Having become independent in 1965, the former British colony managed to make the leap, turning from a third world country into a highly developed state with a high standard of living. The most developed industry is shipbuilding. At the time of independence, a beggar of Singapore had only two wooden patrol ships that were part of the Singapore Volunteer Forces. Today, the Singapore Navy is considered one of the best in the region.
The official status of the Singapore Navy was 1 April 1975. Their main task is to protect against attacks from the sea and to protect the merchant sea routes in the waters of the Singapore Strait. Singapore is part of a military alliance with Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and the UK.
Frigates and corvettes
The most modern ships of the Singapore Navy are six frigates of the Formidable type (modification of the La Fayette frigates). These are the most high-tech warships in Southeast Asia, which can serve as an information center for a ship connection. Form 185 th squadron.
The contract for the development and construction of six frigates, the Ministry of Defense of Singapore concluded with the French company DCNS in March 2000. The key point of the contract is technology transfer. The first frigate was built in France, the other five - in Singapore. Further maintenance and upgrades are provided by Singapore’s ST Marine (STM).
The main feature of the frigate hull design is constructive measures to reduce the effective dispersion surface. They include inclined surfaces of sides, bulwarks and superstructures, some of the equipment is hidden in the hull, composite materials and special radio-absorbing coatings are widely used. Compared with the prototype, frigates demonstrate the best seaworthiness and greater autonomy, as well as reduced radar visibility.
The frigates are designed as nodes of the integrated network of command and control of the armed forces of Singapore, built on the same principle as the American network-centric systems. The main components of the network are the combat information management system (CTI) developed in Singapore and the dual data transmission system based on the Fast Ethernet protocol (common name for a set of standards for data transmission in computer networks using Ethernet technology up to 100 Mbps, unlike the original 10 Mbps).
Each frigate has a zone of responsibility with a radius of 360 kilometers. Acting as a mobile operations center, it receives information from the same type of ships and air objects that are within reach. The combat control system integrates all available information, creating a complete picture of the combat zone and transferring it to the coastal operators and other participants in the operation. Expansion of the controlled space and the minimum response time to the threat does not leave the enemy time to respond.
The peculiarity of the construction of a series of these warships is the integration into a single combat complex of systems carried out by Singaporean specialists. weaponsproduced in different countries: the Harpoon anti-ship missile and the ALOFTS hydroacoustic complex (USA), the Aster anti-aircraft missile system and the Herakles radar station (France), the Oto Melara 76-mm artillery system (Italy), the electronic-optical AMPL (Germany). The ship is adapted for basing a Seahawk helicopter on it.
In 1983, Singapore ordered six Victory-type corvettes under the German project MGB 62. The first was built by the German Lurssen Werft, the rest were built in Singapore at the ST Marine shipyard. They became part of the Navy in 1990–1991. They have anti-submarine weapons and form the 188th squadron, part of the First flotilla.
In 1996, the Barak I rockets and additional electronic weapons were installed on the corvettes. In 2011, the replacement of the Sea Giraffe 150HC radar with the Sea Giraffe AMB began. In 2012, as part of the life extension program, the ships underwent modernization, the main points of which were the installation of new CICS, electronic weapons and the ScanEagle UAV.
Fearless-type corvettes are designed and built at the ST Marine shipyard in Singapore. Entered service in 1996 – 1998. The first five ships form the 189 squadron, the remaining six form the 182 squadron. The body is made of steel, the superstructure is made of light alloy. The design allows the installation of additional equipment, radar and weapons. The first six ships are armed with anti-submarine torpedoes. On some, instead of 25-mm AU, air defense systems were installed in the form of Simbad air defense systems at the stern. Water jet propulsion Kamewa provide high maneuverability.
In total, the Singapore Navy has eleven corvettes of this type. Initially, there were twelve of them, but in 2003, the RSS Courageous antisubmarine corvette (ships and ships of the Singapore Navy have the RSS prefix from the English Republic of Singapore Ship) crashed into a merchant ship, suffered significant damage and was removed from the fleet. To enhance readiness, each ship has a backup crew. RSS Unity is used as a test bed for new technologies.
30 January 2013, the Singapore Ministry of Defense signed a contract with ST Marine for the construction of eight new ships to replace Fearless-type corvettes. Delivery first scheduled for 2015 – 2016 years. In total, eight ships are supposed to be delivered before 2020. By some estimates, the value of the contract can reach up to two billion US dollars.
In 2012, the Sultanate of Oman signed a contract with ST Engineering for the construction of four ships based on the Fearless project. The length of the new ship (type Al-Ofouq) is 75 meters, the contract amount is about 535 million euros. The propellers will be the screws, not water cannons. Also, due to the increased length of 20 meters, in addition to the UAV, a helicopter will be placed on these ships.
Landing ships, minesweepers and submarines
The biggest ships of the Singapore Navy are Airborne Endurance. Plans for their creation were first voiced in the 1996 year, when it became necessary to replace the old amphibious assault ships (LST) of the County type, received from the USA in the 70s. Form 191 th squadron.
The design of the new ships was an important milestone in stories Singapore shipbuilding due to the scale of the project. Construction was carried out at the shipyard ST Marine. In 2000 – 2001, Endurance ships were incorporated into the fleet.
They have a docking camera for four airborne landing craft, as well as a flight deck with the possibility of accommodating two helicopters. The ASIST integrated system allows landing and movement of a helicopter without the presence of personnel on the flight deck.
On board of the RSS Resolution there are two unmanned boats Protector manufactured by the Israeli company Rafael. They are made on the basis of a rigid-hull inflatable boat, have a superstructure made of composite materials, several video cameras and a gyro-stabilized inertial navigation system. Also on the boat installed automatic AU, microphones and loudspeaker.
