By the time you read time, the RSN have just launched the first Independence-class Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV) at ST Shipyard.
Here are the basic dimension of Independence-class.
Length : 80m
Displacement: 1250 tonnes
Speed over 27knots
Think the LMV as an IPad, between a patrol craft and a full fledge warship, doing things better than the patrol craft and things a warship couldn’t. Despite designed for near shore operations, the LMV is able to operate better at open waters thanks to its bigger size and naval architecture. Although have a rather tall stack mast which might comprise its centre of gravity, the hull is in fact made from marine steel and the main super structure and mast are made from Saab’s carbon composite, pulling the CoG lower to the ship’s keel. This makes it more stable at high seas, but yet lighter to perform more duties.
Now imagine the mission as apps, the LMV is able to install the ‘apps’ according to the mission such as counter mine operations, search and rescue or boarding ops, by installing mission modules containers into the hull.
According to RSN, Independence-class is fitted with the most extensive gun variations in the fleet. Her primary gun is the OTO Melera 76mm Super Rapid Gun, two 12.7mm Hit Role Remote naval gun and a Rafael 25mm Typhoon cannon. Aft of the A gun is a vertical launch system for 12tube MBDA Mica VL anti air/missile missile. Nope, it is not a typo but it is able to engage incoming missiles as well.
One of the main features of the LMV is the 360degree view bridge, with the integrated command centre. All the combat, navigation and engineering functions are placed on the bridge for better synergy and decision making. This concept is tried and validated at DSTA’s LMV lab.
Manned by on 23 crew, there is a massive amount of automation and computerisation in the systems. The systems is able to track fuse targets, identify and assign weapons for the weapon operator. Crew is better equipped to discern alarms and how to troubleshoot them.
One of the coolest tool is the touch screen console for the mssion operators. Both are able to call up required information, much indeed like an iPad.
The second LMV is already in the midst of construction and Independence will be operational by 2017. All eight LMV will be commissioned by 2020.
I do apologise for the lack of depth in this article, I have been rushing numerous projects and articles lately, especially in the midst of NDP preparations. Thank you for your patience.