SHAH ALAM: Keeping up with the Joneses. It appears that the Singapore has ordered another Invincible class (Type 218SG) submarine from Germany. German news magazine Der Spiegel revealed this week that the German government of ex-chancellor Angela Merkel approved a number of arms deals before she left office.
Among the deal reported was the sale of a Type 218G submarine to Singapore from Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems. Thyssenkrup was also approved to sell three MEKO A-200 EN frigates to Egypt, along with 16 air defense systems from Diehl Defense. The Egyptian deal was said to be controversial as the Middle East country, according to German politicians has a poor human rights record and was involved in the Yemen war.
Singapore has not announced a deal for the fifth submarine from Thyssenkrupp and it is unlikely to confirm it as it was leaked by the German newspaper. The Type 218SG is known as the Invincible class by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) after the first of class, Invincible which was launched in 2019. The first two Invincible class was ordered in 2013 while the contract for the other pair was announced in 2017. Invincible was expected to be delivered to RSN this year though it is likely this will take place next year.
RSN currently operates four boats, two Challenger and two Archer class submarines purchased second hand from Sweden. It was expected that the Challenger will be retired once the first two Invincible class submarines are inducted into RSN service. The Archers too is expected to be retired once the two Invincibles ordered in 2017 are inducted into service later this decade.
It is also likely that Singapore will order another Invincible class submarine in the near future, ensuring that it will have six boats in the fleet. This will allow for two submarines in operations with the rest in training or refit. It may however also see five submarines was enough to meet its needs.
— Malaysian Defence