Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo officiated at the commissioning ceremony of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)'s Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs) RSS Fortitude, RSS Dauntless and RSS Fearless at Tuas Naval Base today. The commissioning of the final three LMVs marks a significant milestone for the RSN as all eight LMVs are operationalised, strengthening the Navy's capabilities to safeguard Singapore's waters, protect its Sea Lines of Communication and contribute to regional peace and security.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Mrs Teo congratulated the RSN and her partners for the successful completion and operationalisation of all eight LMVs within a short span of just four and a half years since the launch of the first LMV, saying that this was an outstanding feat. She also commended the RSN's ability to turn constraints into opportunity, successfully achieving significant manpower savings. "The LMVs will play a vital role in strengthening the RSN's ability to defend our everyday… They are quintessentially Singaporean, being designed and built in Singapore by Singaporeans, for Singaporeans. Testament to our people's determination to defend our way of life despite our constraints, the vessels are ingeniously designed to overcome manpower limitations," she said.
Designed and built locally, the Independence-class LMVs are equipped with smarter technology and sharper capabilities to enable the RSN to operate more efficiently and effectively. The ship pushes the boundaries of engineering and design to deliver a more capable, faster and mission-flexible ship. Besides advanced radars and sensors, and improved sense-making systems to enhance situation awareness and accelerate decision-making, the concept of ‘design for support' was incorporated upfront. For example, the mast of the LMV is designed to house the ship's sensors internally to shield them from the harsh maritime environment and provide easier access for maintenance. The design change has halved the workload for maintenance compared to the Patrol Vessels they replaced, enabling the LMVs to be manned with a leaner crew.
RSS Fortitude, RSS Dauntless and RSS Fearless are the final three LMVs that will replace the ageing Fearless-class Patrol Vessels, which have been in service for more than 20 years. The LMVs have participated in inter-agency operations, such as security operations for the DPRK-US Singapore Summit, and the recent rescue efforts of the merchant vessel Hoyu when it caught fire in November 2019. In addition, the LMVs were involved in overseas exercises, such as the inaugural ASEAN Multilateral Naval Exercise in Thailand in 2017, as well as local exercises such as Exercise Highcrest.
Also present at the ceremony were Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Lew Chuen Hong as well as senior officials from the Ministry of Defence and the Singapore Armed Forces.