Above: RSS Independence, the RSN’s newly commissioned LMV, was one of the reviewing ships.
The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), which this year is celebrating its golden jubilee, held its first ever international maritime review in waters off the newly rechristened RSS Singapura – Changi Naval Base on 15 May.
Talking about the event, the RSN stated, ‘The International Maritime Review is an opportunity for the RSN to welcome our friends from around the world to join us in our 50th anniversary celebrations.
‘Working with like-minded navies from the region and beyond to tackle common transboundary maritime security threats, the RSN has strengthened mutual trust and understanding to interoperate effectively with other navies and maritime agencies. The RSN, together with our international partners, continues to ensure a safe and secure maritime environment for all.’
Huangshan is a Type 054A frigate of the People’s Liberation Army Navy.
Singapore’s President Tony Tan Keng Yam reviewed the participating vessels from land and from aboard RSS Independence, the RSN’s recently commissioned and first-of-class Littoral Mission Vessel.
The fleet review featured 16 ships from the RSN, two vessels from the Police Coast Guard and four aircraft from the Republic of Singapore Air Force, as well as 28 vessels from 20 foreign navies.
Some vessels, such as the large Thai aircraft carrier and Japanese ‘helicopter destroyer’ remained berthed at the naval base, while the majority of the ships were moored at sea.
HTMS Chakri Naruebet, Thailand’s solitary aircraft carrier (sans aircraft except for a couple of helicopters), was the largest vessel in the International Maritime Review.
This was one of the swiftest fleet reviews that this author has participated in, which was probably fortunate given that a tropical thunderstorm enveloped the area right at the end. Media boarded a couple of Fast Craft Utility (FCU) for the event, and were whisked up and down the lines of moored warships in a well-orchestrated event.
During the IMDEX exhibition that was held from 16-18 May, attendees had the opportunity to go aboard and more closely examine a number of these ships whilst they were berthed within RSS Singapura – Changi Naval Base.
The full list of those ships participating in the review is given below.
RSS Persistence and RSS Endurance (Endurance class), RSS Kaliang, RSS Punggoi and RSS Bedok (Bedok class), RSS Fearless and RSS Daring (Fearless class), RSS Formidable, RSS Supreme and RSS Stalwart (Formidable class), RSS Valiant and RSS Vigilance (Victory class), RSS Independence and Sovereignty (Independence class), RSS Swordsman (Archer class), RSS Conqueror (Challenger class), and Sandbar Shark and Whitetip Shark of the Police Coast Guard.
The RSN’s futuristic-looking Specialised Marine Craft (SMC) performed security tasks during the fleet review.
Australia – HMAS Ballarat
Bangladesh – BNS Shadhinota
Brunei – KDB Darussalam
Canada – HMCS Ottawa
China – Huangshan
France – FS Prairial
India – INS Sahyadri and INS Kamorta
Indonesia – KRI Sultan Hasanuddin and KRI Halasan
Japan – JS Izumo and JS Sazanami
Malaysia – KD Lekir
Myanmar – UMS Sin Phyu Shin
New Zealand – HMNZS Te Kaha and HMNZS Endeavour
Pakistan – PNS Zulfiquar
Philippines – BRP Gregorio del Pilar
Russia – RFS Varyag
South Korea – ROKS Dae Jo Yeong
Sri Lanka – SLNS Sagara and SLNS Nandimithra
Thailand – HTMS Chakri Naruebet, HTMS Naresuan and HTMS Sukhothai
US – USS Sterett and USS Coronado
Vietnam – VPNS Dinh Tien Hoang