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IMDEX 2023: Singapore to replace corvettes with frigate-sized ships under MRCV programme

A computer-generated image depicting the possible stern view of Singapore's future multirole combat vessel. (Singapore Ministry of Defence)

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) will soon be equipped with a new class of frigate-sized combatants under a plan to replace the service's six Victory-class corvettes with the multirole combat vessel (MRCV).

While earlier computer-generated images issued by the country's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) have long hinted that the MRCV will be larger than the Victory class, official comments on the new vessel's probable size were only provided by the ministry at a recent media briefing ahead of the IMDEX 2023 naval exhibition held in Changi, Singapore.

“The MRCV might be slightly larger than a frigate, but smaller than the LST,” said a MINDEF representative at a media briefing, in reference to the country's Endurance-class landing platform docks (LPDs), which the RSN refers to as ‘landing ship tanks'.

The RSN's Endurance class displaces about 8,000 tonnes at full load, and its Formidable-class frigate has a full-load displacement of about 3,300 tonnes.

MINDEF's most recent computer-generated images indicate a vessel that has an overall length of between 110 and 130 m. The helicopter-capable warship is depicted with a 76 mm naval gun and vertical launching system (VLS) in the forward position, and a space for anti-ship missile launchers amidships. Deck markings in the images indicate that the vessel will accommodate rotor-wing unmanned aerial vehicles on its flight deck and hangar, in addition to helicopters.

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