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RSN receives first of six new frigates


Minister for Defence visits RSS Formidable
Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean sailed with the RSS Formidable from Changi Naval Base this morning.
The lead ship of the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN) Formidable-class stealth frigates returned to Singapore on 8 Jul 05 from France where she was built by Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN).
Mr Teo was briefed on the advanced capabilities and operational concept of the ship, as well as on the various shipboard systems, weapons and sensors on board, including the indigenously built Combat Management System (CMS).
The state-of-the-art CMS was jointly developed by RSN with the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and DSO National Laboratories.
It is the nerve centre of the frigate's integrated combat suite. Designed with embedded intelligence for command and control, contact evaluation, track management, threat prioritisation as well as weapon alignment, the CMS provides a high level of integration, decision support, automation and a network-centric architecture for the frigates.
The return of Formidable enhances the RSN's capabilities to undertake a wide spectrum of operations in carrying out its mission of defending Singapore and its vital Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs) more effectively. The frigates will significantly bolster the RSN¡¯s fleet of warships and be at the forefront of maintaining maritime security in the waters around Singapore. The frigates are an important asset of the 3G SAF.
Mr Teo was accompanied by Chief of Navy RADM Ronnie Tay and other senior MINDEF officials and SAF officers.
Doorstop interview with Minister Teo during his visit to RSS Formidable
Q: Sir, how would you envision it would enhance the operational capabilities of the RSN?
A: Well, the Formidable represents also one of the transformational capabilities of the SAF because what you see on the surface of it is a ship but the most important part of the ship is really the combat systems. She's able to network with other ships, aircraft, her own helicopter and shore facilities so she's really a node in the whole network warfare concept we are developing for the SAF.
Q: Sir, how important is the role of supporting agencies such as DSTA, ST Marine and DSO in bringing the ship operational?
A: They are playing a very important role in the technology content. As you know, ST Marine is building five of the ships here in the yard in Singapore. And DSTA and DSO also have a very heavy technology content in the ship. The combat management system for example, is being developed in Singapore and that¡¯s really the brains of the ship, the whole brains of the ship around which the whole combat systems and the whole concept of network warfare revolves.
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). Under the technology transfer arrangement, DCN will design and build the first ship while the remaining five will be built locally by Singapore Technologies Marine. The six new frigates will replace the RSN's Missile Gunboats which would have been in service for more than 30 years.
After completing her construction in Lorient, Formidable underwent a series of intensive platform trials in the waters of France from the end of last year.
Upon successful completion of sea trials, she departed Lorient in May 05 and made a 12,000 nautical mile voyage through challenging sea conditions in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans to arrive in Changi Naval Base on 8 Jul 05.
Formidable's platform and navigational systems are operational and the crew has completed their shore training and initial work-up training at sea. The ship is currently undergoing Combat Systems checkout, integration and testing. She is expected to be fully operational in 2007.

Source: News Release 5 Aug 2005

Related article:
Navy launches first locally built frigate on 3 Jul 2004


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6 August 2005