Fourth Invincible Class Submarine Launched

The front end of Inimitable. Bundeswher picture

SHAH ALAM: Singapore senior minister Teo Chee Hean officiated the launch of the Republic of Singapore Navy’s fourth and final Invincible-class submarine, Inimitable, in Kiel, Germany, today.

The first submarine, Invincible, was unveiled in 2019, while the second and third — the Impeccable and the Illustrious — were launched in December 2022, also in Kiel.

Inimitable launched. Singapore MINDEF picture.

The Invincible-class submarine is 70m long, weighs 2,000 tonnes when surfaced, and requires a 28-member crew to operate.
A night shot of the Inimitable. Bundeswehr picture.

Invincible which was shipped to Singapore in July last year, is expected to be commissioned into RSN by year end. It must be noted that the first two submarines were ordered in 2013, two more in 2017 and Invincible was launched in 2019.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. TWO RMN HELOS collided and crash at lumut.Early infos indicated all aboard are lost

  2. 4 highly customised submarines for the RSN. 4 is always the ideal number. Good planning by the RSN.

  3. @Jack
    “How often do they go to war?”
    When Uncle Sam asked them to. This unlike us which are nonaligned and neutral except UN peacekeeping missions.

  4. Joe “This unlike us which are nonaligned and neutral except UN peacekeeping missions.”

    We are definitely not. Just slightly less nonaligned & neutral compared to SG but no where near ID nonaligned nor neutral capabilities

  5. @Zaft
    “We are definitely not.”
    We are Western friendly but defo nonaligned in accordance with ASEAN charter. Even so we made our protests in UN against Israel/US genocide on Gaza.

  6. @joe

    Someone’s forgot we supported OZ UN resolution to investigate wuhan and there’s qew some NATO state are against the gaza invasion.

    We have an active dispute with commie China thus either would we join and align with them nor we would be so dumb to be non aligned. Even ID is moving a bit from to the west from their previous positions.

  7. @Zaft
    Nope. On the contrary we also sought to bring Russia to UN court justice for MH17. That is a clear sign we are non aligned as we seek to tick off whichever bigger powers when they are committing atrocities whether they be Western or China or Russia. How much more nonaligned can we be other than steadfast neutral Switzerland(which isnt so neutral anyways)?

    ID changing their stance has nothing to do with us nor any bearing onto us.

  8. >4
    >this many sub

    Partly because they want to guarantee at least 1 submarine in the sea all the time? Also one submarine can focus on SCS and the other on Malacca Straits

    There’s a saying “2 is one and one is none”, meaning that you need at least one backup. We have 2 submarine and even then we didn’t have them patroling the seas all the time this is why RMN is looking for another 2, to guarantee at least one sub under water at all time

  9. 4 is reasonable number to ensure round the clock capability; one is maint, one just return from ops, one already starting its patrol, one as spare in case emergencies. But to go from 2 to 6 is a huge stretch and asking for even more is just too much unless we throw all our defence money into TLDM.

    The crux is realistically we can only have an armed forces that we can afford.

  10. jack – ”How often do they go to war”

    You miss the point. By having 4 on paper means there’s less likelihood of going to war [4 constitutes a better deterrent than 2] and by having 4 there’s a greater possibility [not always possible] of always having one at sea and another ready to put to sea.

    dundun – ”and the other on Malacca Straits”

    By and large the straits are too shallow. At various points a sub has to be surfaced and even if submerged can be seen from the air.

  11. Qamarul – ”Good planning by the RSN.”

    Having ”good planning’ is one thing. Actually having the required funding is another.
    The RMN first made feasibility studies in the late 1970’s and began planning and sending people for training in the 1980’s but funding was a perennial issue.

  12. As it stands even operating a pair is a huge drain on resources; it consumes a significant chunk of the budget. No one here needs any reminders that we have a history of buying kit but not allocating sufficient sustainment funds.

    I would like a force structure of 4 subs but realistically this would entail a heavier financial commitment from the penny pinching government. Then there’s also the issue of manpower. The RMN is a small under resourced all volunteer navy; it’s not the Vietnamese navy which is larger and focuses on subs at the expense of the surface fleet or the RSN which relies on conscripts [when fully mobilised the SAF is actually larger than the MAF]. Training submariners is very resource intensive; the wash out rate is high and even after they qualify ‘X’ number might or rather will be found unsuitable.

  13. ” it’s not the Vietnamese navy which is larger and focuses on subs at the expense of the surface fleet ”

    I am for TLDM and APMM to follow the Vietnam navy and Coast Guard fleet plans.

    TLDM priority should be submarines, additional 1 sub by 2030, 3 more in 2031-2040 to give a fleet of 6.

    Most surface ships should be operated by APMM. That includes the Kedah-class, and even the Lekiu-class if it is to be replaced with a more capable frigate like the Arrowhead 140 in TLDM after 2030.

  14. “history of buying kit but not allocating sufficient sustainment funds.”
    The matter of First World facilities, 3rd World mentality. If we can see this in our public infra its no surprise that such is reflective on our defence equipment & facilities.

    “Training submariners is very resource intensive; the wash out rate is high”
    Perhaps training priority is to stream the cadets towards qualification for subs then any washouts could be reused for surface vessels ie LCS. Cadets with good aptitude could also be streamed towards TLDM rotary arm as well, they would be sent to the chopper centralised training program.

  15. Only those who are already in RMN service can be considered for submarine training, and they must be sailors in the first place. If they failed they will return to their previous job. It is the same with other navies, and with aviation and SF training. Cadets are not considered as they have not been inducted to service meaning that they could quit at any time.

    Perhaps with the new 2U2I programme, cadets for RMN can be trained as aviators but so far it has not been done AFAIk.

  16. jack – “how often do they go to war?”

    The 4 invincible class subs are meant as replacements for their aging Archer and Challenger classes, this is nothing new. And as others have explained, 4 is the minimum amount that a navy needs for a more effective sub force

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