The Singapore Navy today launched the first of eight locally made littoral warships for multi-mission applications.
The new Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs) named as Independence will eventually replace the existing Fearless-class Patrol Vessels, which have been in service for 20 years, local media reported today.
These LMVs have various customizable mission modules, including medical containers and unmanned systems, that can be reconfigured to respond to different circumstances and roles from counter-piracy, mine clearing to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
The level of automation on board for a ship of its size and function is notable as just 23 men are required to crew at the baseline level, compared to about 30 for the previous generation patrol vessels. It is also fitted with a helicopter deck to extend its reach.
At the launch of the Independence, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said that while the ships are more capable compared to its predecessors - with more automation, intelligent systems, and firepower, "nothing can replace the spirit of the men and women of the RSN in ensuring success for every mission".
"The LMV is not just another new ship, but instead will lead the way in how we use technology to overcome operational demands.” Hen added.