Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Republic of Singapore Navy
The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) is the navy of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). The RSN came into being in 1975 when the SAF established its component forces into three distinct services, and it is the smallest among the three services. It is responsible for the defence of Singapore against sea-borne threats and protection of its sea lines of communications. All commissioned ships of the RSN have a prefix RSS, which mean Republic of Singapore Ship.
The RSN traces its origins to the Royal Navy in the 1930s with only two patrol craft. The Straits Settlements Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve was established on 20 April 1934 and in 1941 became the Singaporean division of the Malayan Volunteer Reserve during World War II.
In 1948 the Malayan Force was raised by the Singaporean government and was later granted the title of the Royal Malayan Navy in 1952 in recognition of its services in action during the Malayan Emergency.
On 16 September 1963, Singapore was admitted as a state of Malaysia under the terms of confederation and the Royal Malayan Navy was renamed the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN). The Singapore division of the Malayan Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve was formally transferred from the command of the Royal Navy to the RMN on 22 September 1963, becoming the Singapore Volunteer Force (SVF).
On 9 August 1965, Singapore seceded from Malaysia to form an independent and sovereign nation within the Commonwealth. The following year on 22 January 1966, the SVF was renamed the Singapore Naval Volunteer Force (SNVF).
The SDC was renamed the Maritime Command (MC) in 1968, which is the predecessor of the RSN. The MC then went on an expansion program to carry out its seaward defense more effectively.
The RSN is led by the Chief of Navy (CNV). The current CNV is Rear Admiral Ronnie Tay and he is responsible for the RSN's overall operational capabilities and administration. The CNV reports directly to the Chief of Defence Force, a three-star general. The organisation chart below shows the administrative chain of command.
CNV | Chief of Staff - Naval Staff -----| | HQ RSN -----| | _______________________________________|________________________________ | | | | | Fleet Naval Logistics Coastal Command Training Naval Diving _____________|___________ Command | Command Unit | | | | | | 1st 3rd | | | | __|__ ______|______ | ____|____ ___|___ ______|______ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 188 FF 191 192/193 195 171 180 181 194 IMW IMOS CDG EOD UDG Combat Diving Group
In 1995, the RSN acquired a Challenger class (formerly known as Sjöormen class) submarine from the Swedish Navy and another three in 1997, making them Singapore's first underwater platforms . As the submarines were designed by the Swedish for operations in the Baltic Sea, various modifications were required to suit them to tropical waters. A comprehensive tropicalisation programme was carried out for all four submarines, which involves installing air conditioning, marine growth protection systems and corrosion-resistant piping . It is believed that the Challenger class were purchased to develop the required submarine operations expertise before selecting a modern class of submarines to replace them, since all four boats are over 25 years old . The four submarines form the 171 Squadron of the RSN.
|Displacement||1130 tonnes surfaced, 1200 tonnes submerged|
|Speed||10 knots surfaced, 16 knots submerged|
In March 2000, the Singapore Ministry of Defence signed a contract with Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) of France for the construction of six Formidable class frigates. The design of the frigates are based on the French Navy’s La Fayette class frigate. The frigates are very stealthy platforms and are shaped to reduce their radar cross-section. They are also highly capable multi-mission platforms, with significant anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare capability , augmented by a 10-tonne class helicopter.
The first frigate was launched in France while the remaining five are built locally by Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine) under a technology transfer agreement with DCN. The six new frigates will be fully operational starting from 2007 and will replace the RSN’s missile gunboats which have been in service for more than 30 years.
In January 2005, the MINDEF announced that it has signed a contract with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation of the United States to acquire six new Sikorsky S-70B naval helicopters (an international derivative of the United States Navy (USN) SH-60B Seahawk) which will operate off these frigates. The acquisition of these naval helicopters, equipped with advanced anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare sensors and weapons, is a significant milestone in the RSN's force development. The naval helicopters are projected for delivery between 2008 and 2010 .
|Crew||70, excluding air attachment of about 15|
In 1983, the RSN ordered six Victory class corvettes from Fredrich Lürssen Werft of Germany. The first corvette was built in Germany while the remaining five were built locally by ST Marine. The corvettes were also the first class of ships in the RSN to have an anti-submarine capability . The six corvettes form the 188 Squadron of the RSN.
The Sea Wolf class of missile gunboats were acquired in 1968, based on the TNC 45 design from Fredrich Lürssen Werft. The first two gunboats were constructed in Germany, while the remaining four were constructed locally by ST Marine (then known as Singapore Shipbuilding and Engineering). As new technology became available, these gunboats underwent a number of upgrading programmes in the 1980s and 1990s to increase their strike capability and sophistication . These gunboats are approaching the end of their operational life and are due to be replaced by the new frigates. The six gunboats form the 185 Squadron of the RSN.
