Littoral Mission Vessel fleet complete & mission-ready

Actions
https://www.mindef.gov.sg/web/wcm/connect/pioneer/409d7195-d78b-43c3-8350-385bf7aed070/31jan20-nr-photo1.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-409d7195-d78b-43c3-8350-385bf7aed070-n08.1cP /web/wcm/connect/pioneer/409d7195-d78b-43c3-8350-385bf7aed070/31jan20-nr-photo1.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-409d7195-d78b-43c3-8350-385bf7aed070-n08.1cP /web/portal/pioneer/article/feature-article-detail/ops-and-training/2020-Q1/31jan20_news1
31jan20_news1 /web/portal/pioneer/article/feature-article-detail/ops-and-training/2020-Q1/31jan20_news1
31 Jan 2020 | OPS & TRAINING

Littoral Mission Vessel fleet complete & mission-ready

As the Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN’s) fleet of eight Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs) turn fully operational, we take a look at some of the milestones and special features of these warships.

// Story by Chia Chong Jin

// Photos by PIONEER photographers

All eight LMVs are now fully operational after the commissioning of (right row, from front) RSS Fortitude, RSS Dauntless and RSS Fearless.

1) Full LMV fleet is now operational

The commissioning of the last three vessels - RSS Fortitude, RSS Dauntless and RSS Fearless - at Tuas Naval Base on 31 Jan marked a significant milestone in the RSN's LMV journey which began in 2010.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Minister for Manpower and 2nd Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo congratulated the RSN on the successful operationalisation of all eight LMVs in just four and a half years since the launch of the first ship.

Ms Teo (left) presenting the Commissioning Warrant to Commanding Officer of RSS Fortitude, Lieutenant Colonel Damien Tang.

"The LMVs will play a vital role in strengthening the RSN's ability to defend our everyday... (In a) 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 added.

The crew of RSS Independence working in the ICC, which integrates the management of navigation, engineering and combat functions.

2) Smarter, sharper, faster warship

In the past, the Bridge, Combat Information Centre and Machinery Control Room were located in different parts of the PVs. The LMV, however, houses navigation, combat and engineering functions together in an Integrated Command Centre (ICC) for greater synergy and efficiency.

At 80m long, the LMV is about two-and-a-half times larger than the PV but is capable of speeds over 27 knots and can be operated with a leaner crew of 23 (compared to about 30 for its predecessor). It also carries weapons such as the Oto Melara 76mm Gun and Rafael 25mm Typhoon Gun.

A Singapore Police Force Police Coast Guard vessel (foreground, left) intercepting a “terrorist” speedboat with the help of RSS Independence (background) as part of Exercise Highcrest 2019.

3) Greater versatility in operations

The LMV can take on a wide range of maritime security operations and safeguard Singapore's sea lines of communications. Its modular design means it can be quickly configured to support Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations, and is also able to deploy unmanned systems for surveillance and mine countermeasure operations.

1-UP-B-caption

4) In active service

Since 2015, the LMVs - such as RSS Independence (pictured above, left) during the 33rd ASEAN Summit in November 2018 - have taken part in a various missions, operations and exercises such as:

  • Search And Rescue (SAR) operation for the missing crew of JBB De Rong 19, a dredger that collided with a tanker in Singapore waters in September 2017
  • SAR operation for two men who went missing after their sampan (a small flat-bottomed boat) capsized near the waters off Pedra Branca in December 2017
  • Exercise APEX, a multi-agency maritime security exercise, in October 2018
  • Maritime security operations for the DPRK-US Singapore Summit in June 2018
  • Maritime security operations for Singapore's 53rd National Day Parade, held in August 2018
Mr Lee (left) presenting the Commissioning Warrant to then-Commanding Officer of RSS Independence, Lieutenant Colonel Tay Choong Hern.

5) A legacy to remember

The Independence-class LMVs have been steadily replacing the ageing Fearless-class Patrol Vessels (PVs) since the commissioning of RSS Independence, the first-of-class LMV, on 5 May 2017 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The name Independence has a strong legacy: it was the name of a Patrol Craft in the 70s, which kept watch during the Laju ferry hijacking incident, and later used on another a PV in the 90s which saved lives in 2015 when a Malaysia-registered fishing trawler met with an accident near Pedra Branca.

