RSN capabilities

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
...but with anti ship missile?

..more like an OPV.
1. While there is no confirmation on ASCMs, the moment you mention OPV, as a reference point, to describe the 4 new patrol vessels, I know that you do not understand the Singapore Navy’s concern with the Littoral Zone. The littorals have become and will increasingly be critical to the global economy and the SAF’s concept of joint operations. To be relevant a MSTF Flotilla (and not the 1st Flotilla, to be used to secure Singapore’s SLOCs up to 1,000 km away), operating in the Singapore Straits, around Pedra Branca, and the near abroad, must have the ability to secure the littorals, dispute them, or just as importantly exercise in them in the face of an enemy who will contest them.

• Different platforms perform each of these tasks, some more effectively than others, which should drive fleet architectures.​

• Once a navy engages in ramming as a tactic against an aggressor, we must be prepared that the aggressor will shoot back, just as the North Koreans did on 15 June 1999 and on 29 June 2002. South Korean patrol boat PKM-357 (Chamsuri-class vessel) succumbed to damage and sank in the 2002 battle — with 6 killed and 18 wounded — when it was hosting the 2002 FIFA World Cup.​

• I note that for Korea, the replacement for the Chamsuri-class is the Yun Youngha-class missile patrol vessel or PKX-A(PKG), that is armed with 4 ASCMs. Even the PKX-B variant includes 130 mm guided rockets on the stern, on top of a 76mm main gun. If any aggressor shoots at any Singapore patrol vessel, the aggressor must know the redline has been crossed and an ASCM is on the way to destroy the aggressor’s vessel — our naval platform mix must have escalation dominance.​

2. As the proliferation of weapons changes the littoral environment, the Singapore Navy is forced to re-examine its fleet architecture and has to make some significant changes to remain threat relevant in the next 25 years. The US Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, Calif., established in 2013 a Littoral Operations Center (LOC) to focus on the global littorals. NPS is working with the Swedish and Singapore navies to refine ideas, to conduct war games and to study the threats and counter measures including:

(i) The Tamil Sea Tigers who tied the Sri Lankan navy in knots through the use of small attack boats and suicide explosive vessels. Had they possessed ASCMs they could possibly have won. Similar challenges that arise when an ASEAN member, like the Philippines or Malaysia, is in conflict with irregular forces, such as, Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines’ archipelagic environment or 2013 Lahad Datu standoff in Sabah.​

(ii) Effectively using the MSTF with the deployment of 4 navy vessels (along with the Police Coast Guard and other agencies) to secure the waters off Capella Hotel during the Kim-Trump summit from potential terrorist or missile attacks. For added security, the Singapore Navy increased the number of close escort operations carried out on merchant vessels. Along with land forces, the SAF deployed or put on standby UAVs, AH-64Ds, Super Pumas, fighters and even a G550AEW also joined in the mission to protect the Kim-Trump summit.​

(iii) The greatest threat will be the conduct of Littoral zone naval operations into places with conditions like that off the coast of Lebanon or Yemen — where anti-ship missiles were used to attack: (a) INS Hanit on 14 July 2006; and (b) USS Mason on 9 Oct 2016, where the destroyer detected and intercepted two inbound missiles over a 60-minute period around the Mandeb Strait while off-the-coast of Yemen. USS Mason’s intercept of the missiles was part of its and USS Nitze duties in escorting USS Ponce and USS San Antonio through the waters around the Mandeb Strait — which in this case means more than hard kill and decoys but also extends to Electronic Warfare (EW). Additional EW layers constituting protection are Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) or Electronic Attack (EA) subsystems such as Passive and Active (Jamming and Seduction) measures that are triggered by the electronic support system.​

3. Singapore is keen to learn from the Swedish navy — who have in the past, greatly assisted with our MCMVs and submarine programs. “Driven by the small size of their armed forces and the extent and intricacy of their coastline, the Swedes have integrated all their services in a comprehensive littoral anti-access system,” LOC Director, NPS Senior Lecturer Dr. Kalev Sepp said. According to Sepp, the littoral is where hydrography, geography, commerce, fishing, political boundaries and claims, and military maneuver and sustainment issues converge, to complicate both the offense and the defense, and to place exceptional demands on naval, aerial, and land forces that must operate, fight, and influence events there. See: What Does It Take to Win in the Littoral?

4. With more than enough capability to meet immediate regional threats, the Archer submarines have another capability which is traced to its Swedish heritage. As well as 533mm (21 inch, heavy weight) WASS Black Shark torpedoes, Singapore’s Swedish built submarines also carry the 400mm (16 inch) (possibly the Torped 47). And this is where it gets secretive: they can launch two at the same time from a single tube. These anti-submarine torpedoes are optimized to kill enemy submarines, and enables the Archer class to fire 12 torpedoes out of its six 533mm and three 400mm torpedo tubes, before reload of tubes — in other words fire more torpedoes before reloads than the eight 533mm torpedo tubes of the Type 218SG.

