In recent years, maritime security threats have grown in scale and complexity. Examples include sea robbery threats in the region, and intrusions into Singapore territorial waters. As part of the restructured Maritime Security Command, a new Maritime Security and Response Flotilla (MSRF) will be inaugurated.
Maritime Security and Response Flotilla
The MSRF will be responsible to develop and operate calibrated capabilities to provide the Singapore government and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) with more options to respond to maritime incidents. The capabilities raised by the MSRF will provide flexibility to meet the increased demands and a wider scope of maritime security operations, and offer greater persistence to protect Singapore's territorial waters. The MSRF will form an important part of the restructured Maritime Security Command.
The MSRF will operate new purpose-built vessels from 2026. As a start, the flotilla will operate four Sentinel-class Maritime Security and Response Vessels (MSRVs). It will also operate two Maritime Security and Response Tugboats (MSRTs). In line with other international maritime security agencies, these vessels will all bear red "racing" stripes on their bow.
Sentinel-class Maritime Security and Response Vessels
Four ex-Fearless class patrol vessels have been refurbished as the Sentinel-class MSRVs. In addition to refitting the vessels to extend their operational lifespan, the Sentinel-class MSRVs will be installed with a range of calibrated capabilities. This includes enhanced communications equipment, improved visual and audio warning systems, installation of a fender system and modular ballistics protection.
MSRV Sentinel and MSRV Guardian will enter into operational service today, while MSRV Protector and MSRV Bastion will be refurbished and operationalised in the coming months.
Maritime Security and Response Tugboats
Two tugboats will join the MSRF under a long-lease arrangement. As dedicated tugboats, they will enable the RSN to better respond to and assist incidents at sea, as well as support base operations.
Future Purpose-built Vessels
The future purpose-built vessels are still in the early stages of concept design. They are expected to be larger than the Sentinel-class MSRVs and have longer endurance to operate at sea for up to a few weeks. Additionally, these vessels will be designed for lean manning with modular capabilities.