Surface Forces: March 14, 2003


Singapore has laid the keel of a stealthy frigate, the first of five to be built by a local shipbuilder. A sixth ship is being built in France, where construction began last November. The first Singapore frigate will enter service in 2009. The design is French, based on their La Fayette class ships. The shape and construction of the ship makes it more difficult to spot using radar, The Singapore frigates will weigh 3,500 tons, be 412 feet long, have a crew of 164 and be armed with one 100 mm gun, two 20mm guns, Exocet surface to surface missiles, Crotale surface to air missiles and one helicopter. The electronics carried will be extensive, including air and surface search radars plus fire control gear. The ships carry supplies for 50 days and have a top speed of 45 kilometers per hour. Most efficient cruise speed is about half that. 


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