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     RSN commissions its first frigate RSS Formidable

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In March 2000, MINDEF signed a contract with Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) of France for the construction of six frigates for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)¹. Under the technology transfer arrangement, DCN contracted to design and build the first ship while the remaining five would be built locally by Singapore Technologies (ST) Marine. The six new frigates will replace the long-serving RSN's Missile Gunboats, which have been in service for more than 25 years.


RSS Formidable, the first of the Formidable-Class frigates, was launched in France on 7 January 2004. She sailed from France and arrived in Singapore on 8 July 2005 and continued with its operationalisation process, which included system integration, trials and work-up training. After undergoing sea trials and operational training, RSS Formidable is now being formally commissioned for operational service in the RSN, marking a major milestone in the frigate programme.

The remaining five frigates were launched in Singapore. The second, RSS Intrepid was launched in 2004 while the third, fourth and fifth ships, Steadfast, Tenacious and Stalwart were launched in 2005. The final ship RSS Supreme was launched in 2006.

To date, four frigates Formidable, Intrepid, Steadfast and Tenacious have been delivered to the RSN. The remaining two frigates, Stalwart and Supreme, are at various stages of construction and expected to be delivered soon. All six frigates are expected to be fully operational by 2009.


The new frigates are highly versatile warships that are equipped with advanced combat systems and possess stealth capabilities. They also have enhanced endurance and are able to be deployed at sea for a prolonged duration. Each frigate is designed to carry a Sikorsky S-70B Naval Helicopter capable of complementing the ship in Anti-surface and Anti-submarine warfare. By leveraging on a high level of automation and enhanced work processes, each frigate will only require a crew of 71.

The frigates will be equipped with state-of-the-art combat capabilities allowing them to perform a wide spectrum of missions and to deal with various threats in all dimensions of naval warfare - surface, air and underwater. These systems include the Thales Herakles Multi-function Radar (MFR), the MBDA² Aster SAM System, the EDO³ Active Low Frequency Towed Sonar (ALOFTS) system, the Eurotorp A244S torpedo and the Boeing Harpoon missile system. Command and control of the various sensor and weapon systems onboard each frigate is achieved via an indigenously developed Combat Management System (CMS).


Length 114 metres
Beam 16 metres
Displacement 3,200 tonnes
Speed In excess of 25 knots
Range/Endurance > 3,500 nautical miles
Platform Systems  
Propulsion System 4 x MTU 20V 8000 M90, 8200 kW (CODAD Configuration)
Electrical System 4 x IFM V1708 with AvK alternator, 800Kw
Helicopter/Ship-Heli Interface Sikorsky S-70B Naval Helicopter + Air detachment
Complement 70-plus crew



Multi-Function Radar Thales Herakles Multi-function Radar (MFR)
Navigation Radar Terma Electronic Navigation Radar
Surface-to-Surface Missile Harpoon Surface to Surface Missile System
Surface-to-Air Missile MDBA Aster Missile System
Naval Gun OTO Melara 76mm Gun
Sonar EDO Active Low Frequency Towed Sonar (ALOFTS)
Torpedo Whitehead A244S System
Communications Integrated Communications System
Gun Fire Control System EADS Gunfire Control System
Command and Control Combat Management System (CMS)

Related Article: Singapore Navy launches the last of its stealth frigates

Source: News Release 5 May 2007