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Singapore validates anti-air capabilities of littoral mission vessel

The Independence-class Littoral Mission Vessel, RSS Fearless . Its sister vessel, RSS Dauntless , has carried out the class' inaugural firing of the VL MICA anti-air missile at Exercise ‘Pacific Griffin' 2023. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

A Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) Independence-class littoral mission vessel (LMV) has fired an MBDA VL MICA missile for the first time, validating the vessel's anti-air capabilities.

Janes understands that the inaugural firing was conducted during the US Navy (USN)-hosted Exercise ‘Pacific Griffin', which is taking place in and around waters off Guam between 16 and 29 June.

The vessel that fired the missile was RSS Dauntless, the seventh-of-class that was commissioned by the RSN in January 2020. The missile was deployed against a simulated aerial threat that was launched by the USN.

The RSN operates a class of eight corvette-like LMVs and these were commissioned between May 2017 and January 2020 to replace the service's Fearless-class patrol boats. Each LMV is armed with 12 vertical launching system (VLS) cells in the forward section and each of these can launch either the active radar or infrared homing variant of the VL MICA missile.

The LMV has an overall length of 80 m, displaces about 1,250 tonnes at full load, and can accommodate a crew complement of 23 including five officers.

Besides anti-air missiles, the Independence class is also armed with one Oto Melara 76/62 Super Rapid naval gun in the primary position, two Leonardo Hitrole remote weapon stations that have each been incorporated with 12.7 mm machine guns, and an aft-facing Rafael Typhoon turret mounted with a M242 25 mm/87 Bushmaster cannon.

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