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Second Submarine Up and Running (25 Aug 2002)

A Second submarine in the Singapore Navy is now fully operational, said the Defence Ministry yesterday.

Called the RSS Chieftain, the Swedish-made warship arrived here in March after an extensive "tropicalisation and refurbishment programme in Sweden", said the ministry.

This included fitting the 51 m-long submarine with air-conditioning and coating it with anti-fouling paint, said Mr. George Loh, 37, who had been incharge of the programme initially.

"The waters here is saltier, so it's more corrosive to materials. It is also warmer so we have to make adjustments," he added.

The RSS Chieftain, commissioned yesterday at a ceremony at which Defence Minister Tony Tan officiated, joins the RSS Conqueror in the 171 Squadron.

The two submarines will enhance the Republic of Singapore Navy's anti-submarine warfare capability, the ministry said in its statement.

By 2004, another two navy submarines are expected to return here from Sweden.

The RSS Chieftain, with a crew of 28, will take part is the Five Power Defence Arrangements exercise next month.