5. Modern naval ship design also takes EW into account, specifically, considerable efforts are taken to reduce a ship’s radar cross section, and to suppress or mask the electromagnetic vulnerabilities of its sensors.

• The NGDS is a Decoy Launching System with its two-axis mobile DLS system in service in the French and Singapore navy. This countermeasure system provides protection against modern anti-ship missiles, as well as from asymmetric terrorist-type threats. With the information from on-board sensors and systems, the system calculates the best missile defeat solution and, being fully trainable in azimuth and elevation, then fires the decoys and places them in time in the optimal position without the ship having to manoeuvre to obtain an effective countermeasure solution.​

• Elbit Systems provides the NATACS 2020 Naval Tactical COMINT/DF System, and the iSNS (Immune Satellite Navigation System). NATACS 2020 is a new generation of on-board Communications Intelligence (COMINT) Direction Finding (DF) systems that delivers a full naval picture through sophisticated handling of agile communications. The system’s COMINT antenna can be integrated with an ESM antenna – thus allowing maximum utilization of the vessel’s mast, as well as enabling significant space savings. Combining the data extracted by NATACS 2020 with the data obtained from on-board ESM systems enables completion of the mission-critical tactical naval picture.​

• Rafael Advanced Defense Systems all-in-one SEWS-DV on-board/off-board EW ship protection suite effectively addresses the challenge of advanced Electronic Counter-Countermeasures (ECCM) threats. The system deceives and disrupts hostile radar signals. In the event of a missile attack, ships can salvo C-Gem, a shipbourne off-board active decoy as part of a vessels protective suite. Once launched, C-Gem floats down using a parachute, all the while signaling to lure a missile off its designated track.​
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 1 of 3: Additional developments that may affect Singapore’s subs

1. The trend for more installed power In submarines. Li-Ion batteries are going to increase underwater endurance of submarines, like the Japanese Ōryū (the first Japanese submarine to mount lithium-ion batteries), to drive the SMC-8 main motor that has a maximum output is 5.9 MW.
(i) This trend is accelerated by lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) tech from SAFT.​
(ii) Japan has 10 older Stirling AIP submarines of the class (each with a range of 6100 n. miles at 6.5 knots). They have launched two such new submarines (namely, JS Ōryū and JS Tōryū) with new Li-Ion batteries (without the AIP system).​
(iii) Sweden on the other hand continues to deliver new submarines with lead–acid batteries and a fifth-generation 150-kilowatt Stirling AIP module to replace the fourth-generation 75-kilowatt module.​

2. While the technology is not mature enough for Singapore to buy for the Type 218SG, lithium ion batteries have a superior energy-to-weight ratio and a slow loss of charge when not in use. One of the key advantages of lithium ion batteries is their ability to be moulded into different shapes and sizes to fill any space available in the devices they power efficiently. It has a low self-discharge rate of approximately 10% percent, which is significantly lower than other battery types in the market — but the main downside to lithium-ion batteries is that they are known to combust—exactly what you don’t want on a submarine. When they do so they produce very high heat, give off toxic fumes, and are hard to extinguish using traditional means. To overcome these concerns, the designers are building larger lithium-ion cell matrices with reinforced boundaries and enhanced chemistry that is less susceptible to these events.

3. Poland’s defence ministry is considering buying two second-hand submarines from Sweden to replace the Polish navy’s outdated Kobben-class submarines. In March 2020, Defence24 has published a speculative story on the sale of the Archer class submarines. Singapore’s MoD has refused to comment. Likewise for the Swedish Government.

4. In the same report, it was noted that the Polish Navy has sent delegates to Singapore in early-February 2020. They do not know what the purpose of that trip was. Maybe the Poles want to check the possibility of acquiring the two Archer Class submarines directly from the Singaporean Navy? Or that Poland wants to understand the risk mitigation strategy adopted for the Södermanland-class, especially since the Hedemora engines are known to be problematic. They probably want to hear from the horse’s mouth, how the risk mitigation strategy was evolved in Singapore for the Archer class which will remain in service till 2026 or later. This could be the case, as Defence24 received a response from the Polish MoD on 15 Jan 2020 suggesting that option as such was also being considered during the market analysis.
The Ministry of Defence has not made any statements addressed to the Swedish side or to other potential partners, with regards to participation in programmes pertaining to new submarines. Within the framework of undertaken effort and market analysis various available solutions were being considered, including the ones pertaining to the Archer-class submarines. Within the “Technical Modernization Plan of the Polish Armed Forces for the Period between 2021 and 2035, with consideration given to the year 2020”, financial means have been secured to complete the work on the ORKA programme — Press department of the Polish MoD, 15th January 2020.​

5. On 12 May 2020, German online news site, shz.de, has reported that RSS Invincible, the lead boat of the Republic of Singapore Navy's 4 new Type 218SG-class submarines, is due to commence diving trials in Kiel, Germany.