11 November 2008 has signed a contract worth 200 million Singapore dollars for the supply of one Endurance-type ship to Thailand. In 2011, this ship, named HTMS Angthong, was launched and transferred to the customer a year later.
At the end of 2010, ST Marine announced a new design for the Endurance 160 amphibious assault ship with a displacement of more than 14 000 tons with a full-size flight deck. It is planned that his crew will be twice as large as the existing Endurance, plus 150 man pilots and technical staff. Also, the ship will acquire the capabilities of a hospital ship, for which it provides a spacious hospital and the necessary medical equipment.
The construction of such a ship will bring the Singapore Navy to a completely new level. The full-size flight deck with the prospect of installing a springboard will allow you to receive not only helicopters, but also SUVVP. The experience of building ships of this class, which formally are amphibious helicopter carriers, and in fact light aircraft carriers, is available in Japan (type Hyuga).
At the end of 1995, four Bedok type minesweepers, which form the 194 squadron, entered the Singapore fleet. According to experts, in the event of a real mine threat, which would entail a shutdown of the Singapore trading port, the damage will be approximately 1,2 billion US dollars per day. Thus, these ships play an important role in ensuring the security of the economy of Singapore.
The lead ship Bedok was built at the Swedish shipyard Karlskonavarvet (now Kockums) according to the Landsort project. The remaining blocks were built in Sweden and assembled in Singapore at ST Marine.
The ships are built of reinforced fiberglass, which provides a low magnetic signature. Bridge equipment, engines and main systems are installed on shock absorbers.
Each ship is equipped with Voith-Schneider propellers, which provide them with good handling and maneuverability.
In November 2008 of the year, the Bedok-type ships modernization program was announced. The tender was won by Thales, which in May 2009 announced that Singapore’s defense science and technology agency signed a contract with her for the implementation of the Bedok extension service program. Two of the four planned to upgrade completely, the rest partially.
Thales will install an integrated mine complex with an information system on mine weapons, corps and towed GUS, self-propelled devices - seekers-mine destroyers. Thales is also responsible for making design changes to accommodate new equipment.
The Singapore Navy includes five submarines (PL): three types of Challenger (Sjoorman) and two types of Archer (Vastergotland), built by the Swedish shipyard Kockums.
Challenger submarines are built at the end of the 60s in Sweden. At one time they were considered one of the most advanced non-nuclear submarines. Originally intended for operations in the Baltic Sea. At the beginning of the 90-x withdrawn from the Swedish fleet. In Singapore, they were subjected to "tropicalization" for use in warm waters. Air conditioning and anti-fouling systems have been upgraded by marine organisms, and a more corrosion resistant piping system has been installed. In addition, new periscopes are installed. By 2004, three boats entered the Singapore Navy. One submarine of the Challenger type - the RSS Challenger itself was not introduced into the fleet and is used as a training ship. The age of the boats is now over 40 years.
Archer submarine built at the beginning of the 80-ies. In total, four boats of this type are made in Sweden. The first two PL series in November 2005 of the year were sold to Singapore. When transferred, they underwent a retrofit procedure for use in tropical waters. Equipped with an air-independent main power plant.
High shipbuilding potential
The existence of a powerful Singapore shipbuilding potential, which is actively working not only in the domestic market, but also for export, allows us to speak of the relative industrial independence of the state in this industry.
Singapore is the only country in the world, in the ship register of which is recorded an ekranoplane, and its own building (Airfish-8).
The construction of military ships is engaged in the state company ST Marine. The production facilities of the two main STM shipyards located in the Jurong and Tuaz areas allow building frigate warships as well as merchant ships with tonnage up to 70 thousand tons. During the period from 2007 to 2010, a number of contracts were concluded for the construction of cargo, passenger and special vessels for the world's leading transport companies.
The Singapore-Australian company Asia-Ras Geraldton Ltd is building high-speed patrol boats for the Navy Coast Guard and Police.
The Singapore-British company Wasper Private Ltd is also involved in the production of naval equipment, which builds Waspada-type missile boats for the Singapore Navy and foreign customers, in particular for Bahrain, Brunei, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman.
In 2004, Singapore acquired VT Halter Marine, a US subsidiary that was on the verge of bankruptcy. Through the efforts of the Singaporean management, the shipyard has been returned to the category of profitable and is currently completing a number of long-term orders from the US military. In addition, for the period from 2008 to 2012, an agreement was concluded with the Egyptian Navy to build a series of missile boats worth more than 640 million US dollars.
Among the large foreign orders it is necessary to highlight the construction of landing ships for the naval forces of India, Thailand, Kuwait and Brunei, as well as patrol boats for the Indian coast guard. In accordance with the current intergovernmental agreements at STM shipyards, warships of the USA and Thailand are also being repaired.
In general, the Singapore Navy is a technically advanced component of the Armed Forces, capable of performing urgent tasks of ensuring the country's security, and military allies, such as the United States and Israel, make them a very serious player in the region.
The shipbuilding industry of the state is able to independently meet the needs of the Navy.
All ships of the fleet are very modern or have recently undergone a program to modernize or extend their service life. However, attention is drawn to the absence of light impact forces and the weak component of submarine forces.
The Jane's Fighting Ships 2013 – 2014 reference book indicates that there are no missile boats in the fleet. At the same time, those are successfully built (under a license) for export, so it is very likely that it is possible to assume that the Singapore industry will meet the needs of the fleet in this sector.
As for submarines, we should expect in the near future new purchases abroad (to replace the submarines of the Challenger type) with a gradual orientation of the national industry and in this direction.