The Independence-class littoral mission vessels (LMVs) are being built by Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine) Benoi shipyard, for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). Eight LMVs are scheduled to replace the ageing Fearless-class patrol vessels of the RSN by 2020.
The LMVs can be primarily used in coastal security, maritime patrol and surveillance missions, as well as in secondary roles, including humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and search-and-rescue (SAR).
Littoral mission vessel development
The LMV is a joint development between ST Marine and Saab Kockums. The Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) is responsible for the overall project management and systems integration for the LMV programme.
ST Marine, a division of Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering), received a contract from the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) to design and build eight LMVs for the RSN in January 2013.
The keel for the first vessel in class, RSS Independence, was laid down in September 2014. The vessel was launched in July 2015 and handed over to the RSN in May 2016. It was commissioned in May 2017.
The keel for the second LMV, RSS Sovereignty, was laid in May 2015 and the vessel was launched in April 2016. The launching ceremony of the third LMV, RSS Unity, was held in October 2016. Both RSS Sovereignty and RSS Unity were commissioned by RSN in November 2017.
The fourth vessel, RSS Justice, was launched in March 2017 and delivered in October 2017. The fifth and sixth LMVs, RSS Indomitable and RSS Fortitude were launched in September 2017 and March 2018 respectively. The keels for the seventh and eighth LMVs were laid in October 2017 and April 2018 respectively. All the vessels are scheduled to be operational by 2020.
Ships in class
LMV design and features
The innovative design of the LMV enables the operation of the large-sized vessel with a small crew size. The ship incorporates a modular mission concept, which allows the integration of a range of mission modules to meet the mission-specific requirements.
The versatile vessel can be rapidly configured to carry rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs), boarding teams and a helicopter to conduct maritime security operations.
The configuration of the medical modules allows the vessel to support humanitarian aid and disaster relief, as well as SAR missions. The ships can also carry unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for conducting surveillance and mine countermeasure missions.
The Independence LMV has a length of 80m, beam of 12m, draught of 3m, and displacement of 1,250t. It complements a standard crew of 23.
Weapon systems aboard Independence-class
The LMVs are equipped with both lethal and non-lethal weapons, including MBDA MICA anti-air missile system, Oto Melara 76mm main gun, Rafael 25mm Typhoon gun, Oto Melara 12.7mm Hitrole gun and long-range acoustics device (LRAD). The vertical-launched (VL) MICA multi-mission missile system protects the ship from aircraft and incoming missiles.
1 x Oto Melara 76mm main gun
|DESIGNATION||Italy: 76 mm/62 (3″) Compact and SR
USN: 76 mm/62 (3″) Mark 75
|SHIP CLASS USED ON||Compact:
|DATE OF DESIGN||Compact: About 1963
Super Rapid: N/A
|DATE IN SERVICE||Compact:
Super Rapid: About 1988
|GUN WEIGHT (TUBE AND LINER)||1,686 lbs. (765 kg)|
|GUN LENGTH OA||N/A|
|BORE LENGTH||186 in (4.724 m)|
|RIFLING LENGTH||158 in (4.012 m)|
|TWIST||Uniform RH 1 in 30|
|RATE OF FIRE||Compact and Mark 75: 80 – 85 rounds per minute (in automatic mode)
Compact with retrofit kit: 100 rounds per minute
SR: 120 rounds per minute (139 achieved on trials)
1 x Rafael 25mm Typhoon gun
Typhoon is a family of lightweight, stabilized, remote controlled weapon systems for a full range of weapons, including:
- Battle proven
- Highly accurate in day and night operations
- No deck penetration is required
- Simple operation with high reliability
- Cost effective
- Modular design enable future upgrades
Toplite, highly stabilized, multi-role, multi-sensor optronic payload, is a day/night observation and targeting, configured for naval, air and ground surveillance and targeting systems.
