Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam officiated at a ceremony to mark the commissioning of RSS Swordsman, the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN) second Archer-class submarine, at Changi Naval Base this afternoon. DPM Tharman presented the commissioning warrant to the Commanding Officer of RSS Swordsman, Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Loh Mun Heng, at the ceremony. He also visited RSS Swordsman where he received a brief by LTC Loh on the capabilities of RSS Swordsman.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, DPM Tharman highlighted that the RSN has reached a new milestone in its submarine development with both Archer-class submarines entering active service. "RSS Swordsman, her sister boat RSS Archer and our Challenger-class submarines form part of an integrated warfighting system - together with our stealth frigates, naval helicopters, missile corvettes and mine-countermeasure vessels - a force that safeguards Singapore's maritime interests and protects our territorial integrity," said DPM Tharman.
The pioneer crew of RSS Swordsman had undergone a comprehensive training programme which comprised a Submarine System Training Phase, where they were taught to operate the various submarine systems, and a Team Training Phase, where the crew conducted mission-oriented trainings.
RSS Swordsman was acquired from the Royal Swedish Navy in 2005 and was launched in Karlskrona, Sweden on 20 Oct 2010. She underwent various comprehensive and extensive sea trials in Sweden before returning to Singapore on 31 Dec 2012. RSS Swordsman has undergone extensive refurbishment, upgrades, and tropicalisation to adapt it for operations in our local conditions. Its combat and sensor suites have been upgraded and an Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system was added to give the submarine greater stealth, extended reach and expanded operational capabilities. RSS Swordsman will join RSS Archer and operate alongside the Challenger-class submarines under the RSN's 171 Squadron.
Present at the ceremony this afternoon were Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Dr Mohamed Maliki Bin Osman, Chief of Defence Force Major-General Ng Chee Meng, Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Ng Chee Peng and other senior officers from the SAF.