SINGAPORE: Singapore Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong Su Kiat and Commander Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Major General Muhammad Haszaimi bin Bol Hassan jointly officiated the handing over and taking over ceremony of an ex-Fearless class Patrol Vessel (PV) to the Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) on March 15. The ceremony at RSS Singapura, Changi Naval Base, was also attended by senior defence officials from both countries. The PV, named as AS-SIDDIQ, is the first of two PVs to be transferred to the RBN.
At the ceremony, Lt Gen Ong highlighted the close relationship between the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF). He said, “I am glad we are able to gather here today to witness the handing over and taking over of the first of two Fearless-class Patrol Vessels between the RSN and RBN. The ceremony today marks another significant milestone in our close friendship between Singapore and Brunei…As we celebrate the transfer of these vessels today, I am confident that the relationship between the SAF and the RBAF will grow from strength to strength as well.” Maj Gen Dato Haszaimi agreed, and said, “I am confident that this vessel will serve the Royal Brunei Navy and our country well and that it will be a symbol of the close cooperation and special friendship between our two armed forces for many years to come.”
The RSN’s ex-Fearless class PVs were progressively replaced with the Independence-class Littoral Mission Vessels since 2017. The transfer of the two PVs underscores the close and long-standing defence relations between the RSN and the RBN. Both navies also interact regularly through a wide range of activities, such as bilateral exercises, regular visits, and professional exchanges. The Singapore Ministry of Defence statement said such interactions have fostered mutual understanding and cooperation between the two navies. –sg/adj/mgm – (Pix: Sg MINDEF)