Toplite provides the services required for precision guidance for guided weapons, day or night and under adverse weather conditions. Toplite enables observation, target detection, recognition and identification by the use of various sensors including FLIR, CCD and laser rangefinder. Toplite features both manual and automatic target tracking. The system includes the following sub-systems:
- FLIR: 3rd GEN (3-5micron) or 8-12micron TDi
- CCD camera B/W or color
- Eye safe laser rangefinder
- Laser designator (optional)
- Advanced correlation tracker
2 x Oto Melara 12.7mm Hitrole gun
The HITROLE®- G is a modern, fully stabilized, electrically operated and remotely controlled naval weapon system that can be fitted with a range of single or multi barrels cannons, well suited for policing operations and countering asymmetric threats.
An “on mount” high capacity ammunition storage (400 rounds 12,7mm), plus additional ammunition depots under the mount, guarantee the necessary operative flexibility and autonomy for close-in protection against sea-based threats and air targets. Source leonardocompany.com
12 × MICA VL MBDA MICA anti-air missile system
The VL MICA system deploys the unique MICA missile, which is the only missile in the world equipped with two, interoperable, state-of-the-art seekers (Imaging IR or active RF), providing superior features to counter all types of threat (anti-ship missiles, aircraft, helicopter, PGMs, smart-bombs, etc.)
VL MICA offers a very high single-shot kill probability and simultaneous multiple-shot capability (autonomous guidance, extremely high firing rate).
Operated from the ship combat system using existing air defence sensors, VL MICA has no need for a dedicated fire control system.
The missile is stored and vertically launched from its individual storage container (no need for a VLS) providing 360° engagement coverage. Several ship programmes have been carried out that have demonstrated how the modularity and compact nature of VL MICA facilitate the system’s installation on a wide range of warships, both new-build and
In addition to VL MICA’s many operational advantages, low maintenance, reduced manpower requirements and very long service life are key features.
- All weather
- Vertical launch (360° coverage)
- Simultaneous multi-target, high rate of fire
- Active RF and Imagery IR seekers
- Outstanding defence capability against saturating anti-ship attacks
- Light, modular and compact
Long-Range Acoustic Device LRAD 1000RX
- Remotely control all functions through TCP/IP connection
- Remotely respond to threats from a safe location
- Low power requirements
- All-weather use
- Fixed infrastructure
- Easy to use – Increased coverage with single operator
- Increased security coverage
- Improved operational efficiency
- Increased response capabilities
- Safer alternative to non-lethal deterrent measures
DIRECTIONALITY, POWER EFFICIENCY & RANGE
- Highly intelligible communication up to 3,000 meters
- Safely communicates beyond standoff distances
- Clear, long range, directional communication
- When integrated with radar, creates a fully functional, automated perimeter presence
Sagem received a contract from the DSTA of Singapore in May 2013 to supply a new gun fire control system (GFCS) for eight LMVs.
The new centralised GFCS at the vessel’s control centre is interfaced with main and secondary guns, radar, optoelectronics and navigation systems. The system’s open architecture allows integration with the combat management system and support future upgrades.
Sagem gun fire control system (GFCS)
Sagem (Safran) has signed a contract with the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) of Singapore to develop and produce a new Gun Fire-Control System (GFCS) for eight Littoral Mission Vessels ordered by the Republic of Singapore Navy.
Sagem’s new GFCS is a centralized system located at the ship’s operations center that integrates several functions: main and secondary guns, radar, optronics and navigation systems. Capable of operating from several multifunction consoles concurrently, Sagem’s GFCS will also be interfaced with the combat management system. It’s open architecture not only allows for easy integration but also ensures flexibility and scalability for future upgrades and enhancement. Source safran-electronics-defense.com
Sensors and radars
The Thales NS100 three-dimensional surveillance radar and Kelvin Hughes Sharpeye navigation radar on-board the vessel allows the detection of surface targets in the jam-packed environment.
Thales NS100 three-dimensional surveillance radar
The NS100 surveillance task is enhanced with new multi-mission capabilities such as swarm defence, anti-piracy, UAV control and weapon support for active missiles. These different types of targets put different requirements on the radar; fighter jets require long range, high diving missiles require elevation coverage, sea skimmers require fast reaction time, hovering helicopters require spectral information, UAVs are small and slow and require a good clutter suppression, etc.