6. According to Aaron Amick, “a common event observed in naval exercises is two submarines passing within a few hundred meters of each other, detecting each other at the same time, and racing to get a shot off before the other. The other type of engagement is when one sub detects the other sooner, and often at range, resulting in a first shot, first kill. So, the underwater prolonged dogfights that are such beloved set pieces of modern submarine thrillers are just not the reality. Actual underwater combat occurs silently with very little reaction time to fend off an impending attack.”

7. Aaron Amick also wrote that “many modern torpedoes have a command wire or fiber optic cable that reels out from behind the torpedo and establishes a data link with the submarine’s fire control system. Before a torpedo is launched, it must know three things:
(i) What are the torpedo’s course and depth after launch?​
(ii) At what range will it enable a search for a target?​
(iii) What are the kill box boundaries?​

8. With command wire capabilities, the weapon can change its attack geometry or even shut down if directed by the fire control operator. Detected targets can be changed, depth and range limitations can be set, and countermeasures, such as decoys and jammers, can be ignored using the submarine’s sonar data instead of the torpedo's lower-fidelity onboard sonar data. If the data link is lost, the weapon will follow its last given command and execute pre-programmed countermeasure defeating profiles, if necessary.”

9. Expendable countermeasures have seawater batteries that last between six and 45 minutes and the Singapore Navy is a prolific user of decoys. Modern towed decoys can also act as torpedo early-warning sensors and alert the towing vessel of incoming weapons before their hull-mounted sensors detect them. Submarine Scutter (SUBSCUT) is a reactive decoy built by Ultra Electronics Ocean Systems and Rafael of Israel. SUBSCUT is pre-loaded into internal signal launchers or external launchers. The decoy will hover between a depth of 10 and 300 meters listening for the incoming torpedo. A torpedo's active sonar is analyzed by the decoy and classified. SUBSCUT customizes its own acoustic decoy transmission to the specific type of incoming torpedo, including the Doppler effect. Doppler effect is important to deceiving torpedo logic because it is one of the many checks the torpedo circuits can make during target verification. When the internal battery runs out, the decoy erases its software and sinks.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 2 of 3: Working to protect SLOCs and increase regional stability

10. To aid in the stability of the region, Singapore hosts COMLOG WESTPAC, that keeps the 7th Fleet armed, fueled, and fed. Beyond this logistics presence established in 1990, USN P8As and up to 4 LCS are allowed to operate from Singapore. Due to this close relationship, the USN was kind enough to host Exercise Pacific Griffin 2019, that included:
(a) USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), USS Momsen (DDG 92), Los Angeles-class submarine USS Key West (SSN 722), and USNS Amelia Earhart (T-AKE 6) on the American side; and​
(b) RSS Formidable (FFS 68) and RSS Intrepid (FFS 69) from the Singaporean side.​

11. This exercise featured advanced warfare training between the two navies, comprising anti-submarine, anti-surface and anti-air warfare operations. Participating air assets included MH-60S helicopters from HSC 23 and 25, MH-60R helicopters from HSM 35, maritime patrol aircraft from Patrol Squadrons (VP) 1, 5 and 47, and B-52s Stratofortress bombers from U.S. Air Forces' Expeditionary 69th Bomb Squadron. The complexity and sophistication of Exercise Pacific Griffin 2019 is a direct result of the two navies working together over the years.

12. More recently, in May 2020, RSS Steadfast and USS Gabrielle Giffords conducted an exercise together in the South China Sea to provide reassurance to our neighbours (see: South China Sea thoughts?)

13. Rescuing sailors from a disabled submarine became a worldwide issue when the Russian submarine Kursk became stranded in the Barents Sea in August 2000, and 118 submariners lost their lives. History often repeats itself, as in the April 2003 loss of the Chinese submarine’s crew of 70 (along with 13 trainee cadets) in their boat, Great Wall and in the Nov 2017 loss of Argentine submarine ARA San Juan along with it’s crew of 37.

