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Parting shot: Combatant craft large

The Republic of Singapore Navy's combatant craft large. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

The combatant craft large (CCL) was first unveiled by Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) in 2021. It was conceived by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) for the service's special forces formation known as the Naval Diving Unit (NDU) and jointly developed with the country's Defence Science & Technology Agency (DSTA).

MINDEF has since confirmed to Janes that as of April 2023 the combatant craft is fully operational with the NDU, which is responsible for operations such as underwater explosive ordnance disposal, counter-terrorism, and other special forces missions.

MINDEF has also indicated that the vessels were built locally but did not elaborate. Presumably, the builder is the marine division of state-affiliated defence company, ST Engineering.

The combatant craft is designed to be highly manoeuvrable, with the ability to achieve high speeds even within congested environments, said MINDEF.

The combatant craft features an aluminium hull and it has an overall length of 26 m and a breadth of 5 m. The vessel can accommodate a crew of four including a boat commander, a coxswain, a navigator, and an engineer.

A main feature of the combatant craft's form factor is its reduced radar cross-section (RCS) design. This RCS feature has also been applied to the vessel's single weapon, which has been mounted within a stealthy cupola. The craft's main sensors have been incorporated within an integrated mast, and this has likely been done to reduce electronic emissions.

These features suggest that besides maritime security missions, the combatant craft is also designed for covert insertion operations against hostile ships or within enemy-controlled waters and ports.

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