Minister for Education and Second Minister for Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen, officiated at the launch ceremony of the Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN) Archer-class submarine RSS Swordsman at the Kockums Shipyard in Karlskrona, Sweden, today. The submarine was launched by Mrs Ivy Ng, wife of Dr Ng. RSS Swordsman was the second of the Archer-class submarines that the RSN acquired from the Royal Swedish Navy (RSwN).
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Ng highlighted that the launch of RSS Swordsman marked another key milestone in the RSN’s drive to develop its submarine capability. “The RSN’s submarines are part of an integrated warfighting system which includes our stealth frigates, naval helicopters, missile corvettes and mine-countermeasure vessels”, he said. “Together with the Challenger-class submarines, RSS Archer and RSS Swordsman will enable the RSN to better fulfill its mission of protecting Singapore’s sea lines of communication and territorial integrity.” As part of his visit to Karlskrona, Dr Ng also met with Sweden’s Defence Minister, Sten Tolgfors, who attended the launch ceremony for RSS Swordsman.
The launch of RSS Swordsman reflects the strong defence partnership and longstanding friendship between Singapore and Sweden. Both countries share a close defence relationship founded on many shared interests, which stretches back to the 1970s. Over the years, Singapore’s defence relationship with Sweden has matured to encompass wide-ranging interactions and collaborative projects such as the assistance provided by the RSwN to build the RSN’s mine counter-measure force and submarine capability.
Dr Ng earlier visited Stockholm on 18 Oct 2010 to meet with Mr Jan Björklund, Swedish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, and signed an agreement to encourage further education collaborations between Sweden and Singapore.