14. Between 2000 and 2019, 36 incidents involving submarines caused harm to either the vessels or to human lives, according to data collected by the American Society of Safety Engineers. Ten of the incidents occurred in Indo-Pacific waters, claiming 110 lives and injuring 156 others. Operating underwater is inherently dangerous and two Indonesian submariners died in an escape, search and rescue exercise in July 2012. The KRI Cakra’s captain, Lt. Col. Indra Agus Wijaya, said that the submarine had descended to a depth of 20 meters as part of the drill, where three teams of two sailors each were to don special diving suits, exit the boat and attempt to ascend to the surface. “There was no problem with the first team, as they could get out of the submarine, but the second team was in trouble and the two officers died,” Indra added.

15. "Unfortunately, in a hundred years of submarine history, many submarine accidents have occurred where the precious lives of submarine crews were lost," said JMSDF VADM Seizo Nakao, commander of Fleet Submarine Force and the host of Pacific Reach 2002. "Countries possessing submarines must make the greatest efforts to prevent such accidents."

16. In 2002, the Singapore National Coordinator, LT COL Cyril Lee said that these exercises help “to engage the nations in the region and produces an avenue to interact with each other.” Further, “in our view, the merit earned through participation in multilateral exercises is not limited to improving the Self Defense Force's skills," said Yoshihiko Yamashita, Japan's parliamentary secretary for defense. "Through joint drills and exchanges of ideas, multilateral exercises make a significant contribution to promoting mutual understanding and confidence-building among countries."
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 3 of 3: MV Swift Rescue embodies Singapore Navy’s contribution to softpower

17. Having taken part in Pacific Reach 2019, a triennial multi-nation submarine rescue exercise, Singapore has strived to increase submarine rescue interoperability and cooperation among the participating navies of Australia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the US and Singapore.

18. The most dramatic submarine rescue in Pacific waters was a rapidly organized multilateral operation in 2005 to save the crew of a small Russian submarine trapped in a tangle of cables 200 meters below the surface off the coast of Russia’s far-eastern Kamchatka peninsula. In response to Russia’s distress call, the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy deployed a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), according to Kongsberg, the Norwegian firm that equipped the ROV. In six hours, the ROV cut through the cables, freeing the trapped submarine and allowing it to surface just as its oxygen supply was running out.

19. The 4,290 ton MV Swift Rescue with a crew of 27 and manned by Swire Pacific Offshore (has a medical centre with beds for 18 and accommodation for 85 personnel) is used as a submarine support vessel, to host DSAR6 and other underwater rescue equipment. This vessel enabled the RSN and the USN to sign the Joint SOP for the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) concerning Submarine Rescue Mutual Support and Cooperation in May 2015. The Joint SOP will operationalise the framework set out under the MOA, which was earlier signed in December 2009. Beyond the US, the Singapore Navy has signed submarine rescue agreements with Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam to assist in submarine rescue efforts for their respective submarine fleets.

20. In an operation that lasted from Dec 2014 to Jan 2015, RSS Supreme, RSS Valour, RSS Persistence (with two Super Puma helicopters), MV Swift Rescue, RSS Kallang and an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) team were deployed to the Java Sea, in bad weather, for the search and locate efforts for AirAsia QZ8501, that crashed on 28 December 2014. This rapid deployment to aid Indonesian authorities is part of naval diplomacy — offering help and technical expertise when it is needed.
 
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Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Post 2 of 3: Working to protect SLOCs and increase regional stability

15. "Unfortunately, in a hundred years of submarine history, many submarine accidents have occurred where the precious lives of submarine crews were lost," said JMSDF VADM Seizo Nakao, commander of Fleet Submarine Force and the host of Pacific Reach 2002. "Countries possessing submarines must make the greatest efforts to prevent such accidents."

16. In 2002, the Singapore National Coordinator, LT COL Cyril Lee said that these exercises help “to engage the nations in the region and produces an avenue to interact with each other.” Further, “in our view, the merit earned through participation in multilateral exercises is not limited to improving the Self Defense Force's skills," said Yoshihiko Yamashita, Japan's parliamentary secretary for defense. "Through joint drills and exchanges of ideas, multilateral exercises make a significant contribution to promoting mutual understanding and confidence-building among countries."
Geez a Japanese Defence Minister named Yamashita talking about Singapore, wonder if he is any relation.
Ancient history now.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
1. BZ to RSS Vigour for wining this year’s best ship award that is announced on SAF day.
Geez a Japanese Defence Minister named Yamashita talking about Singapore, wonder if he is any relation.
2. Honestly, no idea.

3. Given that 50,000 civilians in Singapore were murdered in cold blood between Jan to Feb1942, by the IJA, if you ask me a number of the Japanese Defence ministers who sent annual offerings to the Yasukuni Shrine are just a bit creepy.

