder expected to carry an, as yet undetermined, rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
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