RSS Jupiter Diving Support Ship
Sea mines demonstrated their devastating effects in the two world wars, incidents in the Suez Canal, and as recently as in the Falklands and Gulf wars. A second home to ocean liners and merchant ships which plough the Singapore Straits, Singapore can ill-afford to allow its waters to be contaminated by sea mines, which are getting smarter and more sophisticated, in line with technological advancements across the field of maritime warfare. There is also the potential existence of war relics such as unexploded mines and bombs left over from World War Two to contend with.
The RSN acquired Mine Counter Measure (MCM) capabilities as early as 1975, when the US Navy's USS Thrasher and USS Whippoorwill were reactivated by the RSN's own engineers and technicians in California. The Bluebird-class coastal minesweepers were commissioned as RSS Jupiter and RSS Mercury.
These pioneering ships were eventually replaced by the current Swedish-built MCMVs: RSS Bedok, RSS Kallang, RSS Katong and RSS Punggol, all commissioned in 1995. After 1990-91, the Jupiter was used for the support function of salvage and storage, though it still has the capacity to engage in mine warfare activities.
The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) transferred a decommissioned ship, RSS Jupiter, to the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) on 21 March 2002. Singapore's Chief of Navy, Rear-Admiral Lui Tuck Yew, and Chief of Staff of the TNI-AL, Admiral Indroko Sastrowiryono, jointly officiated at a ceremony in Tanjong Priok to mark the transfer of the ship. RSS Jupiter was designed to provide support for diving operations, and underwater search and salvage missions. It was decommissioned in September 2001, having served in the RSN since August 1991. The transfer of the decommissioned vessel symbolizes the excellent ties between the RSN and the TNI-AL. Both navies enjoy close and longstanding built upon mutual understanding and co-operation.
On 20 September 2001 RSS Perseverance and RSS Jupiter are decommissioned. RSS Perseverance, fondly remembered as an ambassador of Singapore, having flown its flag in countries like Australia and South Africa, continued to serve the RSN as a government vessel. RSS Jupiter, a diving support ship, played a significant role in the development of the RSN's underwater capability.
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