MELBOURNE, Australia — The first of four German-built diesel-electric attack submarines has arrived in Singapore, the Southeast Asian nation’s Defence Ministry announced.
The Impeccable was received at Singapore’s RSS Singapura—Changi Naval Base on Thursday during a homecoming ceremony attended by the Republic of Singapore Navy chief Rear Adm. Sean Wat and other senior officers.
The submarine was brought to Singapore from the facilities of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems onboard the chartered, civilian-operated heavy load carrier Rolldock Storm. The vessel had arrived in Singapore on July 8 after a voyage from the German port of Kiel that started in late May.
Launched in December 2022, the Impeccable is the second of four Invincible-class submarines ordered by Singapore. Also known as the Type 218SG, the boats are designed for operations in Singapore’s shallow and busy tropical waters, having been custom-built for the nation’s needs, according to a media release issued by the Defence Ministry.
The ministry noted the submarines “possess state-of-the-art capabilities, including high levels of automation, significant payload capacity, enhanced underwater endurance, and ergonomics optimised for the Asian physique.”
Invincible-class subs measure 230 feet and displace 2,200 tons when submerged. The boats feature air-independent propulsion systems and have an X-rudder configuration similar to the ThyssenKrupp-made Type 212 design for better maneuverability in shallow, congested waters.
The Impeccable will subsequently undergo a series of local sea trials to reach full operational capability with the Republic of Singapore Navy. The lead boat of the class, the Invincible, remains in Germany to support the training of Singaporean submariners.
The last two submarines of the class are currently under construction in Germany. Singapore plans to use the new submarines to replace a similar number of secondhand subs acquired from Sweden and customized for operations in waterways around Singapore.
The island nation sits astride the Strait of Malacca and South China Sea, which are some of the busiest commercial shipping lanes in the world. Singapore’s economy is highly dependent on the global maritime trade, and the country is a close security partner of the U.S. and has longstanding agreements to allow American military ships and aircraft to use its facilities.
Author: Mike Yeo