Singapore Navy's First Invincible-Class Submarine Launched
(Source: Singapore Government; issued Feb 18, 2019)
The first of four Type 218SG submarines ordered by Singapore was launched on Feb 18 at ThyssenKrupp’s shipyard in Kiel, Germany. Note the very large sonar flank arrays visible on the hull. (TKMS photo)
Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen officiated at the launch ceremony of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)'s first Invincible-class submarine, Invincible, at the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems Shipyard in Kiel, Germany, on 18 Feb 2019.

The submarine was launched by Mrs Ng, wife of Dr Ng., Chief of German Navy Vice-Admiral Andreas Krause, Republic of Singapore Navy's Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Lew Chuen Hong and senior defence officials from both countries attended the launch ceremony.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Ng highlighted that, "The RSN plays a key role in keeping [the] Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs) open, not only for Singapore, but indeed, for the world. And the maritime environment around Singapore also faces security challenges… In this context, the acquisition of the new Type 218SG submarines is timely."

He added that that the new submarines were designed based on experience and expertise garnered through more than two decades of operating submarines, and the launch of the Invincible marked a significant milestone in the RSN’s submarine capability.


Invincible is the first of four customised submarines designed for operations in Singapore's shallow and busy tropical waters. Custom-built to Singapore's needs, the new submarines will possess longer endurance and higher payloads. Following the launch, Invincible will undergo a series of sea trials before delivery to Singapore in 2021. The remaining three submarines are under construction. Dr Ng also announced the names of the remaining three submarines – Impeccable, Illustrious, and Inimitable.

The launch of Invincible is testament to the warm and growing defence ties between Singapore and Germany. Bilateral defence relations have strengthened with the signing of the enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (eDCA) in 2018. The eDCA paves the way forward for cooperation in areas of mutual interest, such as in submarine training, defence technology and cyber defence.

Both countries also cooperate and interact widely through high-level visits and dialogues, military exchanges, cross-attendance of professional courses and technology collaboration.

Dr Ng was in Germany to attend the Munich Security Conference from 15 to 17 Feb 2019, where he spoke at the conference and had bilateral meetings with his foreign counterparts.

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Launching of the Republic of Singapore’s First Type 218SG Submarine
(Source: ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems; issued Feb 18, 2019)
One of the most advanced diesel-electric submarines in the world was launched on 18 February at the thyssenkrupp Marine Systems' shipyard in Kiel. The boat is named Invincible. This marks another important milestone in the ongoing submarine program for the Republic of Singapore.

Prof. Ivy Ng, wife of Dr. Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Defence of the Republic of Singapore, named the boat in the presence of high-level representatives from the Singapore government and Navy, as well as high-ranking German officials.

In addition to representatives from ThyssenKrupp, there were also representatives from suppliers in attendance for the ceremony. After construction and outfitting is completed, Invincible will undergo intensive testing before being handed over in 2021.

Dr. Ng Eng Hen, Minister of Defence for the Republic of Singapore: "These new submarines are the products of years of experience and deep expertise from both Germany and Singapore. They are a testament to our warm and growing defence ties with Germany. Closely collaborating with our Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), the RSN oversaw the design of the submarines, before jointly developing them with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. I am heartened by the cooperation and efforts of the Singaporean and German industries."

Dr. Rolf Wirtz, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: "We are proud to be able to take this important step in the life of a boat together with our Singaporean partners. This first boat of the Type 218SG will mark a next generation of submarines. They will possess an extensive range of vital capabilities and therewith become a highly capable strategic asset for Singapore and its Navy."

Invincible is the first in a series of four boats of the Type 218SG. The contract for the first two submarines was signed in 2013 and the contract for the second batch in 2017. After handing over the Invincible in 2021, the second submarine is scheduled to be delivered in 2022. The third and fourth submarines are scheduled to follow from 2024 onwards.

The boats have the design of a low-signature submarine with air independent propulsion –enabling them to stay submerged for a longer period – and numerous tailor-made solutions and new technologies.

DSTA and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems dive into additive manufacturing for submarines Prior to the launch of the Republic of Singapore Navy's first Invincible-class submarine, Singapore's Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Kiel to collaborate on new technologies such as additive manufacturing and data analytics for naval applications.

Under the agreement, DSTA and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems will explore the use of additive manufacturing as an innovative, cost-effective method for producing submarine spare parts. Both parties will work together on the design, engineering, and qualification of additive manufactured components, which could be tested and trialled on Singapore submarines.

Mr Tan Peng Yam, Chief Executive of DSTA: "In this age of rapid change, collaboration is key to exploit novel technologies. We are excited to combine our expertise with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in additive manufacturing."

Dr Rolf Wirtz, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: "This initiative is a prime example of our understanding of innovation: We are engineering. tomorrow. together. The MOU allows us to test parts manufactured in Kiel with additive manufacturing under real conditions. This is a great asset for us."

Key data for the Type 218SG Submarine:
--Length over all: approx. 70 m
--Displacement: approx. 2,000 t
--Complement: 28
--Propulsion: Diesel-electric plus AIP

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