Redlands18 said:
Ancient history now.
4. Agreed. In May 2019, Singapore’s Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen met with Japan’s Minister of Defense Takeshi Iwaya to commend bilateral cooperation since the signing of the Singapore-Japan Memorandum on Defence Exchanges in 2009.
5. Relations between the JMSDF and the Singapore Navy are constant. Our officers interact regularly through high-level visits, policy dialogues, military staff talks, mutual port visits and cross-attendance of courses and seminars.
 
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swerve

Super Moderator
"Given that 50,000 civilians in Singapore were murdered in cold blood between Jan to Feb1942, by the IJA., if you ask me a number of the Japanese Defence ministers who have send annual offerings to the Yasukuni Shrine are just a bit creepy. "

They might be like my wife, who has relatives commemorated there. Her oldest uncle was a kamikaze . . . .
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
1. Singaporeans are big fans of Japanese culture. The enthusing faces of our Mid-shipmen in this Feb 2019 port visit are real.

2. On 22 Nov 2019, Toshimitsu, Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a Meeting with Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, who was in Japan to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. On the bilateral relationship, Minister Motegi stated, “Singapore is an important partner for Japan which shares common fundamental interests and views, and Japan intends to continue to further evolve the Japan-Singapore Partnership Programme for the 21st Century (JSPP21), which symbolizes Japan-Singapore cooperation.”
"Given that 50,000 civilians in Singapore were murdered in cold blood between Jan to Feb1942, by the IJA., if you ask me a number of the Japanese Defence ministers who have send annual offerings to the Yasukuni Shrine are just a bit creepy. "

They might be like my wife, who has relatives commemorated there. Her oldest uncle was a kamikaze . . . .
3. In the midst of these World War Two atrocities, Mamoru Shinozaki stood out. He was a Japanese civilian administrator in 1942 who used his position and influence to save more than 2,000 Chinese civilians during Operation Sook Ching. By leveraging on his official position, Shinozaki managed to release many from Kempeitai prisons and registration centres. Interestingly, our war memorial markers at various locations in Singapore are in 5 languages, including Japanese, because we understand they should mark their war dead — these are maintained by the National Heritage Board (NHB).

4. At least seven IJA officers charged with planning and executing the killings in war trials conducted by the Allied Powers in Singapore. These officers were found guilty with Lieutenant-General Kawamura Saburo, garrison commander of Singapore Town, and Lieutenant-Colonel Oishi Masayuki, the Kempeitai (Japanese military police) commander, and sentenced to death. The other five officers received life sentences. I note that:
(i) the IJA order that began the purge of unarmed Chinese civilians in Singapore and Malaya was issued to the Singapore Garrison Commander, Kawamura by Army Commander Yamashita; and​
(ii) the headquarters of the 25th Army included other hardliners aside from Tsuji and Yamashita. A notable example was the deputy chief of the military government of Singapore and Malaya, Col. Watanabe Wataru. He was the mastermind behind the forcible donation of $50 million and the “Implementation Guidance for Manipulating Overseas Chinese”, which set out the fatal consequences of non-compliance. He delivered a speech at the Army Academy in 1941 advocating strong pressure against those who "bent their knees" to the British and thereby betrayed East Asia. The lesson he derived from his experience in China was that Japan should deal harshly with the Chinese population from the outset. As a result, the Chinese in Singapore were regarded as anti-Japanese even before the Japanese military landed.​

5. Ancestor worship is well respected in Singapore and when the JMSDF comes to Singapore, they do respectfully come and “sweep” the “appropriate NHB World War Two marker” for the Japanese war dead — be it a solider, a kamikaze pilot or otherwise — there is no problem with that in Singapore or Japan. This is all done in a low key manner, for years and still continues.

6. But it is different when the Japanese right wing groups like “Agency to Console the Souls of All Who Died in the Greater East Asia Crusade” (大東亜聖戦全戦没者慰霊事業団) come in organised groups to worship the war dead in the Japanese Cemetery Park in Singapore — they post videos on YouTube, as recent as 2017 — to deliberately do acts that are calculated to offend for a domestic political purpose. Did you know that around 60% of Japanese parliamentarians are members of the Nippon Kaigi? The Nippon Kaigi uses its networks to rally voters to the polls. So far, the group’s biggest success has been in schools. It has led the suppression of what it calls “masochistic” views of history, as well as “excessive” focus on human rights. Twenty years ago, all mainstream history books at secondary schools carried information about the “comfort women”, the Korean and Chinese victims of colonisation who were trafficked into sex work for the Japanese army. Now none do.

7. The past Japanese Emperor Hirohito stopped visiting the Yasukuni Shrine because the LDP (and their right wing supporters) deliberately moved the class A war criminals there in 1978. I have every confidence that Naruhito the current Emperor of Japan, will continue to do the same (to avoid being a tool of the Japanese right wing).

