Singapore selects German OPV design for maritime security requirement

Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) announced on 20 November that it has awarded a contract to German shipbuilder Fassmer for four new offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).

The new OPVs will replace the same number of Sentinel-class Maritime Security Response Vessels (MSRVs) – currently operated by the RSN’s Maritime Security and Response Flotilla as an interim solution – from 2028 onwards.

MINDEF did not disclose detailed specifications of the new ships and the contract value, although it noted that these are based on a “proven OPV design” in service with the German Federal Police (Bundespolizei).

“[The OPVs] are designed with high manoeuvrability to operate in Singapore’s congested waters, and equipped with a suite of lethal and less-lethal capabilities to provide flexibility and calibrated response against a wide spectrum of maritime threats,” said MINDEF in its statement.

Fassmer earlier delivered four 86 m-class OPVs to the Bundespolizei and known as the Potsdam-class. These are armed with a BAE Mk110 57mm main gun and feature a stern helicopter deck that can support medium-sized helos such as the service’s Airbus H215 Super Pumas as well as provision for two boats and five 20-foot containers.

The RSN is looking to replace the 55 m MSRVs, which are essentially stripped-down versions of retired Fearless-class patrol that have in turn been replaced by the Independence-class Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs).

Besides the OPVs, the RSN is also in the process of replacing its six ageing 62 m-long Victory-class missile corvettes with the same number of 137 m-long Multi-Role Combat Vessels (MRCVs) based on the Iver Huitfeldt/Absalon frigate design by Denmark’s Odense Maritime Technology. The new MRCVs are expected to be motherships for uncrewed aerial, surface, and underwater vehicles.

by Jr Ng