The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) Navy Open House marked the first time new design evolutions to the stealth frigates went on public display. It was also the first occasion when three different upgrade evolutions went on show at the same time.
Visitors who made time to tour RSS Intrepid, RSS Steadfast and RSS Tenacious at the two-day event (18-19 May 2013) may have noticed upgrades made to sensors, equipment and armament options aboard these 114-metre long warships.
The changes - some subtle, some pretty obvious even to untrained eyes - underline ongoing projects that are tailored to keep the six stealth frigates with the RSN's 185 Squadron at the top of their game.
Here are the pictures.
FFS Missile Deck (Portside)
Takeways from NOH 2013 from the SSM deck observations:
1. The pictures plainly show that the stealth frigates can be from the same class of ship, yet very different.
2. As bulwarks either side of the SSM deck shield the deck cargo from outside observation (the bulwarks were added as a stealth design feature), it is impossible for observers to tell what lies within just by looking at a FFS from the outside. Every opportunity should therefore be taken to view Formidable-class stealth frigates at close range.
3. An understanding of the equipment (LARS and RHIBs), sensor (EO and FCR) and armament (25mm Typhoon guns) is not complete unless one makes an attempt to understand the reasons behind such evolutions. This would reward the observer with a clearer understanding of how the FFS may be employed.
4. The RSN's experience operating the frigates that carry the most number of SSMs in the world has apparently inspired local shipyard Singapore Technologies Marine to do the same with its Fearless-class multirole frigates. Compare the SSM deck of the FSS that you just read about with the one shown on the model of the proposed Fearless frigate (below) at the IMDEX 2013 naval show.
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WASS C310 anti-torpedo decoy. Click here
Magic moments aboard RSS Intrepid as special modifications go on show for the first time. Click here
RSS Tenacious displays latest evolution to OOTW upgrade. Click here