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Singapore commissions first Archer class submarine

altThe Republic of Singapore Navy has commissioned the first Archer class submarine, RSS Archer, during a ceremony at Changi Naval Base on Friday.

Singapore’s Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen officiated at the ceremony. He said that the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) would continue to build up and modernise its maritime warfare capabilities to better safeguard Singapore's interests.

"The strengthening of our submarine capability is in line with this overall development plan to allow the RSN to better exploit the underwater dimension in maritime operations," said Ng.

Originally launched as the Swedish Navy Västergötland class submarines HMS Hälsingland and HMS Västergötland in 1986 and 1987, the two submarines were sold to Singapore in November 2005 and re-launched in June 2009 and October 2010 respectively after extensive modernisation by Kockums, which included a refit to Södermanland class standards, the insertion of a new hull section with an air independent propulsion system, and additional climatisation for use in tropical waters.

The first Archer-class submarine arrived in Singapore on August 17 this year and had successfully conducted various system verifications and sea trials in local conditions as part of its operationalisation process.

The 60.5m diesel-electric Archer joins the RSN's 171 Squadron, which currently has four ageing Challenger-class submarines. These will be partially replaced by the reconditioned submarines.

The Archer class has a surfaced speed of 15 km/h (9.2 mph) and a submerged speed of 28 km/h (17 mph). Armament comprises of six 533 mm (21.0 in) and three 400 mm (16 in) torpedo tubes.


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