Mindef buys 2 new submarines which will be delivered by 2020

The RSS Challenger, Singapore's first submarine, on June 24, 2005. The Defence Ministry (Mindef) said in a statement on Monday, Dec 2, 2013, that it inked a deal with German defence contractor Thyssenkrupp Marine System on Nov 29 to buy two Type 218S
The RSS Challenger, Singapore's first submarine, on June 24, 2005. The Defence Ministry (Mindef) said in a statement on Monday, Dec 2, 2013, that it inked a deal with German defence contractor Thyssenkrupp Marine System on Nov 29 to buy two Type 218SG vessels to replace its ageing Challenger-class submarines. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: YVONNE LIM

Singapore will for the first time buy brand new submarines. The Defence Ministry (Mindef) said in a statement on Monday that it inked a deal with German defence contractor Thyssenkrupp Marine System on Nov 29 to buy two Type 218SG vessels.

The contract includes a logistics package and the training of Singaporean crew in Germany. The new vessels, together with two second-hand Archer-class submarines, will replace four ageing Challenger-class submarines.

Mindef said that the Challenger-class vessels, which were built in the 1960s, will be progressively retired from service. The new vessels are expected to be delivered from 2020.

The decision to buy the new German-made submarines follows Defence Minister Ng Hen's comments in March about Mindef's plan to replace the Challenge submarines with new ones.