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Singapore cuts steel for first multirole combat vessel

An artist's visualisation of Singapore's future MRCV. Steel for the first-of-class was cut on 8 March 2024. (Singapore Ministry of Defence)

Singapore's ST Engineering Marine held a steel-cutting ceremony for the country's first multirole combat vessel (MRCV) on 8 March.

The steel was ceremonially cut by Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) Chief Rear Admiral Sean Wat, who was joined by representatives from the country's Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA).

“This marks a significant milestone for the MRCV project, which is projected to join the navy's fleet of ships from 2028,” according to the short statement issued by the RSN to announce the event. “The new MRCVs will function as mother ships, capable of controlling unmanned assets across the air, surface, and underwater domains,” the service added.

Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) announced in March 2023 that it awarded ST Engineering the contract to design and build six MRCVs. The announcement came just days after the DSTA disclosed it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) 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,” DSTA and Saab said in a news release to mark the MOU.

Since then the RSN has disclosed that Thales and Leonardo have been appointed as suppliers of the MRCV's combat systems, although no specifics on these are available. Saab and Danish shipbuilder Odense Maritime Technology (OMT) have also been appointed as joint developers for the MRCV's basic design.

When contacted by Janes on 8 March a MINDEF representative confirmed that no further information on the ship will be released for now.

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