The Fearless class of patrol vessels were built locally by ST Marine to replace the older coastal patrol crafts, which were transferred to the Police Coast Guard. The first six vessels of the class are armed for anti-submarine warfare missions. In January 2003, RSS Courageous was badly damaged in a collision with a container ship in the Singapore Straits . The first six ships previously formed the 189 Squadron while the next six ships, the 182 Squadron. In January 2005, 189 Squadron was transferred to the Coastal Command . The twelve ships now form the 180 Squadron of the RSN.
Amphibious transport docks
The Endurance class amphibious transport docks are the biggest class of ships in the RSN. They were designed and built locally by ST Marine to replace the old County class tank landing ships. Each ship is fitted with a well dock which can accommodate four landing craft, as well as a flight deck which can accommodate two medium lift helicopters . The ships provide sea transportation for personnel and equipment for SAF's overseas training, as well as a training platform for RSN's midshipmen. The ships are also actively involved in humanitarian and disaster relief operations, notably in East Timor, the Persian Gulf and the recent tsunami-hit Indonesian province of Aceh. The four ships form the 191 Squadron of the RSN.
|Speed||15 to 20 knots|
Mine counter-measures vessels
The RSN acquired mine counter-measure capabilities as early as 1975, when the USN's USS Thrasher and USS Whippoorwill were reactivated by the RSN's engineers and technicians in California. The Bluebird class coastal minesweepers were commissioned as RSS Jupiter and RSS Mercury .
These two ships were eventually replaced by the Bedok (Landsort) class mine counter-measures vessels. The first ship, RSS Bedok, was built by Karlskronavarvet in Sweden. The remaining three ships were prefabricated in Sweden and transferred to Singapore for final assembly by ST Marine. The ships are constructed of glass reinforced plastic to maintain low magnetic and acoustic signatures. The ships form the 194 Squadron of the RSN.
Tuas Naval Base
Changi Naval Base
Changi Naval Base (CNB) is the latest and most modern naval facility of the RSN. Located on 1.28 km² (0.50 sq mi) of reclaimed land, it was officially opened on 21 May 2004 by Goh Chok Tong, the second prime minister of Singapore.
CNB has an underground ammunition depot that is fully automated to allow ammunition to be loaded onto the ships, cutting down on manpower demands. The base has a fibre optic broadband network for information management. An automated warehousing system is utilised to store thousands of items needed by the RSN. The base is environment-friendly as lights switch off automatically in unoccupied rooms. In addition, seawater is used in the air-conditioning system. Its 6.2 km (3.9 mi) berthing space can accommodate an aircraft carrier and is often used by visiting ships of the USN .
Currently, the submarines, amphibious transport docks and missile gunboats are based at CNB.
Unlike other navies, ranks in the RSN are similar to the other services in the SAF up till the rank of colonel. Currently, the official table of ranks stops at three stars for all three services . To assist in the comparison of ranks in the armed forces of different countries, established NATO rank codes are used.
|Colonel|| Rear Admiral|
| Rear Admiral|
See also: RSN officer rank insignia
Warrant officer and specialist
- "Republic of Singapore Navy Frigate." MINDEF website. Accessed on September 26, 2004.
- "1988 - RSN's Missile Corvettes." MINDEF website. Accessed on September 26, 2004.
- "1975 - Missile Gunboats." MINDEF website. Accessed on September 26, 2004.
- "Characteristics of the Endurance class LST." MINDEF website. Accessed on September 26, 2004.
- "S-70B International SEAHAWK." Sikorsky Corporation website. Accessed on January 26, 2005.
- "Organisation chart." RSN Induction Program. Accessed on February 4, 2005.
- "Challenger." Kockums website. Accessed on February 4, 2005.
- "The Republic of Singapore Navy." Navy League of Australia website website. Accessed on February 26, 2005.
- "Our Bases." Republic of Singapore Navy website. Accessed on March 4, 2005.
- "COSCOM Expands." Navy News, Issue 01 2005. Accessed on March 17, 2005.
- "Submarine Tropicalisation Programme." MINDEF website. Accessed on March 26, 2005.
- "Safe in my wake." Cyberpioneer. Accessed on March 26, 2005.
- "SAF Military Ranks." MINDEF website. Accessed on March 26, 2005.
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