8. Japanese politicians from LDP do their ‘public acts’ at the Yasukuni Shrine for domestic political gain. This I don’t like. The issue is not the past, the issue is the present — which includes the Japanese right who are still actively promoting this strange alternate history — that either Operation Sook Ching did not occur or to minimise any mention of IJA massacres in Japanese text books. That is offensive.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
June Updates from Singapore

1. For the Singapore Navy, Maritime security remains crucial, despite pandemic. More details on the earlier announced plans to restructure the Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF) was announced, with assets under the Maritime Security (MARSEC) Command to be reorganized into three flotillas tasked with specialized roles.

2. In particular, MARSEC Command to proceed with plans to acquire "new purpose-built vessels, auxiliary vessels and boarding teams" - though no details on timeline. Four refurbished "Fearless" class patrol vessels to re-enter service in next few months, equipped with less-lethal capabilities.

3. The replacement for the Missile Corvettes with our Multi-Role Combat Vessel (MRCV) is also on schedule – six MRCV expected to be delivered by 2030, with the first in the water by 2025. With regards to the Invincible-class submarines the previous timeline was 2021. There will be some slippage, this will now be in 2022, for the boats being built in Kiel.

4. Thank you US Navy for keeping our Singapore sailors on RSS Supreme (73) current on replenishment at sea procedures in an exercise with USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE-7), a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship.

5. For those who are interested in the Singapore Navy, the 2012 article by Collin Koh “Seeking Balance”, and published with Naval War College Review in touches on the Singapore Navy’s trajectory and explains its capabilities being developed within the broader geopolitical context.
 
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Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
Sadly this situation/condition is worldwide a problem.

30 JUNE 2020

Helicopter, submarine deliveries to Singapore delayed because of Covid-19

by Gabriel Dominguez

Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) is expecting the delivery of the first of four Invincible (Type 218SG)-class submarines for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) as well as the handover of the first Airbus Helicopters H225M medium-lift and CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) to be delayed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking to reporters via video conference ahead of Singapore Armed Forces Day on 1 July, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said initial deliveries of the CH-47F and H225M rotorcraft, which were originally scheduled for the end of 2020, are now expected to take place in 2021.

Similarly, “for our Invincible-class submarine, our previous timeline was 2021. There will be some slippage; this will now be in 2022”, said Ng, pointing out that the pandemic has affected manpower and supply chains globally.

More info at:
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Developing the Blue Spear and going to RIMPAC

1. IAI’s and ST’s JV, Proteus Advanced Systems Pte Ltd is to develop a new anti-ship missile — ST will build the warhead and booster engine in Singapore. This is a logical development of the Israel-Singapore defence relationship, given that RSS Sea Wolf was the first ASEAN Navy ship to fire anti-ship missiles for a naval exercise in Mar 1974 — where two prior generation Gabriel missiles were launched and hit a target barge.
2. The Singapore Navy’s current anti-ship missile is the dated RGM-84C Harpoon (introduced in the early 1980s) and used by the Formidable-class and Victory-class vessels. Singapore’s Fokker 50 MPAs, F-15SGs and F-16C/Ds also carry the air-launched version.

4. The Singapore Navy plans to buy six multi-role combat vessels, starting in 2025-206, to replace its Victory-class missile corvettes, and will almost certainly equip these with a new anti-ship missile — ST Engineering confirmed to Defense News that its next generation anti-ship missile is called the Blue Spear, a system that it says it has been working with IAI over the past few years, although it declined to divulge the exact timeline. In addition, both the Israeli and Singapore Navies may also be keen to develop a submarine launched version of Blue Spear (like the UGM-84).

5. A strong defence relationship and a willingness to train and work closely together with Brunei’s small but powerful navy enhances security of the region. Held from 27 to 29 July 2020 in the Philippines Sea, Exercise Pelican saw the participation of RSN's frigate RSS Supreme and RBN's KDB Darulehsan. Oustanding to see that it was all planned and conducted "contactless" to mitigate COVID-19 risk. They did pre-sail brief virtually, and met at sea.

6. Both ships are now enroute to Hawaii for RIMPAC 2020. BZ to participants of Exercise Pelican.
 
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CheeZe

Member
In addition, both the Israeli and Singapore Navies may also be keen to develop a submarine launched version of Blue Spear (like the UGM-84).
Is that from the interview or your own postulation? I don't recall the Invincible-class possessing that capability, which would necessitate either a new submarine class or a probably very extensive retrofit for the Invincibles (assuming that was even mechanically or financially possible).

