Three New Ship Classes to Inject Greater Capability
As it faces the approaching retirement of its VICTORY-class corvettes, which will reach the end of their operational life by 2025, the Republic of Singapore Navy is relying on two new classes of surface vessel as well as the Type 218SG submarine to inject fresh capability into its small but powerful fleet.
At the forefront of thinking as far as surface vessels are concerned is the Multi-Role Combat Vessel (MRCV), a mission-configurable warship to be introduced into service, “after 2020.” Although no formal specification has yet been issued, MONCh understands that the vessel is intended to play ‘mothership’ host to at least three UAS (nominally the Boeing/Insitu SCANEAGLE) and two unmanned surface vessels (Rafael’s PROTECTOR). The intention of the Navy’s leaders is to provide themselves with an integrated sensor ‘umbrella’ – consisting of facial and voice recognition capabilities as well as more traditional CCTV and video coverage – out to a range of 150km from the mother ship.
With an eye towards enhancing capabilities – speed of response as well as absolute payload capacity – in humanitarian/disaster relief operations, the Navy is also seeking a Joint Multi-Mission Ship (JMMS), providing it with twice the payload and a much faster loading/offloading capacity that its current logistics vessels. The timescale for the JMMS (for which no specifications have yet been made public) is a similarly ambitious “after 2020.”