- TKMS has held a launch ceremony for the first Type 218SG boat on order for Singapore
- The country is on track to receiving its first custom-built naval submarine in 2021
German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) has held a launch ceremony for the first of four Type 218SG conventionally powered, air-independent propulsion (AIP)-equipped submarines on order for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).
The ceremony for the 70 m-long boat, which will be known as RSS Invincible once commissioned, was officiated by Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on 18 February at TKMS’ facilities in the German port city of Kiel. The vessel, which will undergo a series of sea trials once it enters the water in a few weeks’ time, is scheduled to be delivered to Singapore in 2021. The first steel for the boat was cut in 2014.
“The RSN plays a key role in keeping [the] Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs) open, not only for Singapore, but indeed, for the world. And the maritime environment around Singapore also faces security challenges.… In this context, the acquisition of the new Type 218SG submarines is timely,” Ng was quoted by the Singaporean Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) as saying during the ceremony.
The Type 218SG boats, which will be known as the Invincible class, have been designed for operations in Singapore’s shallow and busy tropical waters. The Southeast Asian country signed a contract for the first two submarines of the class in December 2013, and announced an order for two more vessels in May 2017. The contracts include a logistics and training package that will see RSN crew being trained in Germany.
The names of the remaining three boats, all of which are currently under construction, will be Impeccable, Illustrious, and Inimitable, said Ng, who had previously attended the Munich Security Conference in Germany from 15 to 17 February.
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