As a maritime nation, the sea is Singapore's lifeblood and connects us to the world. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)'s Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF) is the first line of defence to safeguard Singapore's maritime security 24/7. The RSN's 182 Squadron, comprising Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs) and Patrol Vessels (PVs), is at the forefront of this effort. Alongside other maritime security agencies, they conduct daily operational patrols and respond to maritime threats to Singapore.
The first-of-class, RSS Independence, was commissioned on 5 May 2017 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as part of the RSN’s Golden Jubilee. Since then, RSS Sovereignty, RSS Unity, RSS Justice, and RSS Indomitable have also entered operational service. The RSN launched its eighth and final LMV, Fearless, on 26 January 2019, marking a milestone in the LMV programme.
LMVs - by Singapore, for Singapore
The LMV project started nine years ago in 2010, and is jointly developed by the RSN and the Defence Science Technology Agency (DSTA). The Independence-class LMVs are constructed by Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd's subsidiary, ST Marine.
Designed and built locally, the LMVs pushed the boundaries of engineering and design to deliver a more capable, faster, and mission-flexible ship with better seakeeping and endurance. The LMVs are equipped with smarter technology and sharper capabilities to enable the RSN to operate more efficiently and effectively, while being manned by a leaner crew. This is made possible through the harnessing of technology, streamlining of work processes, and rethinking operating concepts. An example is the co-location of the Bridge, Combat Information Centre and Machinery Control Room at the Integrated Command Centre (ICC). The ICC integrates and synergises the management of navigation, engineering, and combat functions to achieve greater operational effectiveness for maritime security operations.
Beyond the physical hardware, the effectiveness of a ship lies in the proficiency of its people. The LMV is manned by a crew of 23, all of whom undertake multiple roles on board the ship. To build proficient crews, training is tiered at the individual, team and ship level, supported by simulators and emulators. This approach delivers the highest outcomes for personal proficiency and team excellence, so as to be ready for the full spectrum of mission sets at sea.
High-fidelity training is conducted at RSS Daring – the LMV Simulation Centre (SIMCEN). The simulator employs technology, such as virtual reality goggles, to replicate the experience at sea and enable realistic training by putting the crew through a wide range of scenarios. Training is also more effective, using analytics to monitor individuals and allowing for prompt correction to enhance learning retention and speed.
Milestones in LMV Operations
Since achieving full operational capability, the five commissioned LMVs have been involved in the 24/7 patrolling of Singapore waters, search-and-rescue operations, maritime security operations such as the 2018 DPRK-US Singapore Summit, and exercises with other navies. A summary of major operations and exercises that the LMVs have been involved in is below:
|Singapore International Maritime Review||May 2017|
|Search & Rescue Operations for capsized dredger||Sep 2017|
|Exercise HIGHCREST||Oct 2017|
|ASEAN Multilateral Naval Exercise in Thailand||Nov 2017|
|Search & Rescue Operations for capsized sampan||Dec 2017|
|Exercise EAGLE INDOPURA with Indonesian Navy||Apr 2018|
|Exercise APEX||May 2018|
|Exercise SINGSIAM with Royal Thai Navy||Jun 2018|
|Security operations for DPRK-US Singapore Summit||Jun 2018|
|Security operations for National Day Parade 2018||Aug 2018|
|Security operations for 33rd ASEAN Summit||Nov 2018|
|Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise with Indian Navy||Nov 2018|
The LMVs have further strengthened the seaward defence of Singapore and the RSN's ability to protect our sea lines of communication and our way of life. All eight LMVs are expected to be fully operational by 2020.