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Singapore awards contract for six multirole combat vessels to ST Engineering

An infographic released by the Singapore Ministry of Defence, which depicts the MRCV as a mother ship for various unmanned systems. (Singapore Ministry of Defence)

Singapore has awarded its state-linked defence prime ST Engineering with a contract to design and build six multirole combat vessels (MRCVs).

The award was announced by the Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) in a 28 March news release, but no contract value was provided.

MINDEF first disclosed in July 2018 that the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) is retiring its class-of-six Victory-class corvettes and replacing these with a new vessel known as the MRCV.

These vessels are being conceived as mother ship platforms that would host a spectrum of unmanned air, surface, and subsurface vehicles, said MINDEF.

The class will also be designed to undertake different types of missions including conventional warfare operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations, the ministry added then.

MINDEF's news release came days after the country's Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Saab to co-develop and design the MRCV.

The new vessel concept will be equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics to enable the MRCV to be “a highly digital ship”, said DSTA and Saab in a news release.

“Besides setting the stage to jointly deliver an advanced, digitalised, and data-driven multirole combat vessel, the partnership will help accelerate the growth of knowledge not only in ship design but also in technologies of strategic significance, such as AI and data analytics,” said Mervyn Tan, chief executive of DSTA.

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