Minister for Education (Schools) and Second Minister for Transport Mr Ng Chee Meng officiated at the launching ceremony of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)'s sixth Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV), Fortitude, at the Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine)'s Benoi shipyard today. The LMV was launched by Mrs Michelle Ng, wife of Mr Ng.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Ng highlighted the importance of the RSN in safeguarding our seas in light of security threats. He said, "The RSN has a vital role to play to secure our sea lines of communication, and our continued right to move freely as set out in international law. This access cannot be taken for granted… Threats to the maritime space can also take the form of unconventional threats that can harm our security and destabilise our economy. To combat these transnational threats, regional cooperation, coordinated action and information-sharing are crucial."
On the launch of Fortitude and the success of the LMV programme, Mr Ng commented, "The LMVs' rapid operationalisation is an impressive achievement… (Fortitude) is a timeless reminder to all of us… that we must have the gumption and perseverance to pursue a better tomorrow.”
The launch of the LMVs is a significant milestone in the RSN's continued transformation to keep Singapore's waters safe. The LMVs are faster, more versatile, and equipped with sharper capabilities to further strengthen the RSN's effectiveness in seaward defence. The LMVs can be quickly configured with mission modules to take on a wide spectrum of operations, allowing the crew to deliver calibrated responses using lethal and non-lethal options to deal with a range of maritime threats.
The LMV programme is progressing well. The first LMV, RSS Independence, was commissioned during the RSN's Golden Jubilee on 5 May 2017 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. RSS Sovereignty and RSS Unity were commissioned by Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen on 14 November 2017. The other two previously launched LMVs, Justice and Indomitable are presently undergoing sea trials.
Also present at the ceremony were Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Lew Chuen Hong, and senior officers from the RSN and the Defence Science and Technology Agency.