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Last S’pore Navy Invincible class submarine to be launched in Germany by Teo Chee Hean

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The soon-to-be-launched naval submarine Inimitable is one of four designed for Singapore’s shallow waters

Since 2019, the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has been launching submarines custom-built for Singapore by a German manufacturer.

The fourth and final of the set, known as the Invincible-class submarines, will soon be launched in Germany.

Impeccable at Changi Naval Base. Source: Ministry of Defense

The launch will be led by Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean.

Teo Chee Hean is going to launch a Navy submarine

Mr Teo, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security, is currently visiting Germany, Channel NewsAsia (CNA) quoted the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Source: Teo Chee Hean on Facebook

During his April 21 to 24 trip, he will be in the northern city of Kiel to supervise the launch of the RSN’s new submarine, named Inimitable.

“Inimitable” is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “incapable of being imitated” or “peerless.”

Mr Teo will also meet German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius.

Invincible class submarines designed for Singapore’s needs

Inimitable is one of four Invincible-class, or Type 218SG, submarines ordered by Singapore from German manufacturer ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS).

According to the Ministry of Defense (MINDEF), the submarines are specifically designed to operate in Singapore’s shallow and busy tropical waters.

Source: Ng Eng Hen on Facebook

They’re also built for our specific needs, including ergonomics optimized for the Asian physique, among other state-of-the-art capabilities.

The other three are called Invincible, Impeccable and Illustrious.

Navy submarine spotted in Germany before launch

Inimitable’s launch was teased by the RSN in a Facebook video on Saturday (April 20), which stopped short of revealing the date, saying only that the ship would be “launching soon”.

Source: Republic of Singapore Navy on Facebook

But before its official launch, it was seen nearing completion in Germany.

A photographer named Eckhard Uhrbrock took a photo of it at the TKMS facility in Kiel.

Source: Eckhard Uhrbrock via Naval Analyses X

The image showed the ship undergoing the final stages of physical construction before embarking on tests to validate its performance at sea, Defense Security Asia said.

After launch, Inimitable will remain in Germany for sea trials before being handed over to the RSN.

Upon arrival in Singapore, the ship must undergo further sea trials before being officially put into service.

Three other submarines were launched in 2019 and 2022

The first submarine, Invincible, was launched in 2019 by Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen.

Source: Ng Eng Hen on Facebook

Invincible sailed out to sea in the waters near Kiel for its first sea trial in 2021, according to RSN.

Source: Republic of Singapore Navy on Facebook

In 2022, Impeccable and Illustrious was launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching.

Source: Republic of Singapore Navy on Facebook

Last year, Impeccable arrived for the first time at Changi Naval Base in Singapore, while Invincible remained in Germany to support the training of RSN submarines, MINDEF said.

RSN said all four submarines are expected to arrive in Singapore in 2028.

In a Facebook post, Dr Ng said the four will be operational by the end of this decade.

Also read: S’pore Navy Sailors sing ‘Home’ from the ship where they will stay for the next few weeks

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Featured image adapted from Eckhard Uhrbrock via Naval Analyses X.