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RSS Independence Littoral Mission Vessels (LMV)

In January 2013, Ministry of Defence signed a contract with Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd for the construction of eight littoral mission vessels (LMVs) for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). The eight LMVs are "uniquely Singapore" - built by ST Engineering's subsidiary ST Marine (ST Marine) locally, based on a design jointly developed by ST Marine and Saab Kockums AB. The Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) is the overall programme manager and systems integrator for the LMV programme. The eight new LMVs will replace the RSN's Fearless-class patrol vessels (PVs), which have been in service for about 20 years.

The Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs) will replace the existing Fearless-class Patrol Vessels, which had served the RSN well for close to 20 years. The LMVs will be able to carry out maritime security operations and safeguard our sea lines of communication more effectively and efficiently. Although larger in size, the LMVs with the innovation design, will be able to operate with a leaner crew size. Adopting the concept of “mission modularity”, these vessels are highly configurable and can embark on a range of mission modules to meet the specific mission needs. The LMVs will enhance the capabilities of the RSN in enforcing seaward defence and protecting Singapore's vital sea lines of communication.

The new LMVs are highly capable warships designed and equipped with advanced combat capabilities and technologies to further strengthen the RSN's ability in the seaward defence of Singapore and protecting our sea lines of communication.

The LMVs are designed with an Integrated Command Centre where the ships' Bridge, Combat Information Centre and Machinery Control Room are co-located. The Integrated Command Centre integrates and synergises the management of navigation, engineering, and combat functions to achieve greater operational effectiveness and efficiency, especially during maritime security operations.

Key design elements for the LMV were incorporated to improve efficiency in logistics and engineering support. In "designing the support", the LMVs' operational readiness will be enhanced as less time will be required for maintenance of the ships. One example is the stacked mast, where 90 percent of the parts that require regular maintenance are housed in an enclosed environment and easily accessible within the mast, instead of outside in most ships' designs. The ship's platform and combat systems' health status can also be transmitted back to shore for centralised monitoring and prognosis of the systems to detect anomalies and plan for pre-emptive maintenance.

Numerous sense-making and decision support systems, complemented by a high level of automation in the ship, are incorporated into the LMV's combat and platform suite. This will enhance situational awareness and accelerate decision making. The LMVs' Combat Management System features a fusion and identification engine to better identify, track and manage contacts, and a threat evaluation weapon assignment engine to prioritise and assign the relevant weapons to counter threats. The LMVs are also designed with an advanced Integrated Platform Management System, which enhances operational effectiveness and is able to better manage consequences such as engineering defects, or fire and flooding situations.

The LMVs are equipped with an advanced integrated communication and network system to enable the crew to communicate and share information on board. This includes tracking of the ship's equipment and logistics status as well as crew movement. In addition, the LMVs will be connected to the larger Integrated Knowledge Command and Control network in the Singapore Armed Forces to share information with deployed forces and tap on the expertise from shore headquarters in areas such as operations and engineering support.

In terms of displacement, the LMVs are 2.5 times larger than the PVs and possess better sea-keeping capabilities to operate in higher sea state conditions. The LMVs also have greater endurance and are able to stay at sea for longer periods of time. In addition, the LMV's ability to respond rapidly to maritime security incidents is further enhanced with its faster speed in excess of 27 knots and the ability to support a medium-lift helicopter. The LMVs are also highly manoeuvrable and can operate in confined and congested littoral waters effectively.

The LMVs are versatile and can be quickly configured with mission modules to take on a wide spectrum of operations. For example, the LMVs can be configured to embark rigid hull inflatable boats, boarding teams and a helicopter to conduct maritime security operations. They could also be configured with medical modules to support Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and search-and-rescue operations. In addition, the LMVs may be deployed with unmanned systems for surveillance or mine countermeasure operations.

The LMVs are equipped with both lethal and non-lethal options to deliver calibrated responses to deter or defend a wide range of threats. This ranges from long range acoustics devices, water cannon system, small and large calibre guns, to anti-missile missiles.

Equipped with a three-dimensional surveillance radar system and two high resolution navigation radars, the LMVs will be able to detect surface targets better in the congested environment. For target identification, the LMVs are equipped with a 360° panoramic day and night camera suite, comprising an all-round surveillance system and four electro-optics directors, and a 360° bridge that offers an unobstructed view to achieve all-round visual awareness of its immediate surroundings. This is essential in congested waters where there is a high concentration of shipping and fishing activities amidst island groups.

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. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) announced the names of the eight Littoral Mission Vessels. The RSN's first LMV, RSS Independence, was launched on 3 July 2015 at a ceremony officiated by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. The names of the RSN's seven other LMVs are RSS Sovereignty, RSS Unity, RSS Justice, RSS Indomitable, RSS Fortitude, RSS Dauntless, and RSS Fearless. Beyond reflecting the theme of Singapore's nationhood, these names also carry the ideals that our founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew and our pioneers fought for as well as the attributes they exemplified. These names were selected from more than 12,000 entries received during the LMV Naming Contest held from 12 February to 29 March 2015.

The first LMV, Independence, was launched on 3 July 2015. The launch of Independence will mark a significant milestone for the LMV programme. Following the launching, installation of combat systems on board Independence commenced before it undergoes sea trials. Independence was delivered to the RSN in 2016 and became fully operational by 2017. Since achieving full operational capability, the five commissioned LMVs [by end 2018] had 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. All eight LMVs were expected to be fully operational by 2020. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) commissioned three of its newest Independence-class littoral mission vessels (LMVs) at Tuas Naval Base 01 February 2020 . Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo officiated at the commissioning ceremony of the Republic of Singapore Navy Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs) RSS Fortitude, RSS Dauntless and RSS Fearless. 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.

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Page last modified: 02-02-2020 19:05:45 ZULU