RSS Swift-class - Coastal Patrol Craft (CPC)
The need for the Fleet to learn how to juggle between conventional and unconventional warfare roles at the same time is a given. However, there are concerns that expanding the portfolio of capabilities will have negative impact on the Fleet's growth in conventional warfighting. By 1975, the Singapore Maritime Command had expanded its armada to include Coastal Patrol Craft and Missile Gunboats.
During Ops Thunderstorm in 1975, key strike craft like the Missile Gun Boats (MGBs) were so pre-occupied with illegal immigrant operations that for the better part of this period, MGBs were little more than patrol boats. This had a significant impact on the development of Singapore's strike capability. To relieve the MGBs from the task of daily patrols, twelve Coastal Patrol Craft were added to the RSN in the early 1980s. It was not until the acquisition of the Coastal Patrol Craft (CPC) from 1979 onwards that enabled the Fleet to refocus the efforts of its missile-armed craft towards developing an effective strike capability. October 1981 saw the commissioning of 12 Coastal Patrol Craft (CPC) by Mr Howe Yoon Chong, then Minister for Defence.
Since its inauguration, COSCOM has seen action in some notable real-life operations that have tested the capabilities of this Formation. On 31 January 1991, the Coastal Patrol Craft (CPCs) RSS Swift Knight and RSS Swift Cavalier responded to a distress call by a sinking general cargo vessel MV Jenson, southwest of Horsburgh Lighthouse. Battling limited visibility at night, the crew on board the CPCs rescued all 15 members of the vessel's crew. The vessel sank not long after the rescue mission.
The CPCs were decommissioned between 1993 to 1996. The Fearless-class Patrol Vessels replaced the Coastal Patrol Craft the Navy used to operate. The Navy works closely with the Maritime and Port Authority and the Police Coast Guard to ensure that the seas around Singapore are safe. The Navy is always present and vigilant in the Singapore Straits. There are always ships deployed, with more on standby ready to be deployed if they are needed.
The Navy began close cooperation with the Police Coast Guard to develop a reliable and robust system to protect Singapore's waters. As part of this effort, the Navy transferred 12 Coastal Patrol Craft and seconded naval personnel to the Police Coast Guard to help train their officers to operate and maintain the Coastal Patrol Craft. Through joint training and exercises, and by setting up an inter-operable command, control and surveillance system, the Police Coast Guard and the Navy now work together very effectively to safeguard the waters around Singapore.
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