Monday, October 18, 2010

Singapore Navy's latest submarine set for Wednesday launch

Singapore's latest submarine is due to be launched this Wednesday (20 October 2010) at the Kockums naval yard in Karlskrona, Sweden, according to a media invitation on the warship maker's website.

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) submarine, RSS Swordsman, will be the second of two former Royal Swedish Navy A-17 Vastergotland-class SSKs renewed for the RSN. These were renamed the Archer-class.

The Archer-class boats had their hulls stretched to accommodate an Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) unit, which as its name implies, allows the submarine to run submerged for extended periods. This makes AIP subs more difficult to detect compared to diesel-electric subs which need to either surface or extended a snorkel to suck in air for its diesel engines, which are run to recharge the boat's battery packs. When running on batteries, SSKs are difficult to detect because the electric powered propulsion runs silently.

RSS Archer and Swordsman are named after a class of 12 Swift-class Coastal Patrol Craft (CPC) launched in the 1980s.

The Archer-class subs follows the naming convention for the RSN's first subs, also acquired from Sweden, which were also named after CPCs. These boats are RSS Challenger, RSS Conqueror, RSS Centurion and RSS Chieftain.

One additional hull was acquired as a source of spares for the Challenger-class subs.

Some snippets about the RSN's undersea warfare capabilities:
1. Singapore's submarines are the Lion City's most stealthy men-of-war. They are also the oldest, dating back to 1968.

2. The name-ship of the Challenger class was never formally commissioned into Fleet RSN.

3. The submarines with 171 Squadron are not the only RSN assets that can surface and fight submerged.

1 comment:

bdique said...

"3. The submarines with 171 Squadron are not the only RSN assets that can surface and fight submerged."

The first thing that came to mind was the NDU :P I'm looking forward to coverage of the event :)