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Singapore Set to Launch Its Fourth Type-218SG Invincible-Class Submarine, “Inimitable”

Weighing approximately 2,200 tons, the Type 218SG submarines can operate 50 percent longer than Singapore's earlier submarine models due to their advanced weaponry and sensor systems, and Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) technology using Fuel Cells.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — Singapore’s Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean is currently in Germany for the launch of the Republic of Singapore Navy’s fourth Type 218SG Invincible-class submarine, “Inimitable”, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Minister Teo, who also serves as Singapore’s Coordinating Minister for National Security, is visiting Berlin and Kiel, where the submarine is being constructed.

The submarine, named “Inimitable,” is part of a series including the “Invincible,” “Impeccable,” and “Illustrious,” all custom-built to meet Singapore’s specific requirements.

The partnership between Singapore and thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) began with contracts signed in 2013 and 2017 for four Type 218SG submarines.

The “RSS Invincible” was launched in 2019 and remains in Germany for crew training, while the “Impeccable” and “Illustrious” were launched in December 2022.

Invincible
The fourth Type 218SG Invincible-class submarine, “Impeccable,” belonging to the Republic of Singapore Navy at the TKMS facility in Kiel, Germany. (image credit Eckhard Uhrbrock via @D__Mitch/Twitter)

 

These submarines are considered some of the most advanced and capable in Southeast Asia, designed nearly identical to Israel’s Dolphin-2 class, potentially sharing similar sensor systems and other technologies.

These Israeli submarines were also constructed by HDW, a subsidiary of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS).

Weighing approximately 2,200 tons, the Type 218SG submarines can operate 50 percent longer than Singapore’s earlier submarine models due to their advanced weaponry and sensor systems, and Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) technology using Fuel Cells.

 The submarines are designed for effective operation in the shallow and congested waters of Southeast Asia, featuring X-shaped rudders for enhanced underwater maneuverability.

The combat system of the Singapore Navy’s Type 218SG submarines is designed by Atlas Elektronik and ST Electronics.

Singapura

These submarines are specially engineered to operate effectively in the shallow and busy waters typical of the Southeast Asian region, which is heavily trafficked by maritime trade routes.

A notable feature of Singapore’s latest submarine design is its capability to carry out special operations missions, according to submarine expert H I Sutton, as reported by the defense news portal Navalnews.com.

He highlighted the Horizontal Multi Purpose Airlock, which facilitates the launching of torpedoes and the deployment of divers and special forces units (commandos).

This feature is critical for the submarines’ primary role in countering terrorist threats.

Notable design features include with an option for a Vertical Multi Purpose Airlock for missile deployment.

Singapore

Regional analysts suggest that Vertical Multi Purpose Airlock could indicate that Singapore is preparing its navy to operate Tomahawk cruise missiles, should the need arise.

As regional naval powers like India, South Korea, Thailand, and Indonesia expand their submarine fleets, Singapore’s acquisition of these advanced submarines from Germany represents a strategic enhancement to its underwater combat capabilities, according to Defense Minister Dr. Ng Eng Hen. — DSA

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