SINGAPORE - Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen will be officiating at the launch of the first of four new submarines for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) in Germany next Monday (Feb 18), the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) has said.
All four Type 218SG submarines are manufactured by German defence contractor ThyssenKrupp Marine System.
The new submarines will replace the RSN's older ones, which are all second-hand refurbished vessels from Sweden.
Before officiating at the launch ceremony in Kiel, Dr Ng will attend the 55th Munich Security Conference on Saturday (Feb 16) and speak at the Maritime Roundtable on the topic "Bridging Troubled Waters - Deconflicting the South China Sea Disputes", Mindef said in a statement on Thursday.
He will be in Germany from Feb 15 to 18, it added.
The RSN's four Challenger-class submarines, which were made in the 1960s and bought by Singapore between 1995 and 1997, are ageing and two were retired in 2015. It also has two Archer-class submarines bought in 2005.
The first two Type 218SG submarines are expected to be delivered from 2021. They will be equipped with improved capabilities such as modern combat systems and Air Independent Propulsion systems, and carry a wider range of mission payloads.
Dr Ng will be attending the Munich Security Conference for the eighth time.
Inaugurated in 1963, the conference brings together key foreign affairs and defence leaders from around the world. Some 600 participants are expected to attend this year.
Dr Ng, who is due to meet his foreign counterparts while in the German city, will also speak at the 11th Munich Young Leaders Roundtable on Saturday.