Submarines provide Navy added capability to fulfil role as defender of S’pore’s waters: PM Lee


As a maritime nation that is highly reliant on the free movement of goods for prosperity and survival, the Singapore Navy has the crucial mission of keeping our sea lines of communication open, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

“Submarines provide the RSN an added capability to fulfil its role,” he added. PM Lee was speaking at the launch ceremony of Singapore Navy’s second and third submarines in Kiel, Germany on Dec 13.

German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and other senior defence officials from both countries were also present.

Mdm Ho Ching launched both submarines, reflecting a naval tradition that sees new ships being sponsored by a civilian, usually a woman.

Source: MINDEF

Named Impeccable and Illustrious, the two new Invincible-class submarines are designed for operations in Singapore’s shallow and busy tropical waters, and they possess longer endurance and higher payloads, said MINDEF.

The Invincible-class submarines differ from the previous two classes of submarines that the Navy acquired from the Swedish Navy.

In addition, the submarines are also designed for the average Singaporean in mind, with some buttons and valves installed at a more accessible height, unlike the Swedish-made submarines which were designed for taller operators.

Both new submarines, barring some sea trials, are now ready after plagued by Covid-19-related delays.

The first submarine, Invincible, was launched in 2019, while the fourth submarine Inimitable, is under construction.

Stronger ties with Germany

PM Lee also mentioned the warm and growing defence relations between Singapore and Germany.

“Our collaboration on this strategic capability underscores the depth of partnership and the trust between our navies and our defence industries. I am confident that the relationship between Germany and Singapore will grow from strength to strength, and I look forward to more meaningful interactions between our militaries.”

Indeed, the launch is testament to the warm and growing defence ties between the two countries, underpinned by the signing of the Defence Cooperation Agreement in 2018. Both nations cooperate and interact widely through visits, military exchanges and training, said MINDEF.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen also met his counterpart Federal Minister of Defence Christine Lambrecht in Berlin on Dec 14, signalling the commitment to strengthen bilateral defence cooperation as agreed upon under the enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement.

Source: MINDEF

Cover photo credit: MINDEF