#onthisday (7 Jan 2004) RSS first frigates
#onthisday, 7 Jan, in 2004, the first of the Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN) six frigates, RSS Formidable, was launched at Direction Des Constructions Navales (DCN) shipyard in Lorient, France.
As the first ship in the RSN’s frigate programme, the launch of RSS Formidable marked new progress for Singapore’s warfighting capabilities. Under the frigate programme, six new frigates would replace the RSN’s Missile Gunboats, which had then been in operation for over 25 years. RSS Formidable was equipped with advanced sensor and weapon systems, could stay out longer at sea, and had better anti-air, surface, and submarine warfare capabilities to undertake a wider range of missions.
Frigates are key in the RSN’s ability to defend Singapore’s Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs), and work in concert with the RSN’s other ships, and Air Force and Army assets. As then-Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean said, “all nations will have to do their part to help enhance security. Singapore has a particular interest, as a maritime nation dependent on seaborne trade.”
Today, the RSN’s six frigates form First Flotilla, with RSS Formidable as the lead ship. They participate in range of exercises and operations around the world, including counter-piracy and search and rescue operations, contributing to defending Singapore’s waters and beyond. ⚓️