Singapore Launches Fourth Invincible-class Submarine–Inimitable

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Singapore has launched its fourth Invincible-class submarine in a ceremony at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems’ (tkMS) shipyard in Kiel, Germany on April 22. Named the Inimitable, it is the fourth and final vessel in its class for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).

Its launch was officiated by the city-state’s Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean with the minister’s sister, Teo Swee Lian as the Lady Sponsor. Also in attendance was Germany’s Federal Minister for Defence Boris Pistorius, Chief of German Navy VAdm Jan Christian Kaack while Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How accompanied by RSN Chief RAdm Sean Wat as well as tkMS CEO Oliver Burkhard alongside other senior defence officials from both nations.

In his speech, Minister Teo said “Singapore sits astride a focal point of international shipping routes. Close to 90,000 ships pass through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore each year, accounting for a third of global trade. The port of Singapore handled 39 million containers in 2023. The RSN plays an important role in ensuring the safe and secure passage of ships through the waters around Singapore… Our new submarines will enhance the RSN’s ability to fulfil her mission of protecting the sea lines of communication in our region. All countries stand to benefit when our seas are safe and secure.” He added, “Our submarine journey began in the late 1980s. The RSN recognised then that developing its own submarine capability was critical for it to achieve the strategic mission of protecting vital sea routes and securing Singapore’s access to the seas… I have watched with tremendous satisfaction the great strides our submarine community has made.”

The Invincible-class submarines are a result of a joint effort between the RSN, tkMS and Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), producing a customised class of submarines which can operate in shallow and busy tropical waters around Singapore. Next, the Inimitable is slated to go on sea trials prior to its delivery to Singapore. The third vessel, Impeccable arrived in Singapore late last year and is undergoing local sea trials to be fully operationalised with its commissioning scheduled for later this year.shp/adj/dl (Pix:RSN)