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Singapore's Type 218SG submarine begins journey home

Singapore's first Type 218SG submarine seen here during its sea trials in 2020. The second-of-class has begun its journey home to Singapore from Germany. (Michael Nitz/Naval Press Service)

A Type 218SG diesel-electric submarine (SSK) destined for service with the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has begun its journey home and is expected to arrive in-country by August 2023.

Janes has learnt that the vessel, which will be in service as RSS Impeccable once commissioned, was loaded onto the heavy-lift cargo ship Rolldock Storm in May 2023 at ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems' (TKMS') facility in Kiel, Germany.

Rolldock Storm is now on passage along the western seaboard of Southern Africa and is projected to arrive in Singapore around 1 August.

Impeccable is one of four Type 218SG SSKs ordered under two separate contracts signed between TKMS and the Singaporean government in 2013 and 2017.

The first-of-class, Invincible, was launched in February 2019 while Impeccable was launched in December 2022 with the third-of-class, Illustrious.

The Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) declined to comment on Impeccable's passage home. However, Janes understands that the boat is being delivered ahead of the first-of-class as a result of Covid-19-related delays, which have affected the programme's build schedule.

The Invincible class has maximum speeds in excess of 15 kt when surfaced and 10 kt when dived. With an overall length of 70 m and a pressure hull diameter of 6.3 m, the submarine displaces 2,200 tonnes when submerged and 2,000 tonnes when surfaced. Each SSK is armed with eight tubes.

The class features an X-shaped stern rudder for enhanced manoeuvrability in shallow littoral waters, and customised operator consoles that have been designed to suit the ergonomics of RSN personnel.

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