Also, unless I am mistaken, adding that sort of offensive capability would surely prompt other regional militaries to look for a similar capability. While I am skeptical about Malaysia or Indonesia being able to afford submarines with a VLS system, I doubt they'll take kindly to the RSN possessing a capability which they lack.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 1 of 3: Asia’s growing submarine fleet

@CheeZe, I understand your confusion. The Malaysian ‘Perdana Menteri-class’ submarines, the first of which was commissioned in January 2009 are capable of launching anti-ship SM 39 Exocet missiles with a range of 50 km from their 533 mm torpedo tubes. Vietnam’s Kilo class submarines are also armed with the Kalibr Klub S cruise missile family. Vietnam bought 50 units of the Kalibr Klub S family missile for its submarines.

1. No VLS needed. The Invincible class can be equipped with the Interactive Defence system for Air-attacked Submarines (IDAS) that is connected to the submarine by fibre-optic link during its entire mission duration. It is described as 4 missiles housed in a launch canister in the torpedo tube (like any heavyweight torpedo) using a IR seeker, fiber-optic data link between the control console and a single-stage, rocket motor providing a range of 20km. The operator on board the submarine may alter the course of the mission at any time. In addition, reconnaissance results and target images obtained by means of the seeker can be evaluated in the submarine. The missile is intended for use against the modern submarine’s deadliest enemy: the ASW helicopter. However, the degree of precision with which the missile can be controlled makes it suitable for operations against surface ships and coastal targets as well.

2. If you ask Singapore submariners the same question, their answer is also the same as mine — I have asked them Qns directly — they always give an indirect answer to my many questions, but when you take their answers in context, you can make good educated guesses.

3. I have asked Germans and Australians about what is possible in submarine and anti-submarine operations to lead to my conclusions here — as countries that build submarines that can launch missiles from their torpedo tubes. They are educated guesses that I am sure is not wrong.

4. Modern SSK submarines may be limited in what data they can transmit but these boats can receive data without even raising their snorkel. It is simply amazing how Australian Special Forces are able to link up with their submarine to pick them up at sea after a mission.

5. Israel has an existing capability to launch more than anti-ship missiles from their Dolphin class — they can launch loitering munitions from their boats too. The Germans have an IDAS solution that let them launch a medium-range anti-helicopter from torpedo tubes. The best part — the targeting is from an off board submarine sensor — all linked to the network. These are not even new capabilities to the region. The Australians have told me more about Singapore‘s likely submarine capability, given their common Swedish heritage than what Singapore Navy military experts are willing to say. I have been told that prior to the acquisition of the Archer class, Singapore operated a boat as technology mule.

6. As a recent report by the US Congressional Research Service points out, while China’s current submarine force is now quantitatively smaller than it was in 1990, it has ‘greater aggregate capability than it did in 1990, because larger numbers of older, obsolescent boats have been replaced by smaller numbers of more modern and more capable boats’. A staff report for the US–China Economic and Security Review Commission puts the trend towards a more formidable Chinese submarine fleet by 2020 into a table:

China’s Submarine Fleet, 1990–2020​
Type​
1990199520002005201020152020
Diesel Attack​
884360515457-6259-64
Nuclear Attack (SSN)​
455666-86-9
Nuclear Ballistic(SSBN)​
111233-54-5
Total​
934966596366-7569-78
The report also notes the ongoing modernisation of the fleet, defining ‘modern’ submarines as those able to launch ballistic missiles or anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs).​
China’s Submarine Fleet, 1990–2020, approximate percent ‘modern’​
Type​
199019952000200520102015
2020​
Diesel Attack​
0%0%7%40%50%70%
75%​
Nuclear Attack​
0%0%0%33%33%70%
100%​
That assessment is underlined by recent Congressional testimony from the US Navy’s Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). The ONI also expects that by 2020 the ‘vast majority’ of China’s submarine force will be armed with ‘advanced, long-range ASCMs’. The JMSDF as a blue water fleet, need to hear first, shoot first before Chinese nukes.​
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 2 of 3: Looking for Context

7. Between 2008 and 2016, Taiwan acquired 32 UGM-84L sub-launched Harpoon Block II missiles. In 2011, KRI Oswald Siahaan test-fired a Russian-made Yakhont supersonic anti-ship missile during a naval exercise in the Indian Ocean. According to TNI-AL, the missile took about six minutes to travel 250 kilometres to score a direct hit on the target.

8. Regional navies and their submarines (like those in Australia, Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam) are not only in possession of numerous surface to surface missiles (SSMs), some like Indonesia and India are acquiring the capability to build these missiles locally, thanks to missile technology exports by Russia (to India to build the Brahmos) and by China (to Indonesia for C-802 anti-ship missiles). SSM proliferation has occurred. There is action, reaction dynamics — this trend is not started by Singapore.