The NS100 detects this wide variety of targets in one single mode as one can never be certain of the type of threat encountered. This can be realised by introducing full digital beam-forming with Dual Axis Multi-beam processing and fully exploiting the AESA capability of forward and backward scanning.
Multi-sensor integrated solution
Besides the IFF interrogator antenna, the NS100 is designed to integrate a Scout Mk3 FMCW antenna, an IR-camera and AIS and ADS-B antennas and receiver. This multi-sensor integrated solution allows for a single mount position of multiple sensors and creates a higher level of integration on board the ship. Positioning all sensors on one platform at the best topside position optimizes the overall field of view and the sensor performance. Also issues concerning footprint and interference are solved by the multi-sensor integrated solution.
Highly scalable requirement driven performance
The performance of the NS100 can be scaled by adding transmit elements to meet the diverse requirements and operational needs of navies around the world. The same basic radar can be optimised for different ship classes, leading to fleet-wise logistic advantages. Furthermore, the flexible radar architecture enables through-life introduction of new capabilities thereby future proofing the radar. Source thalesgroup.com
Kelvin Hughes Sharpeye navigation radar
Solid state radar ensures extremely high reliability and low through life cost:
- No magnetron – minimal routine maintenance requirements
- No fault-finding training required
- Line replaceable unit – does not require radar trained technician to replace
- Low Mean Time To Repair (MTTR)
- Upmast transceiver solution – no waveguide to compromise citadel integrity – easy to retrofit – reduced signal loss.
|SHARPEYE™ SPECIFICATION||I-BAND (X-BAND)||E/F-BAND (S-BAND)|
|Operating Frequency||9.2 – 9.5 GHz||2.9 – 3.1 GHz|
|Frequency Diversity (FD)||Optional||No|
|Frequency Channels||Non FD 12 / FD 10||8|
|Peak Power||Up to 300W||Up to 200W|
|Average RF Power||39W||20W|
|Output Power Transistor Type||GaN||LDMOS|
|Duty Ratio||Up to 13%||Up to 10%|
|Pulse Compression Ratio||Up to 1000:1||Up to 1000:1|
|Signal Processor||Doppler Processing||Doppler Processing|
|Clutter Discrimination||Up to 16 filters||Up to 32 filters|
|Instrumented Ranges||24nm and 48nm||24nm and 48nm|
|Pulse Lengths||0.1μS – 100μS||0.1μS – 100μS|
|Reliability||Up to 150,000 hrs MTBF||Up to 150,000 hrs MTBF|
|Power Modes||High and low power modes||High and low power modes|
|Antenna (standard)||2.5m low profile||3.9m low profile|
|Horizontal||≤0.95° – 3dB||≤2.0° – 3dB|
|Upmast System Weight (inc. standard antenna)||<75kg||<108kg|
|Colour||Light Grey – RAL7001||Light Grey – RAL7001|
STELOP 360° panoramic day and night camera
- Clear day and night vision with ability to see through all weather conditions and smoke
- SMART automatic accurate target acquisition, tracking, pointing and sharing
- Stabilised operations on the move
- Integration with radar and sensors
- Guns and other non-lethal weapons target alignment
SMART EO PRODUCTS FEATURED
- Micro-TM – For target search, acquisition, tracking and real-time alignment of weapon
- V180 – For shipboard 360 degrees staring perimeter day and night visual camera
- 360 Manager – For shipboard bridge to have integrated complete application video management, analytics and user interface (GUI)
The Independence-class LMVs are powered by a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system integrating two MTU 20V 4000 M93L diesel engines. Each engine develops a maximum power output of 4,300kW (5,770shp). The propulsion ensures high-manoeuvrability in confined and congested littoral waters.
2 x MTU 20V 4000 M93L diesel engines
The LMV has a speed in excess of 27k and range of 3,500nmi. The maximum endurance of the ship will be 14 days.
Main material source naval-technology.com
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