- Singapore has laid out plans to replace its Victory-class corvettes with a new type of multi-mission ship known as the Multi-Role Combat Vessel
- New ship type will further enhance the country’s ability to secure its sea lines of communication
The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) will retire its class of six Victory-class corvettes, and replace these with a new type of platform known as the Multi-Role Combat Vessel (MRCV).
The matter was disclosed by Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen at a media conference held in conjunction with the country’s Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) day, which falls on 1 July.
The 62 m Victory-class vessels were first commissioned in 1990 and are currently in service with the RSN’s 188 Squadron. The corvettes can attain a top speed of 35 kt, and a standard range of 2,000 n miles at 22 kt.
Each vessel is armed with a 76 mm Oto Melara naval gun in the primary position, and six 324 mm torpedo tubes to prosecute submarines. The class is also capable of deploying the McDonnell Douglas Harpoon anti-ship missile, and the Israeli-made Barak I surface-to-air missile.
The class underwent a service-life extension programme (SLEP) from 2009 to 2014, and these enhancements include installation of the Saab Sea Giraffe Agile Multiple Beam (AMB) radar, an improved combat management system, and a launch and recovery system for the ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The class, which is deployed regularly for maritime patrol duties in the Strait of Malacca and the South China Sea, will reach the end of its operational life in 2025.
Meanwhile, the MRCVs, which will be introduced after 2020, will be conceived as “mothership” platforms that will host a spectrum of unmanned air, surface, and sub-surface vehicles, said the defence minister.