9. Do you think DSTA allows our weapons systems to lag so far behind? Beyond the usual attack and search optronic masts, I suspect the Type 218SG includes a GABLER hoistable mast. The GABLER mast enables the boat to communicate without raising its mast. The Type 218SG is so much more capable than the Archer class, almost a SSK. Or are these boats better classed as a SS (as the Japanese have done)?
 
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CheeZe

Member
8. Between 2008 and 2016, Taiwan acquired 32 UGM-84L sub-launched Harpoon Block II missiles. In 2011, KRI Oswald Siahaan test-fired a Russian-made Yakhont supersonic anti-ship missile during a naval exercise in the Indian Ocean. According to TNI-AL, the missile took about six minutes to travel 250 kilometres to score a direct hit on the target. Regional navies and their submarines (like those in Australia, Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam) are not only in possession of numerous surface to surface missiles (SSMs), some like Indonesia and India are acquiring the capability to build these missiles locally, thanks to China’s missile exports. SSM proliferation has occurred. There is action, reaction dynamics — this trend is not started by Singapore.
Sorry I think I wasn't clear enough.

I wasn't speaking about SSMs as a broad platform. I know we've had the capability for years on surface and aerial combatants. I was asking about submarine-launched SSMs. To my knowledge, until you corrected me, the Malaysians and Indonesians did not have submarines capable of launching SSMs. As you pointed out in your first post, the Malaysians already have the capability, so my concern is moot. Singapore won't be the first to acquire submarines which can launch SSMs.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 3 of 3: Omnidirectional deterrence

@CheeZe, thanks for your response.
To my knowledge, until you corrected me, the Malaysians and Indonesians did not have submarines capable of launching SSMs.
10. The Malaysians have declassified their ‘Perdana Menteri-class’ SSM capability to send a message of deterrence — except that Singapore has a demonstrated capability to break their kill chain — to know how this kill chain can be broken, requires some basic understanding of the off-boat sensor integration required for a submarine to fire an SSM. Which is why I wrote a long post to a short answer, earlier.

11. Singapore has an omnidirectional deterrence policy and except for stating the obvious on demonstrated Malaysian hostility, the country does not have ‘enemies.’

12. Rather than looking at Malaysians as enemies, I think it is more useful to think of a way to collaborate with them and help them develop their naval capability in certain areas. The SAF has the ability to be relevant to Malaysian security concerns, should they be smart enough to take advantage of the hand of friendship. The same hand can also be a fist of fury if the handshake offered is consistently not taken.
As you pointed out in your first post, the Malaysians already have the capability, so my concern is moot.
13. Both Indonesia and Malaysia have the capability. The 3 Nagapasa-class Type 209/1400 vessels have this capability, but the fate of the submarine repeat order of 3 is not clear.

14. There was a serious breach of Scorpene data related to the Indian build plans, which is really helpful in understanding the capability that the Malaysians bought from the French. The Royal Malaysian Navy can hold its head up high for the speed at which their local industry developed a shore-side support for the class locally.
Singapore won't be the first to acquire submarines which can launch SSMs.
15. It is sensible not to be seen as the first. IMHO, by the 2030s, Singapore will need to acquire, as war stocks, 20 to 30 encapsulated submarine launched Blue Spear cruise missiles (like the UGM-84) and another 50 to 100 encapsulated mines. My guess, is that the Israel Navy’s requirements for submarine launched SSMs will be triple that of the Singapore Navy’s requirements.
 
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Redlands18

Well-Known Member
The Chang Bogo class are a variant of the Type 209 Sub, which has now been in production on and off since the very early 1970s, has to be some kind of record for a Warship design. Of course internally they would be a very different but the Baseline design is the same
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
(ii) a GABLER hoistable mast;
Gabler sorta confirms equipment used in Singapore. Note however that Gabler builds all the mast structures on German submarine models, including in particular the attack periscope (even on the Italian U212A version, where all other mast systems are instead built by Calzoni/L3) - i.e. this does not indicate any particular equipment.
The absence of any South-East Asian countries from their list of representatives so far may give some indication on how much of the mast systems originate from them, although that would be pure conjecture.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Interesting to see the Gabriel missile tested on an Israeli Skyhawk, as early as 1977.
Gabler sorta confirms equipment used in Singapore. Note however that Gabler builds all the mast structures on German submarine models, including in particular the attack periscope (even on the Italian U212A version, where all other mast systems are instead built by Calzoni/L3) - i.e. this does not indicate any particular equipment.
The absence of any South-East Asian countries from their list of representatives so far may give some indication on how much of the mast systems originate from them, although that would be pure conjecture.
Singapore has been using / testing Gabler masts since the Challenger class submarines. In 2002, RSS Chieftain, a Sjöormen-class submarine took the above picture of the US Navy carrier group.
 
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