Singapore’s first Invincible-class submarine begins sea trials

The first Type 218SG submarine at TKMS yard in Germany. Photo c/o Stephen Gergs.

The first Type 218SG Invincible-class air independent propulsion (AIP) capable diesel electric submarine for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has started initial shallow water trials, as confirmed by the Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) to British defense media outlet Jane’s.

The first ship of the class, which is expected to be named RSS Invincible once commissioned with the RSN, had its shallow water sea trials conducted off the coast of Germany and is believed to have started in August 2020. The sea trials will continue, with the deep-sea trials commencing later on.

The pioneer crew of the submarine has also started their training in Germany.

The Invincible-class were ordered by MINDEF under two separate contracts with German naval shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), with the first two submarines ordered in 2013 and a follow-on two submarines ordered in 2017. They displace at around 2,200 tons submerged, and are 70 meters long.

The submarines were based on a custom-designed version of the Type 218 submarine from TKMS, and uses technology and experienced gained in building the Type 214, Type 216, and Dolphin 2-class submarines.

The first submarine was launched by TKMS in February 2019, and has been undergoing final fitout works until 2020.

The Invincible-class were designed to operate in shallow and tropical waters like those found around Singapore, and has longer endurance and higher payload than most other diesel-electric submarine designs from Europe.

The submarines are expected to be the most modern in Southeast Asia, and will replace the RSN’s current fleet of two Challenger-class (ex-Sjoormen-class) and two Archer-class (ex-Vastergotland-class) submarines, both class of which were acquired second-hand from Sweden.

[1] Jane’s
[2] Naval News

Singapore’s first Invincible-class submarine begins sea trials Singapore’s first Invincible-class submarine begins sea trials Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on September 06, 2020 Rating: 5

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