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Singapore- First Stealth Ship launched in France (08 Jan 2004)

The first of six stealth frigates was launched into the waters of Lorient, France yesterday. The RSS Formidable was manufactured by Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) and will soon be equipped with weapons such as guns and torpedoes before undergoing sea trials at the end of the year in Lorient.

The launch of the RSS Formidable is a landmark event signaling Singapore's entry into stealth warfare. Defence Minister, Rear-Admiral (NS) Teo who was at the launch, said that the frigates, with their longer endurance, advanced combat systems and the ability to operate helicopters would significantly enhance the navy's operational capabilities.

The RSS Formidable is expected to sail for Singapore early 2005 while Singapore Technologies Marine is building the remaining five ships.

Rear-Admiral Teo commended the dedication and effectiveness of the French and Singaporean teams, as they were able to launch the sophisticated ship in just 46 months. He cited the programme as a reflection of the good relationship between the two countries. He is certain that the new frigates will open more opportunities for the two navies to work together.