6) Designed and built locally

The LMVs were jointly developed by the RSN and Defence Science and Technology Agency to enable the RSN to operate more efficiently and effectively. Best practices and ideas were thus incorporated into the ship's design from the get-go.

For example, the LMV's mast was designed to house the ship sensors internally to shield them from the harsh maritime environment and provide easier access for maintenance. This design change has halved the workload for maintenance compared to the PVs.

7) What's in a name?

In addition to RSS Fortitude, RSS Dauntless and RSS Fearless, the names of the other LMVs are RSS Independence, RSS Sovereignty, RSS Unity, RSS Justice and RSS Indomitable.

Beyond reflecting the theme of Singapore's nationhood, the names of the LMVs carry the ideals that Singapore's founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, and pioneers fought for, as well as the attributes they exemplified.

All eight LMV names were selected from more than 12,000 entries received during the LMV Naming Contest held from 12 Feb to 29 Mar 2015.

In the LMV Simulation Centre, a 360-degree view is created by 15 high-definition projectors projecting onto a 4.1m-high, 25m-long screen surrounding the simulator (centre).

8) Did you know there's a "9th LMV"?

Also known as RSS Daring, the LMV Simulation Centre (pictured above) leverages technology to cut training time by 60 per cent.

Located in Tuas Naval Base, the centre houses two LMV simulators which are built to mimic the ICC found on the actual ship, complete with all-round windows and a 360-degree continuous projection screen. This allows crew to hone their navigation, engineering and combat skills - both individually or as a team - in a realistic but safe environment.

Suggested Reading
He keeps the naval divers going Feature
He keeps the naval divers going
PEOPLE
07-Dec-21

This special boat engineer literally keeps the naval diving unit moving.

Longest-serving frogman in NDU continues to train young tadpoles Feature
Longest-serving frogman in NDU continues to train young tadpoles
PEOPLE
02-Dec-21

He went through tough training that only the fittest could endure; now he continues to ensure high training standards among young naval divers.

National agencies tackle terror threats in maritime exercise
Cover story
National agencies tackle terror threats in maritime exercise
OPS & TRAINING
12-Nov-21

A next-generation sense-making system, that helps to detect potential maritime threats faster, was unveiled at Exercise Highcrest 2021.

Kids Try: Navy Sailor Feature
Kids Try: Navy Sailor
PEOPLE
18-Oct-21

Can 9-year-old Sanjanaah Suresh make a skilled sailor? In this PIONEER Kids special, she visits the Littoral Mission Vessel Simulation Centre, where her father ME3 Suresh is a senior trainer, to find out what he went through during his sailing days.

DSTA director recognised among top S'pore women in tech
DSTA director recognised among top S'pore women in tech
PEOPLE
15-Oct-21

Ms Gayle Chan, DSTA's Deputy Chief Executive (Information), has earned a spot on the Singapore (SG) 100 Women in Tech 2021 list.

Weapons trainer with a tender heart Feature
Weapons trainer with a tender heart
PEOPLE
10-Sep-21

ME3 Jimmy Lim may be a weapon systems expert but his trainees have never come under fire for making mistakes.

Diving Into a Different Passion
Diving Into a Different Passion
PEOPLE
28-Aug-21

This SAF Scholarship recipient is living out his dream as a naval diver. But it wasn't what he always imagined himself doing.

A higher calling to serve
A higher calling to serve
PEOPLE
12-Aug-21

President's Scholarship recipient Lieutenant (LTA) Ang Zyn Yee is a Young Officer on board Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV) RSS Fortitude, running the ship's routine as Officer-of-the-Day and joining the crew on patrols.

Father-Son Duo Appointed as Senior Military Experts
Father-Son Duo Appointed as Senior Military Experts
PEOPLE
15-Jul-21

Father and son ME4 Tan Gim Cheong (right) and ME4 Roy Tan are two of the 105 appointed as senior military experts at the 21st Senior Military Expert Appointment Ceremony on Thursday.

Bonds of brotherhood Feature
Bonds of brotherhood
PEOPLE
09-Jul-21

"Brotherhood" isn't always about being born into the same family; sometimes it's about a little thing called "fate" bringing two people together to share a bond that stands the test of time. Meet ME4 Lee Siak Kong and ME4 Chua Chwee Huat in PIONEER's "Buddies" series.