*By Roger DTN News
(NSI News Source Info) SINGAPORE - May 9, 2009: The navy of the Republic of Singapore (RSN) is one of South East Asia's most interesting and dynamic. From humble beginnings following independence in 1963, the RSN has grown to a position of control over one of the world's most important waterways.
The Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN) Formidable-class frigate, RSS Steadfast, arrives at a port in Shanghai August 25, 2008. The RSS Steadfast is on a five-day visit to Shanghai from Monday, China Daily reported.
Today, the RSN is capable of exerting 'Sea Control' over their area of immediate interest and sea denial much further away.
With the introduction into Singaporean service of four ex-Swedish Navy submarines and the addition of new stealth frigates on order from France the RSN will soon be in a position to exert 'Sea Dominance' on, over and under the waters surrounding the Singapore Strait.
Such is the mix of capabilities that the RSN is integrating that, with the exception of the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force with their Aegis destroyers and fleets of modern destroyers and submarines, and the overwhelming firepower of the United States Navy, the RSN is on track to become the most powerful navy in the region.
The RSN of Today Today's RSN is based around a core of missile armed fast patrol boats. These vessels are ideal for operations in and around the intensely crowded littoral waters of the Singapore and Malacca Straits.
Small, fast and easily able to disappear amongst the numerous islands, ferries, fishing boats and merchant ships that ply these waters, they are also possessed of potency far outweighing their size.
The largest and most capable of Singapore's fleet are the six Victory class corvettes. Displacing 600 tonnes, they are armed with up to eight Harpoon anti-ship missiles, each with range of 130kms and more than capable of seriously damaging a frigate-sized opponent.
A recent upgrade to these corvettes has seen a substantial improvement in their self-defence capabilities, with the addition twin vertical launch octuple Barak surface to air missile launchers to augment the single 76-mm dual-purpose Super Raid gun and passive defence measures.
The Israeli Barak is designed to be a relatively low-cost point defence missile system to protect ships against both manned aircraft and anti-ship missiles and consequently has a quick reaction time, typically 3 seconds including 0.6 seconds to turn over.
The fire-control system is based upon the Elta EL/M-2221GM I/J- and K-band (X-Ka band) monopulse coherent tracking and illumination radar which is supplemented, on the right-hand side, by a Rafael thermal imager.
It features a dish antenna with an elevation of -25 to +85º. Search, acquisition and tracking may be conducted in either I/J (8 to 20 GHz) or K (20 to 40 GHz) bands and it can track the target or targets while controlling two missiles.
The system may also be used for controlling guns, possibly with the assistance of a separate ballistic computer. Upon acquisition of the target/targets by the ship's search radar, the fire-control radar designates the targets.